After I heard a presentation by Abigail Disney [yes, a member of that Disney family], I watched a documentary she produced. Pray the Devil Back to Hell tells the story of Christian and Muslim women of Liberia who collaborated across faith traditions to pray and protest. They obtained a meeting with Charles Taylor, a warlord who was elected President of Liberia (August 1997 – August 2003). The women demanded a resolution to their country’s civil war. During President Taylor’s reign, he ruled brutally and fomented instability. Eventually, he was convicted by a tribunal in The Hague of terror, murder and rape, “crimes against humanity,” and is serving a 50-year prison sentence.
In the aftermath of Taylor’s resignation, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became president of Liberia (2006–2018), the first woman elected head of state of an African country. For leadership, peace-building, and commitment to non-violence, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three Liberian women: President Sirleaf as well as organizers Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman.
A country doesn’t have to be at war to be torn apart. How can we “deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country?”* Whatever term — demon or racism — you use to describe the venomous culture, the fact remains that POTUS 45 has opened Pandora’s box. What can we do now, as we await the next presidential election on November 3, 2020, since most people have no celebrity, political, or positional power to make significant changes?
Here’s one suggestion: PRAY. There’s no downside to prayer. Prayer to demons is like throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West. In The Wizard of Oz, the witch melted when splashed. As she vanishes, the witch screeches at Dorothy: “ARRRRRGH! — You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Melting! Oh — what a world, what a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?! ARRRRRGH! I’m gone! I’m gone!” While water worked on the witch, we may need a different antidote for neutralizing malevolent warlocks (even if there’s a history of rain avoidance). We lose nothing by praying.
Like the women of Liberia, who faced thugs, armed only with prayer and shielded with white shirts, our efforts will take unity, perseverance, and sacrifice. Are we up to the challenge? Can we act on the courage of our convictions? Can we mobilize for peace in our divided country? Let’s pray the devil out of politics and bring back civil discourse. Fighting fire with fire will only lead to an unpleasant outcome: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”** Instead, to counter the current cult of “beautiful wickedness,” give them heaven.
© Joan S Grey, 9 AUG 19
IndexCardCure™: overcome evil with good
The fire is still there on this topic. Next post: some specific prayer techniques
*Marianne Williamson quote
**quote attributed to Gandhi.