My wife and I were talking the other night about the 1976 movie “The Omen.” For years, she did not believe in the devil. After listening to the popular Bible teacher Joyce Meyer for a time, she has come to believe in the existence of the evil one. As we spoke about the film, I hypothesized about how the devil has changed his tactics over the centuries.
The devil is mentioned in the Bible starting in Genesis 3, wherein he tempted Eve. He has been tempting and trying to tempt people ever since, including Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ day, evil spirits tormented individuals. Jesus and his disciples are known to have driven them out. Of course, we do not hear much about evil spirits today. Knowing that the short-term and long-term battles were lost, what if the devil decided to stop tormenting individuals and instead takes them over quietly, by influencing their behavior?
In John 13, we are told that “as soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.” If the devil entered Judas during the first Communion at the Last Supper, we must seriously consider the possibility that he has taken over other people throughout the last two thousand years. This makes it possible that he was involved in the formation of our nation and constitution, rules of law, governance, etc. We would be in denial of Satan’s evil powers if we did not consider the possibility. God let Satan test Job and he continues to allow him and his demons to operate in today’s world. Let us not be naïve!
Imagine the evil spirits that might have been at work in the formative years of the United States. It is possible that individuals who prepared the founding documents could have been possessed. It sounds far-fetched, but hear me out. The First Amendment allows for free speech. This free speech has come to include pornography; X-rated movies, magazines, and websites; offensive music and speeches; racist flags and emblems; and the list goes on. And let’s not forget: the Second Amendment allows the right to bear arms.
An amendment designed to allow people to express themselves has the unintended consequence of allowing negative and sinful behavior to not only exist but to be sold for profit. Additionally, today’s youth is stifled, misunderstood, and kept down by a generation trying to cling to power. An amendment designed to allow people to protect themselves allows gun manufacturers to profit by making and selling killing machines rather than weapons of self-defense.
An article stating that a Black person is only three-fifths of a person is also included in our Constitution. The outsized power it gave to Southern states has left a destructive path in the Black community and in America since the compromise was reached.
The Constitution and its articles were created by flawed men. Who can say that the devil did not have his demons well-entrenched in the process? After all, with thousands of years of experience, he would know how to create and infiltrate a judicial system—including the Supreme Court. He would know what political policies sound appealing but lead to long-term destruction. Who better to show a compromising face knowing that over time, the documents created would lead to racism, poverty, division, and inequitable policies, among other challenges that Black Americans currently face?
Think about it for a minute. It took less than one hundred years from the founding of the U.S. for the South to secede. One hundred years after the Civil War, anti-Black policies were still in place nationwide, backed by law enforcement and the courts. Today, racial divisions continue in our neighborhoods, schools, churches, and businesses; the judicial and financial systems discriminate against people of color and the poor; and our elected officials continue to enact policies that further divide us.
There is a definite separation of church and state in schools, and this may correlate directly to the reduction in people considering themselves religious in this country. The founding documents led to a nation full of possibilities, but with the wrong people positioned in the right places, a nation can go astray. Read Proverbs 11.
Now, I’m not blaming our troubles on the devil. I’m just hypothesizing. One could make the argument that he and his minions have been ahead of the curve from day one. Let’s be realistic: we do not come across as one nation under God. The nation is divided into red and blue states, conservatives and liberals. The country no longer has the moral high ground on its side. The Bible was written by men, including flawed men that were inspired by God. The Constitution and founding documents were also written by men, including a few slave owners. If we followed the Bible rather than the Constitution, we might be able to get our nation back on track. Even still, we must overcome our human flaws and prejudices and unite to bring about a better nation and world.
The writer of 1 John 2 John says that the antichrist is not only coming but also that many antichrists have already come into the world carrying the spirit of the evil one. There are many examples of Satan’s existence and the many antichrists that have arrived. With this Biblical background, it is feasible that one or more evil spirits have been meddling in America since its beginning.
Colossians 4:1 reads “Masters, provide for your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” Even so, as slavery became a profitable business, Christian principles were thrown out the window. Slaves were not considered people to release every seven years; they were seen as property: something with which you could do whatever you wished. Human decency disappeared and the profits rolled in.
How are American employers treating employees today? Are “right,” “fair,” and “just” the terms we use? Are we underpaying people, keeping them in a form of bondage or servitude that is difficult to escape? Is outsourcing to foreign countries and to artificial intelligence in the best interest of the American worker or the nation as a whole?
Who else but Satan could create a global slave trade wreaking havoc on the whole world and destroying families for generations? Could a God-fearing Christian do something that evil? The verdict is out, but I wouldn’t put anything past the evil one. He is a treacherous snake and the only way he wins is by converting souls to his side so that he is not alone below for eternity.
I have seen poverty in America. I have seen extreme poverty in other parts of the world. I have seen water and sanitation problems in America and in other countries. In America, the water problems, superfund landfill sites, and other environmental dangers tend to be located in communities of color—and they are rarely addressed properly. This reduces the vibrancy and economic vitality of these communities and their residents for future generations. Why is it that the policies that cause these injustices tend to favor the wealthy even though their enactors claim to be religious and righteous?
Another seemingly demonic issue of our day is that the pro-life movement is full of hypocrisy. People are opposed to abortion but support the death penalty. The devil convinces us that “pro-life” concerns only the abortion side of the equation and as a result, we disregard the taking of a human life for whatever crimes the individual is alleged to have committed. There is a lack of consistency from a Christian standpoint, a human perspective, and a policy viewpoint. Fortunately, the Catholic Church opposes both forms of killing.
Nationwide, the devil is fighting against Christian higher education by targeting state and federal funding. Teachers and their unions have been fighting the funding of religious schools and charter schools for decades. Christians can’t be doing that, can they? Wouldn’t a Christian want everyone to have a level playing field? It must be the evil one facilitating this mindset.
Fast forward to April 2023, and we see that the Tennessee legislature removed two Black male lawmakers for protesting on the job while leaving in office the White female lawmaker who was protesting along with them. God-fearing Christians are supposed to be Christ-like and tolerant of people that think and look differently. The evil one continues to promote racism and, unfortunately, there are many in America willing to follow suit.
The practice of redlining continues, although the financial services and real estate industries largely deny its existence. The police and judicial system continue to show racial bias and unarmed men and women of color die during routine traffic stops. Stand-your-ground laws continue to cause the shooting of unarmed people—often those from marginalized communities. Is this Christian behavior, or the evil one spreading division?
America is a great nation in many ways, but like great nations before her, if she does not address and fix her flaws, her greatness will continue to decline. It is our Christian duty to point out these flaws—as well as the remedies. Let us pray that lawmakers of this generation and future generations take the Christian steps necessary to bring about improvement.
I pray that one day, the Catholic Church will take a bold stand against racism and divisiveness in our country. The Church and its leaders, like many churches, have played a role and been a part of the problem for centuries. I am not condemning individual churches, priests, bishops, or popes. I am just stating what the facts, including the Church’s documents, show. The universal Church should spend the next couple of centuries fighting to make things better.
Far from demonic, that is what Jesus would do.
Ronald E. Smith, Ed.D is a lifelong Catholic who enjoys writing. He is a parishioner at St. Edward the Confessor Church in Dana Point, California. Ronald and his wife Sandy recently founded Friends of St. Kizito Rubuguri Primary School to help the community of Rubuguri, Uganda, where they spend a lot of time. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.