Friday, January 25, 2019

Demon Dance

Recently elected New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been all over the news lately. Progressives love her and conservatives hate her, and while I could be posting an article here about the relative merits of policies supported by her and opposed by her detractors, this is Augoeides so I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to point out that whatever you may think about Ocasio-Cortez and her politics, one thing that should be clear to any reasonable person is that there is absolutely no way that a viral dance video from her college days is an actual demon-summoning spell.

Naturally, this point is topical here only because some nutty fundamentalist Christian thinks otherwise.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has raised the ire of the entire Republican Party. She has been criticized for everything from what she chooses to wear to a dance video she made in college. Crackpot preacher Lance Wallnau claimed Ocasio-Cortez’s success is due to witchcraft.

In an interview with Charisma magazine, Wallnau claimed Ocasio-Cortez’s success is due to demonic power. “After watching that video, I suspect she was conjuring up demons from hell,” said Wallnau. “I mean, she came out of nowhere, and now she’s a national figure. Satan must have been involved with that. Wallnau’s views are shared by several other Christians, according to Right Wing Watch.

According to Dave Kubal, president of Intercessors for Prayer, a Republican prayer group, demonic forces are gathered around New York City. “The good news about the midterm elections is that there is a great opportunity for evil to be exposed in the days and weeks to come,” he said.

“It’s been widely publicized that there is a coven of witches that cast spells on President Trump 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This particular coven is found in the southern portion of New York City.”

There is this idea shared by a lot of fundamentalist Christians that conjuring demons or Satan or whatever they want to call it is super-easy, and all you have to do is dance around or recite the Lord's Prayer backwards or say something else blasphemous and all of a sudden you have paranormal powers. It totally doesn't work that way. Magick is a discipline that requires practice, discipline, and dedication. You need to know what you're doing in order to get real paranormal results, and knowing what you're doing can involve decades of work.

Whether an individual "Satan" exists is even an open question. There are a number of powerful chthonic spirits that might show up if you try to conjure "the Devil," and the "Shaitan" of the Old Testament has been equated to Samael or Zamael, the angel of Mars, who is definitely a real spirit that you can conjure. But a silly high school dance is not going to get the job done. Some Christian preachers, though, don't like the idea of anyone doing anything that might lead to somebody having a good time. So naturally they hate dancing.

As for the alleged New York coven, I highly doubt that they're casting spells "24 hours a day, seven days a week." I think he's talking about the group that has organized several mass rituals against Trump and against Brett Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, fundamentalists have been "praying" for Trump and Kavanaugh at the same time - which, I keep pointing out, is the same damn thing as spellcasting. I completely support the rights of all parties on all sides to do this, and it's pretty telling the fundies want it to be okay for members of their religion only.

Anyway, I can analyze this stuff all day and no matter how right I am I will never change these extremists' minds. It's like they want to be fearful of every little thing possibly leading to demonic possession or damnation. I don't get that, and I doubt I ever will.

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