Satan’s Ministers Await Satan’s Arrival

(We are in Satan’s board room. In the room are the six ministers of his cabinet: RELIGION, FINANCE, POLITICS, EDUCATION, WAR, AND DISEASE. They are waiting for SATAN to arrive at the meeting to which he has called them all. As they are waiting for the Dark Lord to arrive, one of his ministers, perhaps by drumming on the table before him or her, begins distractedly keeping a beat. Another minister joins the rhythm of the first—and then a third joins those two. Before long all six ministers are pounding the same raucous beat. They play for maybe a minute before, on the exact same beat, they all spontaneously stop.)

RELIGION: That was pretty darn tribally inspiring.

FINANCE: If we could package that, we could sell it. And I would know.

POLITICS: We’d have to be sure to stay on point as we aggressively got out the message about the advantages of that opportunity.

EDUCATION: My inclination is to most readily concur with that estimable evaluation.

WAR [to EDUCATION]: My inclination is to beat you even more senseless than you usually are.

POLITICS: I’m sure that if we form a committee to consider all sides of this issue, we can, if we but work together toward a common goal, find a satisfactory solution to this matter. I’m reminded of an old woman I met just last week. She had worked all of her life in a sweatshop, and as I …

WAR: If you don’t clam up right now I’m gonna hang you by your tie.

FINANCE: Hold on—I want to hear this. A sweatshop, you say?

DISEASE: Those people get no health care insurance.

FINANCE: And sweatshops exploit children!

ALL [in unison]: Ooooo. Exploiting children. Yaaaaaaay.

RELIGION: Okay, does anyone know the purpose of this meeting? Why did he convene it?

EDUCATION: I’m certain that I am unaware of the origins of this meeting.

WAR: I’m certain that it’s no surprise that you know nothing.

EDUCATION: What is the compunction of your dysfunction?

WAR: So it’s true. You really can’t read.

EDUCATION: Oh, and you can.

POLITICS: All right, all right. A question’s been raised that I would very much like answered. Does anyone know why we’re here?

RELIGION: All I know is that when he contacted me, he sounded awfully intense about something.

EDUCATION: That he did.

DISEASE: He did! I was busy poking holes in some malaria nets when his message came in. Almost jabbed a screwdriver through my hand.

FINANCE: Really? You do that sort of thing yourself?

DISEASE: Sometimes. I like to keep it real.

FINANCE: I do, too. Sometimes I poke holes in peoples’ pockets, so their money falls out.

DISEASE: Lots of holey pants out there lately.

[They all laugh and lightly applaud FINANCE.]

RELIGION: Speaking of holy pants, let us not forget that I excel at making people feel afraid and inadequate.

WAR: Big whoop. I make people kill each other.

POLITICS: I have two words for all of you: Hanging. Chads.

WAR: Yeah, but what have you done for us lately?

DISEASE: Can we get back to the point, please? What is the point of this meeting?

[long pause]

WAR: I think it’s because it’s over.

POLITICS: Excuse me?

WAR: You know. Done. Finished. Over. I think we’ve won. I think that’s what he wants to talk to us about.

DISEASE: Done?

EDUCATION: What a preposterous thing to say.

FINANCE: Are you serious? Over? Are you really saying you think it’s over?

WAR: That’s what I’m saying, money-bags.

RELIGION: No. It can’t be. It just … can’t be.

WAR: Okay. Satan called this meeting because he wants to exchange cookie recipes with us. He’s looking for a sale on air conditioners. I don’t care. It’s all the same to me.

DISEASE: You’re actually talking about … end times?

ALL [in a sort of dazed, monotone awe]: End times.

POLITICS [to WAR]: You’re saying you think it’s end time time.

WAR: I’m saying I think it’s likely. We have been wreaking havoc up there for a long time now. It’s not supposed to go on forever, you know.

EDUCATION: But we can’t be that far along already.

DISEASE: You know, I think he’s right. Think about it. We have been …

EDUCATION: No, you think about it! I’m not thinking about it!

WAR: Gee. What a surprise.

POLITICS [to DISEASE]: Are you ready for end times?

DISEASE: You know, I think I am.

POLITICS [to FINANCE]: Are you ready?

FINANCE: The numbers have really never looked better for it.

POLITICS: Jesus Christ.

RELIGION: That was my first thought.

DISEASE: Well, we’ll know soon enough why we’re here. He’s here!

[SATAN enters.]

Next is Enter Satan.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://angelbearoh.wordpress.com angelbearoh

    Funny how these guys should talk solutions when what they really do for a living is create problems.

