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October 31, 2009

THIS WEEK IN GOD.... First up from the God Machine this week is Halloween-related news from TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. In a truly bizarre piece, CBN published fears from Kimberly Daniels about Halloween, which, I assure you, was not a parody.

During Halloween, time-released curses are always loosed. A time-released curse is a period that has been set aside to release demonic activity and to ensnare souls in great measure ... During this period demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities. These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example, most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches.

I do not buy candy during the Halloween season. Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference.

The CBN piece, which was eventually removed from the site out of embarrassment, went on to say, "While the lukewarm and ignorant think of these customs as 'just harmless fun,' the vortexes of hell are releasing new assignments against souls. Witches take pride in laughing at the ignorance of natural men (those who ignore the spirit realm).... The danger of Halloween is not in the scary things we see but in the secret, wicked, cruel activities that go on behind the scenes." These "scary things" include, according to the article, "orgies between animals and humans," "animal and human sacrifices," and "sacrificing babies to shed innocent blood."

My friend the Rev. Barry W. Lynn noted, "I've heard of the devil being in the details, but to think he's lurking inside a Snickers bar is a little too much. Pat Robertson has always peddled some scary stuff, but this is over the top."

Also from the God Machine this week:

* Christopher Beam ponders the question of how governments decide what constitutes a legitimate religious tradition: "A French court fined the Church of Scientology $888,000 on Tuesday after a couple claimed they'd been manipulated into buying between $30,000 and $73,000 worth of church products. The verdict is 'a historical turning point for the fight against cult abuses,' said the leader of France's 'government cult-fighting unit.' How does this special cult-busting unit distinguish between cults and bona fide religions? Vaguely."

* The Catholic League's Bill Donohue finds something new to get excited about: "On Sunday's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm,' Larry David was taking a 'new pill' that caused him to urinate with excessive force. This caused a lot of splash back, some of which ended up on a Jesus painting hanging on the bathroom wall of his pious assistant, who later sees Jesus 'crying' and assumes a miracle has taken place." Donohue is not pleased.

* And in North Carolina, a Baptist church has organized a book burning for this evening, focused largely on torching Bibles that are not the King James version. "We are burning books that we believe to be Satanic," Pastor Marc Grizzard said. If you happen to live near the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., you probably shouldn't make plans to stop by tonight's event -- it's by invitation only.

Steve Benen 10:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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i am gonna be absolutely heartbroken when pat robertson passes on to whatever circle of hell dante said hypocrites go to.
the guy is a nonstop source of laughs.

Posted by: mellowjohn on October 31, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

"I've heard of the devil being in the details, but to think he's lurking inside a Snickers bar is a little too much."

Well, obviously. Everyone knows it's only the bite-size Snickers that harbor demons.

Posted by: Snarky Bastard on October 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

ONLY IN AMERICA...Larry David can't "pee on a Jesus painting" but Pat Robertson (and company) can try to destroy the HALLOWEEN CANDY INDUSTRY - putting people out of work (especially dentists)...we really get right to the heart of the IMPORTANT ISSUES here don't we?

Posted by: Dancer on October 31, 2009 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

This is not new.

All the way back in the early 80's, I saw Pat Robertson and a guest on the 700 Club talking about the dangers of demonic possession from playing D&D.

The guest was a priest who ran a bible camp and described an incident that he and Robertson thought proved their point, but that sounded like child abuse to me -- scaring a young man into hysterical symptoms, then performing an exorcism on him.

Posted by: tanstaafl on October 31, 2009 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

If you're a humorous scamp, you will enjoy the front page article of the Arizona Republic newspaper and titled, "Mexico's death museum lives up to morbid name." And it should be found on the internet at azcentral.com. Enjoy!


Posted by: Jaango on October 31, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

CNN should take care in publishing future articles



Posted by: illiana on October 31, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

The Halloween candy thing is just weird. I would not want to ever try to see things from that woman's point of view (since I try to keep an open mind) - too freaky scary.

I think the French have a good definition of a cult (read article linked to). The biggest clue is that you have to donate a lot of money or buy a lot of things or buy your way to salvation.

The Larry David sketch is in very poor taste.

As for the church that is burning all but the King James Version? That's the worst translation out there. It's also the version that that conservative group is trying to re-write because it's too liberal. The mind reels.

