Following in the theme of The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, my pastor decided to draw attention to something that appears to be quite rampant today: the harsh attacks on friends, family, and others on social media and elsewhere in our lives. The Screwtape Letters, are written from a Senior Demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood, who is learning the trade of bringing souls to an afterlife of eternal suffering.
The following “rules” seem to reflect the lowest common denominator, as if what we “learned” to do in junior high school still applies for “adulthood.” They are used to draw in one more “client” into the Lake of Fire.
“Social Media Instructions” – Satan
Assume the other side is full of acid hate,
And assume that your side has the real loving trait.
Be filled with much loathing, deserved and justified!
Believe you are loving, be filled with hellish pride!
Distort the other’s view, a straw man you can make,
The point you make is “real,” though the argument’s fake.
Find the worst example on the vile other side,
And make him normative, your point will be applied.
Cherry pick weakest words, the ones that you most hate.
Ridicule that vile fiend, and scream, “End of debate!”
Assume the worst motives, they surely can’t be good!
“He cares about himself!” Don’t be misunderstood!
Call him a loathsome word, two or three, or many,
Add “uneducated.” Hurl more smears, a plenty!
Assume you are the one who’s quite open-minded,
While others? “Ignorant”, and very close-minded!”
Don’t assume differences in wise philosophy,
Could maybe be legit. It’s rotten baloney!
Assume you’re an expert! You read an article!
History, law, and sex? They need your oracle!
Your outrage is legit, but others? Not so much.
Assume you’re in the know; others are out of touch.
Remember! Fools will hear, just what they want to hear,
And clutch so very dear, to just what they hold dear.
Just assume the other, is driven by their fear!
And assume your hammer, will bring them oh so near.
Did this sad poem bring, guilty faces to mind?
If on the other side, maybe you too, are blind…
Our pride does deceive us; a vile master is zeal,
Will you shred each other while superior you feel?