  • http://angelbearoh.wordpress.com angelbearoh

    Funny how these guys should talk solutions when what they really do for a living is create problems.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Angel: They ARE troublemakers, for sure.

    Graffight: No, I won't post the rest tomorrow.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Angel: They ARE troublemakers, for sure.

    Graffight: No, I won't post the rest tomorrow.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Angel: They ARE troublemakers, for sure.

    Graffight: No, I won't post the rest tomorrow.

  • Graffight

    yeah i’m interested if you’re not going to post the rest tomorrow :)

  • Graffight

    yeah i’m interested if you’re not going to post the rest tomorrow :)

  • Graffight

    yeah i’m interested if you’re not going to post the rest tomorrow :)

  • Latoya

    post it today :D

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Latoya: Really? Think it's time to pull Satan onto the stage already? maybe it is!

  • Latoya

    post it today :D

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Latoya: Really? Think it's time to pull Satan onto the stage already? maybe it is!

  • Latoya

    post it today :D

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Latoya: Really? Think it's time to pull Satan onto the stage already? maybe it is!

  • Rich

    Hmm…C.S. Lewis had “The Screwtape Letters….John Shore–author of “The Screw’s Loose Letters”? :)

    I’ll keep checking in for the next installment…I’m digging it so far.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      “The Screw’s Loose Letters." How awesome is that? I love it. Thank you, Rich. (Um. I think. Okay, I know. I mean, I think I know. I'm quite sure.)

  • Rich

    Hmm…C.S. Lewis had “The Screwtape Letters….John Shore–author of “The Screw’s Loose Letters”? :)

    I’ll keep checking in for the next installment…I’m digging it so far.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      “The Screw’s Loose Letters." How awesome is that? I love it. Thank you, Rich. (Um. I think. Okay, I know. I mean, I think I know. I'm quite sure.)

  • Rich

    Hmm…C.S. Lewis had “The Screwtape Letters….John Shore–author of “The Screw’s Loose Letters”? :)

    I’ll keep checking in for the next installment…I’m digging it so far.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      “The Screw’s Loose Letters." How awesome is that? I love it. Thank you, Rich. (Um. I think. Okay, I know. I mean, I think I know. I'm quite sure.)

  • http://yeuann.blogspot.com abraham

    I dig it, too! It’s like six mini-Screwtapes in a pack… a six-pack!

    PS: I love the dialogue between WAR and EDUCATION… reminds me of a classroom bully and his nerdy target.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thanks, Abraham! I, too, enjoy the whole dynamic between War and Education. I love it that War just HATES Education–and that Education is forever saying things incorrectly. Anway, it's this whole deal with them that I really liked watching unfold. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • http://yeuann.blogspot.com abraham

    I dig it, too! It’s like six mini-Screwtapes in a pack… a six-pack!

    PS: I love the dialogue between WAR and EDUCATION… reminds me of a classroom bully and his nerdy target.

  • http://yeuann.blogspot.com abraham

    I dig it, too! It’s like six mini-Screwtapes in a pack… a six-pack!

    PS: I love the dialogue between WAR and EDUCATION… reminds me of a classroom bully and his nerdy target.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thanks, Abraham! I, too, enjoy the whole dynamic between War and Education. I love it that War just HATES Education–and that Education is forever saying things incorrectly. Anway, it's this whole deal with them that I really liked watching unfold. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • Taryn

    We want more! We want more! Please post the rest…or at least the next installment!

  • Taryn

    We want more! We want more! Please post the rest…or at least the next installment!

  • Taryn

    We want more! We want more! Please post the rest…or at least the next installment!

  • Rich

    The whole "screw's loose" remark falls under the "it takes one to know one" category. Rest assured, it's a compliment (no matter how warped it may be).

  • Rich

    The whole "screw's loose" remark falls under the "it takes one to know one" category. Rest assured, it's a compliment (no matter how warped it may be).

  • Colleen

    This is some dysfunctional group John! I like that there are exactly six sinisters or should I say …mean ministers at Satan's meeting. You did a really awesome job …and if I may …I would like to add one small creative detail before this gathering fades to black. Oh I can? Gee thanks, you are soo sweet. (My birthday is Thursday so feel free to be extra generous)

    Okay, maybe I'm being weirder than usual, (is that possible? well your blog provides such a healthy outlet..lol) but I kind of imagine Satan wanting a little more fanfare before entering the room. Don't you think he might insist on being announced by a well known Un-Holywood icon? Hmmm who would could fill that role? Ahh so obvious..none other than Jack Nicholson with perhaps a, "Here's the Master of Disaster, the Satanic Sultan of Spin, our Prince Charming of Darkness who crooned his way into the hearts of millions of end time party animals using his lesser known, rather favorite title from a flick he inspired a few years back, you may of heard of it? …Animal House?… Well, without further ado …here's our very own, one and only… Louie Louie!" (Figuring this blog began with this group pounding something raucous that needed a familiar title.)

