Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ouija boards as tools of the devil

It seems Hasbro is selling a hot pink ouija board, and the religious right is unhappy, because:
"There's a spiritual reality to it and Hasbro is treating it as if it's just a game," said Stephen Phelan, communications director for Human Life International, which bills itself as the largest international pro-life organization and missionary worldwide. "It's not Monopoly. It really is a dangerous spiritual game and for [Hasbro] to treat it as just another game is quite dishonest." Phelan, who has never played the game, said the Bible explicitly states "not to mess with spirits" and that using a Ouija board will leave a person's soul vulnerable to attack.
"All Christians should know, well everyone should, that it's opening up a person to attack, spiritually," he said. "Christians shouldn't use it."
Asked how the game differed from magic kits or Harry Potter-themed merchandise, Phelan replied, "The difference is that the Ouija board is actually is a portal to talk to spirits and it's hard to get people to understand that until they actually do it. I don't pretend to know how it works, but it actually does."
Phelan also noted that the pink version of the game is explicitly marketed to young girls who may want to partake in "something dangerous" during a late-night sleepover.
This is just so stupid I can't even be tolerant about it. How can anybody over 7 believe that a ouija board actually lets you contact spirits? Okay, okay, I understand that the intensity of one's religiosity is biological, and that this Phelan person is just blathering out what he can't help himself from believing, so I can't really hold it against him personally, but I can ridicule him, because god, he's dumb.

And he's in charge of communications for an organization that wants to change how people in foreign countries handle abortion. He wants to affect public policy and instill Christian fervor. I wonder how he is at the administrative, non-religious-fervor parts of his job.

Now, I don't think we should do anything worse to him than point out his error and laugh at him. I certainly wouldn't want to prevent him from saying these crazy things, because then somebody might prevent me from saying my crazy things. But I think ridicule is appropriate, because really believing in ouija boards is ridiculous.

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