The following is an adaptation of an article that the late great radio personality, Paul Harvey, purportedly read on his program nearly 20 years ago. Sadly, not much has changed since then.
If I were the prince of darkness I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness, and I’d have a third of its real estate and four fifths of its population. But I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree: America.
So I’d set about, however necessary, to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first. I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent I would whisper as I whispered to Eve, “Do as you please… no one will get hurt.”
To the young I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince them that man created God, instead of the other way around. I would convince them that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is outdated.
I would teach the old to pray after me, “Our father, which art in Washington...”
And then I’d get organized: I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature so exciting that anything else appears dull and uninteresting. I’d infiltrate the movies, the music and the TV with sex, violence and profanity.
I’d peddle narcotics to whomever I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with anti-depressants or painkillers.
If I were the devil I’d have families at war with themselves; churches at war with themselves; politicians at war with themselves and America at war with itself… until all ultimately disintegrate.
If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine the young intellect, but overlook discipline, emotions and morals. Before you know it, police officers, drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors would be routine at nearly every schoolhouse door.
Within a decade I’d have the prisons overflowing. I’d have judges protecting pornography and ridiculing decency. I would evict God from the schoolhouse, the courthouse, and the houses of Congress. In the remaining churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science. I would lure priests and preachers into misusing church funds, church property, church members… and eventually helpless little boys and girls.
If I were the devil I’d disconnect Easter from the resurrection, and change Christmas into a profit maker.
If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who refuse to work… until I succeed in eliminating the incentive of the ambitious. And I bet I could get entire states to promote gambling as the surest way to riches.
I would caution against extremes like hard work, patriotism, sexual abstinence and lifelong marriage. In fact, I would convince the young that marriage is old fashioned - that living together and fooling around is way more fun. Moreover, I would persuade the youth that what they see on TV or at the movies is THE way to live. And thus I could undress them in public, and lure them into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
If I were the devil… I would just keep on doing exactly what I’m doing.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith...” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Jesus. Always Jesus!