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Saturday, March 4, 2023

Theater Pulls Movie by Pastor Who Says Autism is Demonic

 In The Politics of Autism, I discuss various ideas about what causes the conditionMany posts have discussed the potential correlatesrisk factors, and possible causes that have been the subject of serious studies.  Genetics tops the list.  One thing that is NOT on the list is demonic possession.  

Ben Gilliam at WJHL-TV:
A local theater has pulled all screenings of a film that features a pastor who business owners say has compared autism to possession from otherworldly entities.

In a Tuesday Facebook post, Abingdon Cinemall owners said that the complex would not be showing “Come Out in Jesus Name,” a film starring pastor Greg Locke.

According to marketing material for the film, Locke (who plays himself) and a band of comrades set off “the most important awakening in the history of the Christian Church” through the exorcism of demons. After the March 13 screening of “Come Out in Jesus Name”, marketing material encouraged viewers to attend simulcast events featuring Locke and “his fellow demon slayers” to experience “a supernatural mass deliverance… in Jesus name.”

“On the one hand, it is important that our general public be able to see any particular movie if that is their choice,” Cinemall’s post said. “The fact that a movie is controversial, whether for faith or political ideology reasons, has never stopped us from showing it before.”

But according to the post, Locke’s messages surrounding people on the autism spectrum mean it will not be showing in their business.

“On the other hand, one of the preachings of the debated film’s protagonist, Pastor Locke, is that autism spectrum and similar disorders are the result of demonic possession,” the post said. “I have family and friends with children who are autistic. They are all beautiful, loving souls.”


The receipts: For a short Christian film that celebrates autistic people, see  "Infinite," by my son Joshua Pitney. It is an official selection of the 2023 International Christian Film & Music Festival.