"There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." - Stephen Hawking
I often am amused when I see Christians telling their children that something is fantasy. Especially in the case of movies, books, and television. I find it funny because these are people who usually also claim that angels and demons are real. So you take a movie like The Omen and these Christians who are telling their children that it's all just fantasy when it's basically pulled right out of the same bible they're saying is literal truth. It seems more than a bit hypocritical, but of course this is merely cognitive dissonance at work.
Now of course there will be some Christians who say that demons in that sense aren't real. With well over 30,000 denominations there are bound to be some who have a differing viewpoint. But look at the largest Christian group, the Catholic church. This is a group whose head governing council is still so adamant that demons are real that they still sanction exorcisms.
And then of course we have faith healers, who claim to be able to, among other things, cast out demons. These are people who don't want for customers because someone is always eager to pin the blame anywhere other than themselves. For far too many believers there is a very real belief that there are physical boogeymen out there pissing in everyone's Cheerios.
This of course doesn't jive with reality at all. It would seem that were there physical demons running loose and wreaking havoc that we'd see far more evidence of this. Sure, there are bad folks who do bad stuff, but they aren't possessed by anything more than an urge to act and violence or deviance on their minds. They don't need an exorcism, they need rehabilitation or imprisonment.
Cognitive Dissonance and the Confusion it Causes
So here's the problem. Angels are real, but fairies aren't. Demons are but trolls aren't. Witches are real, but television witches are fake. Satan is real, but vampires are fake. God is real but Santa Claus is imaginary. And I'm talking about what grown ass adults believe. Then in perfect fashion they pass this crazy view of the world on to their children.
Now it may seem harmless, but telling a kid that demons are real but the demons in their video games are made up can really be confusing. I mean, if you honestly examine the bible's claims on demons and possession, there's little difference between that and the movies. So how can you honestly look at your child and tell them that movies are fiction but the bible is factual truth?
The truth is that these people never even really think about this. But in reality if the bible was factual we shouldn't doubt that what we see in movies could be real. The truth is that it is no more ignorant to believe in fairies than to believe in demons and witchcraft. They're on the same level and all of these ideas are fiction. You can't tell your children that the real world is one way and then feed them a load of fiction and tell them that is also reality. The mind balks at such ideas.
Insanity by Reason of Demon Possession
There is a valid reason that courts do not accept demon possession as a valid criminal defense. First of all, there's no possible way to prove this. You can claim you were possessed all you want, but unless you can prove mental defect the judge isn't gonna buy this at all. And that leads to the other reason this isn't an acceptable defense. You see, anyone who honestly believes they are possessed by demons is considered mentally ill. In the most honest of terms, a person who believes such things is insane. They have by all accounts lost touch with reality.
The real insane part is that there are judges who would like to accept this as a plausible defense. While the judicial system may reject this idea, these judges themselves believe in demons just like half the general population. Tell them gnomes are stealing all your left socks from the dryer and you're a loon. Tell them demons made you kill your family and they're making the sign of the cross.
There was of course a time when even our courts accepted such claims. We have the witch trials of our past to remind us of what this sort of nonsense leads to and a reminder of why we no longer accept such claims. We put people to death on claims of witchcraft and possession that had no more validity than sock gnomes. We murdered people because some grown ups still believe in the boogeyman.
So is it any wonder that so many Christians are confused about reality and passing it along to their children? After all, the only thing crazier than an adult with an imaginary friend is an adult with an imaginary enemy.