Sunday, June 08, 2008

Anger, Prejudice, Demonic

Uhm.... so much anger, so little time. I didn't find an "Angry Hispanic Man" or "Angry Hispanic Woman" blog. But it probably exists.
http://www.angryasianman.com/angry.html
http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/
http://angryindian.blogspot.com/

Incidentally, I like to think of my blog as the Angry Christian Blog. But generally, my anger is pretty low-key. And usually, I'm p*ssed at the devil. He's the one we should be angry at. We do not fight against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Yeah, yeah, I know... it sounds very pious to say that racism, sexism, media prejudices, elitism and the folks who use them against other folks aare all really spiritual problems...but let me tell you a story. A TRUE STORY as usual.

I was once walking on the communion line in St Mark's Episcopal Church in a town a little down county. I walked by my friend Cecily -- a deacon in the church and a very sweet Welsh lady-- who was holding her visiting grandson in her arms. I had never met the kid. But the kid was beautiful. Simply goregous. He was about three or four and now I suspect he's probably about 27 years old. Anyway, there I was walking past the kid and I see Cecily. I smile at her and suddenly the kid shouts at me with the most hateful sneer and angry voice: "What are you doing here?" I wish I could totally explain the depth of this kid's hatred toward me. And note, the kid and his parents were just visiting. The weird thing was that the kid seemed to recognize me. If I believed in reincarnation I would think we must have known and hated each other in a past life! Another thing: the kid was not only angry to see me, but surprised to see me. He looked as if he thought he had destroyed me years ago. I totally felt that he wanted to get something in his little toddler hands and destroy me. Remember this was a little three year old I had never met before. But he recognized me, or maybe he recognized something in me. Or maybe he was overpowered with hatred of me. (Who knows? Maybe his parents had filled him up with a hatred of black people. But honestly, the kid's anger seemed to be directed against me. He didn't act that way with other black folks in the church...okay, there were only about four of us in the entire church.)

Okay, I've heard stories and there are stories in the Bible where a demon recognizes God's holy spirit in someone else. Christians have had witches or demonized folks walk over to them and curse them out or spit at them -- even if the Christian hasn't said anything or done anything particularly holy. The demon inside the person simply recognizes God's spirit in the Christian. But honestly, we were in a church, folks! The kid was sweet and calm until I came along. And Cecily was pretty holy so it wasn't as if I was the only Christian in the church. (::giggle:: Okay, I had to smile at that.) So why the heck did this kid do that?

I often wonder what I would do if the same thing happened again to me. Would I create a scene in the church and rebuke the spirit and command the spirit to leave? Or would I do what I did that time? Stand there looking ridiculous and stumped and shocked and hurt?

So are there demons who are racists? I mean: I don't know if this was a demonic racist spirit in the kid or if the kid was simply fueled with hatred by his parents or if the demon in the kid hated me for some other reason but let's consider this. We tend to believe that Demons put their passions into human minds. For instance, we figure that either a demon of lust is really lustful and needs sex therefore he uses the body of humans to feed that lust he has. OR he himself has no capacity of lust but he just is an expert at causing lust to be born in people. So if someone has an uncontrollable need to have sex with a dead body, to have sex with a little girl and kill her, to go on a rape-killing spree, we Christians tend to think that somewhere along the line the human perpetrator of these crimes was wounded in the soul and because of that wound in the soul -- depression, grief at family divorce, rejection issues, whatever-- an opportunistic demon entered into him and used the person's anger against a specific group or sex to create mayhem.

But what if the demon himself is overwhelmed with some of these sins? What if, for instance, there are demons which simply hate certain races? In Revelations, St John tells us that the dragon was so angry with the woman who had given birth to the boy destined to rule with a rod of iron that he made war against the woman. Upshot: John was prophesying that the devil would pursue Israel. And hasn't the Christian church --specifically the Catholic Church-- persecuted Jews for thousands of years? And if one thinks about it, Israel was persecuted thousands of years before Christianity. Hence the festival of Purim and celebrating Esther.

Well, we Christians accept that it is truly demonic to hate Israel because we believe the devil hates Israel. But do we really consider that all human prejudice is demonic in origin? Many Christians think they can go to heaven and still be prejudiced. I don't know about that. I've met so many prejudiced white Christians who really love God but who protect their prejudices from God. They hold on to it preventing him from changing it. What if they were to realize that it is possible that a demon who hates is living inside of them?

Anyways, the abovementioned bloggers aren't Christians so they see prejudice as a human or cultural situation. Which it is. They do their part in enlightening the world against racism. But as Christians, we have to see that there is also a demonic component to all this. We must learn how to --and where to-- direct our anger.
-C
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