    The biggest point missed by these bunch of bozos is that Jesus is coming back to send them all packing. He will then usher in His kingdom on earth with the greatest party this planet has ever seen.(1000 years to be exact) Maranatha Lord Jesus!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Colleen

    This is some dysfunctional group John! I like that there are exactly six sinisters or should I say …mean ministers at Satan's meeting. You did a really awesome job …and if I may …I would like to add one small creative detail before this gathering fades to black. Oh I can? Gee thanks, you are soo sweet. (My birthday is Thursday so feel free to be extra generous)

    Okay, maybe I'm being weirder than usual, (is that possible? well your blog provides such a healthy outlet..lol) but I kind of imagine Satan wanting a little more fanfare before entering the room. Don't you think he might insist on being announced by a well known Un-Holywood icon? Hmmm who would could fill that role? Ahh so obvious..none other than Jack Nicholson with perhaps a, "Here's the Master of Disaster, the Satanic Sultan of Spin, our Prince Charming of Darkness who crooned his way into the hearts of millions of end time party animals using his lesser known, rather favorite title from a flick he inspired a few years back, you may of heard of it? …Animal House?… Well, without further ado …here's our very own, one and only… Louie Louie!" (Figuring this blog began with this group pounding something raucous that needed a familiar title.)

    The biggest point missed by these bunch of bozos is that Jesus is coming back to send them all packing. He will then usher in His kingdom on earth with the greatest party this planet has ever seen.(1000 years to be exact) Maranatha Lord Jesus!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rich: Honestly, I did take it a compliment–and as an extremely creative one at that. I was just being funny. You always say the kindest (and smartest) things.

    Colleen: Good points! It's an interesting dynamic. This guy's had his power for more time than we can imagine. So the choice is does that make him do things larger, or does it tend to … concentrate him, focus him, make him less likely to enjoy hollow accolades and so on. Since he's supremely intelligent, I figured he would tend, over time, to end up being ALL about the points at hand, and about very little else. But we'll see.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rich: Honestly, I did take it a compliment–and as an extremely creative one at that. I was just being funny. You always say the kindest (and smartest) things.

    Colleen: Good points! It's an interesting dynamic. This guy's had his power for more time than we can imagine. So the choice is does that make him do things larger, or does it tend to … concentrate him, focus him, make him less likely to enjoy hollow accolades and so on. Since he's supremely intelligent, I figured he would tend, over time, to end up being ALL about the points at hand, and about very little else. But we'll see.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Actually, by the way, I also want to say I'm a little surprised that you guys–and so, I presume, others–were able to follow this as well as I think you did. It seems so kind of hard to read: six people, no real stage directions. It's really kind of touching [and encouraging] that you guys actually READ the thing at all. Much less followed it. Much less .. LIKED it. I figured no one would take the time to follow it, really. Anyway, thanks.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Actually, by the way, I also want to say I'm a little surprised that you guys–and so, I presume, others–were able to follow this as well as I think you did. It seems so kind of hard to read: six people, no real stage directions. It's really kind of touching [and encouraging] that you guys actually READ the thing at all. Much less followed it. Much less .. LIKED it. I figured no one would take the time to follow it, really. Anyway, thanks.)

  • Graffight

    I'll have you know that i am very upset that as per your responce you won't be posting the rest today :-)

  • Graffight

    I'll have you know that i am very upset that as per your responce you won't be posting the rest today :-)

  • Graffight

    I'll have you know that i am very upset that as per your responce you won't be posting the rest today :-)

  • rebekah

    I'm hooked :) post the next one ASAP please

  • rebekah

    I'm hooked :) post the next one ASAP please

  • Latoya

    You, Mr. Shore are way too modest (or pretending to be) ;)

  • Latoya

    You, Mr. Shore are way too modest (or pretending to be) ;)

  • http://inkstainedpaws.blogspot.com casey

    john, we have so got to talk about your methods of hooking readers. some one is going to die someday because of your cliffhangers. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow- but believe me; these cliffhangers and suspenseful endings are incredibly dangerous to writers. Especially you. cause you use them alot.

