I came across this article; it is neither new nor particularly scientific. Yet I believe it is sufficiently remarkable to alert you to it, quote a little from it, and hopefully make you chuckle a bit:
The Vatican’s top exorcist has spoken out in condemnation of yoga … , branding [it] as “Satanic” acts that lead[s] to “demonic possession”. Father Cesare Truqui has warned that the Catholic Church has seen a recent spike in worldwide reports of people becoming possessed by demons and that the reason for the sudden uptick is the rise in popularity of pastimes such as watching Harry Potter movies and practicing Vinyasa.
Professor Giuseppe Ferrari … says that … activities such as yoga, “summon satanic spirits” … Monsignor Luigi Negri, the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, who also attended the Vatican crisis meeting, claimed that homosexuality is “another sign” that “Satan is in the Vatican”. The Independent reports: Father Cesare says he’s seen many an individual speaking in tongues and exhibiting unearthly strength, two attributes that his religion says indicate the possibility of evil spirits inhabiting a person’s body. “There are those who try to turn people into vampires and make them drink other people’s blood, or encourage them to have special sexual relations to obtain special powers,” stated Professor Ferrari at the meeting. “These groups are attracted by the so-called beautiful young vampires that we’ve seen so much of in recent years.”
Is yoga about worshiping Hindu gods, or is it about engaging in advanced stretching and exercise? At its roots, yoga is said to have originated from the ancient worship of Hindu gods, with the various poses representing unique forms of paying homage to these entities. From this, other religions such as Catholicism and Christianity have concluded that the practice is out of sync with their own and that it may result in demonic spirits entering a person’s body.
… Father Truqui sees yoga as being satanic, claiming that “it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter.” And in order to deal with the consequences of this, his religion has had to bring on an additional six exorcists, bringing the total number to 12, just to deal with what he says is a 100% rise in the number of requests for exorcisms over the past 15 years. “The ministry of performing an exorcism is little known among priests … It’s like training to be a journalist without knowing how to do an interview.” At the same time, Father Amorth admits that the Roman Catholic Church’s notoriety for all kinds of perverted sex scandals is also indicative of demonic activity – he stated that it represents proof that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican.” “There’s homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, IVF [in vitro fertilization] and a host of other things,” added Monsignor Luigi Negri, the archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, about what he says is evidence of the existential evil in society. “There’s the glamorous appearance of the negation of man as defined by the Bible.”
END OF QUOTES
Just one thought, if I may: according to Father Truqui, the most satanic man must be a ‘perverted’ catholic priest practising Yoga and reading Harry Potter!
Those are the same priests that condone child abuse within the church.
Indeed I’m an Evangelical, but Catholics deserve respect.
And by the way, science matters apart, I agree with them about this.
Dear R. Guerreiro,
This blog is usually not about religion, but since you went there, I would like to challenge your general statement that “Catholics deserve respect”. I am an atheist and secular humanist and do not think that any person deserves respect just because of his or her religious belief.
In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that I find morally valuable. This would be e.g. the search for truth, readiness to help others, empathy, promoting human well-being, etc. If you do not behave like a moral being (and is seems undeniable that such people exist within any religion), you certainly do NOT deserve respect simply because you are a believer in one of the many religions that humans have suggested to be true. In this context, I would like to point out that several thousands of (sometimes mutually exclusive) gods have been suggested to exist, but proof of existence exists for none of them.
Since your statement implies that being a Christian is of some moral value PER SE, I would also like to point out that I have not come across any moral statement that a religious person has put forward that could not have been said by a humanist like me. For this reason, I despise that many people use “religion” as synonym for “morality”.
Furthermore, many immoral deeds have been done (and are done every day) just for the sake of religion. I think that good reasons exist that indicate that a secular humanist moral system is superior to a religious moral system. Since it would be far beyond the scope of this post to go into detail about this topic, I recommend reading books from people like Sam Harris (e.g. his book “The Moral Landscape”), Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. Alternatively, you might want to watch some call-in videos shows like “The Atheist Experience”, that often deal with these questions.
