An article in the paper on Jan. 13 relates that the Catholic Church needs to train more exorcists to meet national and local demands for exorcisms. Church leaders explain the need by claiming that more people are turning to expulsion of evil spirits because they have become “Godless.”

Speaking as a “Godless” atheist, I believe in no supernatural beings. No gods, no demons, and consequently no need for exorcisms. Father Bryan Babick, quoted in the article, got it partially right when he said, “Not everyone who thinks they are possessed is.” I would replace “Not everyone” with “No one.”

I may not be a trained exorcist, but I have a four-word solution to combat demonic possession that is more effective than anything an exorcist has in his arsenal: “Stop believing in demons.”

It is far more productive to develop a personal relationship with reality. Instead of thanking God for accomplishments and blaming Satanic forces for failures, we should take personal responsibility for our actions.

The late comedian Flip Wilson created a character, Geraldine, who always excused her bad behavior with “The Devil made me do it.” Flip got it right — attributing bad behavior to the devil is just something to joke about. And we’d live in a happier and more peaceful world if we’d all embrace Flip Wilson’s devilish humor.

Herb Silverman

George Street