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Gotta keep the devil way down in the hole
October 8, 2013 7:37 AM   Subscribe

"Here’s what was off-limits, according to many of the people I grew up with: books about witchcraft, the writings of Anton LaVey, Ouija boards, New Age crystals, pentagrams, albums with backward masking, and the music of most heavy-metal bands. ... Yet here’s what was okay to enjoy, according to those same chums and acquaintances: The Omen. The Amityville Horror. Rosemary’s Baby. The Exorcist. These movies passed muster because they didn’t encourage people to dabble in the dark arts; they warned people." The Exorcist And The South's Love Of Devil Movies.
posted by shiu mai baby (57 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not just the South. Scalia warns us that the Devil's biggest success is convincing us that he does not exist, and he was born up thur in Trenton, New Jersey and was raised in New York City, God bless his heart.
posted by sonascope at 8:08 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's an enjoyable berserk country song called "Exorcism" by medicine show revivalists and novelty country musicians Tommy Scott and Scotty Lee. The song is pretty much a straight retelling of the The Exorcist, including Latin chanting, except it seems shot through with a Baptist worldview, and the tension between the two elements is the wildest thing about the song. It's sort of this whole article, alongside the Exorcist movie, summed up in three minutes and twenty-seven seconds.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:14 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for posting this. One of the big differences between the time when I was a kid growing up in the 70's and early 80's and my own sons is the complete absence of the church from popular culture.

Just the concept of movies like Amityville Horror and the Exorcist scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I don't think my own sons have seen, let alone read, a Christian bible (although they have participated in Buddhist memorial services and so on in Japan).

I remember the big devil-worshipping fear of the mid-80's, when bands like Def Leppard (!) were supposed to be Satanic, or if you played Stairway to Heaven backwards on a record player you would hear a message from the devil.

On Sunday mornings I also used to watch Jack and Rexella Van Impe's millenarism programming on tv because there was nothing else on. Used to irritate the hell out of my sisters.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:14 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on October 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I discovered a movie today called Amityville Asylum.
It is bad, apparently.

I grew up in the "BLACKLEAF, NO" era of Satanic Panic.
I assume it is still a thing.
posted by Mezentian at 8:18 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


By the way, if you're not familiar with the Louvin Brothers song, "Satan Is Real," mentioned in the article, not only is the song typically amazing (those brothers were genuinely otherworldly with their tight harmonies), but their cover art is insane.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:21 AM on October 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


There's a movie called My Amityville Horror Which interviews Daniel Lutz, the kid from The Amityville Horror, and it's kind of depressing because reading between the lines the real Amityville horror was an abusive stepparent, the resultant trauma and some low grade mental illness.
posted by Artw at 8:28 AM on October 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Evangelicals live all over the U.S. As do black metal fans. The author's point is really more of historical one than a geographic one, but I'm sure the pandering prejudice in the headline is better for pitchfork's pageviews.
posted by 0 at 8:30 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have conflicted feels about this.

I'm a Southerner, born and raised, and while my dad's side of the family is Church of Christ (people who make Baptists look cuddly), there were just warnings against Tarot cards/Ouija boards/etc. Horror movies would not have been acceptable in any form, even if they made a so-called moral point about the Devil.

I dunno, maybe because I got away from the worst of the hellfire damnation rhetoric at a young age--my grandparents did not scare us about hell; they just told us that we had to be good to be received into Christ's presence when we died--this article feels weird to me.
posted by Kitteh at 8:30 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


ArtW, you are a bad person for telling me that.
posted by Mezentian at 8:31 AM on October 8, 2013


WATCH OUT FOR WINDOWLESS WHITE VANS. THE SATANISTS DRIVE THEM AROUND TO KIDNAP KIDS FOR THEIR EVIL RITUALS.
posted by mrbill at 8:36 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


We had a sort of similar thing in Catholic Ireland ... in fact I think there was a large audience of priests and nuns for things like The Exorcist because they effectively viewed it as a documentary. At a time when you couldn't see a movie with a pair of tits in the cinema.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 8:38 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


WATCH OUT FOR WINDOWLESS WHITE VANS. THE SATANISTS DRIVE THEM AROUND TO KIDNAP KIDS FOR THEIR EVIL RITUALS.

Will they sell me some speakers as well?
posted by thelonius at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Evangelicals live all over the U.S. As do black metal fans.