In this context, would like to share one heartwarming example that I recently came across (a caller named “Frode” in a recent show of “Talk Heathen”) that vividly exemplifies the relief that people can experience once they get rid of the oppressive nature that religious belief can exert.
(see minutes 29:40 onwards in this video):
“In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that I find morally valuable.”
A view shared by all religious fundamentalists.
I disagree, jm.
First: nice try to take one oy my sentences out of context to misrepresent the meaning of my post.
However, you make the exact mistake that I mentioned before, in that you confuse moral with religion.
A view shared by religious fundamentalists would be:
“(…) a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with MY OWN RELIGIOUS BELIEF”. This has per se nothing to do with moral.
The priority for religious fundamentalists is following their religion, even if this implies VIOLATION of fundamental MORAL values (in the most extreme cases, even killing people that do not share their belief).
In contrast, a basic humanist, MORAL ideal would be to increase well-being of AS MANY people as possible, no matter what VIEWS they have (e.g. if they believe in any religion or not), an attitude that obviously is not at all shared by religious fundamentalists.
I hope that I could clarify my position. Since this blog is not the place for discussions about religion, I will not continue this exchange with you, jm.
Nice try back atcha, Jashak. ? You know as well as I do that sentence wasn’t taken out of context. The context was who deserves your respect.
I’m not confusing religion and morality – you’re confusing religion with religious fundamentalism. Religions have criteria for followers, but they don’t have criteria for respect. (Neither do the secular humanists I know.) Love your neighbor, and all the variations in all the religions, etc etc.
Fundamentalists are the ones who require like-mindedness and proper action, before people ‘deserve’ respect (as you put it).
Your “In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that I find morally valuable” is pretty clear. Hence my reply.
“I will not continue this exchange with you”
jm, as I mentioned, I will not continue the exchange on the topic “moral & religion” with you here, as it seems off topic for this blog, but I would not mind discussing this further with you in private.
I will, however, only continue discussing this topic with you if you agree to clarify your own position, instead of only criticizing selected sentences that I wrote.
If you are willing to clarify your position and continue our exchange, please post your Email address and I will write to you in private.
That wasn’t criticism, just an observation. Edzard’s post is about religious leaders supposedly trying to help their followers in their practice. Their concern is within the Catholic and Christian community.
On the other hand, you wrote about the superiority of your system, and offer up literature and a youtube ‘sermon’ to help people find their way to your system. You said that people don’t deserve respect unless their deeds go along with ideals that you find morally valuable.
I just found it amusing that on a post about satanic influences, exorcism, etc…the proselytizing and missionary work is being done by a secular humanist.
I wouldn’t worry about the off topic thing – Edzard seems to be aware of that based on the first sentence in the post.
On the other hand, it’s pretty much the essence of this blog. The posts and comments are full of what constitutes ‘real’ medicine, promotion of universal conformity to a particular model for understanding and organizing natural phenomena, re-defining terms used by other systems, etc. This is a fundamentalist site. Not a criticism, it’s just what it is.
• I don´t consider myself to be a “humanist missionary” (if such a thing exists), but responded to a comment from R. Guerreiro, which I think is not justified.
• He/she posted that “Catholics deserve respect”. As a humanist, it should be obvious that I think that EVERY person deserves to be respected as a HUMAN BEING, no matter what they believe. This is a decisive difference compared to religious fundamentalists, which is why your initial comment is off. To be clear: I don’t think that belief in any supernatural being should be a justification for respect, which obviously was what R. Guerreiro insinuated. Imo, “Catholics deserve respect” is the same as e.g. saying that “fairy-believers deserve respect”.
• Yes, I think that humanist values are a far better moral fundament than stories from old books (which, btw, are full of clearly immoral stories).
• Since you obviously (and maybe deliberately) misunderstood the sentence that you cited from my initial comment, let me rephrase it for you: In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that are of objective moral valuable, such as increasing human well-being.
• After all this back-and forth, I am not even sure if you agree or disagree with my position, because you avoid revealing your own point of view. I find this behavior odd, and the fact that you prefer posting on this blog instead of continuing our exchange in a private setting leads me to believe that you just want to make smug, deprecatory comments and are not really interested in the issue at hand.
