A Rebuttal to Paul Harvey’s ‘If I Were the Devil’

This is a guest post written by Anonymous.

[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 Prince of Darkness I would want to engulf the world in the darkness of ignorance; I would use this ignorance to cause divisiveness among men, and my success would give me control of every nation in the world.

First, I would invent religion. Not just one religion, but many religions, and I would delude the followers of each into believing that theirs was the “one true faith.” In so doing, I would promote an attitude among mankind that the followers of religions other than their own must do so only through ignorance or the primitiveness of their culture. And I would promote an attitude among them all that those who refuse to accept any religion are delusional, arrogant, or evil;

I would have families indoctrinate their children into their particular religion prior to an age at which the children could understand or question the concepts of that religion. I would know that children are trusting of their parents and very few will ever consider that their parents could possibly be wrong about a topic of such consequence;

I would have everyone believing that anything they ever experienced that might be beyond their personal understanding must be rooted in supernatural causes;

With the cunning of a fox, I would make them believe that I was the Creator of mankind, the earth and the entire universe. I would have them believe that their achievements could only happen under my guiding hand, and that any tragedy that befell them happened at my will for reasons beyond their capability or need to understand;

I would convince some of them that failure to worship and love me would result in their having an eternal punishment following the end of their already wretched earthly lives;

If religion were not fully sufficient to cause divisiveness between men, I would teach them to weave flags and create borders between lands, and I’d give those born within each border a feeling that they are more deserving of the resources within their own borders than those who aren’t;

I would fool some of them into including religious symbols or oaths into their currency and nationalistic pledges in such a way that any who took offense would be seen as unpatriotic.

My closest disciples would work to pass laws subjugating all men who reside within certain borders to live according to the religion most prevalently followed within those borders;

I would convince humanity that men who lived in earlier times were inherently wiser and more pure of heart;

If some of the people began to study, unlock and understand the realities of nature I would have them branded as blasphemers; If these blasphemers attempted to educate others about the true nature of the universe, I would have my disciples fight tooth and nail to stop them;

If I were the devil I would make men believe that they are superior to women; that work performed by a woman is not worthy of the same pay as that performed by a man; and that laws should be passed to deny women from controlling their part in reproduction;

I would make humans think that they are my favorite form of life and that other animals need not be treated with respect or compassion;

I would make euthanasia a crime so that I could enjoy watching the terminally ill writhe in agony or spend their final days in a drug-induced stupor;

I would persuade people that sexuality comes solely from personal choice, and that those who are not heterosexual are sinners not entitled to the rights of other citizens.

I would infiltrate the wealthiest of corporations and instill in their leaders the idea that they and only they are entitled to live in comfort and I’d tell them that those who labor on their behalf are not worthy of pay or benefits that would enable them to live without having to worry about having to choose between paying the electric bill or the water bill, or between buying groceries or buying school supplies;

I might even pose as a professional essayist and get paid to read my propaganda to millions of radio listeners in a neighborly, persuasive voice.

If I were the devil I would do all of these things and more because I would take delight in the immeasurable suffering caused by ignorance and intolerance.

But I’m not the devil, nor do I believe in the existence of such a hideous being, any more than I believe in the existence of gods, unicorns, leprechauns or dragons.

… and that’s the rest of the story. Good day!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • anonentity

    I suspect Paul Harvey would say the Devil wrote that rebuttal.

  • Matthew Crowley

    Outstanding. I was not familiar with this argument form.

  • corps_suk

    I have always said, If I were the devil I would pretend to be god and make god the devil.
    “God” kills over 2,000,000 men, women, and children while the “Devil” kills like 10.

    Then again, its just a story anyway…like saying if I were Hercules…

  • Castilliano

    Didn’t He? DIDN’T HE!?!?
    /s :)

  • Mario Strada

    I read the whole essay thinking Paul Harvey wrote it. Dude, was I confused!

  • Sven2547

    I would take from those who have, and give it to those who want it

    Sorta like Christ, you mean?

