Radio Commentator Paul Harvey's 'If I Were
The Devil' essay...
If I were the devil ... if I were the prince
of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.
I'd have a third of its real estate and
four-fifths of its population; I would not be happy until I had seized
the ripest apple on the tree -- thee.
I would set about, however necessary,
to take over the United States. I'd subvert the churches first, and
I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent,
I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: "Do as you please." To the
young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children
that man created God instead of the other way around. I'd confide that
what's bad is good and what's good is "square". And I would teach the old
to pray after me, " Our Father, which are in Washington...". Then, I'd
I'd educate authors on how to make lurid
literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.
I'd peddle narcotics to whom I could.
I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.
I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the devil, I'd soon have families
at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at
war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed. And with promises
of higher ratings, I'd have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the devil, I would encourage
the schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions.
I'd tell teachers to let those students run wild. And before you knew it,
you'd have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse
Within a decade, I'd have prisons overflowing
and judges promoting pornography.
Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse
and the schoolhouse and then from the houses of Congress.
In His own churches, I would substitute
psychology for religion and defy science. I'd lure priests and pastors
into misusing boys and girls and church money.
If I were the devil, I'd make the symbol
of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle. If I were the devil,
I'd take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed
the incentive of the ambitious. I bet I could get whole states to promote.
I would caution against "extremes" in
hard work, in patriotism and in moral conduct. I'd convince the young that
marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, and that what you
see on television is the way to be and gambling as the way to get rich..
And, thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases
for which there are no cures.
In other words, if I were the devil,
I'd just keep right on doing what he's doing.