Thanks for the rephrase, but it really wasn’t necessary. I can see why you’re not sure if I agree or disagree with your position. I’m not sure if YOU agree or disagree with your position :). Can you see how you’re contradicting yourself?
“As a humanist, it should be obvious that I think that EVERY person deserves to be respected as a HUMAN BEING, no matter what they believe.”
“In my opinion, a person deserves my respect when his/her deeds go along with ideals that are of objective moral valuable, such as increasing human well-being.”
I’m sorry you see my comments as smug or deprecatory – that’s not my intent. Re-read the last couple of paragraphs of your initial response to R. Guerreiro, as objectively as you can. If it helps, imagine someone knocking on your door and saying that to you – substitute in some sort of religious book/youtube video for the ones you recommended, if you like.
My point of view (you seem interested) is that I don’t really care what other people believe. Not my circus, not my monkeys. But I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to be a bit wary of fundamentalists. Particularly fundamentalist evidence based medicine practitioners. They can be lethal.
There’s probably a reason to be wary of fundamentalist secular humanists…but I’m not sure what that reason would be.
don´t worry, I am quite clear about my position and can´t see how I contradict myself.
Explain to me why it should be a contradiction that my “basic setting” is to respect a person as a fellow human being (who has the right to have any OPINION/BELIEF that he/she wants), but that I immediately withdraw this respect once he/she ACTS against basic, objective moral rules (e.g. hurt or kill fellow humans)?
Furthermore, you are off in that you compare my original post with someone “knocking on other peoples´ doors”. In your analogy, R. Guerreiro would be the one knocking and I would be the one responding to his claim.
And again, you avoid taking a stand on the matter that I was addressing, which basically is that religious persons often try to occupy the moral high ground simply because of their belief.
Jashak, in case you have missed some exchanges, take a look at the thread subset starting after that comment (or higher above, if you wish). This may help you put jm in context, especially his take on the multiple interpretations of the word “evidence” (except for the literal one, of course).
This comment also begins a rather intricate exchange that can help you put jm’s purposes of posting on this blog into perspective as well.
Jm enjoys having endless possibilities to interpret life, many systems of medicine, many fantasies. Why hide behind a single reality when you can believe whatever you like.
This is honestly a local maximum for jm (though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a global one). There is no “real” medicine model, as jm does not want to understand, only countless fake ones, and a neat one that stands out merely because it searches, traces, accepts and tries to correct its errors to the maximum possible extent. We call this evidence-based medicine as a system. Sounds funny, but we don’t take it personally, we make the best choice. The only case evidence-based medicine stretches a bit too far is when it steps into other fake-medicine territory to warn patients of lack of treatment efficacy and this is the curse of evidence-based medicine. It does not believe in uninformed patient choice, only informed one. (And then you have jm redefining “information”, of course).
You may understand, then, Jashak, where jm’s phrase “redefining terms used by other systems” stems from. For jm, medicine, as everything else in this world, is a philosophically dominant “First come first served” system. Because traditional medicine has been around for long, it deserves respect and if you don’t agree with it or criticize it, you are religious fundamentalist and you don’t even have the benefit of the doubt. To jm, its observations are never criticism, it’s pure reality. Jm sure knows how to reshape reality!
Thank you for the heads-up, James,
I didn´t plan to spend (i.e. waste) much more time on this exchange anyways.
Your earlier comment implies that respect is only given after ‘correct’ deeds have been demonstrated. You even rephrased, implying the same thing. Which I’ve never heard from a secular humanist. Which is why I commented.
“…“basic setting”…but that I immediately withdraw this respect once he/she ACTS against basic, objective moral rules…”
That’s competely different, and a normal debate I hear between SH’s – one side arguing that respect is given regardless, other side respect is rightfully withdrawn, or can be ‘lost’, etc.
“…you avoid taking a stand…”
No, I told you I have no stand on that matter. My stand is that it’s none of my business. I don’t know what a moral high ground would conceivably be. The whole matter is above my pay grade.