  • Hat Stealer

    If I were the devil, I would pretend to be a prophet. I would tell people that I was the son of God, probably appearing to a small tribe in some backwater desert town known for its superstition. I would spread the word that God had changed his mind, that he had become forgiving, and that he would sacrifice his own son to redeem mankind from its sins. I would make it known that God didn’t care if you sinned anymore, because sin could be forgiven, and that the only path to forgiveness was to worship me, the son of God. I would have churches erected in my name, my title etched into every Bible, every hymn, so that believers could not even mention God without praising me, the Devil. I would have 2000 years of worship behind my name.

    But I’m sure that Harvey’s idea is much better

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    If I were the Devil I would be smart enough to know that opposing an all-powerful being would be pointless.

  • cyb pauli

    …but swinging IS fun!

  • Rain

    He’s like Rush Limbaugh. Made it because of a convincing radio voice. Dumb as bricks and nobody cares what the hell the voice says. It just sounds good on radio. Need I say Larry King. I can’t explain Howard Stern at all. He must have had some helluva connections or something. So-so photographer.

  • Alonso

    I actually kind of liked Paul Harvey, until I heard this a few years back. Glad to see his ridiculous smugness smacked down a bit.

  • Timothy McLean

    If I were Hercules, I would have tried to make it up to Aphrodite long before he had to do those Labors.

  • Timothy McLean

    It all depends on when the Devil enters the game. And what God’s plans and powers are.

  • Timothy McLean

    That’s the point.

  • Sven2547

    Did you miss the part where this is entirely prefaced by “If I were the Devil”? Or are you saying “the Devil” is Christ-like?
    Because that’s my point, and that is NOT Harvey’s point whatsoever.

  • Machintelligence

    I was sure that the war in Vietnam was going to end when Paul Harvey finally came out against it. (It did).

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

    I like Mark Twain’s take on the relationship between Christians and the Devil:
    “But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one, the one sinner among us all who had the highest and clearest right to every Christian’s daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first and greatest need, he being among sinners the supremest?

  • Donaving

    “He’s like a less offensive version of Grandpa!”

    I haven’t listened to Harvey in years (and I’ve never heard this particular monologue) but when I was a kid (in a small, isolated town, where the number of available radio stations was one. From the next state over.) I still remember his “The Rest of the Story” bits. In retrospect, they were as much a part of my education as a human being as Mad Magazine, Ripley’s Believe it or not!, or Gahan Wilson cartoons. They led me to look at things from a different perspective.

    Ten years or so ago, I was flipping around the radio dial and heard that voice again. And–it was pretty right-wing stuff. Just not my thing. I gave him a few more minutes and went to another station.

    Nonetheless, whenever I find myself in a situation where I thought I knew everything about what was going on–and some element will appear that changes everything I’ll still hear in the back of my head “And that’s…the rest of the story…”

  • Rain

    He had a certain flare for sure. You have to wonder how well he actually researched things and how much of it was debunkable urban myths and hearsay. How many people were sending him stories for self promotion or just to pull his leg. He had to fill up air time with something. Like Ripley’s or Reader’s Digest. You never know if you can believe one damn word of it, lol.

  • Jason Wexler

    Hera…

    Do you remember why Hera put the labors on Hercules? It was because she induced him into a drunken rage at which point he killed his wife and children. Hera being the protector of wives and homes, then got to punish Hercules for transgressing in her domain.

  • Jason Wexler

    I seem to recall a lecture from Skepticon where it was noted the devil doesn’t kill or hurt anyone directly as he is nonexistent in the old testament and does little to nothing with anyone other than Jesus in the new. Plus the two million number ignores the Noahic flood and the introduction of death as punishment for eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. All death and suffering is therefore directly attributable to god.

  • EdmondWherever

    If I were the Devil…
    … I would already be under a curse from God, Genesis chapter 3, verse 14, which decreed that I would crawl on my belly and eat dust for the rest of my days, so I would never be able to get up to all these other hijinks later ascribed to me.
    If any of this were real.

