Originally published at americanchronicle.com on April 24, 2006
I work with an 80 year old man named Valentine. I don’t think he has to work, I think he wants to work. He seems to like working. I think it keeps his mind sharp and active. He only comes in a few hours a week. He and I have deep conversations on politics, the supernatural, morals, society, space, science, you name it. Though we have our disagreements, over the years we have come to agree more often than not.
One day a few months before the war in Iraq started – while there was still much debate over whether we would or should go to war – Valentine brought in an article from the local newspaper to share with me. A woman had written a letter to the editor expressing her gratitude that we, the United States of America, were blessed with a man of God as president. She felt that George W. Bush was going to lead this nation to a great victory over Osama Bin Laden and the evil horde of terrorists amassing in the Middle East to destroy our way of life, or some such thing. I was so intrigued by this letter that I felt compelled to write my own letter to the editor. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing and I was surprised when they actually printed the letter. I kept it short and simple. I merely explained to the woman that Osama Bin Laden also considered himself a man of God and he had done some terrible things in God’s name. I then went on to explain that I wouldn’t want anyone going to war or killing or maiming or doing any such terrible deed in my name. In fact, I’ll reiterate those sentiments here. I don’t ever want anyone to ever kill another, maim, burn, make war upon, or otherwise carry out cruel and unscrupulous deeds in the name of Szandor Blestman. I can think of no circumstance which would justify another making war in my name. That was the first time such an article of mine was published and I still have a copy of it.
Now, I don’t pretend to know the mind of God. I do believe everything (or at least most things) happens for a reason. I also believe God has a plan. I don’t know what it is and I don’t think I want to know. I believe God works in mysterious ways. Those are just a few of my beliefs. Maybe I’m not as cynical as I believe.
Many people have told me I have a great imagination. I believe them. When enough people tell you something, you start to believe it. Even so, it’s hard for me to imagine the mind of God. It’s difficult to imagine what I would do if I were God. I can, however, imagine what I wouldn’t do, assuming of course that the God I’m thinking of is a caring, loving God.
One thing I wouldn’t do is talk to people, at least not in a way where I am perceived as a voice in the head. It seems to me to be a cruel thing to do, to burden a simple human with the will of the Supreme Being. It also seems to me that any thinking human might begin to question his sanity if he believed God was talking directly to him. Also, you’d be tampering with your own rules by influencing free will in such a manner. I don’t imagine God would do such a thing.
I do imagine, however, that I would talk to people in such a manner if I was Satan, or Lucifer, or any of a myriad of lesser yet still powerful demons. I would especially be interested in talking to small minded, easily influenced people, or those that were already delusional. I would speak to them as a voice in their ear and try to convince them that I was God. I would tell them to be stubborn and unwavering in their convictions. I would tell them to do terrible things to their fellow humans and then laugh with glee as I watched. If they were powerful enough I would tell them to make war on each other. I would wallow in the suffering they caused, feeding off the negative energy as demons are wont to do. I would empower such people to be able to convince others their cause is righteous and to enlist them in great armies. I would celebrate as lands were laid to waste and blood flowed freely. I would salivate as societies collapsed. I would feast on the carnage.
It’s a good thing I’m not a supernatural being. I’m just a man with an overactive imagination. I’m glad I’m not Satan. I can’t imagine how he lives with himself.