I've always like Lord of the Rings because there are many stories with many morals. The tale of the betrayal of Suraman the White never seems to make the list of good Catholic neo con morality tales. I wonder why that is?
Frank Cocozzeli asks a very interesting question in his most recent post for Talk2Action and Open Tabernacle. What is going on with the neo cons? If readers have recently had the chance to check out Deal Hudson's Inside Catholic.com they will find a new, snazzier format. This week readers will also find two interesting articles which have almost nothing to do with conservative pro life politics, but a whole lot to do with spiritual fear/warfare and medieval penitential practices.
Hudson's current article is entitled "Pro Life Leader Who Is Also An Exorcist." I have to give Hudson some credit, he at least gets the pro life connection in the title. I am also left with the impression that Hudson and Fr. Euteneur, who the article is about, would like their readership to connect pro life politics with spiritual warfare. This is the exact connection made by the New Apostolic Reformation. In this scenario pro life politics is really a Spiritual War between true believing Jesus folks and Satan and all his legions. Satan's side is represented in politics by pro choicers and gay marriage supporters--amongst a host of 'other' others. So it should come as no surprise that in this same issue there is also an article which gives strategies with which to deal with gay marriage supporters, along with the one advocating self whipping.
What I found to be the most interesting part of the gay marriage article was point number two in which the author concedes that the divorce and adultery rate in heterosexual marriage is a counter witness in the defense of heterosexual marriage. The author, Eric Pavlat then states:
None of the damage done to marriage and families -- whether by contraception, divorce, porn, affairs, the hook-up culture, or artificial fertilization -- was inflicted by homosexuals. Only by acknowledging this fact -- and stating your opposition to these things -- can you show consistent support for the institution of marriage."
I find this gutsy on Pavlat's part because he is stating that to acknowledge these facts one must also agree with the Church's position on birth control. I'm not sure most of my conservative friends are prepared to accept that at face value. I'm not sure my gay friends would agree with the statement that gays didn't add to the divorce rate. Estimates are that 3-5 million gay men and women in the United States have made an honest attempt to do what the Church demands and enter into heterosexual marriages and produce children. What's even more disturbing about this, but not necessarily surprising, is that the largest percentage of these failed marriages come from the Red States. So does this mean that the position of the Catholic Church and the other Culture Warriors on gays and gay marriage is adding to the divorce rate? 3-5 million is a lot of failure, but since it doesn't fit in the apologetics, I guess it's best to leave this little fact out.
I don't even know where to begin with Hudson's article. First it's an advertisement for Fr. Eutenuer's recently released book on his career as an exorcist. Since Rome's most famous exorcist has done pretty well with his autobiography I suppose it's not surprising that one of EWTN's celebrity talking heads should take advantage of an apparent market. Nothing like striking while the pitch fork is hot.
This is the paragraph that really got me: Exorcism and the Church Militant is intended, in part, as a warning to parents who allow their children to be desensitized to "the dark world" by books and films like the Harry Potter series and the vampire books of Stephanie Meyer. Father Euteneuer told me possession is almost always a result of someone getting involved in some sort of occult practices, such as witchcraft, Wicca, tarot cards, and Ouiji boards.
Fr. Euteneuer is either hopelessly naive or an outright opportunist. Mental health professionals who have worked in this field feel early childhood abuse, especially sexual abuse, has far more to do with this than Harry Potter and tarot cards. Drug and alcohol addiction also are significant contributors to the ego disassociation exhibited by the 'possession' phenomenon. It's not hard to think of a reason or two for Fr. Euteneuer to fail to mention early childhood sexual abuse.
It seems to me that Deal Hudson and Fr. Euteneuer should reflect on a lesson from JRR Tolkein in the Lord of the Rings. The one about dwarves and delving to deeply in the mines of Moria. That's the story where the dwarves dug too deeply and unleased an evil that overcame them. Fr. Eutenuer especially should meditate on this story as I don't think he qualifies for the part of Gandalf.