  • closetatheist

    To me, the most offensive bullsh!t this man just spouted is that America is the only thing worth wanting, the crown jewel of the world. That’s just so…dangerously nationalistic?

  • closetatheist

    I did. I mean, I actually tried to pray to Satan when I was a kid and convince him to give up on all his pointless, nasty trickery. Then, like a punch in the face, I realized that no one in their right mind places all their bets on a gamble they know they’ll lose – and then it all started to unravel….

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    If I was the devil these would happen everyday.

  • also anonymous

    I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe I am saved because of the sacrifice on the Cross. I believe, whether Mr. Harveys’ comments are scripted, planned, inspired, modified, or whatever, that they are absolutely correct in the essay on April 3, 1965. argue about it. Tell me that the loss of family values do not destroy American social fabric. Tell me that corrupt gvt. officials do not take what I work for and give it to whoever is doing them whatever favor? Tell me that those foolish, old fashioned commandments don’t mean what God intended them to mean. Like don’t lie, steal, murder, covet. I am just a simple Midwestern construction worker. but those old fashioned ideals made this country the greatest, most powerful, richest nation in the whole world in less time than any other nation ever took. We left those silly notions of honor, real respect, integrity, and responsibility behind. what is it that you are hoping for in the future? Whatever it is, I believe you are going to get it. The future you are alluding to does not appeal to me, and I think your children will not understand what kind of legacy you are trying to promote, if they even understand that what we are doing in this nation today is what they pay for, in every respect.

  • Anathema

    Satan doesn’t do much in the Old Testament, but to say that he’s definitely present. See, for instance, the Book of Job.

  • ShoeUnited

    Actually, it was the secular (and sometimes Nazi) scientists, the lack of a battleground in the US, coming late to two wars, and having the excess production and trade agreements that made America what it was. When the space program got phased out and science started getting nibbled away in the schools, that’s when things started winding down.

    America is number one in the world in believing angels exist. And that’s pretty much close to it. Give up your gods, pick up a textbook, and change the world for the better.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Actually, the Book of Job shows Satan in his original form, as ha’Satan, or the Adversary. It’s a title, sort of like Defense Attorney. Basically, ha’Satan is on the Council of Angels that advise YHVH, and his job is to bring up annoying questions and basically play the role we now call “Devil’s Advocate”.

    Ha’Satan in the Book of Job bears almost no resemblance to the Devil of Christian mythology, though.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Is there a loss of family values, can you give details examples and explain why each of those examples that have been lost are worthy of keeping. Also can you show how this loss has destroyed American social fabric, after you have shown that this American social fabric has been destroyed.

    Did you not vote in pass elections, and did you not convince other voters to vote according to your views? Do you not want to live in a modern democracy, where major rule is the way governments are formed? Also how many of these “corrupt” officials come from your own political party and what have you done about them? Further did not your Jesus, you sound like a follower of him, say whatever you do to the least, you do to me?

    These old fashioned commandments do not work in the modern work, so let me off you a new suggestion, from another great person.

    Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their colour.
    Do not ever even think of using people as private property.
    Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
    Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
    Do not condemn people for their inborn nature. (“Why would God create so many homosexuals, only to torture and destroy them?”)
    Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent on the web of nature. Try to think and act accordingly.
    Do not imagine you can avoid judgement if you rob people [by lying to them] rather than with a knife.
    Turn off that fucking cell phone.
    Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions and terrible sexual repressions.
    Reject any faith if their commandments contradict any of the above.
    — Christopher Hitchens.

    Basically what you have written is a whine, a weak mewling whine, yearning for a time that never existed, except your simple world view, you are afraid of the modern world, and would rather see it end, than progress into the bright open future that scares the bejesus out of you. You are to be pitied and cared for as you have nothing left to offer the world, it seems. It is sad really.

