The Christian Ouija Board

Have you ever played with a Ouija Board? A Ouija Board, or “talking board”, was invented in the late 1800’s and was a way that many charlatans  spiritualists would contact the spirit world. People would place their fingertips on a planchette which was a heart-shaped piece of plastic (originally made of wood) and ask questions. Some people might ask about a departed loved one and then the piece would move, seemingly by a spiritual force. The piece would either move from letter to letter, or to a number or to the words “yes” or “no” in order to give an answer. You could ask it anything you like and the answers would come. This “game” has stirred up much controversy and is a little taboo in religious households. I myself had one, (despite being a Christian) when I was younger and I always felt a little weird using it.

Here’s the thing about Ouija boards: they’re not a gateway to the spiritual world. You cannot communicate with the dead by moving a heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic over the alphabet. It’s fake. So how does it work? It works with your subconscious. You are thinking of the answer in your head without even knowing you are doing it and your brain relays the signal to your fingertips and the piece begins to move. You are answering your own questions with the answers you want to hear. That’s it. It’s not Satan or demons or witchcraft at play here. It’s you. You are moving the piece and you are telling yourself what you want to hear.

As a Christian (remember, I was one for a long time. I know what I am talking about) I would often look to the Bible for answers to life’s questions. I would sometimes just open up to a random page, hoping for guidance. I know a lot of other Christians do that as well. Have a question? Open the Bible up to any page and read. Chances are, this “random flipping” will produce incredible results. Are you unsure about the future of your career? Pray about it and then open your Bible up to any page you like. You’ll most like find something helpful or encouraging. Marriage in trouble? Again, go to scripture. Any question you have and any problems you encounter can be answered this way. How is it that the Bible can have such good answers to specific questions? How is it that this book written thousands of years ago can be answering me today? How can it be so personal and so amazingly accurate? How is this possible? It is simple. We are subconsciously finding connections to make our questions seem like they were answered. We have a question and we scan the pages, manipulating the meaning of passages to make them fit. It is us. It is not God. We have placed our fingers on the Christian Ouija board and we move them around until we spell out something meaningful. We have become the god we so desperately seek and when we talk to ourselves we get the answers we want to hear. I mean, who knows us better than us, right?

I came across this video clip from “The Atheist Experience” which is a radio call-in show hosted by Matt Dillahunty. The caller is doing what I used to do and what billions of Christians still do: she’s moving the planchette towards the answers she desires. She claims that God did it but when asked how she knows that, she replies with “I just know.” If you have about 10 minutes, watch the clip and enjoy. If not, let me just say this in summation: Ouija, whether made by Hasbro or written for King James, is just a game. It is not real and it is not a gateway to a spiritual realm. Any answers found there are answers we ourselves have come up with and have done so to ease our worry. We see what we want to see because we are afraid of the alternative. What we need to do is separate fact from fiction. We need understand that we have (in our mind) turned a parlor game into our own reality…but it’s still only a game.

15 thoughts on “The Christian Ouija Board

    1. I’ve owned two Ouija boards in my life. My mother bought me my first one at a yard sale. It was only 50 cents and I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe in the “evil” aspect of the board. I don’t remember using it much. The other one, I can’t remember if it was mine or one that my then girlfriend (now wife) owned. I do remember using it with her though. I remember asking it about what age my father would be when he died and I think it gave me an age very close to when he actually died. Looking back, I knew my father was very sick and I knew he was going to die soon. It wasn’t prophetic or spiritual. It was me understanding the seriousness of his condition and moving the game piece accordingly without being aware that it was me doing it.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Great article, Ben! The ouija board analogy is very, very apt in this case. Back in 2016 I wrote a 3 part article on my blog talking about a very informal experiment we did back in college because we were curious about why people believe things that are obviously not true, like fortune telling and that kind of thing. In this case we used tarot cards. If you’re interested you can find it at https://grouchyfarmer.com/2016/04/03/the-experiment-part-one-how-it-started/ There should be a link to the next two parts at the very end of the page after the comments.

    As I said it was very informal and done mostly because we were bored, but it was still interesting to see how people reacted. What we basically found out is that some people want to believe very, very badly that there is something out there that exists beyond the physical world, and that they will use some of the most astonishing mental gymnastics imaginable to convince themselves that there is such a thing. Whether it is religion, psychics, ghosts, crop circles or aliens or whatever, they will ignore logic, ignore actual evidence, ignore anything and everything that threatens to discredit their beliefs.

    The most scary thing about that ‘experiment’ was how incredibly easy it was to get some people to believe, and how they clung to that belief no matter what.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’ve seen this piece before. Very good. It’s similar to the Arizona fake guru. Even after telling his followers the truth, they wouldn’t buy it. They wanted so badly to be enlightened by another. He was always honest, saying things like “I am not a guru, the guru is within you”. Oh they just loved his wisdom. But he was right. All this stuff comes from your own head.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I just finished reading your three part series on Tarot cards. Very nicely written and very interesting. As a Christian, I was always amazed at how gullible people were who believed in that stuff. Psychic readings, Tarot cards, seances, fortune tellers, etc… It was always so silly to me. But at the time I was thinking they were just being silly, I was believing that snakes could talk, seas could be parted, plagues could rain down from heaven, Jesus could walk on water, be raised from the dead and that somehow, someone recorded it all down word for word in a book meant for me. It was all real and believable, but the people who believed in something else were the disturbed ones. They were the ones who were being deceived. It couldn’t be me. I had the truth.

