Comments: more on religion and the election

"Following the Money" UK. Your turn, Rowan.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 2:26pm BST

"She wanted me to know all my thinking was wrong, I was wrong and the so-called demons inside me were wrong. The session ended with her and others praying over me, calling out the demons. She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus."
- re Phillippa Stroud, Exorcist - "The Observer' -

This testimony of a young trans-sexual's bizzare experience of an attempted exorcism at the hands of Phillippa Stroud and her evangelical christian friends, raises thoughts of a religious ceremony more in keeping with the fundamentalism of certain African bishops, who tried the same ritual with a gay priest at Lambeth 1998!

When will these loonies never learn that sexual orientation is God's sovereign business, and not up for intervention by fundy lunatics. So much damage can be done by well-meaning amateurs in this area of 'deliverance ministry' that one fears for what might happen in a government caucus in which Phillippa Stroud is given any authority.

David Cameron would do well to distance himself from such shenanigans - before he loses the coming election.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 10:24pm BST

The only answer to Phillippa Stroud - the amateur exorcist - together with all her Conservative Fundamentalist buddies who are hoping to fund their puritanical programme to 'govern' the UK, is VOTE LABOUR. At least, Gordon is upfront and no bigot.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 2 May 2010 at 10:32pm BST

I was talking to an ordinand at Westcott recently about the usefulness of the language of demonic possession. He argues that it can be useful on a personal level as a part of the Ministry of Deliverance (though I am pretty sure he wouldn't have argued that homosexuality should be described in such language), and he defended the idea of exorcism in rather literal terms. The ordinand is not by any means a reactionary or even an evangelical, and I was left with the impression that this is a fairly standard conviction in the Anglican priesthood (indeed, I'm told that the Archbishop's Adviser for the Healing Ministry teaches courses on the subject at Westcott - hardly a bastion of conservatism).

This isn't something Anglicans talk about a great deal in my experience, and for this reason I always assumed that casting out evil spirits was a fringe practice. But perhaps it isn't? Perhaps our priests go around exorcising people all the time? I honestly have no idea how I should feel about this. But, at any rate, if exorcisms are "loony", then they're not confined to Philippa Stroud's ministry.

Posted by rjb at Monday, 3 May 2010 at 7:53pm BST

rjb -- Actually, the Book of Occasional Services of The Episcopal Church (official but a level below the Book of Common Prayer) has a provision "Concerning Exorcism" (one page, two paragraphs). The short version is, "This is to be referred to the bishop." Good provision.

I have never had occasion to utilize this provision, nor have I heard of anyone else utilizing it. I interpret this provision as a polite way of saying "Don't even think about it!"

Posted by Bill Moorhead at Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 1:33am BST

A review of the lack of further media coverage of the Stroud story:

How on earth does a British election story become one of the most talked about subjects on Twitter in the whole world, but then get next to no coverage in the mainstream British media...

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 4 May 2010 at 9:52am BST

The electorate decided not to adopt her. Was that an answer to prayer ?

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Friday, 7 May 2010 at 9:17pm BST
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