  • Obazervazi

    Funny how of the ten commandments, you neglected to mention the terrible and/or misguided ones. No you just give the ones every culture has and act as if your religion invented them. In truth, we all believe lying, stealing, and murder are wrong. (Coveting, however, is the basis of our economy.) It just turns out that there’s a surprisingly large difference between welfare and stealing, and an even more surprisingly large difference between abortion and murder, but these are complicated issues, so not everybody agrees. Acting like all this is a battle between good and evil instead of something that needs to be calmly and rationally discussed will prevent us from ever reclaiming what we’ve lost.

  • Obazervazi

    And if I were the Devil I wouldn’t bother with all the subtle, tricksy shit and go all out because I’d have nothing to lose.

  • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

    ha’Satan sounds like a lawyer.

  • WingedBeast

    If I were truly “The Devil” and my goal would be specifically to oppose God in all things, I would… not be evil.
    -
    Truly, if I exist to oppose God, I would take that reputation and that image and I would go to the hot-lunch-lines and help them out of the goodness of my heart. I would be kind to animals and to little old ladies. I would be a nice guy to all I could and give my shirt as well when someone demands my coat.
    -
    I wouldn’t torture people in Hell, I’d create universities and a free press and a system of government built around providing people with freedom, security, and a social safety net that allows for risks.
    -
    If I were truly “The Devil”, in the sense that he is believed to exist by many Christians today, I would know that all the evil in the world would just play into God’s hands. I would be fitting the preconceived narrative and showing that opposition to God must be evil. Instead, I would choose to counter that narrative with compassion, compassion even where God’s word speaks against it.

  • UWIR

    “He had a certain flare for sure.”
    Like, a road flare?

  • UWIR

    And he basically says that to caution against extremism in religion or patriotism is Satanic.

  • UWIR

    “Tell me that the loss of family values do not destroy American social fabric.”
    That sentence has no semantic content. Such terms as “family values”, “loss”, “destroy” and “American social fabric” are vague, undefined terms that communicate no explicit thought; they are nothing but pure dog whistle. You ask us to “argue”, but then you present us nothing to argue about, other than the fact that you a bigoted asshole.

    You don’t ask us to actually discuss any concrete issues that are in dispute, such as Harvey’s belief that questioning religion is Satanic.

  • UWIR

    “If I were Satan I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg
    And the symbol of Christmas a bottle.”

    Rarely has an interrobang been so appropriate.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Very much like :)

  • TnkAgn

    I don’t think there was ever a radio on any construction site in America in the ’60s and ’70s, on which Paul Harvey’s voice wasn’t heard during lunch break. If you ever had a job where you showered after work, you know what I mean. And what I mean by the cultural significance of Paul Harvey and the working class white male of the time.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    That is the thing, I never got to understand what the Christian devils end game was. And I think I know the reason, which is because Christians themselves have no idea and have never thought any part of their religion though to it’s local conclusion. That is why they demand that it does not get questioned or examined.

  • TnkAgn

    If you’ve ever closely listened to the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” you know in your soul that the Devil outplayed that boy on the fiddle. Yes, you do.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    From interactions with religious individuals I have heard that the game plan of the Devil is this: he knows that he is not as powerful as god and that he is going to lose so the devil has decided that he will take as many people down with him as possible.

  • Itarion

    If I were the Devil, I would teach some humans about the science and discovery, but convince the vast majority that science is evil, because nothing is crueler than suffering self-inflicted, when the answers are within reach.

  • Itarion

    Doesn’t matter who played better anyhow. Johnny lost his soul before the competition started. As soon as he agreed, despite knowing it was a sin.

    Sure, the devil played better, but that didn’t matter. Twas over ere it ever began.

  • Itarion

    You would be evil… by NOT BEING EVIL! Truly, you are a hypothetical devil I would be honored to worship.

  • Itarion

    That sentence has no semantic content.

    Thank you!

  • Itarion

    Nothing is more frightening or dangerous than a person willing to die for a cause. Be they “on my side” or otherwise.

