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23 November 2018 @ 08:25 am
New Horizons in Victim Blaming  
Catholic League: Sexual Abuse Victims Need Exorcisms Because They Attract Demons [Patheos]
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Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on November 23rd, 2018 08:16 pm (UTC)
Meh. Much as I deplore Catholicism's hideously toxic, misogynistic superstitions, I have to say that I find this article very biased, and the author of it is totally (perhaps deliberately) missing the point.

Yes, Catholics (and a lot of other People of the Book) believe in the actual, objective existence of supernatural entities - God, Satan, angels, demons, saints, etc. - that are constantly trying to influence humans. Catholic dogma says demons are real beings, not just psychological constructs, and that they can really possess people. This may sound batshit-crazy to the rational mind, but rationality has never been a very popular world-view: the vast majority of humans believe in the supernatural, and it is extremely difficult to pry them away from that belief.

I've done a number of healing/cleansing ceremonies for survivors of abuse and assault. My tradition doesn't hold that the supernatural is objectively real in any sense, but that doesn't mean it's not subjectively real, and 'demons' that exist only in one's brain can certainly wreck one's life if they're not addressed. Ritual works to address them because it's not processed through the rational mind. It's exactly the same reason a few squirts of 'Monster Spray' in the kid's closet works, whereas explaining that there aren't any monsters in there does not work.

Explaining that there aren't any demons in people doesn't work for Catholics. If it did, they'd no longer be Catholics, right? As bad as Catholicism is for women, I still don't think rational arguments in favor of atheism are likely to be any help or comfort to a believing Catholic rape victim who's persistently haunted by the horror and defilement.

"Abuse victims need counseling and actual help, not a priest whose sole job it is to eradicate evil that doesn’t even exist."

This author is talking out his ass here. The evil exists all right - in the same place ALL good and evil exists, the incredible human brain - and the reason priest-craft has persisted in all ages and cultures of the world is because, very often, it does actually help.

I don't see how it's "victim-blaming" for someone who believes in literal demons to say that people who've been abused are more prone to possession. Would it be equally victim-blaming for someone who believes in literal viruses to say that people with compromised immune systems are more prone to catch them?