Dr. Eric Sprankle, a professor of sexuality studies in Minnesota, is a sex therapist and a Satanist.
A controversial tweet from the not-shy Psy.D. has created a firestorm. In it, he suggests God impregnated the Virgin Mary without her consent. And even if there was consent, God was infinitely more powerful than a teenaged Mary and put her at a disadvantage, he claims.
Sprankle is no stranger to controversy in that his ideas and opinions are unconventional and he appears unafraid to share those opinions and appears purposely provocative.
As a professor, he’s popular perhaps because he’s controversial. A number of students have said he’s funny and smart and fascinating. Others disagree.
Now, Sprankle is being criticized for his latest heretical pronouncement but given he’s a Satanist, by definition, he’s the antithesis of a Christian and he does not hide it. Neither does his Elf on a Shelf.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sprankle Tweeted God Impregnated the Virgin Mary, a Teenager, Without Consent
“The virgin birth story is about an all-knowing, all-powerful deity impregnating a human teen. There is no definition of consent that would include that scenario. Happy Holidays,” he wrote.
A commenter said in the story of the Annunciation, Mary talk’s about God’s plans with the angel Gabriel and says, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”
Sprankle responds that Mary could not have consented, given God’s supreme and almighty power over her.
“The biblical god regularly punished disobedience. The power difference (deity vs mortal) and the potential for violence for saying ‘no’ negates her ‘yes.’ To put someone in this position is an unethical abuse of power at best and grossly predatory at worst.”
‘Does it make more logical sense to believe what you’re saying or to believe that the infinite and all-knowing God of the universe intentionally chose someone who he knew would consider it a blessing and be happy to agree?’ one asked.
‘Eric, the entire story involves Mary’s consent, and would not have happened without it. The amazing part of the story is God’s request for her consent (it was required!). Part of the reason Mary is venerated is that her willing ‘yes’ to God’s request results in our salvation,’ another wrote.
2. Not Surprsingly, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson & Guest Mark Steyn Blasted Sprankle
“Fifty years ago this kind of shallow banality would be something the province of a drunk undergraduate at three in the morning. The idea that God has got the Virgin Mary back to his pad and she’s saying ‘I really must go’ and he’s saying ‘baby, it’s cold outside,’ he said facetiously.
“I miss the days when atheists were at least intelligent enough to take seriously what they were purporting to knock down. The stupidity and banality and shallowness and reductiveness of this is a dismal comment on the state of atheism in America. They don’t seem to make the same kind of Ramadan jokes as they do Christmas jokes. It’s odd that isn’t it, I wonder why that is, Tucker.”
3. Sprankle is an Associate Professor at Minnesota State University & Teaches Psychology & Sexuality Studies
“Promoting sexual health while reducing shame and respecting body autonomy,” is how Sprankle describes his goal as a college professor teaching students about sexuality.
Sprankle is an Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He serves on the faculty of the clinical psychology graduate program and the sexuality studies undergraduate program. Sprankle is a Minnesota-licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist.
Sprankle received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Xavier University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Program in Human Sexuality. Sprankle “leads the Sexual Health Research Team at MSU examining sex work stigma, the effects of sexually explicit material, older adult sexuality, and the intersections of sexual health and genital piercings,” his bio reads.
Sprankle is also very focused on demystifying sexual mores and abolishing sexual stereotypes, on often refers to the rights of sex workers, according to his bio. He says, “I tweet mostly about sex worker rights, abortion, and atheism. I’ve been neglecting #goats. So here are some goats.”
And, “when not engaged in scholarly pursuits,” he says he “religiously reads Edgar Allan Poe, watches horror films, and poorly gardens.” On his Twitter, he says he’s into cats, secularism, and Charles Manson.
His cats, Lucy and Mina, are oft featured on his Twitter.
4. Sprankle is a Satanist With a Christmas Tree, Albeit a Tree Decorated for Satan & Calls Marilyn Manson His ‘Lord & Savior’
Sprankle says he’s long been a Goth and says “When I’ve spent most of my childhood dressed as a vampire, got married in a cemetery on Halloween, and met my lord and savior Marilyn Manson, every day has seemed like #WorldGothDay to me.”
On his Twitter bio, Sprankle includes the term “Ave Satanas,” which translates from the Latin to hail, Satan.
“I saw some goth teens at the mall who had inverted crosses painted on their foreheads, and I have renewed faith in our country’s future.”
Sprankle appears to be celebrating the upcoming holiday. He tweeted images of Satanic Christmas decorations as part of what appears to be otherwise Christmas traditions like a tree and the popular Elf on a Shelf.
“Satanic holiday decor shopping on Etsy is the reason for the season.”
5. Some College Students Think he’s ‘Brilliant’ & ‘Hilarious.’ Others Say Sprankle is a ‘Sanctimonious Pseudo-Intellectual’
After the brouhaha over his tweets, some students jumped on a site where people rate their college professors. Some were not happy with his take on the Annunciation.
“So basically God raped Mary. And the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: “Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favoured one), the Lord is with thee.” Mary having heard the greeting words did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the cause of his coming …” a student wrote about Sprankle saying at once his lectures are “amazing” but that he’s an “awful” professor.
Another said simply, “He is a condescending know it all. Has great hatred for traditions.”
Hilarious, amazing and respected, is how a number of students described Sprankle on RateMyProfessors.com.
“Sprankle is hilarious and very intelligent. He makes every little bit an information interesting and his personality is just too fantastic to ignore. His sexual health class will really open your mind up about topics you’re not familiar with. You would miss an important part of your college career if you didn’t take him once.”
Another wrote, “Typical pseudo-intellectual pencil neck. Sanctimonious harping on the traditions and values adhered to by most in this country. If he was half as smart as he thinks he is, he’d have cured cancer by now.”