Posted by: Hannah on October 31, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bravo to the French for seeing through the bad science fiction scam that is "Scientology." The "religion" was created by a tenth-rate hack, L. Ron Hubbard, at a time when his writing wasn't selling. As he told Harlan Ellison at the time, "it's easier to create a religion and get money from the idiots than it is to sell your work."

Posted by: TCinLA on October 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly, there are animal sacrifices on Halloween, which is why people like me have to keep my black cats inside, so they aren't killed by ignorant pieces of shit like these Pat Robertson supporters, who come right out of the 13th Century. It's why animal shelters don't allow the adoption of black cats during October, etc.

The real dangers are the nitwits like this ignorant moron, and the con-artists like Robertson (who's no different from the slimy scumsucking Hubbard) who take advantage of their ignorance.

Posted by: TCinLA on October 31, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

FYI Illiana, the piece was from CBN, not CNN.

Posted by: tanstaafl on October 31, 2009 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

A couple of weeks ago I was scanning the channels on cable and came across "Campmeeting". With morbid fascination I watched for about a half hour.

For that half hour there was a pitch "Send us $900 and you will receive a DOUBLE PORTION". This pitch went on for the full half hour with various ways you could pay. Later that afternoon I couldn't resist but I clicked on that channel and the pitch was $1000 and we will put extra people on to pray for you.

Not once while I watched did they even mention God or Jesus just send us all of your money.

Posted by: wbn on October 31, 2009 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I was just reading that for retailer Halloween is second only to Christmas. That makes Robertson's rant all the more puzzling. Halloween, after all, is a manifestation of Robertson's one true god - Money.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 31, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK
The Larry David sketch is in very poor taste.

You must not watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He's done episodes in much, much poorer taste than that.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on October 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches."

According to this theory, where and when does this happen?
The Nestlé company I could understand; they're furriners, and probably French (you can tell by the funny little tailhook printed over the "e" in their name). But Hershey's is a good ol' AMERICAN company -- they'd never let those witches (and isn't it interesting that even now, it's witches, not warlocks or wizards, that they're worried about) covenate in their plants, would they?
I'll bet it's while they're in transit -- those UPS trucks are brown*, and they're controlled by a union (no doubt a branch of the Teamsters -- 'nuff said!).

*Here's a line from the original CBN.com article that Mr Benen didn't quote above: "Even the colors of Halloween (orange, brown and dark red) are dedicated."

Posted by: smartalek on October 31, 2009 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I swear this is not snarky at all. But try if you can (but don't do anything that could hurt yourself) and put yourself in good old pat's shoes. He may be a false prophet just after fame and money, but i get the sense that he really does belief this stuff. It has to be a really scary world for someone who thinks that their candy corn is possessed. (seriously, no snark), just think about it. I think i know know why they hate, well, just about everyone and everything....everything is a threat to them. And the sad/scary thing is...this is their reality...they really believe it.

I once worked at a state institute for the criminally insane, and it broke my heart. yes these people did horendous things, but at the end of the day, their reality was so different from actual reality. I treated on patient who knew for a fact he was being raped every night. Of course he wasn't, and we even let him put locks on his bedroom to prevent any 'rapists' in, but he still knew it. (Don't worry, their were always gaurds monitoring for suicide and we could reach him if we had too). But the point is that his reality was really horrible. Can you imagine getting raped everynight! that's what he knew was happening.

I digress. But anyways, i thought that i should add some context. I am a gay liberal christian. and it scares me that there is someone out there saying things about the God i love and worship like this.

wow, just wow

Posted by: fubar on October 31, 2009 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

NOW they tell me! All those years of my childhood I was consuming demonically possessed candy, and never noticed that it did me any harm. But uh oh, now that I think about it, I came from a Republican family, but registered to vote as a Democrat at age 21, because they were the only party with serious anti-war candidates. And I volunteered for Obama, thought George Bush was an unqualified, bungling idiot rather than an inspired man chosen by God to lead us in a time of crisis, and remain convinced that Obama is a change for the better, rather than a would-be dictator, which is what I in my ignorance thought Bush was. I guess those demonically haunted Hershey bars musta got me.

Posted by: T-Rex on October 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

"I've heard of the devil being in the details, but to think he's lurking inside a Snickers bar is a little too much."

