Some of the devil’s best work

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Tom Pur­cell Colum­nist

The devil sat drunk and giddy in a bar, boast­ing about his re­cent “ac­com­plish­ments.” “En­joy­ing your­self?” I said, sit­ting a few barstools away from him.

“Like I haven’t in years, pal. I’m on a roll.”

His breath was rank, his body crawl­ing with bugs.

“Look at my most re­cent work in Texas. I was present when a dis­turbed and an­gry young man mur­dered un­armed men, women and chil­dren while they wor­shiped. If that wasn’t an act of pure evil, I don’t know what is!”

“You’re a real jerk, devil. The New York Times re­ports that a church video cam­era cap­tured the hor­rific event. The Times says the soul­less shooter was in­tent on shoot­ing every­one in the church in a me­thod­i­cal man­ner — that he shot his ter­ri­fied vic­tims, even small chil­dren, in the head, ex­e­cu­tion-style.”

“I was also present at Las Ve­gas in Oc­to­ber when 58 in­no­cent con­cert­go­ers were mur­dered by a bar­rage of bul­lets from an­other dis­turbed man. And let’s not for­get the re­cent at­tack on the bike path in Man­hat­tan. I’m do­ing some of my best work with rad­i­cals who think they can ad­vance their mis­sion through ter­ror­ist acts.” “Ex­plain.” “I’m us­ing the old­est lure in my tool kit with those boys: pride. I got them think­ing they’re pi­ous and sub­servient, when they’re ac­tu­ally trapped in the nar­row­ness of their own piety. I got them think­ing mur­der­ing in­no­cents is what their God wants them to do. But my big­gest suc­cesses of late have been in Amer­ica — a place that’s been a thorn in my side from its be­gin­ning.” “How so?” “Amer­ica is founded on free­dom, pal. It’s not easy for some­body in my line of work to in­flu­ence peo­ple who be­lieve that their cre­ator has given them the un­alien­able rights of life, lib­erty and the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness.” “I’m not fol­low­ing.” “Look, your Founders had very clear val­ues about what is and isn’t moral and good. For the most part, they did not yield to the sin of pride, but in­stead yielded to the prin­ci­ples of my op­po­nent. They built the Con­sti­tu­tion upon the ba­sic virtues that un­leash the hu­man heart.” “That both­ers you?” “Of course. Your coun­try’s val­ues have pro­duced order and ci­vil­ity. Your free­dom has un­leashed in­ge­nu­ity, pro­duc­tiv­ity and in­cred­i­ble wealth. Your val­ues are the rea­sons Amer­ica has been the most suc­cess­ful coun­try in the his­tory of mankind.” “Has been?” “I’m mak­ing ter­rific progress in Amer­ica. In­ci­vil­ity, the break­down of fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, crass­ness, vul­gar­ity — I’m able to pro­mote these things be­cause Amer­i­cans are be­com­ing more self-cen­tered, more worldly and ma­te­ri­al­is­tic, and less con­cerned for their fel­low man.” “I re­ally hate you, devil.” The devil laughed a deep, hor­ri­ble laugh, while slap­ping his claws on his knee.

“That’s just where I want you to be. Full of neg­a­tive emo­tion and empty of rea­son. I love it when you hate!”

“Why don’t you go to hell, devil?”

“I’m al­ready there, pal, and I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing in my power to bring your coun­try with me.”

Tom Pur­cell is syn­di­cated by Ca­gle Car­toons.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.