The data that I have seen is that Evangelicals, particularly Baptists, are concentrated heavily in the US Southeast. Do you have a different source?

"The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population. The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches." (cite)
posted by jessamyn at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


More to the point, they acknowledged the existence of God, the influence of Satan, and the truth of the Bible.

Just like Antonin Scalia!
posted by exogenous at 8:40 AM on October 8, 2013


When my nephew choked on a fish bone, his parents took him to a church leader before going to the emergency room, because they figured he must be possessed (don't worry, he wound up okay). I have many other similar stories about family, friends, and neighbors doing dumb things. I grew up pretty close to Portland; ignorance isn't just for the South.
posted by GrumpyDan at 8:40 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


A Night with The Conjuring’s Ed & Lorraine Warren

I particularly like the contents of their museum, presented in the movie as an Aladins cave of occult artifacts:

The actual Museum looks less like a wing of the Smithsonian than like a rummage sale at John Bonham’s house. An inventory of the Warrens’ possessions would include recording equipment; mirrors; an airhorn; atlases; statuettes of knights and angels; plaster gargoyles; a light-up Ghostly Head; crude paintings of hissing cats and haunted houses; an LP of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid; a rubber frog; dolls; a Mason & Hamlin organ labeled haunted organ; a painting of a red (and bald) woman in a green cloak; a rubber Grim Reaper with its hands arranged on a Ouija board; a spice rack and Grey Poupon jar labeled black magic witchcraft items; a mannequin in a white gown and veil; an AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide; a painting of a naked woman wielding a sword; a demon mask; a stuffed tiger head; and a plastic robot dinosaur.

Annabelle, the Saw style spooky doll in the movie is simultaneously crapper and creepier in real life.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


The data that I have seen is that Evangelicals, particularly Baptists, are concentrated heavily in the US Southeast.

I don't see anywhere on that map that's lighter than 11-20%. But, ok, people who may or may not exhibit this trait where some cultural artifacts are considered satanic and other seemingly similar ones are considered ok (abbreviated "evangelicals") live all over the U.S.
posted by 0 at 8:48 AM on October 8, 2013


We appear to have satanically summoned Tom Waits.
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


A: Wonder what Dixie Bible-thumpers would make of a movie like Hellbenders.

B: This sort of Southern Bible-Thumpery is why the West Memphis Three spent 18 years and 78 days in prison for murders they had nothing to do with.

Excuse me while I go play some Black Sabbath now. \m/ o_O \m/
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:57 AM on October 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Conjuring is an excellent piece of cinema

I disagree.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:59 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm also someone who grew up in the Bible Belt with literate, non-fundamentalist parents at home, and the influence of Baptists and Church of Christers at school. I often stop and gape at Cambridge, Mass. child-rearing, because it is clear to me that these are children who are not afraid of the Devil. That's just a saying, of course, along the lines of "not afraid of anything," but once I said it I realized that it is literally true, and seems to make a real difference.

Children who are not afraid of the Devil. Of course we were, then -- we all were. I was told at kindergarten that the Devil could burst right out of the floor right then, if he wanted to. Most of us didn't lose too much time sleeping or playing over it, but the Devil was still a real force, just as real as the Soviet Union was. I have a thousand little memories of having to adjust my ideas and actions to other people's fear of the Devil -- the way that it frightened people, for example, when I drew Egyptian hieroglyphs and wore ankh jewelry, because "if you got that sign on, it means death. It means you wanna die."*

It cannot be good for a child to grow up fearing the Devil, but I feel, obscurely, that it might be good for one to know people who really do. It teaches either total contempt for public opinion, or an understanding for what it is like for someone to be in the total service of an all-encompassing worldview.

-----
* It means "life," of course, but to be fair it had also been picked up by vampire and Goth culture by then, and I was not aware of that. Presumably that was what Baptists had learned by way of Jack Van Impe or some other luminary, and that was why it scared people.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:02 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love Noel Murray, but I think he grew up in a different south than I did. We not only cast a suspicious eye on the trappings of black magic (when I bought my first tarot cards at B. Dalton, my best friend's older sister freaked OUT and went into a huge lecture about how satanic they were...which, honestly, was part of the appeal; later, when our preacher heard about my interest, and I made the mistake of bringing an NIV bible to church, whose title was "The Student Bible," he misread the cover, thinking it said 'satanic,' and snatched it out of my hand before realizing his error...like I would bring my cool occult stuff to church!)...but all forms of pop culture were held to be suspect. During one meeting of the youth group, we watched a very important video telling us about the dangers of pop music. One big example: The Police song "Murder by Numbers," which is, I believe, an instructional song about how to murder people.

