In science the devils have never lived. There you will find no
goblins, ghosts or witches. For that, you need a Republican
Well, Dr. Ben Carson almost managed a hat trick in his address endorsing Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. That is, he nearly made Donald Trump sound sort of sensible, at least compared with one of the other failed contenders, namely, himself. Christian Fundamentalist Dr. Ben, who makes us wonder if maybe there’s not that much to brain surgery as we have come to believe, or was told about a book jacket notation some years ago wherein Saul Alinsky mentioned the Devil – in jest. Then he noted that Hillary Clinton once said something favorable about Alinsky and from that made a preposterous leap – suggesting that this meant Hillary must b or is a friend of Lucifer. It’s a wonder he did not go even further and intimate that Hillary was having an affair with Lucifer. The RNC crowd went wild with joyous anger at this “damning” revelation about proven Devil-worshiper Hillary.
That ought to do it, the Tea Party crowd seemed to conclude: Hillary and the Devil are one and the same. Cue the standing applause. The house trembled with joy and a delicious chill at the perfidy of it all.
What Accounts for Republican Party Madness, Rage and Hate?
How do people get so crazy to applaud someone like Ben Carson – and seriously entertain the candidacy of a mountebank like Donald Trump?
Let’s stick with the make-believe Devil.Robert Ingersoll’s words help explain how religion-besotted Republicans could believe in such a comic book character.
Fear is an artist — a sculptor — a painter. All tribes and nations, having suffered, having been the sport and prey of natural phenomena, having been struck by lightning, poisoned by weeds, overwhelmed by volcanoes,
destroyed by earthquakes, believed in the existence of a Devil, who was the king — the ruler — of innumerable smaller devils, and all these devils have been from time immemorial regarded as the enemies of men.
(“The Devil,” 1899.)
All devil belief is founded on god belief – it’s what we call today the good cop, bad cop routine. Religions invented both to control populations. Religions employed fear and exploited prejudices of the time and place in which they ruled. Europeans found themselves bedeviled by black devils; the Africans had to deal with white devils. Devils came in all shapes and formats, especially wizards and witches (women have always been easier to victimize). In one two-year period (1598 – 1600), more than 600 Frenchmen and women were convicted and executed for mischief while in wolf forms – a favorite trick of the Devil at the time, it seems. Thousands of such cases, with variations on the form of devil possession, occurred.
At least Ben Carson had the decency not to suggest that Hillary was guilty of lurking in the woods as a wolf, preying on innocents (and Republicans) to tear asunder. But, don’t be complacent – I wouldn’t put it past him. Like Ben Carson today, a belief in devils has been universal. The consequences, as Ingersoll described, have been terrible beyond the imagination. Millions and millions of men, women and children, of fathers and mothers, have been sacrificed upon the altar of this ignorant and idiotic belief.
If Carson’s words about Lucifer and Hillary should influence Republicans and those they bamboozle into voting in sufficient numbers to carry Donald Trump to the White House, devil belief will have played a role even worse in the 21st century than in the Dark Ages past.
I say that no sensible man in all the world believes in devils. Beyond this, idiocy cannot go. (Robert Ingersoll)