BY J E SOLOMON
When it comes to a discussion about The Devil, I’ve always resisted the temptation to talk openly about it. This time, however, I can’t help it.
The Devil, as has been painted and generally believed, is a supernatural entity that is the personification of evil. It’s said to be the Enemy of God and mankind. It has over 40 listed names and references. That’s quite a lot. The Devil has been described variously as the Prince of darkness, Prince of this world, Prince of devils, Father of lies, Son of the Morning, Fallen angel, Enemy of righteousness, etc. etc. It’s often called Satan, Lucifer, Serpent, Demon, Destroyer, Evil spirit, Evil one, and a whole lot more, even excluding those of my native homeland Ghana, for example Obonsam, Sasabonsa, etc.
I believe in One God, the Almighty God. There’s no power greater than the power of the One God I believe in. Some people refuse to accept the existence of God or Jehovah. Others will refer to the Creator as anything else based on their own cultures. I have no quarrel with them.
Personally, I don’t sweat the small stuff about what people of other faiths and traditions prefer to call the Creator. There are far too many faith-based traditions, cultures, languages and dialects across the globe. God has “ears” for every language under the Sun and doesn’t reject any name a people use to identify Him. It’s therefore insane for humanity to argue, fight and kill one another over God’s real identity and who is worshiping rightly. But that’s exactly what mankind has been doing for ages.
In some societies today, the name of God is even forbidden in schools. The US Supreme Court has forbidden public school teachers from leading their students in prayer. It has ruled repeatedly that it is unconstitutional to preach religion in public schools. Teachers cannot read the Bible in a devotional manner. Preaching the Bible is one thing and teaching children about God or the Supreme Being is another thing. I understand America is a nation that’s very diverse. We may not want to impose one particular religious faith on children of other faiths. But that should not hold us from teaching our children the importance of spiritual and moral values.
Now back to the topic. Mention the Devil, and people of all cultures and belief systems will quickly start a debate over the subject. They will let out a barrage of concepts and myths to support their beliefs. I don’t intend to challenge the existence or otherwise of the Devil. What the Devil is believed to do and what it's not able to do is not the reason for this article. I am simply tired of hearing people who are quick to blame the so-called Devil for just about every mishap, whether it’s a natural disaster or the direct result of our reckless human actions.
The official motto of the United States is “In God We Trust.” These words are inscribed on the nation’s dollar bills as well as the coins. One would believe that, this is a nation that trusts more in God for her survival and salvation. So why would the same nation decide to kick God and prayers out of her public schools and forbid children from being taught the things of God?
When we drag parents to the law courts and sanction them for daring to spank (discipline) recalcitrant and indiscipline kids as punishment for repeated misdemeanors, the kids would grow up and do the kind of things we blame the Devil for.
When lawmakers who have special interests in the manufacture of assault weapons oppose gun control, it will lead to a proliferation of assault rifles and automatic handguns. When people with misguided dispositions get guns, they’re going to misuse them in ways that only cause death and panic in our societies. And then we blame the Devil. (To be continued)