{Introduction:  In 1942, C.S. Lewis published The Screwtape Letters, an imaginary correspondence from senior devil Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, who has been charged with the temptation of an ordinary young man.  What follows is an updated, much shorter, but no less devilish, version.}

My dear Wormbait,

Your most recent correspondence greatly alarmed me.  It seems that your patient is actually trying to respond in a Christian (brrr; I shudder to even write that word) manner with regard to George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests.  By all means, my dear nephew, you must not let that happen!  Here is what you should do to prevent that.

First, do not let him see people of different races, political views, and backgrounds talking amicably together.  For example, recently Firing Line with Margaret Hoover aired this ghastly show in which two men—one white, one black; one liberal, one conservative—calmly discussed the importance of civil discourse in the current climate.  Despite their disagreements on certain issues, these two men displayed what can only be called by that obscene four-letter word: l_v_.  Really, to see the two of them practically hugging each other was horrid.  Block this link on your patient’s computer.

And while you’re on his computer, make sure he spends all the time he can on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media.  Keep him deep into silly memes about the issue; let him read the firebrands from left or right, black or white.  Make him ignore nuance and promote polarization, which will turn into an airing of grievances and a hardening of positions.  Yes, we derive a devilish delight in endless debates that never change anyone’s mind and never turn into positive action.

I understand your patient is quite a reader.  Normally, that could be a problem, but as long as he reads, and neither thinks nor acts he should be fine.  But by all means keep him away from books that deal with racial issues, particularly in the ch_rch (really, I cannot abide these words that our Enemy has placed in common language).  Do not let him read books like All Are Welcome: Toward a Multi-Everything Church.  Or Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions.  Or Black & Reformed: Seeing God’s Sovereignty in the African-American Christian Experience.  Seriously, dear nephew, if you find him in possession of such books, burn them forthwith; you know how we like fire.

And for Satan’s sake, the one book you absolutely must not let him read is the Enemy’s book!  I have heard that a verse in that book (we must know His book even if His followers don’t) actually states that “from one man He made all the nations” (Acts 17:26).  If your patient reads that, and starts thinking that all people regardless of race or ethnicity have a common ancestry, and are in this sense brothers and sisters, I shudder to think what might happen.  Even worse, if he should read the verse that says to followers of our Enemy that they are all one in our Enemy’s Son (Galatians 3:28), we simply cannot abide that.

Related to that, by all that is hateful do not let him listen to sermons!  There are so many out there, so immediately available on YouTube and other channels, and pastors are actually addressing this whole situation head on, and urging followers of our Enemy to listen to others, walk with others, and cry out for injustice.  The horror!  My dear fellow, we absolutely cannot have people listening to such talk.  Please do distract your patient with silly videos and Netflix.

Dear nephew, this is a critical time, a ripe opportunity for Our Father Below to sow seeds of hate, distrust, and discord.  If your patient does any of the activities I’ve warned you against in this letter, and starts sowing the opposite seeds, and followers of the Enemy start acting like the Enemy’s Son, well, I hesitate to tell you what will befall you.

Your affectionate uncle,

Steve Hoogerhyde is a Ruling Elder.

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