Saturday, July 1, 2017

So They're LARPing?

I find this one a little hard to believe, even if I maybe shouldn't. So let's just say if it turns out to be a joke or a hoax I won't be surprised. If it's real, though, the ramifications are pretty terrifying. According to a study released by The Barna Group, an evangelical polling firm, the evangelical concept of "spiritual warfare" is mostly fanfiction for the television series Supernatural

A recent survey of self-identified American evangelicals found that the vast majority possess a view of angels, demons, spiritual warfare heavily informed by the popular CW television show Supernatural, a report released by The Barna Group Wednesday confirmed.

The influence of the show on the nation’s believers, laymen, and clergy alike, has been massive and far-reaching. According to the survey results, a full 80% of evangelical pastors recommend warding off demonic attacks using methods like shotguns filled with rock salt, complex devil traps carved into floors and ceilings, and “special” demon-killing knives.

Further, an overwhelming 92% of Christians believe the best remedy for the darkness that is overtaking America is sending demon hunters like Sam and Dean Winchester to battle monsters, ghosts, witches, and demons all over the nation.

“The Bible tells us that Satan is going about like a roaring lion,” one anonymous respondent wrote. “How do you take down a lion? Magic bullets fired from a specially enchanted 1836 Colt Paterson revolver—that’s how.”

The enchanted 1836 Colt Paterson is a magical weapon that was featured on the show for a couple of seasons. No such thing ever existed in real life. What's scary about all this is that if Supernatural wasn't a television program and Sam and Dean were running around doing what they do in the real world, they would pretty clearly qualify as psychotic murderers. "We had to kill him! He was a monster!" "We had to kill him! He was possessed by a demon!" and so forth. You get the picture.

The good news is that aside from a few nutters here and there, I haven't heard much about evangelicals turning into "hunters" and killing people they think are possessed. But if they really believe deep-down that it's the right thing to do, conditions could be right for another moral panic that might result in a significant number of deaths and injuries. That's why I hope this is a hoax, because the alternative is so much worse.

UPDATE: So yes, this is in fact satire. I can breathe a sigh of relief! Let's all of us do everything that we can to keep it that way. The last thing we need is a subculture of "Christian Hunters."

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ChristianMarxistFortean said...

I'm a christian and a huge fan of Supernatural, but the "theology" of the show is so out of line with any reasonable reading of the Bible that I'm surprised that One Million Whinging Moms hasn't put it on their hit list along with Lucifer. Supernatural always played loosely with religious mythologies, and with an absent God, his damaged sister, the Crowley/Castiel relationship, along with the whole Heaven and Hell as corporate governmental structures thing, and that's just skimming the surface- I'd have assumed the show itself would be a target for enraged fundamentalists. Also, I briefly checked the Barna Group website and couldn't find this story there. I could be wrong, but if Babylon Bee, a satirical site(a sort of Onion for Christians)is the only source, hopefully this is just satire.

Scott Stenwick said...

I hope it is too, believe me. I am not familiar with the site in question, but if it is a sort of "Onion for Christians" I'll be quite relieved. I did verify that the Barna Group was a real outfit, but that's about it. The last thing we need is a bunch of folks running around convinced that their Supernatural LARPing is real.