Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sympathy for the Devil

Let me first state that what you are about to read may offend some and enlighten others.

Actually, that describes nearly every entry I’ve ever posted.

Scrap that. Let’s start again.

I have never, nor do I ever intend to, worship the devil. You would have to believe one actually exists to do so in the first place and I do not. There may be some higher power involved in our universe, but she hasn’t made herself available to me in any capacity or form so I will adhere to my long standing rule of seeing is believing. Prove it to me and I will believe.

I should also note that I spent a majority of my Sunday in church and surrounded by religious symbols and rituals. According to the Catholic Church and most Christian religions, there is a strict policy of good and bad. Jesus and God represent the absolute good in all of us. Lucifer (aka Satan, Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub, etc) represents absolute evil. Jesus is kind and forgiving while Lucifer is conniving and double crossing. Jesus is benign and light. Lucifer is malevolence and dark.

Or so we are told.

Let’s go back to the origins of Lucifer. Please comment after this entry if I mistake anything here. I’m no theologian. Not even sure how to spell theologian without spell check’s help.

The way I understand it is there were three arch angels who were displeased with the way God was running things. Going back to the Old Testament, Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel tried to over throw the Almighty in the first attempted coup EVER. God, as you can imagine, didn’t take kindly to this attempted over throw and cast the three out of Heaven forever, but not before a Holy War which could only have been the coolest thing ever. Imagine lightning bolts and planets being flung around. This has Michael Bay written all over it.

While I’m not sure why Lucifer set up camp in what most people refer to as Hell, but I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical reason for it. I’ve heard that Lucifer wasn't just cast out for trying to rule Heaven, but that he dared display Pride in doing so. He thought he could do a better job. Pride, you see, is one of the seven deadly sins. It’s also what we now try to instill in our children at a very young age. ‘I’m so proud of you’, ‘You should be proud of yourself’.

Whatever. Sloth is another and I’m currently writing this with my shirt untucked and shoes off. Two down, five to go.

I digress.

It is also my understanding that God created everything. I would assume that since God is the creator of everything, he also created Lucifer and Michael and Gabriel. Not sure if this is totally true, but I assume it to be. I’m sure the New Testament has some loophole that explains this, so if you know of it please pass that information along.

I understand the free will aspect of God creating us (I think), but it is also my understanding that everything God made is inherently good. I would think this would be especially true when referring to angels. Lucifer was an angel originally. He spent a great deal of time in Heaven, hanging out with other angels, hustling them in games of pool, smoking weed and pounding a six pack a day. Hey, you have your vision of heaven and I have mine.

I can only assume, therefore, that Lucifer – as originally created – was inherently good. Still with me?

The scenario I now envision is all the angels hanging out in Heaven while Old Testament God does his thing and talks to Moses and Noah and that nut currently occupying the White House.

Now, this Old Testament God wasn’t exactly a likable dude. He was all wrath and vengeance and liked testing people in cruel and vicious ways. He made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights and wiped out most of humanity and the animal kingdom just to prove he could. He killed all the first born children of some Egyptians because they were using Jews to build stuff. He told one guy to take his son to the mountain top and kill him. He was less an all knowing deity and more killer from the ‘Saw’ movies.

You can see why Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel may have had a legitimate beef with the All Mighty. How long could angels sit there in good conscience doing nothing while this ‘God’ continuously rained down misery on the same people he claimed to love?

Granted a full blown Holy War in Heaven probably wasn’t the best tact to take, but God didn’t seem to be the reasonable, negotiating type back then. A simple suggestion may have been taken the wrong way and things escalated from there. Or maybe the minimum wage was too low and the angels were trying to organize a union. Or God kept playing Barry Manilow over and over. We may never know.

My point is that maybe…just maybe…Lucifer is getting a bad rap. Maybe Lucifer isn’t a bad guy, but just disagreed with God’s handling of things. We all have this vision of the Devil with horns and fire and evil and him trying to steal our souls. But couldn’t he just as easily by a depressed, lonely guy upset that he had a falling out with his father?

Did you know the Latin meaning of Lucifer is ‘Light Bringer’ and is used to refer to Venus as ‘The Morning Star’? How can someone originally named as a bringer of light be all bad? He’s supposed to bring light, for crying out loud!

I’m not saying we should all go running out and join the first Devil worshipping cult we run across. But don’t you find it odd, we’ve only heard God’s side of the story? Don’t you find it equally odd that after the Holy War and the defeat of the arch angels God switched his management approach and became benevolent and forgiving?

This leads me to another possible lunatic theory of mine. What if Lucifer won the war and is actually the God everyone now knows as the kind one? Think about it. The way the All Mighty Being is perceived now is totally opposite from how he was viewed back then. He went from 'Eye for an eye' to 'Forgiveness is divine'. Or something. It's almost like there were two different Gods. *Gasp!*

So what if Lucifer wins the Holy War and casts the original God out of heaven and takes over his identity? That would have been one smooth move.

That's just one possibility of course. The other is that Lucifer was just offering constructive criticism and God took it the wrong way.

So maybe (and I'm just saying maybe as I never met the guy) Lucifer isn't all that we think he is. Maybe he's just misguided and remorseful.

Maybe Lucifer created Hell not to punish the sinners, but to punish himself.

Maybe he misses his family and life the way it used to be. Or afterlife. You know what I mean.

Maybe he was right to question God.

Maybe Lucifer isn’t strictly evil and God isn’t purely good. Things are rarely that black and white in the real world.

Today’s distraction: All the different names associated The Devil. Even I don’t have that many nicknames and his are much cooler. I get dumbass and douchebag and he gets The Tempter and Old Horney. What a gyp.


Anonymous said...

As a fellow Catholic, I can tell you with a good amount of certainty that not a lot of what we have been told makes perfect sense. That being said, I am not even going to attempt to decipher this kinda stuff. It's all about what you believe, and once you figure that out, stick with it.

son pere said...

Religion, any religion, or lack thereof, is a personal choice. In the end, how you treat your fellow man is what really matters. Live by the "Golden Rule", i.e., "Treat others as you would have them treat you." I think this is what, in the final analysis, all those nuns and priests, ministers, rabbis, etc. have been trying to pound into our heads. In their own inimitable ways, that is all they want us to learn.

The Bible is, afterall, only a collection of stories handed down from age to age. We all know what happens to stories the more they are repeated. So, if you truly believe that there is a "Supreme Being" watching over us all, then live your life that way and don't try to figure out what it all means because it will never be understood fully by mere humans.