There would have been no tolerance for these movies in my church. Which is why we flocked to see them, and why I spent every waking moment with my nose in Fangoria.
posted by mittens at 9:02 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Conjuring I found to be tedious, silly, and a waste of some real good actors.

I saw My Amitiville Horror and agree that it is a clever little docu that lets lots of things rise up implicitly by not taking them head on. I wonder if the director was hired or entered the project with the idea of defending the supernatural bullshit of the original incidents and on meeting and listening to Lutz didn't decide to subtly sabotage the whole thing. It's definitely worth seeing, if you don't mind slow, methodical documentaries without big pay offs.
posted by Iosephus at 9:09 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey did you guys hear about the cabal at the heart of Procter and Gamble


My mawmaw and her church group burned a pile of Charmin and the spirit of Charles Manson appeared to them waving a copy of The Joy of Sex.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:15 AM on October 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


The data that I have seen is that Evangelicals, particularly Baptists, are concentrated heavily in the US Southeast. Do you have a different source?

I used to live next door to North Central University, formerly North Central Bible Institute, in Minneapolis, a Pentecostal educational institution that is most famous, in the secular world, for producing Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker, who never graduated. The institution has managed to produce somewhere in the vicinity of 18,000 currently-active Pentecostal ministers. At its origin, Pentacostlism was a mostly Midwestern phenomenon, with Charles Fox Parham hailing from Kansas and Missouri, while William Howard Durham mostly preached in the Midwest (it did quickly pick up southern adherents, as as well as a large Southern California following.) Minnesota, despite its reputation for Lutheranism, is about 25 percent Evangelical.

Now I live right next to Grace University in Omaha (originally called Grace Bible Institute and originally Mennonite), an organization that is identified as interdenominational, as long as "interdenominational" in practice mostly means "all stripes of Evangelical." Nebraska also manages to be 25 percent Evangelical.

Admittedly, this is not the 47 percent Evangelical population of Tennessee, but it's still a large enough number to make these one of the dominant branches of Christianity in these states (Minnesota has only slightly more Lutherans, although there is an Evangelical wing of Lutheranism, so there is some overlap.)

In summary, the Evangelical presence in the Midwest is much stronger than you might expect. Further in summary: I don't know how I end up always living next to Christian colleges.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:21 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Presumably that was what Baptists had learned by way of Jack Van Impe or some other luminary

Chick Tracts!
posted by mrbill at 9:24 AM on October 8, 2013


Chick is still going strong! Just as offensive as ever, but the artwork has really improved in recent years.
posted by mittens at 9:30 AM on October 8, 2013


Scared, superstitiously oriented people can be found everywhere. Catholics can be this way, too, though they don't get too wacky about dinosaurs and stuff. Some personalities are prone to magical thinking, such as a Catholic priest high school teacher of mine who went all in over the backward masking scare in the early 80s. Spent about a week of class time spooking about half the class with the nonsense, and pissing off everyone else at the stupidity.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:31 AM on October 8, 2013


Sadly CAP alert seems to have stopped updating around the time of the last Twilight movie, so we'll never know what he makes of The Conjouring.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some fundies might have loved the devil movies, but most of them that I knew believed that even thinking too much about the Devil and his ways would make you susceptible. Basically, like a lot of superstitions, it was the idea that thinking about/talking about bad things attracts those very things. Better not to go to those sorts of movies.

As a hardcore fundie, my dad was scared of lots of things when I was a teenager: D&D, Madonna, heavy metal (obviously), Christian music that was "too rock and roll", the miniskirt fad, the neon colors fad (I still don't know why) fantasy books, people saying "damn", women opening their own car doors, letting my boyfriend visit me during college, the idea that I might date a man who wasn't white, me wearing pants too often/not being "ladylike", Cyndi-Lauper type overly bright makeup, side ponytails, and me coloring my hair anything but blonde or red (and maybe not even those). He wasn't happy when I got my ears pierced, but that was so mainstream by then even he couldn't put up much fuss.
posted by emjaybee at 10:08 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I also used to watch Jack and Rexella Van Impe's millenarism programming

It's disrespectful not to use her title, since she earned it: she is properly Rexella, Mistress of the Dark.

