September 10, 2017    Jane’s Heart to Heart    Pastor’s Help Mate

If I Were the Devil

If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree.

So I should set about, however, necessary, to take over the United States.

I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whispers to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square.”

In the ears of the young married, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be “extreme” in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which are in Washington.”

Then I’d get organized.  I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting.

I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa.

I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could, I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction, I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild.  I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right.”

With flattery and promises of power, I would get the courts to vote against God and in favor of pornography.

Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress.

Then in his own churches, I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science.

If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg  And the symbol of Christmas

a bottle.

If I were the Devil I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. Then my police state would force everybody back to work.

Then I would separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines and objectors in slave-labor camps.

If I were Satan I’d just keep doing what I’m doing and the whole world would go to hell as sure as the Devil.

“If I Were the Devil” is a form of social criticism, an essay that postulates what steps the devil might take in order to corrupt human civilization (and the United States in particular) and lead it down the path of darkness — before delivering the catch that all the steps listed are phenomena that are already taking place in the world today. It was written and popularized by national radio commentator and syndicated columnist Paul Harvey, who from the mid-1960s onwards featured it in both media many times over the course of his long career, periodically updating it to incorporate current trends.  The oldest genuine Paul Harvey version of this piece we’ve found so far appeared in his newspaper column in 1964:

  This is tame compared to what is happening now…

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/devil.asp