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’d subvert the churches first, I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper 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.”

And the old I would teach to pray — to say after me — “Our father which art 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 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’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and Nations at war with themselves until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have memorizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the Devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions; let those run wild until before you knew it you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every school house door.

Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have Judges promoting pornography, so I could evict God from the Courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.

And in His own Churches I’d substitute philology for religion, and deify science, I would lure priest and pastors into miss using boys and girls and church money.

If I were the Devil I would 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.

And what would you bet, I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich.

I would caution against extremes and hard work and patriotism and moral conduct.

I could convince the young that marriage is old fashion, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, If I were the Devil I just keep on doing what I’m doing.

Paul Harvey, ABC Radio, Monday – March 8, 1993

Paul Harvey

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