      People want to believe in something. It could be because of a longing to be with someone who has passed on or because they are afraid of death themselves. It could be because it gives their life meaning. It could be a great many things. But people want to believe in something and as you pointed out, they are quite easy to manipulate.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ¡Excelente! Señor! What a great piece! Yes, I’ve done the Bible flipping thing. I use Robinson Crusoe now when I need guidance nowadays. Any decent book will do to generate ideas in your to aid your desires. This reminds me of the Bible codes—Create an algorithm so encompassing that you find hidden meanings and dates layered in with the text on any question in the world. Take every fifth Hebrew character (religious symbols in themselves) from every other verse and create an answer to any question. Bravo the Bible! “In the Beginning” using Hebrew you have crosses lifted up and saving the world

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Jim. People will see whatever it is they desire to see. The video you posted is a great example of that. It was interesting that they had determined by the pictograms representing the Hebrew letters that the Bible is all about Jesus from the very beginning. They showed just a few words as examples and basically said, “I rest my case!” But what about the long verses they quoted about Jesus later on? Do all of the letters in the words of those verses have pictures that show the same result? Do all of those words point to Jesus as well? Even if (and this is a big IF) it was true and the Bible was written in such a way that those words clearly showed it was written about Jesus from the beginning, it doesn’t prove anything supernatural. I mean, I could write a book with hidden messages or codes talking about Jesus, but that doesn’t make it divine. It would still be man’s words written by a man for his own purposes. Hiding messages in the text of the Bible, or deliberately depicting Jesus in pictograms for all to see, doesn’t prove anything whatsoever. There is still no evidence of the existence of God or his son, just a book written by men. And we’re back to square one again.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Ben, this is a delightful poignant blog-post. Well done Sir!

    I especially enjoyed The Atheist Experience video at the end. Matt Dillahunty does a very good job handling the caller. Thank you for sharing the video.

    On the topic of the human brain, how utterly complex and powerful it is on our words, cognition, perception, interpretation, extrapolation and projecting ideas, concepts, or “rules of life operation,” I am reminded of four exceptional scientific documentaries, or docuseries(?) over the last 15-25 years. Here is a smattering of the ones I personally found to be extremely insightful into the neurology, psychology, and pathology of evolved human social behavior. You might know of them Ben or if not, I strongly recommend getting them and watching them at LEAST 5-times minimum! LOL 😉 From oldest to latest…

    From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians (by PBS Frontline)

    Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (by Discovery Science)

    The Brain: The Story of You with David Eagleman (by PBS & the BBC)

    Genuis by Stephen Hawking (by PBS)

    I guarantee you will love them… or your money back!!! From your wonderful wife. Hehehe 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well thank you.

    I love Matt Dillahunty. His demeanor is commendable in the face of ignorance and in some instances, abuse. I’ve watched several episodes of the Atheist Experience over the last couple of days and it’s eye opening to say the least. I also watched his debate with Mike Licona and that was borderline unwatchable. Matt did great but Licona’s ridiculous claims and reasoning made me cringe.

    I have not seen the documentaries you have listed but I will try to take the time to watch them.

    The thing about this post that really bothers me is how it reminds me how much I hate how I was and how easily I was sucked into the Ouija board type of faith. I cannot count the amount of times I made Bible passages work for my situation when they really didn’t fit. I also would use bad situations and try to find a Christian “silver lining” to make me feel better. For example, when my best friend died two months before he was to be the best man at my wedding, I justified God “taking him” because I was brought closer to Christ by another friend who brought me to church. After my best friend died, I became better friends with another friend who happened to be a devout Christian. That must have been God’s plan, right? Take one friend and replace him with a more Christian one? For me, it worked. But now I see that when my friend died he left behind brothers, sisters, his parents, grandparents and countless other friends. People were hurting and hurting badly when he died. But my version of why he died made me feel better so I praised God for keeping my friend safe in Heaven while I was drawing nearer to Jesus here on earth. It sounds stupid, but my 20 year old self thought it made sense.

    Anyone can find meaning in anything if they try hard enough. One can make the mundane and trivial become part of a supernatural plan. How? By seeing things that aren’t there and using passages that are not even close to being related to the situation and manipulating their meaning to fit their needs. Why? Because it makes them feel better and justifies their faith. I did it and many others have. I watched an Atheist Experience video where a caller said she had personal encounters with God every day and they talked all the time. When asked about the details, she just said it was a feeling and that she knew the feelings she had was God himself. So there was no evidence but her feelings made it all real. Brainwashing can really mess you up, but it is reversible….if you are willing to let go of the fantasy.

    Like

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