Demon Seed

On 26 de Julio I wrote about the Muslim clerics in Malaysia who, though not real happy that Malaysian fans of the UK soccer team Manchester United had adopted clothing sporting cartoon representations of the devil, concluded that such apparel should not be banned.

“We just advise people not to wear this,” advised Harussani Zakaria. “Satan is, for us, our enemy. It’s the wrong value. Satan is always bad.”

Turns out these folks are more tolerant than some Americans—specifically, than Pastor Donald Crosby of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Warner Robins, Georgia, and 30-some of his followers, who Monday disrupted the beginning of classes at Warner Robins High, demanding that the school cease forthwith employing “demons” as a mascot.

The principal Warner Robins demonic being is a red devil with horns, wielding a pitchfork. During football games, a large representation of this Agent of Evil is wheeled out to tower over the end zone. When Warner Robins scores, sparks shoot from The Beast’s pitchfork.

“A demon never has a good connotation. Never,” Crosby ululated to a Macon TV station. “If you look it up in Webster’s Dictionary, there’s nothing good about a demon.”

And so Crosby and his people descended upon Warner Robins High School on Monday, determined to drive out the demons. Instead, they were ordered first by school officials, and then by the police, to disperse. But they persisted in their picketing, Crosby declining an offer from Officer Harry Dennard to accompany him back to his office so he could help Crosby prepare a request form for a permit. “You’re just going to have to lock me up,” Crosby said.

So they did. Crosby was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and picketing without a permit, both misdemeanors. “Let them lock all of you up!” Crosby reportedly instructed his people. None of these, however, elected to follow him into the pokey.

Of course, none of Jesus’ disciples were real eager to follow him, when he was led away, either.

Crosby developed his demon fixation when he discovered that a boy who lives with him, over whom he exercises guardianship and whom he considers a son, might be expected to shout out “Go Demons!” when rooting for Warner Robins’ sports teams.

Sports are big at Warner Robins; the football Demons have won four state championships over the years.

“It’s the equivalent of us gathering into a church on Sunday morning and shouting ‘Go Jesus’ or ‘Hallelujah Jesus,'” Donald Crosby, a Warner Robins resident for about a year, told Macon television station WMAZ.

People who have lived in this central Georgia town longer than Crosby say they have seen this sort of thing before.

“Again?” was the reaction from Jenni Russ, class of ’81 and mother of two Demons.

“This is not something new,” Russ told the AJC on Wednesday. “This is typical when you have somebody new to the community. We’ve had people complain about this. I just don’t even connect that with Satan. It’s just a mascot.”

Fifteen-year-old Brianna Russ proudly informed the paper:

“I’ve been part of Demon football since I was a baby!”

Her father was president of the football booster club from 2004-07.

“It has nothing to do with worshiping the Devil. I’m a Christian myself. I love God to death. But the demon mascot has never changed my thoughts about worshiping the Devil.”

Crosby is trying to move his boy to a school with a mascot more to his liking. Meanwhile, he has started a petition drive to oust the demons; feeling this was not enough, he organized the assault Monday on the opening of Warner Robins classes for the 2010-2011 school year.

Demons represent evil and the mascot “gives evil a good face,” Crosby complained. “Prayer had to leave but the demons can stay?”

Apparently so.

Warner Robins people have been known as “demons” since the school opened its doors in 1946. The moniker derives from the 7th Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force, which flew in the South Pacific during WWII, and which was known as “the Screamin’ Demons.”

And it says here that in 1944 the men of the 7th adopted a new mascot—the bunyip, an Australian aboriginal creature that hangs out near water holes and gets real grumpy when disturbed.

Presumably, Crosby & Co. would be equally exercised if Warner Robins students were known as “bunyips,” as this would Wrongly reference a pagan beastie. And anyway, “bunyip” is said to roughly translate as “devil,” or “evil spirit,” so it is all part of the same Badness.

Though here the bunyip, as is true of many old spirits, may be the victim of a slur. For some say the bunyip was originally Bunjil, a “mythic ‘Great Man’ who made the mountains and rivers and man and all the animals.”

A European conception of the bunyip in angry action can be seen in the illustration above.

After a period of dormancy, the 7th was recently “reactivated,” and now flies F-22 Raptors out of New Mexico. Apparently these people still refer to themselves alternately as both “demons,” and “bunyips.”

Now, it probably should be noted that the police spokesperson on this story is named Tabitha Pugh.

It is well known that Tabitha was the name of the witch child who sprang from the joined loins of witch extraordinaire Samantha and hapless hubby Darrin Stephens.

Too, Tabitha is the name of the wife of writer Stephen King, who for more than three decades has been immersed in evil, from his ass to his elbows.

