What the devil is going on?

  (21 March 10)
  by Greg Spearritt

We expect to hear the ‘D’ word from the likes of Pat Robertson whenever something goes wrong in the world. (Haiti, we’re told, had sworn a "pact to the devil" and thus brought the recent earthquake upon itself.)


Not that we in Oz can mock. We have our own Pastor Danny and his 2009 mass exorcism of Canberra. (Did it work?... hard to tell… Oh, of course, Peter Costello’s gone…)


Serious talk of the Devil is nothing new in Catholicism either: the Vatican, as you’d expect, sets the pace. But we now have the home-grown spectacle of the Sydney Catholic Diocese appointing a new exorcist, who warns that Harry Potter and vampire stories may be trojan horses for the world of demons.


What’s really been demonising our children, though, is not some metaphysical boogie man. It turns out to have been men in frocks. But it’s not really their fault, don’t you see? Satan did it.


Could it be, in fact, that the real monster is religion? Or is it society itself?


I’m damned if I know.





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