So Pope Francy-Pants is in the news again for a speech that he made the other day to a congregation. The pope warned that Satan is alive and well and that Catholics should always be on their guard against his evil. In his address the Pope said of Christtians that “we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ.”
Well that’s certainly not vague and ambiguous at all. The pope then went on to say that “Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.”
Are we talking Satan here, or are we talking syphilis?
“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ.”
The reason that we start to bring this up is because of the implications of what is being said in this speech of his. Firstly, his terms are, as mentioned by my opposite, woefully vague and subjective by design.
More importantly though is his claim that the devil is a real entity that is out to stop them from being Christians. He effectively tells them that any ideas which might tell them their religion is wrong are likely from the devil and not to be trusted, and that if those ideas start to take hold in you then that’s just the devils temptation growing. Moreover, as this “temptation” that he speaks about is so mind-bogglingly vague there’s always wiggle-room in case he gets called on it.
Francy-Pants goes onto say that Christian life is a struggle against the devil to remain a Christian in the face of his vague “temptations” and that we all must study the Gospels to learn how to fight him.
See here’s the point that I wanted to make in this. People like Francy-Pants and his kindred do not think good and evil are about about empathy, love, hatred, and vice. They are about obedience versus rebellion. Their ultimate evil, Satan, is not someone who encourages them to harm others, he’s someone who encourages them to have ideas other than what Fearless Leader deems appropriate. It means that the Pope believes that the greatest enemy to “holiness” and “goodness” is the enemy that tells him that he’s wrong, and that he should stop being wrong. Everything else is a lesser evil.
Unless Fearless Leader says otherwise, of course.
When you start thinking of good and evil as actual things, you can’t help but begin to suspect that all of those others who aren’t like you are evil. Because you,of course, are on the side of good. So if they were good they would naturally agree with you. It means that to even consider the idea that you might be wrong is playing into the hands of Satan and those who tell you that you’re wrong are Satan’s helpers trying to lead you deeper into perdition. And once you start thinking that adherence to your doctrine is the ultimate good, and questioning is the ultimate evil……well there’s your Inquisitions, Crusades, and Tea Party.