I attended a church service recently where the minister spent most of his sermon on the threat to mankind presented by the devil. I walked out of that service thinking, what a silly focus for a church. Couldn’t he have delivered a more positive message? I could hear Flip Wilson in my head saying his hilarious tagline, “The devil made me do it.” I consider a focus on the devil as a copout for taking personal responsibility for your own actions.
Then I think about the headlines, from the leaders down to the mentally disturbed. To watch the State of the Union address is to realize that hatred and bitterness toward fellow Americans is the, “new normal.” The least stable among us, like Adam Lanza, shot 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school. Christopher Dorner, a clean-cut man with a million dollar smile, declared war on 10,000 and killed four before meeting his own demise.
My belief is that all of us are individuals making moral choices. But as an alternative world view, that minister proposed an infection by the devil as the current mechanism of action for human behavior.
Read the opinion page at the Herald and you realize that a lack of understanding of people, who think different then yourself, is the new normal. No mater how ridiculous I find writing this, I can think of no better explanative model for what’s happening to America than, “The devil made me do it.”