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Friday, July 27, 2012

If I Were the Devil

If I were the devil I would first take stock—I would consider who I am compared to who God is. First I am the overlord of hate, whereas God is love. I am typified by deception, whereas God embodies truth. I encourage selfishness and greed, whereas God encourages generosity and service. I delight in delusion, addiction, and overweening pride; whereas God delights in realism, freedom, and humility. I delight in despair, whereas God delights in hope and joy. I delight in resentment and recrimination, whereas God delights in encouragement and forgiveness. I delight in cynicism and judgmental arrogance, whereas God delights in benevolence and charity. I delight in ill will, whereas God delights in goodwill. I delight in insecurity and turmoil, whereas God delights in security and peace. I delight in a short-term and short-sighted myopia, whereas God delights in a long-term vision and eternal verities. I delight in the delusion that might makes right, whereas God looks beneath the trappings of power and authority into the human heart.

As the devil, I would delight in the destruction of the United States. I would seek to undermine its view that room must be made for individual conscience—the ultimate basis for all guaranteed rights. I would thus seek to undermine the regard for individuals and the sacredness of personality. I would eliminate belief in God and the leadings of the spirit, thus rendering all appeals to conscience a fictitious ploy designed to legitimize selfishness and greed—which I would meticulously characterize as enlightened self-interest. The view that all people have a soul making them a member of one human family must be eliminated. Compassion, empathy, and feelings of mutuality must be replaced by fracturing the country into a multitude of war-like camps each circling their wagons to protect themselves while leveling at others a withering, judgmental arrogance. I would encourage an undertone of anger and resentment at all times in all things. I would replace the spiritual and principled life with worship of success at any cost and hide its ugliness in a veneer of glittering materialism. I would spread within the commonweal a contagion of meanness. I would encourage the thought that security comes out of the barrel of a gun worn at the hip, not from the disciplined and patient constructions of love arising from considerate kindness. In short, I will replace God with myself, confident that in my redoing of America, the miracle and genius that represents America - its ideals, convictions, and visions - will be forsaken and the land left desolate. Without the religion of Jesus, America will have lost its essential vitality and enabling spiritual context. It will revert to the tired ruts of history represented in Shakespeare's Sonnet 66:

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