Monday, March 8, 2010

Slightly Less Crazy, But Not By Much

I grew up Catholic, so I suppose I shouldn't find discussions of demons as actual, real forces in the world as bizarre as I do- I mean, there are people within the RCC whose business cards read "Fr. Smith, Exorcist"- but the average Catholic does not spend a great deal of time thinking about Satan/demons. Contrast with evangelical christians who, I swear to you this is literally true, blame Satan if traffic is bad or their computer gets a virus. (Really. Get yourself onto Rapture Ready's message board and check out the prayer requests, half of which are desperate pleas to pray the demon out of the drippy faucet.)

Hence, we get this testament to crazy:

In the 20-plus years he has known Christ, Brady Boyd has never been to a megachurch where
demonic spirits was discussed.

And Boyd, who is currently senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado
Springs, considers it a "big, big, big" topic that needs to be talked

. . .

For Boyd, the existence of demons is very real. He recalled a time when his
young son, Abram, had "intense night terrors" (nightmares). They kept Abraham
and Boyd up at nights regularly. After recognizing that there was "a spiritual
element attacking" his son, Boyd prayed a "short, emphatic, decisive prayer"
calling on the name of Jesus. The "night terrors" stopped, he said.

The only thing that could be more horrifying than night terrors would be being told by your parents that the cause of your night terrors is Satan. If that's not abusive, I don't know what is.

One of my nieces suffered from night terrors. They're not uncommon, they require no treatment and they are horrifying. I will never forget seeing my niece, I think she was 3 at the time, screaming for her mother in absolute, unadulterated terror while her mother held her and begged her to see that she was there. My niece had no memory of the event once she actually woke up.

There is nothing psychologically or physically wrong with a person who has night terrors. It's a quirk of the sleep cycles. They sure as hell aren't caused by Satan. As I said above, night terrors tend to go away on their own. Generally, night terrors in children don't last more than a few weeks, and almost all children outgrow them before adolescence. Prayer didn't make Mr. Boyd's son better, time did. And I really cannot get over how abusive it is to tell someone that Satan caused their passing sleep disorder.

It does get crazier:

"A lot of the counseling I do at New Life Church could be settled if we
just had a culture where when a
thought came to you we had a sensitivity, an awareness that it's not from God.
If we just repent of it ... then adulterous affairs would stop, all the things
wrecking families would stop," he said. "It all just starts with a

That's right. Adulterous affairs aren't symptoms of complex psychological, personality and relationship disorders that need to be addressed and dealt with, you just need to think happy thoughts. Let me know how that works out for you.


  1. "just had a culture where when a thought came to you we had a sensitivity, an awareness that it's not from God."

    I think instead of culture, he meant reality. Reality has a very agnostic atheist bias.

  2. If it wasn't so scary, it would be pretty funny that a guy who actually thinks demons cause night terrors is counseling other people.

  3. I think I'd have classified this less as crazy, and more as stupid. But that's just me, and there's plenty of both to go around.

  4. Can you prove that night terrors are not caused by Satan? Well then.


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