There has been a lot of hoopla lately on liberal and pagan blogs about Sarah Palin being prayed over by a man who asked for her to be protected from witchcraft. I am totally conficted about this.
On the one hand, I’m a pagan and I understand the fear that this strikes into the hearts of people in minority religions. As a science person I’m horrified by her adherence to strict Creationism and her desire for this to be taught in schools. As the daughter of a sex ed teacher I can’t stand the thought of people advocating for abstinence only education. If the news reports about this man are true then he is dangerous.
But, I’m also an ex-conservative Christian and I know that mindset. If I use that part of my brain I’m not concerned. Why? Because words like that are thrown around all the time. Anything that stands in the way of what you want to see happen is considered to be the work of demons. I don’t want to say that it isn’t taken seriously because it is but it isn’t earth shattering. Saying that you are fighting demons and/or “sensing a spirit of witchcraft” can be as common as praying for Aunt Gertie’s rheumatism – at least it was where I was growing up.
What worries me is that the left’s concern over this issue might backfire. To a person in these churches knowing that we are concerned about people praying against witchcraft is the same thing as a tacit admission that we are using witchcraft against their candidate. What other reason would there be for us to be concerned? I can hear the preachers in my head. “Those liberals are worried! You know why? Because they know that we have the power of God on our side. What power to they have on theirs? Just the powers of darkness, of evil, and yes, of witchcraft!” Then they have to break out my favorite. “They think we are backwards and stupid for believing in spiritual warfare. The greatest skill of the devil is making people believe that he doesn’t exist!”
You can’t fight that mindset with logic. If you disagree you are on the side of evil. Having evil people against you means that you are doing the right thing for God. Until non-Christians understand this they are never going to understand how these people think.
Of course, I’ve obviously been taken over by a spirit of witchcraft so what do I know?