Monday, May 5, 2014

#1026: Michael Pfeifer

Michael David Pfeifer is the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo, vocal opponent of stem cell research, and generally quite unhinged. Why are the Culture Wars raging in Texas (e.g. these travesties)? Well, Pfeifer has an explanation. Where the saner part of the population would be inclined to explain the debates by referring to entrenched religious fundamentalism, anti-intellectualism, standard denialism mechanics, and rank bigotry, Pfeifer sees it differently. Pfeifer instead believes there is demonic influence in Texas manifested through cults and Satan worship. So there. One suspects his suggested explanation will also lead him to locate the problems in the wrong places (nor is it really an explanation for anything).

Pfeifer has apparently also participated in several exorcisms as part of his contributions to the Culture Wars, and was a central figure inthis 2011 conference on exorcism, led by expert exorcist Dennis McManus.

Diagnosis: It is a bit interesting that Pfeifer and his ilk link the alleged resurgence of demonic possession to the popularity of the topic in movies, which suggests that some grownups in position of authorities have some troubles distinguishing fiction from reality. But then again, I suppose some cynics will argue that you don’t become a Catholic bishop in the first place if you were really good at making that distinction.

Actually, Pfeifer seems to have retired (December 2013). 

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