Saturday, February 11, 2017

Demon Goths!

So I finally did it. Pat Robertson now has his own tag here on Augoeides. The evangelist and 700 Club host has proved to be a remarkable source of ridiculous statements over the years, and to be fair, a couple of reasonable ones here and there.

Today's post falls into the former category. You know, like most of Robertson's comments do. On The 700 Club, a viewer told Robertson that she was worried about demons attacking her daughter, who dressed in typical Goth fashion and liked horror movies. Robertson went right along with it, explaining that demons were clearly behind this and the mother had to "rebuke Satan" to get rid of them. Which, really, seems pretty far off the deep end for what basically amounts to fashion choices that are out of the mainstream - and liking horror movies, which is totally normal.

Today on “The 700 Club,” a viewer asked host Pat Robertson how she should approach her teenage daughter who likes “‘dark’ things” like “horror movies” and “black lipstick and clothing.” “I fear that demons are working on her,” she added. Robertson responded that her daughter is being influenced by goth culture and recommended that she pray and “bind the spirits” that have taken her daughter captive.

“She’s dressing goth and it’s a whole fashion thing,” he said. “This is demonic and she needs to be delivered. You’re not going to talk her out of it, you’ve got to pray her out of it. I suggest that you begin to rebuke Satan, bind the power of evil and the forces of evil and bind Satan and the forces of evil and say, ‘I command you to leave my daughter.’”

Now here's what I don't understand, and you probably don't either. Let's say that Robertson is right, and this teenager is being attacked and influenced by demons. Don't you think they would have better things to do than make her wear black dresses and makeup and watch horror movies? From a metaphysical standpoint that's utterly pointless. I suppose Robertson probably thinks this is just because the demons are stupid, but still, at the very least they could be making her do things that are actually sinful, instead of just looking weird and liking a genre of film that happens to be quite popular.

As I see it, what's far more insidious is how controlling this is on the part of the mother. The daughter is not doing anything dangerous, evil, or even sinful. She's just dressing in a way that the mother thinks is odd. But the mother feels she has to call in to a Christian television show to implore the help of an evangelist anyway. If Robertson had any sense, he would point out that the mother might be afflicted by a "demon of pathological control" or something like that. And yes, I happen to have a teenage daughter, and her fashion choices are entirely her own.

Fundamentalism is at its base about control. There's nothing in the Bible that says anything about this daughter's actions being bad or wrong. I suppose that a lot of the black clothing in question is poly-cotton, so it violates the prohibition on mixing fibers, but my guess is that the mother's clothes are just as sinful in that regard. So this isn't religious; it's a bunch of cultural bullshit that both the mother and Robertson are treating as religious. When really, the mother just doesn't like how the daughter dresses because she thinks it's weird.

It's all fine and good to be a scriptural literalist, but one of the things you have to keep in mind when you go down that road is keeping track of what isn't in the Bible. Robertson got this right in his arguments with Ken Ham, pointing out that the Ussher Chronology relies on all sorts of interpretations that aren't in the text. On the other hand, in this case, he seems to have totally dropped the ball.

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ebbandflow said...

Pretty sure that picture on the left is of my friend in the UK!

Scott Stenwick said...

Oh no! Pat is going to be rebuking her any minute now! ;)