Dear Slugtail

I’m sure you’ve read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. This post is an homage to this book. The subject is the SCOTUS (Supreme Court . . . ) decision from a few weeks ago. Apologies for the delay. Do share. Thanks.

DEAR SLUGTAIL 

Dear Slugtail,

May I first congratulate you on your promotion. I never much liked Wormwood, although I often massaged his ego. How surprising that he didn’t notice my condescension. Or my lies for that matter. After all, the Enemy says I’m the Father of Inaccuracies – my spin, of course. So, welcome. And down to business.

Well, first I must express my disappointment with the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage. That slow-burner was producing tremendous fruit. I fail to see your logic in tipping it over the edge towards an actual decision. There is no question that it has caused immense damage in the few days following the decision, but couldn’t you have kept the issue smouldering for a little longer? Well, we are where we are.

In mitigation, I must applaud you on the way you have taken advantage of the darkness in the human heart, which this issue brings to light. Our light, of course. How pleasing first to see believers turn on each other. You are right to concentrate on relations within the Body of our Enemy. Undermine the communion of the faithful and the whole enterprise collapses. And this particular issue has always worked marvellously well to take their eyes off the goal. So little talk of the wonders of our Enemy, so little reference to the Son, that hated man.

In addition, they do find it so very difficult to exercise self-control. Before they know it, the insults creep in, offence is felt and temperatures rise. All achieved without almost any action on your part, Slugtail. I have watched this with immense satisfaction. I notice, also, the manner in which they fight. They speak past each other, hardly hearing what the other is saying. The qualities desired by our Enemy, graciousness, tact, not to mention love, are almost completely absent. It is a joy to watch.

And so to the substantive issue, which has little to do with same-sex marriage. In fact, such unions interest me little. No, far more importantly, this issue has had a most pleasing effect on the manner in which believers interpret The Books. There is not one verse in the entirety of them which espouses or reinforces same-sex union. Not one. And so they argue over ‘context,’ which leads most of them a merry dance of confusion. In despair, they end up invoking our favourite hermeneutic of all: love. Oh, we’re making tremendous progress with that word.

There is much talk of re-defining marriage. How ridiculous! Marriage can’t be re-defined, even we know that. It is discovered by man and ordained by the Enemy, more’s the pity. No, it is not marriage that has been re-defined. We have gained something far greater and more valuable.

We have re-defined love itself.

The holy grail. Re-defining love has far greater power. Do ensure that believers don’t refer to the actual definition found in The Books: And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments. 2 John.

It’s particularly galling to see John talk about ‘walking in the truth.’ Never forget. It is incredibly important to keep emphasizing that love has no connection with truth. The moment they go seeking what the Enemy actually desires, we’re lost.

No, as you have done so well up until now, guide humans towards their own definition, ‘love means approving of whatever behaviours I tell you make me happy.’ It’s gloriously coupled with the admonition you have worked so hard to cultivate: ‘do not judge.’ Presenting love as ‘approval for whatever behaviour I tell you brings me happiness’ is truly a masterstroke. I see it everywhere, especially between believers.

And how gratifying to see how effective you’ve been in ridiculing those believers who present a considered, balanced and clearly argued perspective. No sooner out of the mouth or typed into a website than the believer is denounced as ‘hateful.’ This truly warms my heart. Of course, the media has always helped us with this, but now, believers are turning on each other with the same accusation.

I see that you have also carefully co-opted strategically important vocabulary to achieve your goals. Just as those who sought to protect human life were labelled ‘anti-choice,’ so now believers – merely by presenting their heart-felt convictions, well, they’re ‘anti-gay.’ Who can support people who are ‘anti’ anything!? We have cornered our enemies and made them look like killjoys and hate-driven bigots who are out of touch with people who ‘just want to love each other.’ Ho ho, on reflection, perhaps that Supreme Court decision was the necessary catalyst for all this escalating conflict. It certainly fills me with joy, I must say.

Keep up the good work,

Screwtape

© Richard Collins 2015

 

 

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