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If I were the devil, I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world; 
I would delude the minds (of the people) into thinking that their power and prosperity had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings; 
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their main source of revenue; 
I would convince people that character is not an issue …
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies; 
I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient …
I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit; 
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them; 
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the minds of every family member for my agenda; 
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation …
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art …
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agendas as politically correct; 
I would persuade people that the Church is irrelevant and out of date and that the Bible is for the naive.
I would institutionalize the Church to the degree that her number one priority would be preservation of the institution, not preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ…
I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional, and that it really doesn’t matter what you believe about God as long as you are sincere in your belief. 
I would….well, come to think of it, I would leave things pretty much the way they are now!

Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009), the syndicated columnist and radio broadcaster originally published a version of the above in 1964. Over the years Mr. Harvey and others updated and changed the original copy. This version can be found in the 1990’s.

The tendency for all of us is to read this and point all of our fingers at OTHER PEOPLE. We say that Paul Harvey is so right on with what he is saying, he’s pointing out what’s wrong with our country, but it is THOSE PEOPLE that the devil has a hold on, certainly NOT ME. 


I have yet to sit in someone’s home who has been gainfully employed their whole life and worked hard and done well, who does not feel that THEY THEMSELVES brought on their success. Oh, maybe with a little luck and some help from the Lord. But THOSE PEOPLE on welfare in the bad neighborhoods and in Third World countries — they won’t help themselves or get rid of the dictators. I’m waiting for the first person to tell me: “I was born out of the right womb in America or my parents came to America and settled in the right place. If I came out of a womb on the West Side of Chicago, no matter how hard I tried, the odds against me to succeed would at least be 1,000 to 1.” 

I’m lying to myself if I don’t admit that I all too often love things and use people for my own benefit and comfort. I’m hardly a person who lives for others. 

More than a few people I know have been “hurting” with the pandemic this past year because they have not been able to make their regular trips to the nearby casinos or to Las Vegas. 

The devil certainly does not have to work hard to convince people that character is not an issue. They have figured it out for themselves. Moms and dads with money can get their kids into any college they want for a hundred grand or so. Just last week 73 cadets at West Point cheated on their final calculus exam. Want to see the devil have a belly laugh? Tell him about the people of character in Washington, DC. these days. 

Since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, over 61 million babies have been aborted in America. Will court decisions and politics make the devil’s work harder in the next 48 years? Or will dialogue and listening to THOSE PEOPLE who see abortion differently than I do lessen Satan’s great success in taking a life? Will the caring support for women and their children after they give birth create a climate where LIFE AFTER BIRTH NEEDS TO BE SUPPORTED. 

The severely depressed and the terminally ill consider taking their own life or having it terminated. As a society, a community and a Church, why have we not developed loving support networks to care for one another? The pandemic has proved Mother Teresa to be right. America is the poorest country in the world. Because of loneliness and aloneness, we are so spiritually poor. 

We criticize court decisions that have taken God out of the schools, but I have not seen a crucifix on a wall in a home in years…with families who go to church and claim to be religious. I’ve eaten in many homes over the years. Unless I suggest it, rarely does a family say grace anymore. We’ve taken God out of our homes as much as our schools.  

We watch and we glorify our sports figures, paying some hundreds of millions of dollars for their salaries because our eyeballs are watching the commercials and paying the cable bills for their salaries. We say nothing when their drug habits or lifestyles influence our children. All we care about is the excitement of watching our team win and go to the Super Bowl or the World Series.  

 The devil has good control of the media we watch. We click on FOX or MSNBC for hours every day so that the know-it-all talking heads can spout out what we ourselves already believe and want to hear more of to prove that WE ARE RIGHT ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE. 

We bemoan the attacks on families, yet when we do eat with other family members, we have our smart phones next to our plates and the know-it-all talking heads on TV. Is that what you call family life?

I hear and I read about certain art, like the unusual Manger Scene in St. Peter’s Square. People complain about the depravity of certain reality TV shows or movies, yet when I listen to what they watched on Netflix with their kids over the weekend, a few more hairs start to fall out of my head. 

I’ve been with more than a few people the last ten years who always sneer when they say “politically correct”.  Then as I listen to them expound, I wonder how long it has been since they have completely forgotten what the nuns and their parents taught them growing up. 

The Church may well be irrelevant for many people today, but where is their supportive faith  community when they are sick, elderly or depressed and have no one to turn to? Most bibles I see in homes, if I ever see a bible in a home, are collecting dust. I wonder if some might even be a Gutenberg Bible, they are so old and unused.  

The Church has become so institutionalized that it is often hard for me to find Jesus there. For years, if not for centuries, the Church has been in denial about its priests and pedophilia, always blaming the victims to protect the institution. When what was hidden finally came to light, it cost the Church many members and several billion dollars. We’ve certainly got a much smaller and a lot poorer institution to protect. 

If prayer is not important and faithfulness and obedience are optional, then humans are put at the center of the universe. Men and women are seated on the throne, not God. Adam and Eve tried that. How did that work out? We’re trying it again as I type these words. How are things going in Washington, DC these days? 

I think the devil has it pretty well figured out for America these days. Just let 70 million people point fingers at 70 million other people and go on attacking them. That’s what I see as I sit here in Fort Lauderdale in my wheelchair. I’m keeping my eye out on the beach. Things are going so well for Satan these days that I’m expecting him to come walking along on his vacation with absolutely nothing to do!! Is there something you’d like me to tell him about THOSE PEOPLE?


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