Monday, January 23, 2012

The Devil's Due

I have seen it all.  I was there when terrorists began bombing houses.  I was there when two jetliners full of innocent people slammed into the side of the World Trade Towers.  I watched a baseball fan shoot a rival fan dead during a post-game dispute.  I sat in the flatbed of a pickup truck while a young, promising doctor was dragged down a gravel road, noose-broken neck flagging him as a homosexual.  Not but a few decades earlier I rode in the back of another truck, the bumper adorned with another rope, and the rope adorned with another doctor; this one a recently educated “colored” man.  Nuclear arms races, concentration camps, forced famines, and walls built as monuments to hatred and division.  I watched the Inquisitors teach Europe the goodness of their God with a misguided sureness of purpose I have never seen matched.  I looked on as the Crucifixion of Christ became a blood sport for the entertainment of the masses.  I watched the first theft, the first rape, the first murder.

Few who know that would believe I arrived at these events purely by coincidence.  Their skepticism is not misguided.  I have never once been in attendance by mere chance, but by design.  I am there to watch my congregation worship and praise and give thanks.  I am there to collect what is due to me, my tribute.  They are the places, the times, and the people that I draw strength from.  They allow my existence to continue.

I am demonized (excuse the pun, as it is in rather poor taste and even poorer wit) because people need someone or something to blame for humanity’s unparalleled potential for ugliness and cruelty.  There are a great many turns of phrases for it:  scapegoat, sacrificial lamb, sucker, stooge… 

The list really does go on (almost endlessly in fact, and that encompasses but the English language).

People say that I am an elemental evil that has existed long before humans and will exist long after, that I am eternal.  They think that I spat in the face of God and took Perdition as my own kingdom, one meant to outshine even that of the Lord Almighty’s.  The truth is that I am a construct, just like God, meant to serve as a waste receptacle for all of humanity.

I am the personification of the ugliness that humanity revels in.  I exist because actions and thoughts and beliefs have consequences.  I exist because actions and thoughts and beliefs have power.  I am a byproduct of humanity and I congregate at these great places of ugliness because they call to me and I am powerless to refuse their cries.