  • Itarion

    Technically that’s snakes. Devil got off scot free. God’s fairly incompetent for an omniscient. But we’ve been over that before.

  • Itarion

    That quote would make for an interesting charity. “Service to Save Satan”. Proceeds go to service projects, which are “blessed” in such a way that Satan gets the good karma, so to speak. Hopefully, this would get some people to start thinking.

  • Itarion

    Road flares attract attention too, you know.

  • Itarion

    So… she got to punish him for putting him into as situation in which a punishable offense would be inevitable? Gee, where have I heard that scenario before?

  • Mick

    Those end-of-the-world stories work only when then narrator mention things the target audience is afraid of, and deliberately avoids all the good things – like modern medicine, housing, education, transport, life expectancy, etc.

  • infidel1000

    “I would commission the writing of a book of religious rules that was so ambiguous, confusing, and contradictory that everyone would have a different interpretation of it. It would include instructions to humankind to commit the cruelest, most brutal and most vile of crimes, prescribe the most inhumane punishments, and the most arbitrary laws, and the most capricious commandments imaginable. I would say that I was not one but three gods, rolled into one, and that i impregnated a virgin with one of my selves so that I could be tortured and murdered and come back to life so that I could protect those who believe IN me FROM me.”

  • Pick

    If I were the devil I will make Paul Harvey deliver the speech he actually delivered.

  • David McNerney

    If I were God, I would try not to be such a petty murderous scumbag.

  • evodevo

    Actually, that Trinity business doesn’t appear ANYWHERE in the Bibble, but was made up by the Nicene Council in an attempt to overcome irreconcilable theological differences between warring religious factions. It didn’t accomplish its goal. They were still killing each other over the nature of Jeebus for ~300 years after that, until the Muslim threat kind of eclipsed the disagreement.

  • duke_of_omnium

    If I were the devil, I’d knock up a virgin magically, get her to name the child Jesus, and let the fun ensue.

  • Jason Wexler

    Well, caprice seems to be a prerequisite for divinity.

    To be a little fair to Hera, I forgot to mention that she was the goddess of marriage in addition, and Hercules was himself a transgression against her domain. She just couldn’t punish Zeus for his infidelity, so she always tortured his bastards.

  • Greg G.

    Psalm 106:1Hold not your peace, O God of my praise; 2For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself to prayer. 5And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6Set you a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

    Verse 6 is probably the oldest use of the word “satan” in the Bible. It does sound like a lawyer for someone suing an accuser for slander. The layer of Job with the Satan character seems to be added on as that story line dissappears for most of the story.

    In one of the books of Samuel (sorry, too lazy to look up more verses), God incites David to take a census, then kills thousands to punish David. In one of the Chronicles, a Reader’s Digest version of the historical OT books, it’s Satan who made David do it.

    One of the prophets ( Zechariah?) mentions Satan a f3w times as an evil supernatural being.

    Two OT authors make Satan sound like an attorney, one makes him a demon, and one blames Satan for something God did. So, the OT supports the idea that Satan was a lawyer who got blamed for things he didn’t do.

  • Anat

    I think you meant Psalms 109? The JPS translates verse 6 as “‘Set Thou a wicked man over him; and let an adversary stand at his right hand.” – there is no reason to think ‘satan’ here was meant as a proper noun.

  • WallofSleep

    If I were the devil I’d get a better agent. One decade you’re on top of the world, with just about every metal band singing your praises, and the next? You’re old news, and every one quits writing songs about your unholy power and starts writing songs about social justice and shit. What a world.

  • Klypto

    If I were the devil I would be having some shit kicking fun.

  • busterggi

    If I were the devil I wouldn’t do anything. According to the BoR Yahweh’s plan is completely dependent of reacting to my actions, by not doing those actions I would defeat Yahweh by default.

  • Sven2547

    Tell me that those foolish, old fashioned commandments don’t mean what God intended them to mean.

