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The Devil Made Me Do It

I seem to get a lot of e-mails from Christians who believe in a literal Satan and in actual physical Demons. I guess they are like Death-Eaters from Harry Potter except a surprisingly high number of people seem to believe that these things are real and not fiction. It really is shocking to me how many adults really believe that they are key players in a spiritual war between God and the Devil.

It has always stuck me as odd that the particular Christians who believe in an all-powerful Creator of the Universe needs their help to defeat this evil Satan. As crazy as these people seem to be, I find it very difficult to criticize them for believing these ridiculous stories. After all, billions (with a B) believe that God is real. After that, is it really that difficult to claim that the Devil is real too? And if the Devil is real, is it really that difficult to claim that he wants your eternal soul (whatever that is)?

When I was young and my Christian friends told me about the Devil, I remember asking, “What does the Devil do with your Soul?” I still ask that question to some of my wackier Christians friends. Does the Devil collect them? Does he eat them? If he does eat them, do they taste good? Can I eat one?

The whole Bible story seems to have more holes in it than a bad Michael Bay movie and yet millions of people believe it is literally real and as a result, high jinks ensues. But you can’t criticize these stories, because the rest of Christianity likes to pretend that they believe these stories too… except when it isn’t convenient to do so or when modernity has made such beliefs untenable. The fact is that once one claims that any book was divinely inspired by the Creator of the Universe, than it really does become an all or nothing game. And when that happens, than when someone says that a Demon has taken possession of their kid and proceeds to “exercise” the Demon by killing their kid, we are forced to take such claims seriously as a society. To do otherwise would be hypocritical.

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