Can Jindal Exorcise the GOP Demons?

One of the individuals bandied about to be McCain’s Veep is Bobby Jindal. He is governor, not-white and young; allegedlly, he just the right foil for Obama. He is also a conservative Catholic–another group that the GOP is reaching out to this cycle. All in all, someone I should know a little bit about.

So I followed this link from Boing Boing. Here is what caught my eye from TPM:

Jindal’s affection for battling demons never surfaced during Jindal’s failed run for governor in 2003 or his successful one in 2007. The state Dems did make an issue in 2007 out of Jindal’s extreme Catholicism and his view of Protestant tenets as heretical, but the effort provoked a backlash among voters who thought the assault was religious bigotry. So Dems didn’t make an issue out of Jindal’s experiment.

I read the full article on TPM, but I didn’t pay to read all of Jindal’s essay. I’m not that interested in that. Also, I’m not interested in mocking someone’s faith–remember, I’m trying to be more understanding here–especially when I know about the belief’s of certain members of my family.

What I am interested in is this, from TPM (the bolded part is from his essay):

In the essay (purchase required), Jindal describes an emotional friendship with a classmate, “Susan,” recently diagnosed with skin cancer and reeling after the suicide of a close friend. Susan’s behavior becomes stranger, and she is surrounded by “sulfuric” smells. Finally, one night at a prayer meeting, she collapses in a seizure — and the exorcism begins:

The students, led by Susan’s sister and Louise, a member of a charismatic church, engaged in loud and desperate prayers while holding Susan with one hand. Kneeling on the ground, my friends were chanting, “Satan, I command you to leave this woman.” Others exhorted all “demons to leave in the name of Christ.” It is no exaggeration to note the tears and sweat among those assembled. Susan lashed out at the assembled students with verbal assaults.

Jindal then describes how the whole situation made him physically uncomfortable, and he wondered if the same demon afflicting Susan was responsible for his state of nervousness…

The “ritual” get worse. According to Jindal, it lasted for “hours.” They physically restrained Susan and forced her to read from the bible–wherein she began to stutter and curse at them.

Personally, I know that if I was held down and forced to read from anything, I’d invent a few choice phrases, but I digress.

My point is this: Jindal, as a Catholic, is not supposed to conduct exorcisms or be a part of protestant rituals. While there are some rites of exorcism that can be performed by the laity, a real Catholic exorcism has to follow certain procedures, including:

•Conducting the exorcism in a sacred place
•Spiritual preparation (such as fasting and reading the bible)
•Specific language to conduct the ritual.

The most important, however, is that the subject HAS to be screened by my medical and mental health professionals. While the Church isn’t always on the forefront of mental illness, it has come to understand and respect the profession.

The exorcism is the rite of last resort. You don’t do it because your friend looks or acts different after the suicide of a mutual friend and a diagnosis of skin cancer. At best, this “exorcism” shows poor judgement.

I want to know what happened to “Susan.”

2 thoughts on “Can Jindal Exorcise the GOP Demons?

  1. I’d be interested to know how old they were when this all happened as well. “Classmate” could mean anything from 14 to 30 (depending on the level of schooling this guy has). If they were in high school or early undergrad – well, that’s kind of the age when a lot of people go through some strange questioning about the paranormal, and can create a lot of weird energy doing so. If the “friends” were already looking for that kind of weirdness, it’s not surprising that they’d find it in someone that’d been through a very life-stressing chain of events.

    And you’re absolutely right about the exorcism thing not being a “do it yourself” kind of project. It sounds like he was peripheral to the situation – and that it (rightfully) made him uncomfortable. Food for thought, certainly.

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