    They are old-fashioned, and some of them are completely contrary to the concept of basic religious freedom.

    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
    ~The First Commandment

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
    ~ The First Amendment, US Constitution

    Those are two very differing ideas. Pick one.

    Here’s a crazy idea: how about commandments forbidding slavery or rape?

  • John

    Which then just leads right back to the problem of evil, i.e. why hasn’t God stopped him already?

  • infidel1000

    Granted. “I was at work there, too.”

  • closetatheist

    yeah, he’s the ultimate sinner! you’d think hyperactive evangelicals would be dying to get the credit for saving the most lostest sinner evar. Or maybe we can start an outreach that packs t-shirt cannons with tracts and fires them into the center of the earth or wherever, you know, satan lives…

  • Not Paul Harvey

    Saved from what? Now that we understand so much more about the vastness and intricacy of the universe than in biblical times, it should be apparent that if there truly were a god powerful enough to create such wonder, comparing his/her level of intelligence to human intelligence would be akin to comparing human intelligence to that of a mouse or even lesser creature. What would you think of a human who removed a mouse from a healthy habitat for sneaking a bite of forbidden cheese? What of a human who would place a mouse in a cat’s cage knowing that the cat would torture the mouse indefinitely without killing it merely because the mouse failed to perform in a manner the human wanted. Any such human, in today’s world, would be considered sadistic. If you have any respect for such a human, you’re sick. But that human is exactly the kind of god you worship.

    Do you really believe that even a few generations ago Americans truly had more respect for each other? If so you’re seeing history through rose colored glasses or you’ve conveniently forgotten how our nation used to treat its minorities, its women and its children.

    Why be proud of the nonsensical idea that America was “the greatest, most powerful, richest nation . . . “? What does your own religion say about wealth and power?

    By the way, most of those “commandments” are merely reflections of codes of conduct that, in other cultures, predate the existence of Moses by millennia.

  • Mr. Two

    The time you long for is the time ushered in by FDR, a time when capitalism had been bridled and the middle class exploded, and the loss you describe occurred largely as the reigns were taken off of business, resulting in the Midwestern construction worker no longer being able to provide for his or her family.

    That great time in American history is one where the Christmas songs were all about snow and Santa Claus and toys, a time of prosperity when people, though they were mostly Christians, were focused on secular things.

    The real enemy isn’t an imaginary devil thwarting the purposes of an imaginary god. The real enemy, the real reason so many people mistreat each other today, is the hopelessness and fear that goes along with poverty, or if not actual poverty for certain individuals, a loss of the prior generation’s standard of living. And although there was actually a great deal of poverty in that magical time we want to remember, that enormous middle class was able to pretend it didn’t exist, or that it was isolated among those who were of an inferior race.

    With the money being more and more concentrated at the top these days, the problems of poverty — hopelessness and the dysfunctional family — are finding their way back into the families who for that brief time in American history managed to escape them.

    Christianity takes the focus off of the solution. When people feel like the situation is hopeless, they turn to magic. Christianity has made a comeback, in a sense, since the 1950s. Oh, it’s true that more people today admit to being non-believers, but in those days, the good days, Christians lived like atheists. Sunday morning traffic was light. There were no megachurches. Harvey’s lament came at a time when things were starting to change, when the reins on capitalism were about to be loosened. His expressed opinion was reflective of the mood of the country, as he imagined that something had been lost, that a persecution had started against his god — he, along with many others. It signaled the beginning of a new religiosity in America, which came rushing to the forefront 20 years later in the 1980s as evangelical Christians were expecting Jesus to set foot in Israel before the end of the decade. Though their prophecy didn’t come true, they’re still expecting it today, and we’re still feeling the effects today as those people try to hold on to their power, trying to continue the policies of Reagan. But the American people won’t stand for it, and have elected a Democrat to the office of President two times in a row now, significant because the Republican party of today could be renamed the Evangelical Christian party and few of its members would object. While not a perfect solution, the tide has turned, and hopefully we can return to prosperity in the next couple of generations.