  • http://inkstainedpaws.blogspot.com casey

    john, we have so got to talk about your methods of hooking readers. some one is going to die someday because of your cliffhangers. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow- but believe me; these cliffhangers and suspenseful endings are incredibly dangerous to writers. Especially you. cause you use them alot.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rebekah: Thank you!

    Latoya: You're right. I'm too amazingly modest. It's phenomenal. I have no idea how I do it.

    Casey: No, I swear I wasn't just doing a cliffhanger. It's just .. that IS the point at which Satan enters, and that WAS as long as I dare make any individual post. I kind of basically entirely HAD to break there.

    Cliffhanger. The very IDEA!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rebekah: Thank you!

    Latoya: You're right. I'm too amazingly modest. It's phenomenal. I have no idea how I do it.

    Casey: No, I swear I wasn't just doing a cliffhanger. It's just .. that IS the point at which Satan enters, and that WAS as long as I dare make any individual post. I kind of basically entirely HAD to break there.

    Cliffhanger. The very IDEA!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Rebekah: Thank you!

    Latoya: You're right. I'm too amazingly modest. It's phenomenal. I have no idea how I do it.

    Casey: No, I swear I wasn't just doing a cliffhanger. It's just .. that IS the point at which Satan enters, and that WAS as long as I dare make any individual post. I kind of basically entirely HAD to break there.

    Cliffhanger. The very IDEA!

  • FreetoBe

    I like this….and how could anyone NOT follow it?

    So get those brain cells moving, JS, and let’s have the next installment, yes?

  • FreetoBe

    I like this….and how could anyone NOT follow it?

    So get those brain cells moving, JS, and let’s have the next installment, yes?

  • FreetoBe

    I like this….and how could anyone NOT follow it?

    So get those brain cells moving, JS, and let’s have the next installment, yes?

  • natalie

    Oooh!!! I really, really like it!!! I hope you continue…

  • natalie

    Oooh!!! I really, really like it!!! I hope you continue…

  • http://laurihahn.com Lauri

    I just found your post. Brilliant. Dying to know what becomes of us here. ‘Read the Book, of course, but the screenplay looks nice & descriptive. Please please please do tell.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Lauri: You do voice work! Amazing. I listened to your samples; it was TOTALLY like watching TV without a picture! You soooo have exactly that voice! Awesomenisity. Thanks for encouragement re: my little play excerpt. The problem I’m having with just dropping the next scene in there is that in it, Satan doesn’t exactly talk in ways that a lot of Christian readers would appreciate reading. So I’ve got consider what to do about that.

      Like, here’s a couple of lines from a little speech Satan gives about the angels who live in heaven with God: “None in heaven are glad to be bad, happy to be crappy, thrilled to be drilled. A bliss-filled kiss from above they love; a smooch on the cooch down below they don’t know.”

      Um. So you see my problem.

  • http://laurihahn.com Lauri

    I just found your post. Brilliant. Dying to know what becomes of us here. ‘Read the Book, of course, but the screenplay looks nice & descriptive. Please please please do tell.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Lauri: You do voice work! Amazing. I listened to your samples; it was TOTALLY like watching TV without a picture! You soooo have exactly that voice! Awesomenisity. Thanks for encouragement re: my little play excerpt. The problem I’m having with just dropping the next scene in there is that in it, Satan doesn’t exactly talk in ways that a lot of Christian readers would appreciate reading. So I’ve got consider what to do about that.

      Like, here’s a couple of lines from a little speech Satan gives about the angels who live in heaven with God: “None in heaven are glad to be bad, happy to be crappy, thrilled to be drilled. A bliss-filled kiss from above they love; a smooch on the cooch down below they don’t know.”

      Um. So you see my problem.

  • http://laurihahn.com Lauri

    I just found your post. Brilliant. Dying to know what becomes of us here. ‘Read the Book, of course, but the screenplay looks nice & descriptive. Please please please do tell.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Lauri: You do voice work! Amazing. I listened to your samples; it was TOTALLY like watching TV without a picture! You soooo have exactly that voice! Awesomenisity. Thanks for encouragement re: my little play excerpt. The problem I’m having with just dropping the next scene in there is that in it, Satan doesn’t exactly talk in ways that a lot of Christian readers would appreciate reading. So I’ve got consider what to do about that.

      Like, here’s a couple of lines from a little speech Satan gives about the angels who live in heaven with God: “None in heaven are glad to be bad, happy to be crappy, thrilled to be drilled. A bliss-filled kiss from above they love; a smooch on the cooch down below they don’t know.”

      Um. So you see my problem.


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