The van Impes were always pretty good if you wanted a dose of kookery. Imagine if your credulous grandpa who's always forwarding you stuff about UN death camps in downtown Topeka had (a) a television show and (b) a neurological disorder that caused him to state a random biblical citation every few seconds.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:19 AM on October 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Scared, superstitiously oriented people can be found everywhere. Catholics can be this way, too, though they don't get too wacky about dinosaurs and stuff. Some personalities are prone to magical thinking, such as a Catholic priest high school teacher of mine who went all in over the backward masking scare in the early 80s.

So, lemme tell you about the time I met Father William O'Malley, the Jesuit priest and teacher who was also a consultant for the first Exorcist movie.

In the mid-90's I was working for a television production company. I'd gotten the job because I was the assistant to this self-styled entrepreneur who'd somehow landed a job as president of this TV production house, which at the time was only known for a fishing show on ESPN. But my boss was one of those guys whose idea generator is permanently stuck in the "on" position, and as soon as we got there he began thinking up a series of Surefire Shows We Could Produce - and soon part of my job description became "research the ideas and write up the first draft of the show proposal."

Then came the day when the boss charged us with his latest idea - a mini-series length documentary on the history of exorcism. As he usually did, he called us into his office to give us the core of the idea, and left it to us to do the legwork - but this time was a little different. Rather than just giving us the nuts and bolts of the idea, the boss went off on a very eager tangent. "This is real," he insisted. "Exorcism is real, the devil is real. I want to show this is no joke. I want to scare the pants off people - I want to look into the mouth of the devil."

I had an office mate at the time (whose last name, delightfully, was "Mulder"), and we very quickly got bogged down in the scope and size of the project. "Mulder" tackled a lot of the parapsychology behind "possession," and I was tackling exorcism in history, the skeptics' views, and the different Christian denominations' approaches to exorcisms. Mulder and I were both actually quite surprised - and me, pleasantly so - to discover that for the most part, the RCC really, really doesn't like to talk about exorcism all that much. The first Exorcist movie is pretty accurate in that regard - they have a pretty strict set of conditions that a suspected "possession" must meet in order for the church to agree that that's what's going on, and they always encourage people to try a psychologist first. The Catholic party line is pretty much "it doesn't happen anywhere near as much as some people think it happens, but yeah, it happens."

Our boss, however, was really all up in this idea; he also was an alumnus of Fordham, and had some fairly good connections there, and was thus able to score the three of us an interview with Father O'Malley about this project. And Father O'Malley pretty much confirmed the kinds of things Mulder and I had been finding - that most of the time, what people believed to be possession was mental illness. This didn't mean the church didn't believe in possession; only that it was a somewhat extreme circumstance, but one which we couldn't rule out. (He won me over by quoting from Hamlet at this point - "we can't say it doesn't happen, because - well, 'there are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio'...") It was also something which the church, as a rule, didn't really boast about doing. Mulder and I dug the guy; he was backing us up.

However - our boss was really, really gung-ho about the prospect and blundered in with his own question. "Father," he eagerly asked, "do you think maybe it's possible that the Devil is convincing us all that a lot of these are mental illnesses as a way to make us believe he doesn't exist?"

Mulder and I looked at each other, cringing; Father O'Malley gave Mulder and I a patient look, and then turned to my boss and as politely as he could, told him that er, that kind of seemed a bit far-fetched....my boss took that well, it seemed, but he didn't seem 100% convinced. But shortly after that is when Mulder and I figured that we were never going to be able to come up with the exact kind of show the boss wanted and quietly shelved the project, and ultimately ended up quitting altogether a few months later.

I don't know where Mulder is now; Fr. O'Malley's still at Fordham. My boss went on to work at a Christian television company a few months later, and our documentary on exorcism never got made.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2013 [25 favorites]


I thought I had left all that behind when we left the Baptist primary school where we couldn't admit to our classmates that we didn't sit with all the lights turned off on Halloween so the devil-worshippers wouldn't know we were at home, where I had to trash my magazine-picture collage and start over because I'd included a picture of dogs playing poker, and where faux-fanity like "heck" and "darn" were considered as bad as the real thing.

