Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

The Exorcism of Bobby Jindal

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: spirituality, religion, Satan, exorcism, Bobby Jindal, politics,

ExorcismAlthough he’s still on John McCain’s short list, revelations that Bobby Jindal took part in an unconventional exorcism ceremony must have hurt the Louisiana governor’s chances at the vice presidential nod. Jindal wrote about his exorcism experience in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a Roman Catholic magazine. In the article, deconstructed on the Daily Kingfish blog, Jindal describes a formative religious experience where a number of students laid hands on a young woman who tried to escape, but was restrained by the students who forced her to read passages from the bible. “The essay raises more questions than answers,” according to the Daily Kingfish, “and many of these questions are uncomfortable.”

Part of the discomfort stems from the fact that exorcisms in America are often confined to the movies. In Germany, however, exorcisms are experiencing a revival in popularity, according to an article from the British Times Online. The German Catholic Church has shied away from exorcisms since 1973, when a 23-year-old woman was killed during an exorcism ceremony. Today, the Times reports that hundreds Germans are turning to find exorcists abroad, where cultures are more accepting of the pracitce. In Italy, for example, the Times estimates that there are some 300 trained exorcists.

“To the people who come to see me, I first advise them to go see a doctor or a psychologist,” the official exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, Father Gabriele Amorth, told the Spanish newspaper La Razon, but there are still enough possessed people to keep him busy. At 82 years old, Amorth has performed an estimated 70,000 exorcisms in his lifetime, he continues to work seven days each week, and his schedule is full for the next two months. Amorth also gave some insight into the roll of exorcisms in politics, telling La Razon, “the devil likes to take over those that hold political positions.”

8/11/2008 8:16:53 PM

Wow, that's quite a story Jindal told. I don't really like the fact that Jindal brings such an extreme brand of Catholicism to the table, I think that's almost as improper as Falwell. I think people should just keep their religion private and not try to evangelize or condemn people. That's what turns me away from Pat Robertson and the televangelists.

6/26/2008 7:46:00 PM

I wonder - Just how different is an "exorcism" from an "intervention"? It's all about confrontaton, forcing an admission of behavior/guilt, keeping 'em circled until they're worn down to a nub and confess. (Are those exorcisms that are taking place in Gitmo? Probably can't qualify, since they probably aren't being done with love, for the good of the detainee ... Perhaps a few of the Gitmo inquisitors could gain from the experience ... ) Has our president experienced an intervention? Did it help? And yet ... people believe that they save lives sometimes. And I suspect it's true. Don't we all, at least metaphorically, struggle with demons?

6/20/2008 8:16:17 AM

“the devil likes to take over those that hold political positions.” Ahhhhh. That explains everything about George Bush.....

beverly boling_2
6/19/2008 8:09:46 PM

I think that exorcisms are positively barbaric!!!!! I thought that they had stopped being performed after the Middle Ages. Is our civilization going forward or going backward?!!!!!! I'm starting to feel as if I have just entered the "twilight zone". This is the 21st century, isn't it? It totally amazes me that the people of Louisiana elected Bobby Jindal as their governor. Didn't anybody check into his background before they nominated him? I certainly hope that McCain does not pick him as his vice president. He might set the USA back to the Middle Ages. We need to go forward into the future, not backwards.

jeffery biss
6/19/2008 12:27:36 PM

Jindal is a great example of why the Republicans are incapable of good governance. This joker thinks that "Intelligent Design" should be taught alongside evolution even though there is no data that backs up ID. More delusion is what the U.S. needs? Well, obviously many prefer delusion than reality. Jindal and his ilk find support among the corporatists and Calvinists, who place belief and ideology above all else. We get the government we deserve and until we deserve better Jindal and his ilk will be elected.

6/18/2008 6:18:06 PM

First there was voodoo economics, now there's just plain voodoo. Is this really the best we can come up with to run our government?