Exorcisms have been in the news lately, from the (probably bogus) claim that the Pope performed a public exorcism on a Mexican man last month, to Gordon Klingenschmitt, who’s suggested that atheists should be exorcised so that they’ll feel comfortable going to church. Exorcisms can be prolonged experiences, perhaps lasting as long as several days, and they can be violent and dangerous, despite Church rules that mitigate the danger. Despite this, I am willing to volunteer myself for exorcism.
Klingenschmitt, who is closely monitored by Right Wing Watch, appears to believe that atheists are possessed by demons. This belief comes despite the fact that there are no church teachings to suggest it. In fact, logic would tell us that if Satan were real, he would probably steer very far away from atheists, because if he revealed himself to an atheist by way of demonic possession, then the atheist would no longer be an atheist and would be a believer.
Anyway, to all religious people out there who believe that atheists are blinded by demonic possession, I submit to you my challenge. Prove it. I will volunteer myself for exorcism as well as baptism, spiritual counseling and/or confession. If the church will allow it a formal exorcism can be performed; however, I will settle for a minor exorcism as well.
You have nothing to lose here. At worst nothing changes, and you can blame it on powerful demons or say I’m wicked and was never possessed. But there’s always the possibility that I truly am possessed. Performing the exorcism might lead me to Jesus and belief in god. So, while you have nothing to lose, you have the ability to prove that exorcism works against non-believers, which would be a gain.
I don’t expect many people will take me up on this offer. If they do, I still have no reason to expect that I’ll suddenly become religious. So this offer, while genuine and sincere, stands in jest. Klingenschmitt has some strange ideas. If he wants to prove them right, he has my permission to experiment on me.