California has a reputation for spiritual wackiness but ours is mostly of the liberal-leaning, kumbaya-singing, hippy-dippy, New Age variety. Texas, on the other hand, is striving mightily to leave California (and every other state) in the dust just from the sheer quantity of wacky religiosity it’s been generating lately; and none of theirs is of the gentler kumbaya-singing type either. And when Texas news is not about their Religious Right marching us backwards to a pre-Enlightenment vision of civil society, then it’s about something older (as in Dark Ages older) and even more anachronistic…
Like a conference on exorcisms.
Yep, 700 people gathered Monday in the West Texas town of San Angelo for a seminar on demonic possession and exorcism. The local Catholic Church is very excited about it.
“It’s one of the best presentations we’ve ever had,” said Bishop Michael Pfeifer with the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo. “It’s something very, very unique. The people were enthralled, and they had so many questions to ask.”
Neither MYWestTexas.com nor coverage from the San Angelo Standard-Times and the local CBS 7 News mention any that were skeptical though. What that says about the conference or worse, about West Texas news organizations, I leave to the imagination of my readers.
Lest anyone think I’m just picking on Texas, I’d like to point out that there’s plenty of evidence to show that they have no monopoly on gullibility or the peddling of religious mumbo-jumbo. In fact, the seminar was led by the Fr. Dennis McManus, whose commission to conduct exorcisms comes from the archdiocese of New York.
Father McManus is an old hand at battling Satan and, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times, says that demonic possessions have been on the upswing in recent years. Not only that, he says that diabolic cults exist all over West Texas.
Since West Texas tends to be even more religious than the rest of the state, should one conclude that wherever religion finds a stronghold, so does Satan? Either way, local exorcists are keeping very busy.
Don’t worry about Fr. McManus though. When he’s not dodging projectile vomit or what-have-you from the demon-possessed, he takes time off to relax and exorcise ghosts.
Personally, I’d rather call Ghost-busters.
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