Your Snickers bar is anointed with partially hydrogenated oil.


Posted by: cld on October 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Things that are copyrighted, trademarked or patented are done so for business protection.

If an organization does any of those things, say, Scientology, it's not a religion.

Posted by: cld on October 31, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

As far as the demonic candy is concerned, can we not all see that the Tooth Fairy is actually one of Satan's minions?

Are candy-produced cavities God's punishment for the sins of the flesh?

And finally, do the candy makers HR departments advertise any open positions for witches? Couldn't the christian groups seek these jobs out & battle Lucifer in the courts over religious discrimination?

Posted by: BuzzMon on October 31, 2009 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Demonic Halloween candy BAD!
Separating people from their money GOOD!
Viola! Make and sell candy shaped like bibles and crosses. Fill them with holy jelly. Wrap them in bible verses. Unless I missed something, the results should fill the church coffers and lead to the conversion of the entire planet within a single night!

Posted by: Chopin on October 31, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

The Larry David sketch is in very poor taste.

Never seen the show, eh? Poor taste is pretty much its point. Not that I'm complaining.

And of course candy has time-release curses on it. But why "witches" want to focus their energy on giving me a fat ass remains a mystery.

Posted by: shortstop on October 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's a little known fact that when the candy makers let us witches 'curse' the candy, that we're required by our Dark Lord Cadbury to eat a large quantity of it as part of our Satanic rituals.

Posted by: FoxinSocks on October 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

"most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches."

'According to this theory, where and when does this happen?'

On Mars silly. You can't imagine that Forrest Edwards Mars, Jr. gained his $10.5 billion dollar fortune WITHOUT Satanic influence. Plus the invisible spaceship he uses to commute to his candy factory under a mountain at the South Pole of Mars.
from: http://www.gurufocus.com/news.php?id=2891
"Below is a list of Mars' major brands.

Snackfood: M&M, Mars, Milky Way, Snickers, and Twix."

Blue M&Ms? Milky Way? Twix-ted rituals under the light of the moon? Case closed is what I am thinking.

Posted by: Secular Snarkist on October 31, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

The New Testament was written in Greek. Jesus and his disciples were Jews who spoke Aramaic. This book-burning crowd wouldn't know genuine Christianity if it peed on them.

Posted by: rong on October 31, 2009 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

"On Mars silly.... Forrest Edwards Mars, Jr... $10.5 billion dollar fortune"

Hiding in plain sight, eh? That wily ol' Devil!
Still, I would have thought that the Prince of Lies, the very font of all evil in the cosmos, would have just a bit more imagination than the screenwriters of B-grade horror or action movies.

"He [Pat Robertson] may be a false prophet just after fame and money, but i get the sense that he really does belief this stuff."


(Sorry, it's not really fair to go snark on someone who's already laid down the snark. In all seriousness, though, I think ol' Pat there is just a tad too smart for his schtick to be anything but a machine for parting fools from their money. Of course you could be right -- but I think it's just your Christianity -- the real kind -- showing, in that you're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.)

Posted by: smartalek on October 31, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding France's fines against Scientology, I don't think they were being nailed for being a cult, per se. They were nailed for fraud for tricking people out of their money by deceiving them, using a scam that non-religious con artists also use. And this is something that ANY religion could face. If a Catholic priest convinced someone that they were possessed by demons and continued to bilk thousands of dollars from them in order to free them of their demons, and then the person decided later that they had been tricked, that priest could also be subject to this.

And the main issue here isn't that France decided unilaterally to attack Scientology, but that these people realized they had been duped. This isn't about France defining cults, though that's probably an issue too, but about outright fraud. And while many atheists consider all religion to be fraud, as long as the as the "victim" understands what they're getting, it's not a problem.

Telling church members that they need to tithe 10% of their income to support the church or asking for other donations isn't fraud unless the church is lying about where the money is going (for example, if the priest is embezzling church funds to support his gambling habit, that's illegal). But asking for donations isn't the same as making someone believe that they need to pay to cleanse their soul from demons (or whatever the Scientologists do).