Fast-forward to a small-town public high school in Western New York, a secluded stairwell, a couple of weirdo kids, and their first deck of Tarot cards. The eleventh-grade English teacher walks by and Freaks. The. Shit. Out. We thought she was going to fall down the stairs and impale herself on the newel post below. She was sure there was some rule against that sort of thing on school property and if we didn't stop it at once she was going to go to the office and find out and as a matter of fact she was going to go to the office and find out anyway and she was worried about us even if our parents weren't and she didn't want to see that sort of thing ever again.

That stairwell was pretty uncomfortable anyway. We found a nicer one.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:34 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, you could make a documentary just out of that story!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2013


My boss was quite the interesting fellow; he probably had the most personal self-confidence I've ever seen in anyone, and spun it into convincing people to let him do all sorts of shit. He talked Leon Uris into giving him the rights to stage an adaptation of his book Trinity; he convinced Vincent Sardi to let him try to create t-shirts and mugs featuring some of the restaurant's caricatures and sell them in the restaurant lobby; and he only got the television gig because the TV company was the pet project of Robert Abplanalp, whom my boss had talked into investing in another start-up venture he'd had before that.

That's not even the best story I have about working with him - the time we caught two credit card fraudsters was even better.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Although, the exorcism project is the thing that actually made me utter the sentence, "You don't get it - writhing nuns would make great television!")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:08 AM on October 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


although there is an Evangelical wing of Lutheranism

The 'evangelical' in ELCA is a different 'evangelical' to the one in Evangelicalism.
posted by hoyland at 11:10 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was raised in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and although I always thought of it as pretty mainstream, if a little to the strict side, once I got to the Midwest where all the real mainstream Lutherans are I realized it was actually much closer to "evangelical" than "Lutheran". I had no idea I'd grown up in a church almost as wackadoodle as the churches I thought of as wackadoodle, but in hindsight, I surely did.

Bunny is probably thinking of the WELS and the similar Missouri Evangelical Synod.
posted by padraigin at 11:24 AM on October 8, 2013


I posted this because a lot of it resonated with me, having grown up in a seriously evangelical church in a smallish town in Mississippi. My experience wasn't quite the same; as has been mentioned by a few other folks, the people I knew eschewed anything that could even remotely be construed as "satanic," and that definitely included movies like The Exorcist. If anything, we all believed the many urban legends about movies that dared tread into satanic territory: mysterious burns appearing on cast members, unexpected suicides by those involved with production, etc.

Still, my experience is hardly universal, and I could easily see how people involved in this particularly weird branch of Christianity could be drawn in by this sort of stuff. And, regardless of whether or not we're talking about Christians who love devil movies or those who throw them in with all the other secular evils of the world, the article is absolutely right on point when it comes to saying that evangelical Christianity is completely obsessed with all things satanic. Less so than it was in the 80s and early 90s at the height of the "satanic panic" period, but to this day there are plenty of people who fully believe in demonic possession, think all psychiatric issues are demon-related, and honestly think that there are demonic entities influencing people's thoughts and actions, a la This Present Darkness and the other execrable churchy lit stuff.
posted by shiu mai baby at 12:18 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bunny is probably thinking of the WELS and the similar Missouri Evangelical Synod.

I guess I'm thinking of the jerks who split off of the ELCA because gays were allowed to be ministers and then claimed the tornado that hit downtown was punishment.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:37 PM on October 8, 2013


I've witnessed and even participated in exorcisms. Done right they are not dramatic at all.

I like the Catholic viewpoint.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:17 PM on October 8, 2013


I was raised in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and although I always thought of it as pretty mainstream, if a little to the strict side, once I got to the Midwest where all the real mainstream Lutherans are I realized it was actually much closer to "evangelical" than "Lutheran". I had no idea I'd grown up in a church almost as wackadoodle as the churches I thought of as wackadoodle, but in hindsight, I surely did.

That's the same 'evangelical' as the ELCA, actually. (Basically, 'evangelisch' is used in German roughly how 'Protestant' is used in English, which is why there are so many Lutheran groups called 'Evangelical something-or-other'.) I don't know enough about the finer points of Lutheranism to know how/if evangelicalism has crossed paths with Lutheranism, but I do know it's unrelated to the names.
posted by hoyland at 2:57 PM on October 8, 2013


Some fundies might have loved the devil movies, but most of them that I knew believed that even thinking too much about the Devil and his ways would make you susceptible. Basically, like a lot of superstitions, it was the idea that thinking about/talking about bad things attracts those very things.