“Because traditional medicine has been around for long, it deserves respect”
Nope. You have a habit of reading whatever you want/need into things. Which, hey, also a trait shared by fundamentalists!
I see no point in having a discussion with a person that has no opinion on the matter at hand, so I think this is a good (maybe even a bit late?) time to end our exchange.
Before, allow some final remarks to illustrate what I mean with “moral high ground”.
The magnitude of the effect that religion has on daily live will of course depend on factors like age, gender and home country. I will leave you with two examples, one personal and one general.
• Many years ago, I had a Muslim colleague from Egypt who did part of her PhD project in our lab. I once asked her about the state of religion in Egypt. She said that nearly everybody was a Sunnite Muslim. I asked if other religions were also present and she replied that yes, to her knowledge, some Christs were also practicing their religion in Egypt. Then I asked: ”How about persons who do not believe in any god?” She said something like: “Oh, no! Such persons do not exist. And how could they? They would have no soul and be on one level with dogs.”
As you will understand, I did not mention that I was one of them.
• Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most countries in the world (including my home country Germany), even if a terminally ill person will have to go through a lot of pain and suffering during the process of dying. In Germany, both Protestant and Roman Catholic Church (having a strong influence on politics) reject physician-assisted suicide. One year ago, a person very close to me died from lung cancer. Although I do not know if she would have chosen the option of physician-assisted suicide to end her suffering (the option was obviously not available), I know that I would like to have this option if I was affected by such a disease.
So what is the moral justification that religion interferes with such private matters of persons that might not even share the belief? It is: God is the creator of all life; therefore God is the judge when to end life. That´s what I call moral high ground, and for no good reason at all.
Feel free to continue our exchange once you have formed an opinion on the matter, but then I prefer to do this privately via Email.
I’ve told you my opinion on the matter – it’s not my business to dictate morals/values for others. And yes, probably best to end this. 🙂
Getting rusty with your argumentation, jm? I don’t enjoy challenging your fantasies, but on a fundamentalist website, your opinion and posts would never get through moderation. On the other hand, fundamentalists have a tendency to see fundamentalists everywhere, so your discomfort is not quite unexpected.
At the risk of repeating myself, do mind that your right to an opinion is respected.
“…so your discomfort is not quite unexpected.”
I agree, it’s comical …but there’s a dark side: the “traditionalist” catholic sites fulminate against homosexuality, but they also support very right wing politics: I have been told be people in Brazil that evangelicals supported Bolsonaro, too…..
It is disgusting, embarrassing and completely abhorrent to read how non Catholics treat Catholics. I was baptized Catholic as an infant and raised Baptist. At 49 I am now returning to history and the holy spirit has opened my mind and understanding to the interpretation of authority through Christ in the one Church . Call it what you will but catholics and protestant are folding into one another. The truth prevails. Find where you both agree and that is pure truth without the filters of man. Find where you JUDGE your fellow man for his sins (without humility regarding your own) and thats where you fail from grace from the beginning of time. If you are a MAN,,,,,,YOU screwed up. You should have rejected Eve when she seduced YOU with the forbidden fruit. Yet You who were made in God’s image first were weakend by not chosing to obey your Master. Now you are confused and still huffing and puffing to regain your lost pride. You can flex all you want but pointing out the sins of “some” fallen priests is not saying anything about the good priests who exist and are dedicated to the Lord. Good priests may very well be given divine messages but because of your hubris you may not be chosen. You generalize and stereotype. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. The devil is in the details. Protection is found in your personal relationship with Jesus. He lives through the Holy Spirit. Be quiet and stop judging others. Also called humility. You don’t know people in the comments on a personal level so Stop it! You make me want to follow Catholicism even more. Truth has no political party. Humility is our converter.
Sorry, what point are you trying to make?
Former Kundalini yoga Instructor, Mike Shreveport, tells All (See YouTube video with this title)
Yoga literally means union with Brahman (formless impersonal God) who’s 3 deities are Brahma, Vishnu and shiva. Yoga literally instructs poses to open you up for Union with these deities. Not Christian.