Violence is Never the Answer. Well, At Least Not to a Curse.

I try to keep an open mind when being exposed to other cultures or belief systems, but there are some things I just can’t abide…and guess what?  It isn’t animal sacrifice, but that’s another blog.  It’s the practices employed by many different religions and cultures when dealing with someone who is believed to be possessed by a demon or somehow cursed.  The stories abound, and trust me, when you go to Google News and type in the key word “witchcraft” as often as I do, you see a lot about this.  I think it’s the fact that I didn’t go looking for this news story that made me notice it more.
There I am, visiting The Drudge Report website when I see the Drudge headline of “Girl nearly loses sight in eye-gouging exorcism…  It lead me to the story of a 14 year-old Maori girl in New Zealand that nearly lost her eyesight when relatives scratched at her eyes in an attempt to drive out a curse.  The girl’s cousin drowns during the same curse lifting ceremony.  An estimated 40 members of the family attended the ceremony.  Five other members were worked on, but not injured.
Let’s not get into a debate as to whether a person can actually be possessed by a demon or evil spirit.  Let’s just say, for the sake of this blog, that a person can.  That, in my opinion, is no excuse to cause physical harm to anyone.  From what I understand, the general concept is, a demon inhabits a body, so make the body uncomfortable and the demon will leave.  (Much the way that sage smudging drives away negative energies from a home.  The sage makes your home stink so much that spirits leave.)  I get it, but um, so what?  Your child or whatever is possessed, so suddenly you don’t give two craps about their body.  Cursed or not, it’s your kid’s eyes you’re scratching out, not the demon’s.  Maybe I’m a sap, but I think a human’s soul is way stronger than their body, so let’s take it easy on the scratching and water, okay?  In this particular case the ceremony was held because one of the family members stole a stone lion from outside a hotel.  I don’t have children, so perhaps I’m wrong here, but if you find out your child stole something I’m pretty certain that you don’t start with scratching out their eyes.  Call it a hunch.
Can I suggest that if you think that you or someone you know is possessed by an evil spirit, to go see a medical doctor.  I know, it’s horribly unromantic, but the fact is, every single day scientists are learning something new about how the human mind works.  Also, if your priest or other religious community leader ever suggests that causing physical harm to yourself or someone else is the answer, kick them to the curb.