Why is it no other name but “Jesus” causes so much controversy? And why is it that his cross is ALWAYS the item used to deflect demons and vampires in the movies? You certainly don’t see people holding up buddhas!
Delila, dear heart, this is a classic example of a religious provincialism so pervasive it doesn’t even recognize itself. Of course “Jesus” is the most controversial religious figure in our society, where most people are Christians; in non-Christian societies, he isn’t. (Consider the centuries of controversy and even bloodshed within Islam over the name of `Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, whom Shi’ites consider the true inheritor of supreme Muslim spiritual authority, as opposed to Sunnites, who accepted the leadership of the subsequent caliphate.)
Similarly, of course the cross is the most powerful apotropaic (“evil-averting”) icon in our society, where most people equate God with Christ and evil with opposition to Christ! If you look at sources from cultures that are not Western and Christian, however, you’ll see other apotropaic icons used to ward off evil creatures.
So no, this isn’t compelling evidence that Christianity somehow has more “innate power” than other religions. It’s just that to those of us in a historically and predominantly Christian civilization, it’s easy to imagine that it does.
I’ve seen some vampire refenrences where they’re repelled by the star of David. Sluggy Freelance, I think it was.
Buffy’s never mentioned anything about other faith symbols. Leaves it open. Although I think the idea is that it’s the faith in the symbol that makes the difference, not the specific religion.
because nothing is as powerful.
There was also a reference to this in the X-Men comic books, back when they were running the Darkhold cycle in the early-mid-80s. Kitty Pryde tries to back Dracula off with a cross and fails, but her Star of David pendant burns his hand.
Also, in the Polanski movie “Fearless Vampire Hunters” there is a scene where the hunters flash their crucifix at a vampire, who say, “Oy, have you got the wrong vampire!”, implying (to me, anyway) that it is the belief of the vampire itself that causes the symbol to have power.
Of course, I don’t know what agnostics and atheists are supposed to use to ward off vampires with. That should probably concern me…
Uh-uh. When Buffy and Angel first kissed in the first season, her cross burned into his chest. And when he turned evil, Jenny Calendar warded him off with a cross.
And on “Angel,” when Angel and Darla met up in the parking garage near the beginning of that storyline (while Darla was still human), he grabbed a cross that she was holding and got scorched by it. I think Kate has wielded a cross at him successfully as well.
Huh. Come to think of it, maybe it’s Angel’s problem and not the crosses.
A Darwin fish?
I think it was an ancient Chinese custom to hang Buddhist scrolls from the beams of the house to ward off evil spirits. Nobody thought to use crosses for some reason. How forgetful of them . . .
I wasn’t saying crosses don’t work in Buffy. They do. As well as holy water. I was just saying that they never show Stars of David don’t work.
I know this appears in Japanese mythology. It may have been done in China too.
What does Satan use to ward off vampires? Does he need to?
What does Santa Claus use to ward off vampires?
How about Ward Cleaver?
The Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? Ninjas? Werewolves?
This requires much further study.
And while we’re on the subject…where did the first vampire come from?
What about Klaatu Barada Nikto?
Right on target, Kimstu. I’d be willing to bet money that there are many people in Africa who do something to ward off demons but have never heard of Christ.
How often have you seen a Buddhist walking around with a statue of a Buddha around his neck? Maybe if more vampire movies were filmed in Hong Kong? I know I’d pay some bucks to see Jackie Chan kick a vampire’s behind!
Saberhagen explained quite well that Dracula reacts so strongly to the crucifix, Host, or holy water because he becomes outraged when the van Helsings of the world desecrate the venerable symbols of his religion. Dracula takes his faith seriously.
Whenever I’m vampire hunting, I stick with garlic so as to maintain SOCAS and not offend those of other denominations.
Willow, the Jewish one turned pagan in the show, doesn’t need crosses against vampires. All she needs is a telekinetic pencil.
But what if one is a worshipper of Satan? Does one who is such uses an upside down cross to ward off vampires?
It seems to me that the cross is used to turn vampires because of what it means to THE VAMPIRES, not what it means to the holder.
Aren’t vampires originally from Europe? If one believes the 1994 movie version, the original vampire became an undead creature by renouncing his God - the Christian God, of course, he being Count Dracule. I’m not sure how accurate that is to the Stoker version, but if it is and you buy that as the basic genesis for vampires, it would be logical for them to be repelled by crosses because of what they are, not being of what the person holding the cross is.
So if you’re an athiest and you’re surrounded by hideous, bloodsucking vampires, it seems to me what you want is a cross - because even though it means nothing to you, it does mean something to them.
Satan doesn’t mind vampires,
Santa Claus lives where it’s too cold for them,
Ward Cleaver doesn’t believe in vampires, so they don’t exist in his world,
Christopher Walken is much too spooky for vampires,
The Easter Bunny. . . well, haven’t you heard of Bunnicula?
The Tooth Fairy has a mutual agreement with vampires (fangs are worth thousands on today’s market),
Ninjas are always on the alert for them, and
Werewolves are just too fast