About 50 years ago, Paul Harvey seemed to describe and foretell the erosion of America’s Christian values. This massive cultural and spiritual assault would gradually infect every aspect of America. More prophetic than we’d like to admit, the following text is from a 1965 radio broadcast by Paul Harvey, “If I were the Devil.”
“If I were the devil … if I were the prince of darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness, and I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee.
So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first—I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”
To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. And the old, I would teach to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war that themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.
If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions—just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.
And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.
If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct.
I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.
In other words, if I were the devil, I’d keep on doing what he’s doing.
Paul Harvey, good day.”