As if delivered by the Hand of God, a pamphlet appeared upon my front door Wednesday. There was no bearer, and yet my doorbell somehow rang.
I get it now. I get why shows like “The Wire” present mind-warping, innocence-devouring images like parking-lot sex between McNulty and Pearlman.
Remember Verbal Kint’s great line in “The Usual Suspects” that “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”? The Jehovah’s Witnesses who left this pamphlet concur. Speaking on Satan, the booklet says “His most clever deception has been in blinding many to the fact that he and his demons really exist. But do not be deceived! The Devil and his demons are real, and you need to resist them continuously.”
Here’s what we know: Very horrible things happen on this world, often to very good people. “What forces drive men to such loathsome deeds or maneuver them into situations where they feel compelled to commit atrocities?”
My answer, before reading this, would have depended on when in history we’re talking about. Over the last two centuries, I’d have to say “Money.” Before then, probably “Land.” I guess we could sum up my guess by saying “Greed.”
Oh, and probably “Religion,” too.
That’d be wrong, though. The Bible says “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one…. The one called Devil and Satan… is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” We know he’s calling the shots on this spinning blue water ball because of an offer he made to Jesus. Satan took Jesus to the top of a tall mountain and said all those kingdoms they saw below could be his, “If you fall down and do an act of worship for me.”
I might’ve just faked it, but Jesus’s response was pretty sweet: “Go away, Satan!” Did they have to climb back down the mountain together? If so – awkward.
Quick back-story on Satan: Homie was an angel created by God, who became envious of God’s position. The scheming Satan sent a talking snake to the first woman, Eve, and it convinced her and her husband Adam to follow the devil rather than obey God. He’s been running the show ever since.
He’s not alone, though. Satan convinced other angels to sell out their creator. “These became demons, his spirit accomplices.”
“These unseen, wicked world rulers are determined to mislead all mankind, turning them away from the worship of God.” How? Two ways, chiefly:
ONE: Promote the idea of survival after death, even though God says the dead stay dead. So if you see someone, like a medium, claiming to converse with dead folk, that person’s working for Satan. Throw a net over him or her and call Ghostbusters.
“Spiritism” means curiosity about the spirit realm, and it’s Satan’s way of sucking us in. Avoid crystal balls, Ouija boards, ESP, “examining the lines of one’s hand,” and astrology.
“Demons have also caused noises and other physical phenomena in houses that they make their territory.” Dicks. I hope they don’t do that while people are trying to sleep.
TWO: “(W)icked spirits capitalize on the sinful bent of humans by promoting literature, movies, and television programs that feature immoral and unnatural sexual behavior.” If you see your mom reading “50 Shades of Gray,” swat it from her hand and whip holy water into her eyes.
And don’t watch HBO. Did you see the first episode of “True Blood” this season? Viking vampire sheriff Eric Northman has sex with his sister (they share a maker) in a cargo crate and then emerges with a big smile on his face to say “We may argue like siblings, but we f*ck like champions.” Alan Ball created “True Blood,” so Alan Ball must therefore be a demon.
“Happily,” my pamphlet says, “‘The world [including its demon rulers] is passing away,’ the Bible assures, ‘but he that does the will of God remains forever.’ What a relief it will be to have that evil influence removed!”
I guess… but what are we supposed to watch on TV?