One Man’s Religion is Another Man’s Mainstream Cult

One could say that all religions are, by their very nature, cults of a kind. Some cults, however, view other cults as, well, more ‘œcult-ish’. Mormons and Catholics are two examples. When the Catholic Church announces that they’™re going all-out to beat the Devil, and increase their cadre of priests who practice exorcism, that’™s just weird, and reinforces the religion-as-cult stereotype.

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Since Mitt Romney announced his presidential bid, there’™s been a lot of gnashing of teeth in the fundamentalist Christian community over Romney’™s religion (Mormon). And, ASZ has even opined previously that the Mittster is basically unelectable in the GOP, because the Republican fringe fundamentalist ‘œbase’ views the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints as little more than a polygamist cult – albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.

Many online opinionators (and print and broadcast pundits) have wondered aloud how the candidacy of John F. Kennedy would have gone over had there been such a fevered religious pitch back in the late 50′™s and early 60′™s. Protestations to the contrary by the fundamentalist community, many of them view Catholicism as a cult also – albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.

The Roman Catholic Church does little to overtly dispel this notion. And, at least as long as the fundies in both the protestant and papist organizations have some common cause in U.S. politics and conservative social discourse, there’™s no reason for the protestant fundies to kick up much of a fuss. After all, whether or not they agree with the core beliefs of the Catholic church, they are allies against the abortionists and gay marriage enablers.

So, then, jump in your time machine and ask yourself what the fundie protestants would have been saying about JFK, had they had the following story on which to hang their cult hats:

ROME: The Catholic Church has vowed to ‘œfight the Devil head-on’ by training hundreds of priests as exorcists.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 82, the Exorcist in Chief, announced the initiative amid church concerns about growing worldwide interest in Satanism and the occult.

Under plans being considered, each bishop would have a group of priests in his diocese who were specially trained in exorcism and on hand to take action against ‘œextreme Godlessness’.

‘œThanks be to God that we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on,’ Father Amorth said’¦

The Exorcist

As far as I know (and I could be wrong), the LDS do not practice exorcism as a matter of religious conviction or cult dogma. (Animation of Megan (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist courtesy of Horror House UK.)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

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