Christians embarrassed about/ashamed of Satan? (Silence on the Satan(ic) front).
I'm Canadian, and here in Canada there's not a whole lot of public god talk. Some, sure, but it's sparse and mostly negligible. Down south however, in the good ol' US of A, it's ubiquitous. It's just god god god. Politicians, athletes, celebrities, televangelists, news anchors, radio hosts, television personalities, basically everyone pimps their god in public. And of course, the majority of them are referring to Yahweh, the god of the Bible, when they speak about this god character.
Interestingly however, very few of them ever mention Satan.
I mean, if they believe in Yahweh, they must believe in Satan, right? I know there are those who say they believe in Yahweh but reject the existence of Satan, but I don't think there's a logical justification for that rejection. It seems to me that the basis for said rejection is the very thing I want to address here:
They know that the idea is fucking silly.
Think about it: How many American people publicly talk about the Christian god? Tons, right? Now, what percentage of those would you say ever mention Satan? I'd say 20% at best. It's probably closer to 10%, if that. It's certainly not close to 50%, and there's absolutely no way it's above 50%. It's absolutely the minority of those folks who mention Yahweh that also talk about his arch nemesis Satan (aka Beelzebub, Lucifer, Belial, etc.) and I firmly believe that it's because, at least on some level, they recognize how silly belief in Satan is, and they are embarrassed by/ashamed of this belief, and therefore don't mention him in public.
I think it's absolutely true (and I think they recognize this) that people who wouldn't bat an eye at the mention of god, people who would in fact be in agreement, would suddenly find themselves uncomfortable, if not incredulous, at the mention of the Prince of Darkness. I mean, why else wouldn't he be mentioned? If they believe that god is the father of good, and Satan is the father of evil, and they always talk about good and evil, why would the not mention Satan when discussing evil? They make certain to mention Yahweh in relation to the good, so why not the same treatment for Satan and evil? It's wise to know thine enemy, correct? People need to be prepared in order to have any chance at fighting off his evil influence, do they not? He sure as hell gets mentioned inside churches every week, doesn't he? Yet in public, when they are not among their tight circle of like minded worshippers....silence on the Satan front.
And the reason for this? As I said, I think it's recognition, on some level, that the idea of an evil fallen angel who lives inside the core of the earth, plotting against humanity and doing things like making people gamble and have affairs, is utterly ridiculous and beyond childish. It's completely fucking asinine, and deep down, they likely don't even believe it themselves. And it's that that's the key, because I think if they really acknowledged that, they'd find that perhaps some other things didn't quite add up, and then things would snowball and then....ya, scary stuff, so they avoid it by not going there, and keeping the Satan stuff to safe moments, like when they are in their little Sunday morning echo chambers, where everyone around them is saying the same shit they are, not questioning a damn thing, and presents absolutely no danger to them in terms of making them think uncomfortable thoughts. No one on Sunday is leading them into cognitive dissonance with logical expressions of incredulity and skepticism.
Just think about athletes for a moment. They are always thanking god for their success- yet how many blame Satan for their defeats? How many rappers blame Satan for not winning that Grammy award?
Why is that?
Is it because, while they get away with the god thing, mentioning Satan would elicit a negative response? Would they perhaps....sound fucking insane?
Be honest with yourself, even if you are a believing, practising Christian, unless you're a fundamentalist, you'd probably cringe a bit upon hearing Lebron James blame his poor football game on Satan, wouldn't you?
You would, and you know it.
Why, though? You believe in Satan, don't you? You believe that he is the author of evil, do you not? So if it's valid to thank god for the good, why is it not equally valid to blame Satan for the bad? Is it because, deep down, you don't really believe in Satan? Is it possible that on some level, you recognize the ridiculousness of the hypothesis, but you'd just rather not face that because of the possible ramifications such analysis might present you?
Or am I being too presumptuous?
Is there another reason why a large number of the people who proclaim to believe in god and the devil always mention god, but never his antithesis? Why does it seem like the very mention of Satan in public is anathema? Verboten. A faux pas? Do you honestly deny that anyone who did seriously discuss Satan in public would immediately be written off as crazy, even by some of those who profess to believe in the same religion the person in question does?
Think of your politicians. They ALWAYS mention god in your country. Like, to a sickening degree. How often do you hear them mention Satan? You'll quite often hear things like “God is on our side.” Apart from some scoffing from the atheistic camp, these remarks get by with the person saying them being left unscathed. Cheered on, in many circles, in fact. However, have them say something to the effect of “The Devil is working against us,” and suddenly things sound different, don't they?
President Obama repeats the stupid “God Bless America” mantra. Imagine if he also said “And Keep Us Safe From Satan.” Or “Deliver Us From Evil.” Or even better, “God, Protect Us All From the Dark One.” Sounds pretty fucking crazy, doesn't it? Yet, that's your religion!
There's no way he'd be able to get away with saying those things. People would laugh him out of the White House. Yet, ask yourself, how is that any different, worse, or crazier than talking about 'blessings' from god? Remember, it's your holy book, and it's very explicit about the existence (and origins) of this fallen angel with many names. There are no logical grounds upon which one can reject the existence of the Satan character while simultaneously affirming the existence of his polar opposite, the good in the good vs. evil narrative that is the Bible, Yahweh.
I think that, if one were to examine this further, they'd inevitably come to the conclusion that Christianity has an identity problem. Christians are quick to mention their god, but reticent when it comes to THE DEVIL (muahahahaha). The two characters are intertwined in the narrative of the Bible, and there's nothing in there that points to the Devil character being anything other than literal, yet many Christians say that they do not believe in him, and those that proclaim, at least on the surface, to believe in him, are reticent to really discuss him (the extreme fundamentalists are of course one strong exception to this rule....and, ironically, they sound fucking crazy, don't they?) in public. Why is that? Well, as I have stated several times, I think that there's a recognition there. A recognition of the fact that of all of their beliefs, those regarding the source of 'evil' are (or at least sound) frankly stupid, and so the preference is to keep that part of it quiet.
I fully believe that they are ashamed of this belief. They are embarrassed by it, and I think that, if they were to investigate, through introspection, the source of this embarrassment/shame, they would stumble upon some scary notions, like, for example, the idea that perhaps some part of them knows this Satan character doesn't exist....or at least suspects it. And that's when things get really scary, because they might start to wonder about other things, and they start to either acknowledge or feel for the first time, certain doubts. Doubts that could crack their beliefs wide open. And so, knowing this, they choose to believe in Satan, or at least make pretensions towards a belief in Satan, and they make sure to just keep said belief quiet. President Obama (or other public figures) mentioning Satan would be like the IRS auditing your financial records, only this time, it's you doing the probing into your own secrets, and we don't want that, do we?
And so Satan stays out of the public discourse, the public lexicon, and the public eye (for the most part; the fundies trot him out at every turn, and seem all the more insane for it......don't they, fellow Christians?).