So there may be more going on here than it might first appear.

An enterprising writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution performed an online search and uncovered a number of other shockingly Wrong mascot-names infesting our nation—Daredevils, Dirt Devils, Horned Toads, Winged Beavers, Honkers, Cavemen, Fighting Sandcrabs, and (my favorite) The Criminals.

“Isn’t Demons,” she asks evilly, “better than Chipmunks?”

Pastor Crosby, dude, I know you’re only trying to do right by your Guy. But you look silly. This isn’t the sort of thing that is really effective in bringing people over.

This, however, is:


12 Responses to “Demon Seed”

  1. 1 possum August 10, 2010 at 5:15 am

    So easy to follow until the consequences become real. The lockup changes lots of simple minds. Real commitment would have gone to the pokey. I have several friends with long lists of arrests for peaceful protest. They stand by their convictions. My record has to remain clean for a bit longer to protect my license to practice. But one day…

    Much as I like to praise people who stand for their convictions this bit about demons is going much too far. There are some limits in civil society. Seeing evil around every corner is paranoia without reason. Pastor Crosby should look very closely at the teachings of his purported leader, who I presume is Jesus, before he goes too far off this deep end.

    • 2 bluenred August 10, 2010 at 9:05 am

      Yes, Pastor Crosby is a devotee of Jesus. My sense is he probably didn’t intend to get arrested: his mouth just ran away from him. This happens often.

      Your license to ease suffering is more important than occupying a jail cell. We need you here on the outside. ; )

  2. 3 possum August 11, 2010 at 4:52 am

    It is nice to be needed here on the outside. Sometimes the pressures of being needed are pretty high but still it is nice.

    Thinking before speaking is too often not the course of things in life for so many these days. Jesus was an outspoken representative if we are to believe what is attributed to him. But pastor Crosby seems to follow a man different from the one I think of as Jesus. Maybe Pastor Crosby in his time in the cell will find new ways of thinking and speaking. At least we can hope there are lessons to be learned.

    • 4 bluenred August 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

      Pastor Crosby, I think, is afraid. A lot of people are.

      Pastor Crosby’s particular fear seems to be that demons will get his boy. I hope he is not a devotee of this new form of extreme fundamentalism that teaches that, because of “original sin,” children are more inclined towards the devil than not, and they basically have to be brutalized towards God.

      • 5 possum August 11, 2010 at 10:28 am

        And we all know fear is a powerful driving factor. But the actions of Pastor Crosby and others of his ilk are not excused by their personal fear. If a person uses his own fear to encourage the same in others that is neither a good or a right action. Those in fear need to find ways to manage the emotions. Spreading fear to a larger society in my mind is tantamount to crying “fire” in a crowded theater.

        I had hoped the brutalization of people “toward God” passed with the Inquisition. It would seem humankind has an almost endless ability to harm one another in the name of whatever religion holds sway at the moment. Too bad for all of us.

  3. 6 bluenred August 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I wasn’t trying to excuse their acts—just speculating on the motivation. Fear, I think, motivates most Badness, though people don’t often understand that that’s what’s driving them.

    A window into this new fundamentalism was opened to me when I came in contact with a case where parents “spanked” their daughter to death with a piece of flexible toilet-tank tubing. As it develops, these parents were not rogue monsters, but devotees of “Biblical Parenting,” which is a huge—though largely underground—movement nationwide. The idea, which is spread in churches, books, pamphlets, and on websites, is that because of “original sin” children are born with a natural predilection towards evil, and they have to be “disciplined” towards God. When children misbehave, it is due to the devil’s influence, and they must be physically chastised, to drive the devil out of them, and goad them towards God. The weapon these particular parents used to kill their child is actually recommended as a “disciplining” device by a multimillion-dollar ministry. These people actually preach that in refusing to strike one’s child you are placing your child above God, and thereby engaging in the gravest of sins.

    They are definitely giving their God a bad name, these people.

    I’ll write more about this when the case is over.

  4. 7 possum August 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I wasn’t trying to excuse their acts—just speculating on the motivation. Fear, I think, motivates most Badness

    I knew you were not making excuses but many people would allow fear to be an excuse. Your speculation is good.

    You associate with some very strange people. An attorney acquaintance of mine regularly represents children who kill or maim people. She manages a job far outside my range of understanding. It is good people can do those jobs.

    • 8 bluenred August 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Well, they make people strange. : )

      I think I’ve been blessed, working as a journalist, PI, and law guy, because it’s allowed me to experience all sorts of people.

  5. 9 possum August 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    My job offers the chance to meet a wide variety of people. Thank goodness most folk who reach my level of caring for a pet are kind and caring people. The sort you may meet in a legal arena are a bit more mixed I’d have to guess.

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