READY: Open letter from the Prince of Darkness
Most of this column takes the form of a letter, but first an admission as to its content.
Be advised the following is politically incorrect, intolerant, judgmental, and controversial. As well as in-your-face religious.
But this is an opinion column after all, so I believe in what I’m saying.
An atheist-funded research poll claims 2 out of 3 Americans acknowledge the existence of the Devil and a place called Hell. After the events of September 11, 2001, that number rose to 71 percent (Harris/Gallup Poll) and then rises and falls depending upon the latest horrific school shooting or act of terrorism.
I, too, believe in Satan and in a fiery place of eternal punishment for lost souls. The heavy metal rock singer, Marilyn Manson, believes in it also. He says he’s confident he’s going there after his death, laughing, “I’m gonna say that it (Hell) would be a more comfortable place for me because everyone I know will be there, and I wouldn’t be allowed to have any fun in heaven.” At least, he’s not one of those many Christians who believe pretty much we’re all going to heaven by being a “good person.”
In my often dark thoughts, I’ve let Satan into my head long enough to compose an open letter as I think he might write to his disciples:
Dear To- Whom- It- Applies:
I know you probably don’t believe in me, but I believe in you. You’re one of my great successes. I saw you this morning as you began your day. You awoke without thanksgiving for being alive and well, or for the beautiful spring day. You weren’t even appreciative you had a hot cup of coffee and a good breakfast. You’re so ungrateful, I like that about you.
Easter’s coming in a few weeks, and I heard you say something about getting the family new outfits and Easter baskets for the kids. I suppose since you showed up last Christmas, you’ll pat yourself on the back as you warm the pew in your finery. You’ll promise the preacher to come back next week, but you and I both know you’ll find something more important to do when Sunday comes. I heard your mumbled thoughts about going to church this Sunday so you’ll feel less phony about attending on Easter. As your best fiend (uhmm, I mean friend), let me give you some great excuses for missing services anytime:
Getting the kids dressed in their Sunday best first thing in the morning stresses me out. I don’t like the songs they sing. I was forced to go when I was younger. There are too many hypocrites in church. They’re always asking me for money. I work hard all week; I’m entitled to a day of rest.
Yep. These are a few of my personal favorites.
I’m watching you even now as you speak to your boss over the phone. Did you know your eight year old heard every lie you told? I jotted down the kid’s name for future reference since I expect the example you’re setting will help me add to my increasing congregation. I saw you earlier today as you received 10 dollars too much change from a store clerk and kept your mouth shut. Then I watched you back into someone’s car in a parking lot and left unnoticed (except by me and, well … of course, Him).
I like spending time with you as you cheat, curse, bully, gossip, and backstab. I could go on and on. We make a great team. We’ve been partners for years, but I still have no love for you. In fact, I hate you. That’s because you were made in my adversary’s image, and I hate Him. So, I’m using you to get back at Him for throwing me and my angels out of heaven. You make my revenge so easy.
If you were smart, you’d confess your sins and take responsibility for all the nasty stuff you’ve done in your life. But I’m counting on you to continue lying to yourself that you’re a decent enough person.
You’re so predictable, you’ve become boring. And I hope you’ll understand if I spend less time teaching you advanced demonic behaviors. I think you’ve got the hang of it and can be quite awful on your own. Besides, I have other souls who need my help in committing all kinds of evil-doings. I’ll just check back with you occasionally to see if you’re keeping up the good work (Oops! I mean BAD work).
Go on traveling your path to perdition, and I’ll see you real soon. I promise to give you a very warm welcome.
Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.