Belief Beat

These two New York Times religion stories caught my eye over the weekend:

The Burning Bush They’ll Buy, But Not ESP or Alien Abduction (by Mark Oppenheimer)

For Roman Catholics, Interest in Exorcism Is Revived (by Laurie Goodstein)

Oppenheimer’s piece points out that religious scholars are “concerned with all sorts of supernatural and metaphysical claims” — Moses and the burning bush, the virgin birth, Muhammad’s journey on a winged horse — yet draw the line at something like mental telepathy. But it doesn’t really answer the question of “why not?” If you believe that with God, all things are possible, after all… are UFO sightings so much more far-fetched than demonic possessions?

(This may also come down to cultural norms: In Goodstein’s article, a priest speculates that America may see a “rising demand for exorcism because of the influx of Hispanic and African Catholics to the United States. People from those cultures, he said, are more attuned to the experience of the supernatural.”)

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. 

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