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on October 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

The witches cursing halloween candy is one of my favorite stories of the year. Adding in the orgies and human sacrifice just blows it right over the top. What I really want to know is what CBN thinks about vampires. As we all know vampires are really hot right now. There must have been three dozen vampire movies in the last few years.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 31, 2009 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Make and sell candy shaped like bibles and crosses. -- Chopin, @12:47

You may think you're kidding, but.. When I was growing up, in Poland, every Easter, you could buy (from a church-licensed shop) solid sugar lambs with crosses stuck into their backs. For those who couldn't afford a whole lamb, there were lollipops -- milky white, with a transluscent red cross in the centre. None of your pagan symbols of fertility -- like eggs and rabbits -- for us :)

Posted by: exlibra on October 31, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Now, I'm not saying I'm a better Christian than the next person in the pew, but, well, doesn't it seem like that woman knows just a little too much about the practices of witches and demons for a good god-fearing person?

I haven't checked the Bible recently, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't talk about any time-release curses, or any of that other stuff about what demons are drawn to, and fetishes and so forth. What's a good Christian doing knowing that kind of detail about such things?

Where'd she get all that familiarity with demons, eh?

Could it be ... Satan???

I say we dunk her, just to make sure.

Posted by: biggerbox on October 31, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson vs. Larry Flynt debating about prostitution on radio show.

Posted by: Jeremy Richards on October 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jaango, thank you for the link to the death museum story, which is excellent.

I'm for Halloween, but I gotta say, "the lukewarm and ignorant" has a nice, righteously indignant ring. Nice turn o' words - weird message notwithstanding.

Posted by: disinterested party on October 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

if the king's english is good enough for jesus, then it's good enough for me.

Posted by: daveminnj on October 31, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson has *always* been a nut. Funny that the piece on the Scientologists came after the Robertson piece - because, truly, doesn't this demons-in-the-candy thing sound like something good ol' L.Ron would have concocted?

Which makes me wonder - was it eating that miniature candy last night that caused me to wake up thinking about Jet Travolta? Hmmmm...

Posted by: Limbaughs Diabetes on October 31, 2009 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Please read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. While it is a work of fiction, there is sufficent historical and geographical data to open many eyes. I predict this book will make The Da Vinci Code seem like child's play in getting the Christianists and this-country-is-a-Christian-country shouters in a dither. Watch for the emergence of Noetic Sciences as a major "new" discipline of scientific research.

Change, it is a comin!

Posted by: st john on October 31, 2009 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Don't buy pre-cursed candy, it's cheaper to put the curse on it yourself, and you can tailor the satanic spell to your perversions. Takes like half an hour to make a bag of Mars confections that makes virginal Christian youths and maidens engage in special demonic, contortionistic tantric sex positions. No really, it works great. I'm only writing now because I'm in my refractory period between victims. Don't tell the Christians or they'll pray furiously all night and wreck my spell.

Posted by: howling void on October 31, 2009 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Beam is full of it. There is no reason U.S. judges couldn't allow similar fraud cases without spindling or mutilating the First Amendment.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 31, 2009 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK


Jewish hate is as old as some ancient Hebrew prophets.
Speaking of anti-Semitism, it's Jerry Falwell and other fundy leaders who've gleefully predicted that in the future EVERY nation will be against Israel (an international first?) and that TWO-THIRDS of all Jews will be killed, right?
Wrong! It's the ancient Hebrew prophet Zechariah who predicted all this in the 13th and 14th chapters of his book! The last prophet, Malachi, explains the reason for this future Holocaust that'll outdo even Hitler's by stating that "Judah hath dealt treacherously" and "the Lord will cut off the man that doeth this" and asks "Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?"
Haven't evangelicals generally been the best friends of Israel and persons perceived to be Jewish? Then please explain the recent filthy, hate-filled, back-stabbing tirades by David Letterman (and Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin and Larry David) against Sarah Palin and other Christians, and explain why most Jewish leaders have seemingly condoned the continuing "crucifixion" of Christians and even their Leader!
While David, Sandra, Kathy and Larry are tragically turning comedy into tragedy, they are also helping to speed up and fulfill the Final Holocaust a la Zechariah and Malachi, thus helping to make the Bible even more believable!
(For even more stunning information, visit MSN and type in "Separation of Raunch and State," "Michael the Narc-Angel," "Bible Verses Obama Avoids" and "The Earliest Hate Criminals" to learn even more about Jewish connections!)

(Spotted the above on the web just now - Rachel)

Posted by: Rachel on November 3, 2009 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

"The Small Church with the Big Carbon Footprint."



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