Kevin Swanson, the Colorado pastor and homeschooling activist who last year hosted three GOP presidential candidates at a forum in Iowa, convened a conference in the Cincinnati area last weekend for the purpose of discussing how conservative evangelical parents can steer their children away from the pitfalls of a secular culture.
Swanson took a rather hard line on the issue, declaring at one point that Steven Spielberg and Lady Gaga, along with Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, all are or have been “possessed by Satan” or “under the sway of the devil.”
Swanson reminded his audience that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,” meaning that “we’re not fundamentally up against Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga or Charles Darwin, we’re up against their ideas”—and those ideas are of the devil.
“Now, Charles Darwin, Lady Gaga and Steven Spielberg are under the control of the Evil One,” he explained. “1 John 5:19 says the whole world is under the sway of the Evil One, under the sway of the devil, the devil has absolute control over them. Now, again, these are the presuppositions that are not taken on by those who want to dally with the world’s ideas. They don’t see that Aristotle is under the sway of the Evil One, under the absolute control of this very powerful, malignant force called the devil, and they don’t see that Steven Spielberg and Lady Gaga and Charles Darwin are under the absolute sway, the control, the force and the power of the devil himself. So therefore they absorb any of the ideas that may come their way through these means.”
He warned that parents and students must understand this before they “read these great novels written by men who were virtually possessed by the devil, some perhaps possessed by Satan himself,” including works by Twain, who “at points might have been possessed by Satan himself,” and Hawthorne, who “must have been affected by some demon.”
There was also, he said, “a lot of demonic involvement in the lives of Mark Twain, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others.”