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When the Devil Came, He Was Not Red. He Was Pink.

February 3, 2010
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The people at Human Life International have embarked on a little diversion from their usual antiabortion activities in order to investigate the sale of Ouija Boards at Toys R Us. It seems that the toy store is selling both the regular Ouija device and a pink one marketed at girls. Lord knows, when it’s time to communicate with the spirit world, the discriminating 10-year old girl demands something pale and rosy with which to do it.

As you might imagine, the Human Life people are not just concerned that the boards are labeled as appropriate for ages 8 and up, they take issue with their very existence.  To many religious believers, the board is no mere toy; it’s a device through which spiritual entities actually communicate with those of us currently shuffling around this mortal coil. 

The possiblity of spiritual direction of the Ouija’s planchette has been meticulously debunked many times, and I don’t intend to reinvent the wheel.  What I am curious about is why religious believers are concerned with them in the first place.  For once in my life, I think it’s appropriate to look for answers in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians.

 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

I love the word “principalities”; it may be the only intersection of the spiritual realm and agency law. According to Battle In Christ, a principality is “a ruling devil spirit[] possessing executive authority or governmental rule in the world.” This is apparently supported by Daniel 10’s revelation that an angel was delayed in speaking to Daniel while fighting a long battle against a Persian prince.

The upshot of all this is that Christians believe that there are lots of evil spirits champing at their bits (assuming spirits can champ and have bits) to mess with us and Ouija boards give them a wonderful opportunity to do so. It’s telling to look at the comments on the site reporting the story:

For those who don’t believe in evil spirits, apparently have never stepped outside the borders of the US. Try going to the African bush or the Amazon Jungle. My friends, witchcraft, demon possession is a very real thing. Even though it is just a board, it is the purpose behind what it is used for. I have stared the face of evil in the face on Kome Island on Lake Victoria of the coast of Tanzania as well as many other places.

and

Anyone who doesn’t believe there is a realm outside of what we see with our natural eyes is deceived. Even Science proves that- As far as Christians go, what makes us Christians is our connection with the spirit of God, so what is confusing about the concept that if connection w God is possible connection with the demonic world is also possible

There are some aspects of religious belief I just cannot relate to no matter how hard I try.

Update: My favorite principalities lurk around the woods of the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas, respectively.  Seriously, BOB from Twin Peaks is the textbook evil spirit guy.  And he killed Laura Palmer.  What a dick.

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