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Symposium: If I were the devil …

… Yea, hath God said?

~ Gen. 3:1 (Satan’s first words in the Bible)

Note: This column was inspired by broadcaster Paul Harvey’s “If I were the Devil,” published in 1964 and 1996.

Socrates (470-399 B.C.) – a renowned Greek philosopher from Athens who taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a method of teaching by asking leading questions. The Greeks called this form dialectic – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas and moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review with the ultimate principle of the Socratic dialectic being Veritas – Truth.


The devil

Socrates: We are gathered here today at my Symposium to discuss this question: Was the devil’s greatest deception to get people to believe he doesn’t exist? Assuming for the sake of argument that the answer is yes, imagine the catastrophic evil, pestilence, famine, genocide; imagine the global, political, economic, legal and religious perversion the devil could unleash upon humanity – from antiquity to the present – and not receive any blame because he doesn’t exist. Yet I hear the poetic lines of Jakob Grimm who, writing of the devil, said:

He who loves his country, should also wish
 to understand it; 
He who wishes to understand it, should try at every turn to penetrate its History.

With that said, let us now briefly penetrate key events in American history to determine if there is such a thing as the devil, and if so, let us speculate how he would affect America – the world’s last best hope. What would this fallen archangel do to humanity?

Original text of Harvey’s 1964 essay:

The devil {a soliloquy}: If I Were the Devil. If I were the Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the whole earth in darkness [Paganism]. 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 [U.N. Globalism].

I would begin with a campaign of whispers [liberal media, propagandists]. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please” [anarchists]. To the young I would whisper “The Bible is a myth” [atheists]. I would convince them that “man created God,” instead of the other way around [humanists]. I would confide that “what is bad is good and what is good is square” [hippies]. In the ears of the young married I would whisper that work is debasing [unionists], that cocktail parties are good for you [elites]. 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 art in Washington” [Social Security, Medicare, welfare state].

Then I’d get organized [unions, Occupy Wall Street].

I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull, uninteresting [the academy]. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies, and vice-versa [Hollywood]. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing, less work. Idle hands usually work for me [communism/socialism]. 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 [liquor and drug industries].

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild [Public Schools, NEA/Department of Education]. I’d designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts, and I’d get preachers to say, “She’s right” [Margaret Sanger, Madalyn Murray O’Hare, Roe v. Wade]. With flattery and promises of power I would get the courts to vote against God [Everson v. Board of Education (1947)] and in favor of pornography [Justice Potter Stewart – “I know it when I see it.” Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)]. Thus I would evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, then from the Houses of Congress. [Glassroth v. Moore, Stone v. Graham (1980)].

Then in his own churches I’d substitute psychology for religion and deify science [LBJ’s 501(C)(3) Churches, Darwin, Freud]. If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle [liberal religion].

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 [Marxism, socialism, progressivism]. 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 [Feminism, AFDC].

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 [tolerance movement; the Progressive Revolution].

Isaiah: Being like God is what we all should be doing. We should emulate God’s perfect character. However, we should not crave to be God. God is always on the throne, and nothing will ever dethrone Him. Lucifer didn’t realize this and tried to take over heaven and usurp God’s throne, thus becoming Satan. God said to Lucifer:

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:13-15)

Thus, Satan in his five “I wills” sinned in his heart by coveting God’s power. Satan planned on being higher than God. Satan planned on controlling God’s angels and kingdom (14:13). Satan planned on being God (14:14), and although his kingdom on earth flourishes, ultimately the devil will be cast into hell forever.

Socrates: Let us hear the conclusion of the matter. God tests mankind in the crucible of His love and His righteous judgment. This is called Life, but temptation is Satan’s invitation to give in to his kind of life and give up on God’s kind of life.