People for the American Way (PFAW) is reporting that “This weekend Sen. Ted Cruz announced the support of demon-hunting, anti-gay exorcist and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, “the former Navy Chaplain who dared to pray in Jesus’ name,” as part of his Colorado Leadership Team, stating “I am honored to have the support of so many courageous conservatives in Colorado.”
It’s not every candidate who has a disgraced former military chaplain turned demon hunter endorsing him.
In a press release Monday, the organization stated:
This weekend Sen. Ted Cruz announced the support of demon-hunting, anti-gay exorcist and Colorado state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt as part of his Colorado Leadership Team, stating “I am honored to have the support of so many courageous conservatives in Colorado.”
People For the American Way (PFAW) has long tracked the shocking and downright bizarre anti-Obama, anti-women, and anti-LGBT comments of Rep. Klingenschmitt. He was mocked on the Daily Show just last week for his comments against transgender people, and he’s been criticized by his fellow Republican lawmakers for his outrageous remarks, including his claim that a vicious attack on a pregnant woman in Colorado was caused by the “curse of God upon America” for legal abortion. An overview of Klingenschmitt’s extremism, including videos, is here from Right Wing Watch, a project of PFAW.
“Cruz’s choice to align with Klingenschmitt, who has been repeatedly denounced even by members of his own party, shows how dangerous a Ted Cruz presidency would be to most Americans,” said PFAW President Michael Keegan. “Even among far-right activists, Klingenschmitt’s comments stand out. Rep. Klingenschmitt has declared that ‘demonic spirits’ rule President Obama, that God cursed America for legal abortion through a brutal attack on a pregnant woman, and that teaching children about marriage equality subjects children to ‘rape, at least in their mind.’ Cruz’s decision to advertise his association with Klingenschmitt shows just how ugly his own extreme anti-gay agenda as president would be.”
Klingenschmitt is only the latest in a long list of endorsements and partnerships that Cruz has fostered with far-right extremists. For example, Cruz’s pro-life co-chair, Troy Newman, has written that God is punishing America for failing to institute the death penalty for abortion providers. Cruz has campaigned alongside Kevin Swanson, who believes a just government would execute gay people. Cruz has also touted the support of Mike Bickle, who believes that God sent Hitler as a “hunter” for the Jewish people.
Maybe this is all part of Cruz’s messiah shtick. After all, Jesus went around casting out demons, and demons get more than a hundred mentions in the New Testament. There is no doubt at all that Carl Sagan’s last book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1997) is a much-needed antidote to today’s demon-obsessed Republican Party.
People in the first century accepted the existence of demons like we accept the existence of something else we can’t see: atoms. But now we know – thanks to modern science – that people once thought possessed are really just suffering from neurobiological disorders, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
On the left we laugh derisively at all this, but must understand that conservatives are going to take Klingenschmitt’s endorsement seriously. The guy got elected to office on this demon-hunting platform after all.
In fact, there is an antithesis of Sagan’s book by Pastor Steven Waterhouse (Strength for His People: A Ministry for the Families of the Mentally Ill, 2002) – and yes, you can run out and buy it on Amazon – which tells us that what we think might be neurobiological disorders are, in fact, examples of demonic possession.
Waterhouse assures readers that,
“Many Christians who endure a family member’s battle with schizophrenia will have questions about demonic involvement with a loved one and deserve real answers instead of a condescending response which dismisses such concern as nonsense on the part of ignorant people.”
If you look at Waterhouse’s six factors for determining the difference, the first of which is, “Attraction to vs. Aversion to Religion. Demons want nothing to do with Christ. Conversely, people with NBD are often devoutly religious,” or some of the truly insane things Klingenschmitt has said…
Like just last year, Klingenschmitt said “Bad judges” upholding gay therapy bans are “cooperating with the demonic spirit inside of the homosexual addict.” He assures us that God can come “as a healer through the psychotherapist to heal the homosexual of their sinful addiction.”
Well…ignorant people. And that’s it exactly, isn’t it?
There is a gulf here that cannot be bridged between the First Century and the Twenty First Century. Conservative Christians refuse to join us. They insist on living in their demon haunted world, and living in that place is why the endorsement of Klingenschmitt, while the kiss of death for liberals and progressives, is boon to Fox News’ “white Christian Americans.”
As I have pointed out before, and some of you will have direct experience with this through friends or family members, there is a spiritual war taking place none of us on the left can really understand – because science. It is very real to these people, however, and we have to accept and understand that.
Science tells us if you’re buried alive you’re going to die, but Prophet Shamiso Kanyama, intent on exorcising a family’s demons in Zimbabwe, had his followers bury him alive so he could resurrect with new powers.
He didn’t. They dug him up to find him dead instead. An outcome any Democrat could have predicted.
Laughter is not the answer to this obsession with demons. Nor, sadly, is just handing them a copy of Sagan’s book. The old Christian adage is that people have to want to be saved, and if science is salvation, that is undoubtedly true.
This shouldn’t be your problem, but admitting the other person has a problem isn’t a bad place to start either, and we need to make it clear Ted Cruz has a demon problem.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.