Why do people demonize good people


What drives young men to rush to war? To join a terrorist squad? Killing other people indiscriminately - regardless of whether they are Jews, Christians, Muslims or not religious at all? The answer is difficult. One thing is certain: terrorists are obsessed with ideas or are manipulated by others and their ideas. These ideas and conceptions are so strong that they fight for them, kill them, or allow themselves to be killed.

To be obsessed with something. This is an image that the Bible knows well too. She speaks of "demons". Demons are evil spirits, forces of fate. They affect people, attack them like a disease. They ensure that people are different from what they actually want to be. Demons make people behave and think differently than most others. Demons turn a person into a strange person. No wonder that demonic people are frightening and therefore marginalized.

Demons appear in many biblical stories. Again and again people come to Jesus who are infested with demons. And again and again Jesus drives out these demons. How it works? There are no instructions for this in the biblical texts. But two important observations. On the one hand: Jesus deals with the demon. He seeks conversation, contact, discussion. He accepts the demon as a reality.

On the other hand: Jesus differentiates between demons and humans. He tries to drive out the demon. Tries to discover the person behind the demon.

It always works out well with Jesus. The demon stories always end with the demon's defeat. And the human comes to the fore. A person who is freed from everything demonic. From all fear, from all pleasure in power, from all greed.

So there is a strong image of man in the demon stories. The healings through Jesus say that there is good in people. But that must also be allowed to come to light.

I read that as a request. Today I also experience that people are demonic or are being demonized. For example terrorists, god warriors, fundamentalists. But the biblical demon stories keep me looking through all the suffering and evil. To see that terrorists, assassins, brutal warmongers are always flesh and blood. People who need someone to see them as human.

Healthy in body and soul

Demonic people are people who are occupied by a demon, by an alien power, by ideas that devour, by fear, power or greed. That is what Sunday Thoughts are about today.

Demonic people appear in many biblical stories. And Jesus, the Bible says, casts out these demons. But this Jesus is not an assembly line healer. He always has to gather strength for this task. So he withdraws. He prays away from people and cities.

The biblical stories make it clear: In order to be able to free people from their demons, a source of strength is required. Jesus finds them in conversation with God. With him, both belong together: healing and praying.

When Jesus heals and prays, he makes it clear through himself: It is about the whole person. Because Jesus takes himself seriously as a person, as a person who needs time off - and he takes seriously the person he heals. He devotes himself to the sick person with all the energy he has. That also means: Those who want to be healthy in body and soul, who do not want to become demonic, need time out. Needs retreat, reflection.

No wonder that the principle of praying and working is still relevant today. Many monks live like that. And this life principle is also important in normal everyday life. When people burn out, when work consumes them, when they can no longer calm down - there is also something demonic about it. Then the work takes over, then the tasks take control of the person. Balance is needed here.

If people are demonic today, as terrorists and bomb-makers, but also as people who work to the point of burnout, who wear themselves out in everyday life, then the question also arises: How can we prevent people from becoming demonic? The biblical stories answer this: The point is to discover the human being in them. Only in this way can they be healed in body and soul. And I can do everything in my own home, specifically on site, to ensure that people are not eaten up by ideas or their fears. That no demon settles in them. By seeing and accepting them as people.

 Bible text

Mk 1,29-39

At that time Jesus went to Simon and Andrew's house with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever. They talked to Jesus about her, and he went to her, took her hand, and sat her up. Then the fever left her and she took care of her. In the evening after the sun had set, all the sick and possessed were brought to Jesus. The whole city was gathered on the doorstep and he healed many who suffered from all sorts of diseases and cast out many demons. And he forbade the demons to speak; because they knew who he was. Early in the morning, when it was still dark, he got up and went to a lonely place to pray. Simon and his companions hurried after him and when they found him they said to him: Everyone is looking for you. He replied: Let's go elsewhere, to the neighboring villages, so that I may preach there too; because that's what I've come to do. And he went all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons.