Black lives do matter. Period.
My first step-father was a racist and an abuser. He constantly used the “n”-word and denigrating language for all who were non-white. He also beat my mother and fired a gun inside our home. I never embraced racism in any form—my stepfather’s character made that easy. During my youth, by God’s providence, I stumbled across a book entitled Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, and found in it a deep and decisive affirmation of my instinct that no one should be mistreated on the basis of the color of his skin.
Even so, what if, as a faithful Catholic, you discovered that a group ostensibly dedicated to combating racism—a group with which you have aligned yourself—achieved their ends by conjuring demons to aid them? Most believing Catholics would run for the hills upon even the possibility of something like this, especially those few who (like me) have assisted in exorcisms and experienced first-hand the destructive power of the demonic. Having the devil as a partner in any action corrupts all the good and militates against any authentic remedy. Seeking aid from the enemy of souls is why exorcists in dioceses around the country experience non-stop demands for deliverance.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
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In the video that follows, Nissy Tee, a black commentator, describes herself as a “bonified, real-life, hard-core believer… in the movement.” She clarifies that her support is for the movement seeking to eradicate racism and discrimination, not the Black Lives Matter organization itself. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc., according to their website, was founded in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in 2013. Their stated purpose is “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
Nissy Tee then pauses the discussion with Tomi (her guest) and cuts over to a video conversation between Patrisse Cullors, the executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and Melina Abdullah who is the co-founder of BLM Los Angeles. It appears the video was edited to aid in brevity for the show, but their key statements are clear and stand on their own.
Patrisse Cullors says, “In my tradition you offer things that your loved ones who have passed away would want. Whether it’s like honey or tobacco… things like that…. It is important that we be in direct relationship with the dead.” She continues: “Hashtags for us are way more than a hashtag. It is literally almost resurrecting spirits that are going to work through us to get the work done.”
Melina Abdullah concurs. “What’s happened as we invoke these names is the invocation of their names that goes beyond remembering them,” she explains. “We call out our ancestors, we call them out for specific purposes”:
The first thing that we do when we hear of a murder is we come out, we pray, we pour a libation we built with the community… This movement is much more than a racial and social justice movement. At its core it’s a spiritual movement.
“I know you always had this spiritual practice,” she goes on to say. “We were going to the ocean and doing these rituals and really feeding our spirits.”
Patrisse Cullors, likewise, says: “Our spirituality is at the center of Black Lives Matter and that is not just for us. I feel like so many leaders and so many organizers are deeply engaged in a pretty important spiritual practice. I don’t think I could do this work without that.”
The segment concludes with Tomi’s reaction to the video. He says with energy, “Christians, wake the hell up”:
How much more evidence do you need? It’s right in front of you. She told you that every time the hashtag is shared it is not just a hashtag. There are spirits of the dead that we are invoking. Every time they mention the name, “Say his name—George Floyd”… that is a séance. That is calling forth the dead spirit to invoke chaos on the nation… Everything we have seen go on, buildings burning, all of that, there are witches laughing… They are laughing at how complicit the Church has been.
I couldn’t agree more. Whether well-intended or not, those in the Catholic Church who align with the organization Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc., align themselves with a spiritual movement that uses witchcraft to conjure demonic spirits.
To be clear, the souls of the dead are not demons. But the entities that respond when the souls of the dead are “invoked” are not the souls of the dead, but rather demons seeking to manipulate those who invoke them.
Cooperation with the demonic comes through any expression of an individual’s will to aid the organization that invokes them. Any exorcist will tell you that when we do that, we are moving to stand beside and walk with demonic forces that have and will have their effect in society, and on us. The result in a very real sense can be catastrophic.
Every Catholic should be concerned about and seek to remedy racial injustice wherever and whenever it occurs. Because black lives and black souls truly do matter, no faithful Catholic can align himself with an organization that conjures demons as a means to mitigate injustice. If you have been involved or complicit in any way, the next step is confession. Hopefully, you won’t need to see an exorcist.
[Photo credit: Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images]