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Posted inGeneral

The Inquisition and Witch Hunts

Reading Time: 4 minutes By James A. Haught This is the third segment of a nine-part series on religious horrors, cruelties, atrocities and tragedies of all types. After killing Muslims in Crusades and Jews in massacres, Christians began killing fellow Christians who deviated from official dogma. One deviant group was the Cathari, or Albigenses, so named because they centered […]

Posted inGeneral

Weekend Coffee: May 31

Reading Time: < 1 minute • Rabbis in a British branch of ultra-Orthodox Judaism forbid women from driving – and threaten to expel their children from school if they’re caught violating the ban. • The horrific news keeps coming out of Bangladesh, as Islamists circulate a hit list of secular writers whom they want to kill. • “As the country […]

Posted inGeneral

Why Do Many Christians Still Literally Believe in Demons and Satan?

Reading Time: 6 minutes This article was originally published on AlterNet. If there’s anywhere in the U.S. where you’d expect aggressively conservative, domineering religion to be a relic of the past, it’s tolerant and culturally liberal Massachusetts. But even in that blue enclave, the theocratic impulse is still surprisingly powerful. We found this out when a student group at […]

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No, Belief in Satan Doesn’t Make Us Moral

Reading Time: 5 minutes One of the new writers at the rebooted New Republic, Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, wrote a column titled Pope Francis’s Populist War on the Devil. It begins this way: Pope Francis isn’t engaged only in earthly battles. He’s also waging a cosmic war against the power of evil, a crusade that has garnered considerably less press […]

Posted inGeneral

New on AlterNet: Catholicism’s Demonic Revival

Reading Time: < 1 minute My latest column is up on AlterNet, Why Do Many Christians Still Literally Believe in Demons and Satan? In it, I sum up the Harvard Black Mass fracas and place it in a wider context, showing how Pope Francis and the Catholic church are pushing a major revival of belief in the demonic. Read the […]

Posted inGeneral

Sympathy for the Devil

Reading Time: 4 minutes I wanted to write about something important this week, like the Greece v. Galloway decision, but events have conspired to thwart me. The story I covered earlier has had some dramatic new developments that cry out for a followup. So: Satanism. On Monday, I wrote about the Harvard student club that wanted to stage a […]

Posted inGeneral

Satan Comes to Harvard

Reading Time: 4 minutes As I’ve written in the past, I find Satanism silly and juvenile. If you’re an atheist, as most of them say they are, then call yourself an atheist, and don’t wrap yourself in the mythology of a religion you don’t believe in. The only reason I can imagine to identify as a Satanist is as […]

Posted inGeneral

Christian Radio Fans the Flames of Witch Hunting

Reading Time: 3 minutes A few years ago, I wrote about the horrible “witch children” craze in Nigeria. Like the witch hunts that once swept through America and Europe, this one is fed by sects of fanatic evangelical preachers, inflamed by Western missionaries, that believe in a miracle-drenched, demon-haunted world – and teach that people, including children, can be […]

Posted inGeneral

The Twitter Report: Could It Be… Satan?

Reading Time: 5 minutes In my early days of blogging, I would have exhaustive debates, sometimes lasting for weeks, with believers who came across one of my websites and posed a challenge to me. But although it was fun in its time, I’ve wearied of it, and with occasional rare exceptions, I don’t argue with theists over e-mail anymore. […]

Posted inGeneral

Treating Demon Possession with Antipsychotics

Reading Time: 3 minutes As I’ve written in the past, modern Christianity has never outgrown the demoniac fixation of its founders, who believed that evil spirits were constantly on the prowl and assaulting them. People like Gary Collins – an evangelical, a clinical psychologist, and the head of a 15,000-member association of Christian counselors – still believes, based not […]

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