A Reworking of Paul Harvey’s “If I Were the Devil” October 17, 2014

A Reworking of Paul Harvey’s “If I Were the Devil”

This is a guest post written by Race Hochdorf.

[Note: Among the many things conservative radio broadcaster Paul Harvey was known for was his essay “If I were the Devil,” versions of which you can see here. This piece is a rebuttal to Harvey’s essay.]

If I were the Creator, I would think back upon the rebellion that got out of hand. That moment when dissent spread across the heavenly land. I would remember, and cringe at the memory, of my most trusted henchman becoming my enemy. He was the most angelic, my favorite, the most high, yet one day stopped and asked “Why?” He wondered why all power and all authority should be concentrated in a single being — that was me — rather than power being shared among all beings in heaven equally. In the first ever battle between democracy and dictatorship, I triumphed, and mercilessly cast out the rebel and all those who followed his leadership.

If I were the Creator, remembering this, I would create more followers to fill the new void, who would know not the tactics that I employed. I would do it in six days, indeed I would, and upon doing so, would tell the man and woman how much I was good. But then boredom would strike, so how could I resist, planting a tree and then telling man and woman “In all other things you’re free.” And then when the rebel once more appears, to tell man and woman about freedom from fear, and persuades them to join in rebellion against me, I will strike man and woman with agony. Affliction that brings upon them such misery they wish they’d never eaten from that tree, that tree that I planted with ornery glee. It was all a part of the plan, don’t you see — play a trick that allows the rebel to be my unwitting pawn, so that my new subjects could know fully my supremacy, before I declare “From paradise on earth, get gone!” They would blame the rebel in their dismay, and tell their children and their children’s children that the rebel is their enemy, always causing disarray.

If I were the Creator, let us fast forward, to a time when a Jew raised in Egypt began following my orders. The rebel staying silent turns out to be quite dull, so out of boredom once more, I become violent and make heads roll. I give the Jew from Egypt and his followers this rule and that. So many rules in fact, that it is impossible to perfectly keep them all, as was my intention, so that upon my punishing them for not doing so, in their desperate pleas to be spared, my name they mention, and at the end of their punishments, they believe that I cared. Thus far, my propaganda has worked — they praise me, the dictator, while blaming their ills on their liberator, who in the beginning, on the tree, lurked.

If I were the Creator, after seeing much blood in a desert spilt, I think I would allow some hope to be built. After enduring centuries of my cruelty, I would make the people so desperate I surmise, that from amongst them multiple delusional do-gooders who claim to be me, would arise. Some will be executed, others will die in battle, ah, but who’s this? One stands out from the rabble. He is smart in that against the Romans he makes no fuss, but I will still use him to get his people’s hopes up, and then let him, like the others go bust. He’s fasting in the wilderness for 40 days, I’m impressed, and who is this?! The rebel, making an appearance at last! But I’m not stressed. He appears to be talking to this “son” of mine, about settling for more earthly goals instead of attempting to be divine. The rebel is trying to ruin my fun, but it seems he is being rejected by my “son”, who spouts my propaganda that others wrote down, to drive away the rebel so he can continue dreaming about his crown.

If I were the Creator, fast forward once more, this “son” of mine has been killed and the method was far from a bore. Those Romans are brutal, but not as brutal as me, they have a lot to learn, but there’s some problems I see. No, not the fact that the followers of my Egyptian Jew are now few, and replaced by other worshippers of me, whose religion is new, that is not an issue. As long as my power is unquestioned, I’m flexible you see, I only require, in more ways than one, people’s lives as a fee. No the problem is that, while the Romans are brutal, they are not nearly as brutal as empires of the past, and this is crucial. They and the Greeks, it would seem, have this idea of civilization that makes their eyes beam. Lo and behold, as this notion of civilization unfolds, what I feared most has returned, the idea of democracy is now being told, a concept that in the rebellion I thought I had burned. Indeed, the Romans and the Greeks are very far from a democracy yet, but I still must destroy them before the idea gets set.

If I were the Creator, a few centuries later, I would be joyous that Rome swallowed Greece and then was destroyed itself by invaders. “Bring in the Dark Ages!” I would implore, “Let my dominion over the world be greater than ever before and let sadism in my name soar!” The English, the French, the Germans all, do not doubt my being the master, but in fact with gall, claim to serve me and kill each other faster. Nobody can read, nobody can write, many villagers fear the night. Children are made to bear sword in battle after the deaths of their fathers, while their mothers are raped and burned by my minions– who are cloaked monsters. But just when I think all is well, something occurs that becomes my personal hell.

If I were the Creator, dread I would, the Enlightenment that, from the terror of the Dark Ages, stood. Paine, Jefferson, Voltaire, and Hume are writers and thinkers at which I fume. They doubt the magic tricks performed by “my son,” they say the era of superstition is done. Democracy is brought back to life, and my henchman, my propagandists, are facing much strife. As if things could not get any worse, I thought, this bastard named William Blake told the truth about the rebellion in heaven fought.

But if I were the Creator, I would say “No matter.” After all, if one is to be the best of dictators, they should be able to handle more than one batter. All I would have to do is wait the Enlightenment out — let the monarchies and even the priesthood fall, I can survive them all, while the people shout. I will remain silent while this Enlightenment is ablaze, because all fires eventually turn to embers anyways. Let the writers, the philosophers and the thinkers die out, and once they do, again I’ll come out.

I am the Creator and this is what I did, I let a couple of centuries pass, and then the Enlightenment I undid. This is the time you live in now, where a relatively new strand of “my son’s” religion, to me now bows. The evangelicals, what a bunch! They base so much of their lives on a hunch. It would make me laugh, if it wasn’t so sad, how many people follow me fanatically and are being had. These evangelicals, dimwits all, wish to force everyone to be enthralled. They school themselves and live in a bubble, until they reach adulthood and then they make trouble. They rewrite history, saying “The Enlightenment thinkers were Christians! It is no mystery!” Further, they tell a young girl who doesn’t want to be a mother, that to terminate a zygote is murder. They tell this poor young girl, I, the dictator, am watching her from up above; they even give a shove to others who simply want to love who they love.

If I were the Creator, I would do just what I am doing now: Convince those that are so on-the-surface, that they are really living with purpose. I would, through my mysterious ways, gather every simpleton, redneck, and numbskull in submission, and tell them they don’t have to think for themselves, only to a book they should listen — and then I would tell them that they’re on a mission. I would make them despise secularism and debate, and with hope, they’ll question separation of church and state.

There’s many more deeds in this screed that I had to leave out, that I know would give erections to my devout. Telling a father to sacrifice his son, only to say at the very last minute “Gotcha!” all in good fun. But then when another man thanked me for something I let him score, and said he would thank me by sacrificing the first person that came through the door, when it was his daughter I could not ignore. And though he begged me and cried, I simply shrugged and said “You swore,” and she died. One more story, after that I won’t gloat, at one time I actually killed all of humankind, except for 8 people on a boat. One more! One more! One last story to compare. I once killed a group of children with a bear, for making fun of a man who had no hair.

I, God, the cosmic tyrant, do declare, that when it comes to calling evil “good” and good “evil,” I’ve done my fair share.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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