Thursday, 18 July 2013

Christian Magicians Forced to Deny Any Consort With The Devil. No this is not the year 1480.

Malleus Maleficarum
So, the first I heard of this magician, Dynamo, was a post over at Hemant Mehta's blog about the crazy being written up about him by some pastor. Pastor Dan Denzell to be exact, who wrote up an opinion piece for the Christian Post, The Illusion That Seduces and Bewitches Magicians.

I had never heard of the magician, Dynamo, until I read about how he floated alongside a double-decker bus in London recently. I watched the video. Personally, I think it was legit. I believe this was a paranormal event and an authentic example of levitation.

Nevermind how this even got into the Christian Post, which is usually one of the more coherent Christian publications out there! Maybe the editor in charge was distracted by a black cat or was turned into a newt.  It happens you know. For real.

My wife only had to look at a picture of the magician holding onto the bus to realize that the completely rigid arm is likely not his own but rather a support rod.  His real arm is likely at his side inside his clothing. But I suppose someone is going to have to prove this to Denzell or he'll just keep believing his default narrative - spooks did it.

Perhaps an alternate title for Dan's commentary could be:

Maleficas, & earum hæresim, ut phramea potentissima conterens!

This translates to The Hammer of Witches which destroyeth Witches and their heresy as with a two-edged sword) for all you people who don't read Latin or haven't looked it up on Wikipedia by now. The premise of the work was that witches were in consort with the devil in order to obtain magical powers.  This pastor seems to think Dynamo is doing something similar.

Dan's original article was so reminiscent of that 15th century classic that sparked a Papal endorsed routing and killing of, well pretty much whoever, across Christendom, that Christian magicians are finding themselves on the defensive.

Delzell's column incited a number of Christian magicians to leave comments criticizing his assumption that magic performances are linked to demonic power. These magicians included Jim Munroe, who works with worldwide ministries; Rob Robinson, a Christian magician and mentalist; and Joe Turner, who is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians and served on the board of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
This isn't the first time a Christian magician has had to stand up and declare to gullible believers that professional magic is not based in real-life occult super powers. Back in 2003, world-famous magician, illusionist and evangelical Christian, Andre Kole challenged a Jamaican pastor to prove that Satan gives magicians magical powers - sort of like a Christian James Randi.
VISITING MAGICIAN André Kole is offering US$1million to the Rev. Dr. Donald Stewart if he can prove his statement that Satan gives supernatural powers. Such evidence, he said, should be verified by an independent group of people. "If he can't he needs to shut up and quit causing all this problem and superstition about something that is totally unBiblical," said Mr. Kole. 
Mr. Kole's offer came in the wake of the Rev. Dr. Stewart's article published last Friday on page D6 of this newspaper under the headline 'Mr Kole, you are so wrong!' The Rev. Dr. Stewart, who is pastor of the Portmore Covenant Community Church said in his article "The Christian Bible clearly warns against involvement in all forms of occultic activity, including magic (regardless of how we redefine it) - If magic and the occult world are not really diabolic then it is obvious that the God who created the heavens and the earth has been misled and needs some guidance (possibly some revised theological education) on this matter. If demons and satanic power are not real, but merely illusionary, then someone should have told Jesus."
In the end, I don't think the good pastor got his million dollars.

Listen, there is a serious side to all this. In places like Uganda, people are still getting killed for being accused or suspected of witchcraft. Luckily, the general population sees this for what it is - ridiculous - but a trip back in time only 100 or so years, or to Africa or parts of Asia and such columns could indeed be mallei maleficarum.

Children standing in front of Kasese Humanist Primary School in Uganda
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