Sunday, August 28, 2016

Everybody's Got Demons But Me

So yes, it's another one of these.

Fundamentalist Evangelicals have to be some of the most paranoid people in the world. Recently, Colorado pastor and talk radio host Kevin Swanson explained that basically everyone, including Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga, Charles Darwin, and Aristotle (!) were under the control of either demons or the devil himself.

I know that figures in the entertainment industry get this all the time, and that Darwin is basically an Evangelical punching bag, but Aristotle? I don't think he even believed in "the devil" because, you know, he lived in ancient Greece before Christianity even existed.

Swanson took a rather hard line on the issue, declaring at one point that Steven Spielberg and Lady Gaga, along with Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, all are or have been “possessed by Satan” or “under the sway of the devil.” Swanson reminded his audience that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,” meaning that “we’re not fundamentally up against Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga or Charles Darwin, we’re up against their ideas”—and those ideas are of the devil.

“Now, Charles Darwin, Lady Gaga and Steven Spielberg are under the control of the Evil One,” he explained. “1 John 5:19 says the whole world is under the sway of the Evil One, under the sway of the devil, the devil has absolute control over them. Now, again, these are the presuppositions that are not taken on by those who want to dally with the world’s ideas. They don’t see that Aristotle is under the sway of the Evil One, under the absolute control of this very powerful, malignant force called the devil, and they don’t see that Steven Spielberg and Lady Gaga and Charles Darwin are under the absolute sway, the control, the force and the power of the devil himself. So therefore they absorb any of the ideas that may come their way through these means.”

The modern fundamentalist movement only dates back to about the middle of the Nineteenth Century. If you ever were looking for proof, this is it. Aristotle influenced the philosophy and theology of the Christian church for more than a thousand years. Thomas Aquinas based much of his work on Aristotlean methods. I realize that many Evangelicals have it in for the Roman Catholics, but for the longest time Roman Catholicism was Western European Christianity.

Also, Creationists make the argument from first causes all the time in their tirades against evolution, first proposed by - you guessed it - Aristotle and adapted by Aquinas into the form that we generally hear it today. Seriously, does Swanson have any idea what he's talking about? Let's just say that signs point to "no."

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

No comments: