I know, I know . . . Modern “with-it” people don’t believe that Satan exists, let alone has any influence on our lives. But let’s pretend he does, just as a mental exercise. This kind of exercise won’t lower our blood pressure or reduce our body weight, but it could trim the mental flab that accumulates when we don’t give our minds a regular workout. Besides, it might give us an insight into the world around us.
The standard definition of Satan—also known as Lucifer, the Devil, the Evil One, and the Father of Lies—is a powerful spiritual being who shows his hatred of God by leading human beings into sin or error. With that in mind, what might we expect such a being to do to achieve satisfaction? The most obvious thing would be to get us to believe that God doesn’t exist or that He exists but we can do very well without His guidance. But how exactly might Satan accomplish that?
By tempting us to regard ourselves as already wise and wonderful so we don’t need God’s help.
By encouraging us to believe that God’s commandments are not only stifling and unnecessary but false. In other words, that what God calls wrong and degrading can actually be right and fulfilling. For example, believing that stealing, lying, and cheating will be perfectly fine as long as they serve our purpose.
By suggesting to us that our emotions, feelings, impulses, impressions, whims, and wishes are trustworthy and need not be examined and validated. (In other words, to appropriate for ourselves the infallibility that belongs to God.)
By leading us to believe that reflection, meditation, and thinking (the paths to profound learning) are a waste of our time.
By planting in our minds the notion that others are to blame for our failings and God is to blame for our misfortunes.
Even more diabolical than Satan’s direct corrupting of human lives would be for him to recruit certain humans to do the job for him by encouraging the rest of us to abandon the ideals and institutions God wishes us to foster. Satan would achieve that by making evil seem virtuous. This was surely the inspiration that led Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, Kim Il-Sung, and Pol Pot to the conviction that murdering over 100 million people made the world a better place. Less dramatic Satanic actions would be encouraging Satan’s recruits to embrace initiatives that actually undermine culture and civilization. Here are some specific examples:
Focusing on our ancestors’ human frailties while ignoring the accomplishments they achieved despite those frailties. This is not only unfair but has the dual effect of filling citizens with contempt while depriving them of the inspiration of proven role models.
Redefining truth as subjective rather than objective; in other words, created by each individual for him/herself and therefore unlikely to be agreed upon and made the basis of common customs and laws. This redefinition invites journalists to create the news rather than discover it; politicians to hide their real aims and motives and lie about one another; and teachers to promote their personal prejudices rather than serve their students’ needs.
Elevating self-acceptance over self-improvement and making self-esteem an inalienable right rather than an accomplishment, thereby weakening the urge to increase ones’s knowledge and virtue.
Decreasing the role of parents in the upbringing of children and replacing children’s obligation to honor their parents (as in the Ten Commandments) with parents’ obligation to honor their children, thereby undermining the structure of families.
Changing perspectives on sexuality by challenging the definition of “woman,” mocking chastity while applauding promiscuity, redefining homosexual behavior from abnormal to normal, approving adult sex with children, broadening the concept of gender, and inviting children to consider changing their genders.
Elevating the rights of rapists, robbers, and murderers over the safety of their victims, and scrutinizing the behavior of those who provide public safety while ignoring that of those who endanger the public.
Devaluing work, encouraging an entitlement mentality, and promoting the redistribution of wealth, all of which reduce the work force, increase government expenditures, and increase the tax burden on taxpayers.
Denouncing anyone who questions the preceding initiatives as hatemongers, deniers of science and logic, and obstructers of progress, so as to frighten or shame them into silence.
The actions mentioned throughout this essay comprise a pattern of behavior stunningly consistent with the destruction of our civilization. Though these actions are presented as “reforms” and “refinements” of our values, there is nothing positive, let alone noble about them. Quite the reverse. They are thoroughly evil! This chilling fact has escaped widespread recognition for two reasons. One is that their sponsors include leaders in academia, the fine arts, communication, industry, public service, and even religion, the great majority of them well-educated, accomplished, and therefore highly trusted. Another reason is that their initiatives are so numerous and widely varied that it is difficult to see the common outcome they share.
The evil nature of the events I have discussed can be determined without positing the involvement of Satan in human affairs. Why, then, should we consider the possibility of such malevolent supernatural involvement? I believe because the scope of the events is too broad, the sponsors too diverse in their backgrounds, and the harmful effects of their initiatives too complementary to be attributed to sheer randomness or coincidence. Moreover, the events in total seem much too synchronized to be within human capacity.
The last paragraph may be too hard a saying for many to accept because acknowledging vulnerability to Satan’s influence suggests the need for God, and that need is at odds with the spirit of the age. A cautionary proverb comes strongly to mind: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Copyright © 2022 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved