The other day I sat among a crowd of people in church, some of us listening, others snoring softly, as a person whom I respected tried to engage the congregation. He began with a mention of The Exorcist, the movie from the ’70s about a priest exorcising a devil from a child, well-played by the actress Linda Blair. He segued into Jesus exorcising demons from certain people who, as we now know, to be mentally ill. My hands clenched into fists and I willed myself to not jump up and yell, “This is the twenty-first century!” I didn’t want to wake up my husband whose eyes were slowly closing. Besides, embarrassment and I don’t get along.
Unfortunately, more than a few people nodded their heads in agreement as the speaker regaled us with stories in which he compared evil with demons. “Sin is all around us,” he stated. “And alcoholism and drug addiction and schizophrenia and….”
No. Just no. Sin is one thing. Sin, as in those with no morals who kill and then smile for the cameras and jury. That is evil. Facing one’s demons though, as in mental illness and addiction is another. They’d be horrified to physically hurt others.
We are not in the Dark Ages. Heck, we’re not even in the twentieth century. Let’s call evil what it is, and leave “demons” out of it.