    The 20% of Americans who identify as “nones”, along with the huge number of “liberal” Christians in this country, as starting to understand what respect for their fellow man really means. They’re starting to understand what the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness really means! Though some people got it during Roosevelt’s time, and more began to get it during the 1960s (“I think it’s so groovy now that people are finally getting together”), it is now, in the 2010s, that the idea of “all men are created equal” is finally being accepted by the majority. Respect, equality, inalienable rights — these are not the concepts of Christianity. The author of those words was a Deist. The Bible says we must suffer here, and hope for a reward when this life is over. For America to return to prosperity, we must reject the Bible notion of “suffering for a little while” and wishing for a blissful eternity, and replace that notion with respect for one another now, with an attempt at reducing suffering and encouraging prosperity here and now.

  • ShhhImReading

    Thank you Feminerd! The Book of Job is my favorite 1) because it’s strange 2) It’s not specifically the same god as the Judeo-Christian tradition (long story) 3) God is a jerk 4) “The Accusing Angel,” as I’ve seen it translated, is not the one commanding the evil deeds; God is because he is a petty, jealous little brat with zero temper control who uses his knowledge of the workings of the universe to subdue Job. If it had happened today, when god asks an annoying question (“Do you know how this happened?”), Job could say, “well, these stars blew up and…” If all god has to offer is an explanation of how nature goes (his kindness is hit or miss, here), I think I’d rather hang out with my physicist friends. They are much friendlier, and if I don’t believe them, I’m subject to their mockery, sure, but that’s where it ends. They can’t punish me for eternity if I don’t want to fall for string theory (but I do).

  • Robyman4

    Harvey’s conclusion is “If I were the Devil I would just keep doing what I’m doing…” So for anyone who says “That’s right… the world’s getting worse and all that stuff Harvey talked about is happening before our very eyes…” Will someone PLEASE tell me how the Devil could possibly be winning and getting his way, exerting more and more influence over humanity? Where is the one and only, great and mighty, all-powerful maker of the universe to put a stop to the villain and get things under control??? Why not put the brakes on the downward slide and sort things out since our situation is supposedly so dire? It’s just ridiculous.

  • TnkAgn

    Well, the Devil has some accomplishments that have benefited mankind. There’s “Deviled Eggs,” and “Deviled Ham” and yes, “Devil’s Food Cake.” So there is that.

  • UWIR

    I didn’t want to be sucked into arguing each point of his Gish Gallop, so I employed my counter tactic of directly responding only to his (is it sexist if I infer from various clues that this is a man?) first “point”, but my statement “You don’t ask us to actually discuss any concrete issues that are in dispute” applies to all of his post. His challenge regarding the Ten Commandments is meaningless. If he had actually presented what he thought the Ten Commandments meant, and challenged us to disagree, that would be an actual basis for debate. But challenging us to disagree with a near tautology is not an invitation to debate, it’s a slightly more sophisticated version of inarticulate grunts. He would have communicated his feelings just as effectively if his post had consisted of the following:

    Ooga ooh Jeebus. Ooga ug ug faggots. Oog ug welfare queens. Ooga ooh ooh America.
    ::throws feces::

  • midnight rambler

    Not to mention personal freedom.

  • RedGreenInBlue

    “We left those silly notions of honor, real respect, integrity, and responsibility behind.”

    Yeah, it’s interesting that the most religious country in the industrialised world should have done that, isn’t it? I’m sure there’s a teaching moment somewhere in there…

  • The Other Weirdo

    What is the biblical justification for that?

  • The Other Weirdo

    I don’t think he was omniscient in Genesis.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Those are also all the things the audience is afraid of.

  • Mark W.

    If I were the devil, I wouldn’t do a thing. God has already flushed set his followers against each other, and flushed most of the world down the toilet because of it. I have already become the scape goat for all of his follies. Maybe I’d take a vacation, god seems to have sin and evil wrapped up.


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