You Say Satan, I Say Seitan

19 June 2005

Sharlet: Minor stir on the Godbeat around what can only be called a “human interest” story (it’s not really “news”) of the murder-by-crucixion of a Romanian nun by a priest and several other nuns, who say that the deceased was demonically possessed.

Evidence: She argued with the priest at Mass. Get Religion thinks it’s weird; this Muslim blogger follows Huston Smith’s lead and says the problem is polytheism; and we here at The Revealer have no explanation. I’m all for the prosecution of the murderers; but I’m not as quick as some of our more conservative friends to dismiss the true believers.

I’ve attended only one exorcism in my life, but what I learned from it was this: You say Satan, I say psychology, and it’s anybody’s guess where the truth lies. Atheists are entitled to scoff at such a position; but anyone who has ever read and enjoyed some puff piece about a miracle, or believed in Mother Teresa’s sainthood, or marveled at God’s mysterious ways, or insisted that they’ve communed with some dead beloved — which covers just about every religion reporter out there — finds themselves on scary ground in this story of Romanian crucifixion.