I remember that! When I started reading the Harry Potter series way back in the day, the business about Lord Voldemort's name needed no further explaining to me. I thought it was very strange, even as a child, to avoid the name of God or of the Devil. Our Puritan forebears never troubled to say "H-E-double hockey sticks," and they hanged witches, which even the Church of Christ will not do (else I wouldn't have made it out of seventh grade).

This thread inspired me to check out the Chick tracts online. I found to my surprise that the old man is still churning them out, and with his own artwork, too. And boy, does he still have his mother issues.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:42 PM on October 8, 2013


People like this really contributed to my disappointment at 15 when I finally read LaVey. And found it unutterably boring.

They really should have worked harder to keep me away from the Asimov. That was the life-changing stuff.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:39 PM on October 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, the right-wing evangelicals in my family have already long since bought the line that Catholicism is itself a borderline-Satanic cult. I don't imagine that any of them would view The Exorcist as something other than spiritually dangerous pro-Catholic propaganda. And this isn't something they're outspoken about or anything, it's just in the kind of literature they leave around. It seems like pretty mainstream Evangelical thought, too. Like Zondervan, for example is a pretty big publisher, not just a couple of Pentecostals who happen to live near a Kinko's.
posted by Rustmouth Snakedrill at 7:46 PM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tangentially: William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty revisit Georgetown locations from The Exorcist for the film's 40th anniversary.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:08 PM on October 8, 2013


one co-worker of mine refused to see it, because as a fundamentalist Christian, he found the whole idea of the movie silly, and perhaps even dangerous. “There’s no such thing as dinosaurs,” he told me.

It's sort of funny, as that was my teenaged reaction to The Exorcist, The Omen, etc. To this day I'm not a really big fan of horror, although I've come to respect it as a genre and when done well (Kubrick, Polanski). But I really prefer the Scooby-Doo approach, where canonically, it's always a put-up job.
posted by dhartung at 3:58 AM on October 9, 2013


I had to trash my magazine-picture collage and start over because I'd included a picture of dogs playing poker

I guess there's no point in asking, but, what was the theological problem with dogs playing poker?
posted by thelonius at 5:14 AM on October 9, 2013


The St. Bernard is Catholic!
posted by mittens at 5:38 AM on October 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


what was the theological problem with dogs playing poker?

My money's on the gambling being the objectionable bit.














As a matter of fact, yes, I said it that way on purpose.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


-what was the theological problem with dogs playing poker?

--My money's on the gambling being the objectionable bit.

---As a matter of fact, yes, I said it that way on purpose.


Well put, because it's true!

I did ask, and that was indeed the major issue. I said that maybe they weren't playing for money, and the teacher said that it didn't matter if it was just for chips, gambling was still wrong. And also, they were drinking.

I said, maybe they were just drinking water. Dogs have to drink water. She said she was pretty sure they weren't drinking water. I asked how she knew, and she pointed out that one of the dogs was also smoking.

I said that my parents smoked, and she said they'd have to quit if they wanted to go to Heaven. Not in a mean way or anything, just the same way you'd say, "You'll have to take your stovepipe hat off if you want to ride in that Mini Cooper." I was pretty sure my Dad wasn't interested in going anywhere without a smoking section, so I let it drop.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:44 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I take it she never watched All Dogs Go To Heaven.
posted by mittens at 9:11 AM on October 9, 2013


I take it she never watched All Dogs Go To Heaven.

Yeah, no, that was actually quite a big thing we had to deal with. Their concept of Heaven was Humans Only, No Pets Allowed. That was rough on a lot of kids, especially my very sensitive sister who had more than one nightmare on the subject. Mom had always been very vocal with us on the subject of "you don't have to believe everything you're told in church," but kids are kids and authority figures are authority figures, and it was one of the factors that led them to eventually send us to public school.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:50 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let's face it: If heaven were open to pets, no cat would ever make it, murdering bastards that they are.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:38 AM on October 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of those dogs is passing a card under the table, the cheating shit.
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on October 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's exactly why a dog shot Wild Bill Hickok when he was playing cards!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:45 AM on October 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


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