Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey

Back in 1965, the legendary commentator Paul Harvey did a piece entitled, “If I Were the Devil.” He spoke of the ways the Devil would go about destroying the United States of America. Of course, he’d do it from within. A lot of what Harvey said still holds up today.

I thought I would offer my own version of “If I Were the Devil.” With a bow to Mr. Harvey, here it is:

If I were the Devil, and I wanted to destroy this great nation, the United States of America, what would I do?

I’d cause divisions among the people. They wouldn’t be simple disagreements. These would be seen as life-or-death situations. I’d have people fear others not like them as the “unholy other” who must be obliterated. I’d spread hatred, suspicion, envy, paranoia, resentment, malice and a sense of entitlement. People couldn’t agree to disagree. It will be “My way or I’ll destroy you.”

Who would I get to do this malevolent work? Politicians and activists, that’s who. They’d promote these divisions as a way to gain power for themselves and donations. They wouldn’t be interested in the long-term effects of what they’re doing or solving problems. They’ll keep grandstanding on issues and promoting divisions because they’re making a lot of political hay by doing so.

I’d make worship and pursuit of the almighty dollar the biggest thing. That would be the driving force of everything, including the mass media. Money and power would become America’s real gods.

I’d tell people it is okay to lie if it serves your cause. This would include everything from selling a product to promoting a political agenda. Soon, people wouldn’t know who or what to believe. A person’s word would be absolutely worthless. People would believe nothing, or they would believe what they wanted to believe, and call anyone who tries to tell them differently liars.

I would turn the nation against their American heritage in two ways. First, I’d have people saying the nation’s founders were liars and hypocrites. They weren’t interested in freedom, they were trying to protect slavery. Every institution in America is fundamentally and irredeemably racist, corrupt and oppressive.

The other side would take documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and turn them into tools of oppression. They would twist these documents to mean whatever they wanted them to mean, as long as it promotes them and puts down those they don’t like. They would claim they are saving the system, when, in fact, they are destroying it.

I’d turn the schools into centers for indoctrination. Instead of being places where children are educated and prepared for life, the schools would be indoctrinating students into whatever it is the party controlling the school wants them to believe. There would be major fights over which side should be indoctrinating the children, with all sides vilifying each other. The schools would suffer. Long-time teachers and administrators would quit under the pressure. The entire nation would suffer in the long run.

You ask, “What about the Christians? If I were the Devil, wouldn’t they recognize my evil ways?”

Well, many of them would, for sure. However, I’d deal with the Christians by disarming Christianity and turning it into a weapon at the same time.

I’d convince theologians, intellectuals and church leaders that Jesus wasn’t really God and He didn’t say or do many of things attributed to Him. They’d say He was a great teacher, if He was even that. They may say He didn’t exist at all. They’d reject the very idea of sin. They’d toss aside the Gospel message that humans are sinful by nature, and that God sent Jesus to pay the price for human sinfulness.

As for turning Christianity into a weapon, they, too would toss aside the message of the Gospel. They’d also forget they are supposed to help the poor, the hungry and oppressed. They’d use Scripture in a self-righteous manner. They’d used it as a club against anyone they don’t like. They would speak of sin, but only as something others did, not themselves. They would claim to be doing God’s work as they oppress others and claim Earthly power for themselves, all the while proclaiming they are being persecuted. They’ll claim to be purifying the land and making this a “Christian nation.”

Hey, it worked in the Spanish Inquisition. It will work in America, too.

Oh, if I were the Devil, I’d also turn religion into a big-time money-making racket. The money changers in the Jewish Temple would be small-timers compared to the television “evangelists.”

By the way, do you know how the Devil gets Christians to do his bidding? It’s simple. He convinces them they’re actually doing God’s work. It works every time.

So, if I were the Devil and I wanted to destroy the United States of America, what would I do? It sounds like I’d keep doing what I’ve been doing. It appears to be working.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. We could still pull ourselves back from the brink of self-destruction. To do this, we need to stop hating each other and try to come together. That’s not always easy to do, but it’s what we must do to survive as a nation.

If we don’t, then the Devil really will have his way with us.

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