April 24, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Library event happens in good spirits

MEDINA — The Rev. Tony Myles said he didn’t go to the Medina Public Library to protest the “Paranormal Fest” events Saturday.

“I went to build relationships,” he said.

Myles, the lead pastor of Connection Church in Sharon Township, was one of at least a dozen people who complained to the library, urging the library to cancel the event or add a Christian perspective to the program.

The Halloween-themed festival featured presentations on psychic abilities and stories of the unexplained and finished with an after-hours ghost hunt.

Lisa Rienerth, a library associate who was involved in planning the event, said the program “went off without a hitch.”

Rienerth said about 40 people attended each of three presentations — by El Dorado Paranormal Investigations, the Psychic Samhain and local author Michelle Belanger.

The ghost hunt, which was attended by 60 people, was geared toward teens and featured the Celestial Spirit Investigators.

Library officials chose not to cancel the event or include a Christian presenter, saying the Christians had the option to create an alternate program later in the season, or book a library room free of charge.

Heather Coontz, community relations manager for the library, previously said the Paranormal Fest, which was funded through a $150 donation from the Friends of the Medina County District Library, was meant to be “informational and entertaining” and did not focus on religion.

Myles had voiced concern about the festival in a Sept. 26 column for The Gazette, saying “the supernatural is nothing to play around with.”

Myles wrote that when he was younger, his family played with Ouija boards, psychics, horoscopes and automatic writing.

“One day everything went bad,” he wrote “…We experienced manifestations too scary and evil to write about here, all because we were naive about the paranormal, thought we were in control and viewed it all as ‘fun.’ ”

Terry Holley, a retired pastor from Heartland Community Church in Medina Township, said he had no problem with the material presented during the festival.

Holey said he attended the event Saturday as a researcher who is interested in debunking the paranormal.

“These practices are superstitions,” he said. “They have no validity to them.”

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4949 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001349228388 Jace Hudak

    The Medina Public Library should be ashamed of their reluctance to include a Christian perspective. Christian beliefs of ressurection and miracles could be construed as paranormal by the following Wiki definition: “In most definitions of the word paranormal, it is described as anything that is beyond or contrary to what is deemed scientifically possible.” If the Medina Public Library thinks that they were somehow “Politically Correct” in their decisions, they could not be more “Incorrect”. Do the qualifications for a Librarian or a “Library Official” include the need to be illiterate? They wouldn’t have to look very far or long in a Library to find the definition of paranormal.

  • Guest

    What about a Muslim perspective, or a Hindu perspective? “Paranormal” is a catch-all phrase that is typically not associated with any specific religion. By not including a Christian perspective, I’m sure the Library was just trying to be inclusive. That takes thinking outside of the box. Furthermore, your rhetorical question about Librarians needing to be literate isn’t very “Christian” as I define the term. Guess I need to look it up in Wikipedia…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001349228388 Jace Hudak

    Were a Muslim or Hindu perspective mentioned? I would defend their Rights and Freedoms to be respected if they were specifically rejected and denied to represent their beliefs. Your reply makes a lot of assumptions. You assume that I would not respect Muslim or Hindu perspectives. You assume that I am a Christian and your “inclusive” comment is an Oxy Moron. How could anything be inclusive by “Not including”.

  • Rob McClain

    Dear Jace:nnnClearly, someone needs to explain the word “secular” to the God-botherers in this county. The event organizers wanted nothing to do with your brand of religious mumbo-jumbo, they wanted to focus on their own brand of mumbo-jumbo. You and the rest of the Onward Christian Soldiers brigade weren’t invited for a reason. You get to babble to each other (and worse, to small children) about your unfounded claims to supernatural “truths” whenever two or more of you are gathered anywhere you see fit.nnnThis was a public event, in a public place, organized in a secular manner and you have the nerve to get your holy underwear in a twist because you didn’t get to tub-thump about how the Christian ghost story goes? You’ve got fifty cable channels with Christian gobbledygook running 24-7, and there are Christmas and Easter stories cemented in the cultural awareness for about six out of twelve months. Enough already.nnnHere in Jesusland (Brunswick), a town with more than 30 churches that pay less in property tax than I do for a modest single family home, Christian folks like yourself already hijack too much of the conversation. Leave the paranormal folks alone, and if the non-existent occult claims a believer away from your brand of silly hoo-hah, you can try to win him back with your version of the virgin birth, the sacrificed zombie messiah born on the 25th of December, etc, all of which your religion stole from at least seven other cultures who told the story LONG before the Gospels were ever written.nnnI’ve read the Bible, and that is why I am am atheist. nnnThe folks running the paranormal event would admit they have little or no proof for their worldview, or else one of them would have collected James Randy’s $1MM prize for evidence of the supernatural or paranormal. So far, in 30 years of trying, he’s never given away a cent to a medium, reader, telekinetic or any other hogwasher from beyond the pale. In fact, he’s invited Christians, Muslims and Hindus to have a whack at the prize by proving the efficacy of prayer…all to no avail.nnnYour faith and your religion belong inside your pretty little taxpayer-subsidized houses of mumbling to yourselves and singing to the walls. As Jack Nicholson said in As Good As It Gets: “Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”