There have been so many references to Satan the last few days, one can hardly keep up with them. Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Judge Scalia have all weighed in on the war with evil. Not to mention, Richard Land, a former executive in the Southern Baptist Convention, who said yesterday the society it wracked by demonic forces.
To understand the ancient appeal of an invisible demonic force, we can simply look at contemporary literature. The famous book, 1984, concerned taking over a society by writing ficticious news releases about battlefields far removed and not seen by citizens. In the basement of a building, several people retained political control over the public by telling of great battles with an unseen enemy.
Everything done by people not approved of are signs of Satan’s power. In today’s world, it is the Muslims and the gays. Signs of them are in the Bible, so they say.
Satan must remain invisible just as the god figure must remain invisible as well. If either were human beings, what they stand for would at least somewhat defined. As invisible beings, they can represent whatever is needed by any individual. “God approves of me because (I approve of what I an doing).” “Satan is behind (whatever I disapprove of).”
As one who cannot find evidence of either, I find the constant reference to the god somewhat annoying. But, reference to Satan in not annoying, it is funny.
The Satan figure is so transparently self serving it looks like parody.