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Posts Tagged ‘pluralism’

Though it was still early, the day seemed to be off to a dreary start; especially for the 1st day in May. Low clouds clung to the mountain peaks and a steady drizzle came down, as it had for the last several days.  The chill in the air, and the dimly lit horizon seemed fitting for the somber gathering of spirits that made up the war council.  It was indeed rare that they would gather together, especially in an earthly location, but it was as the Overlord had commanded.

 

Each warlord eyed the others warily, wondering if one of them might know the reason for this sudden gathering. They were all keenly aware that the master wasn’t one to seek input from his subordinates, or to give them praise, so a weighty sense of dread draped their processional into the abandoned shaft opening.  It wasn’t a very hospitable setting, but as spirits they tended not to pay much attention to aesthetics, and thus it served its purpose.  They arranged themselves as they knew the master would expect, and they braced themselves for the inevitable unpleasantness to come.

 

The Overlord’s entourage arrived with surprisingly little fanfare, and he quickly moved to his station at the head of the council. As the warlords began their customary declarations of worship and submission, the master waved his hand to stop them.  “Enough!  I don’t need any of that right now!” he snarled.  He shot them a brief look of contempt, but he seemed more distracted than angry.  He sat, staring at his hands, as though he were deep in thought.  The warlords sat in complete silence, afraid to arouse his anger.

 

After what seemed to be several minutes, and without raising his eyes from his hands, the Overlord muttered, “It’s over”.

 

Again, the warlords sat in silence, too petrified to ask what he was referring to. Finally, Nardus, who was the oldest of the warlords, spoke.  “What is over, sire?” he asked timidly.

 

At that, the master’s furious eyes rose toward the council as he hissed, “this insidious little game of war you’ve been playing!”

 

Nardus was clearly confused by the statement, but measured his words carefully as he declared, “My lord I can assure you that we have not retreated on any front, and I feel certain that we are on the brink of yet another great advance in the west.”

 

With his words dripping with sarcasm, and a strange half smile on his face, the Overlord replied, “Ah yes, the west. You’ve certainly invested heavily there haven’t you?  Unfortunately Nardus, you’ve just lost your queen in the west, and you’re rapidly backing into checkmate.”

 

Confused, Nardus said, “I don’t understand sire?”

 

With his expression becoming more serious, the master said, “It’s your boy Adolph, he’s dead.”

 

A low hum of murmurs rose from the council at the news, and Nardus failed to conceal his shock. “How did it happen sire?” he asked.

 

“He did it himself. Not surprising really, I mean you can only contain so much insanity in a man before he destroys himself.”

 

Again the room was silent for an uncomfortable amount of time before a young, aggressive warlord named Lymbach spoke up. “There is still the war in the east sire!” He said in an optimistic tone.

 

Again, the Overlord glared at the council, “It’s over you fools! ‘The Allies’ have developed a doomsday weapon and it’s just a matter of time before they use it. Your pawns will fall in the east even faster than they have in the west; and before you know it your ‘World War’ will give way to world peace.”

 

Every member of the council hung their head in shame, knowing better than to utter anything more that might appear to contradict the master’s conclusion.

 

After several more minutes of silence, the Overlord rose to his feet and began to speak. “It is unfortunate that I have allowed you to be called ‘Warlords’, because it is so clear that you have little understanding of how to wage war.  You’re all so eager to make it a show of brute force and that is a war we cannot hope to win.  Don’t you see how attacking from outside one’s borders causes the citizenry to unite and galvanizes their resolve.  It stirs up all sorts of virtuous sensibilities and minimizes their more base instincts.  Instead of taking advantage of their natural depravity, you are cultivating what makes them our adversaries.  Instead of using them as puppets, you are making them into formidable foes.  Enough of this foolishness!  If you want to bring a house down you don’t throw rocks at the windows, you go after the structure that holds it up, and that sort of attack must come from within.”

 

The members of the council were now hanging on his every word, as he continued to pace and speak. “This idea of fighting toe to toe and face to face is much too civilized.  It makes the distinction between what is good and what is evil too apparent to them.  The way you win at war is to get them to the place that no one is really sure who the enemy is, or what the truth is.  That’s when you can get them to fight amongst themselves and where their natural sense of self-righteousness will guide them.  Never allow the battle lines to be clearly drawn.  Once you achieve that kind of ambiguity, you can sell them anything as long as it comes wrapped in a package that keeps them stirred up.”

 

The master paused to look into the faces of the council members, as if to see whether they were grasping his words. Nardus again spoke. “Sire, I can certainly see the wisdom of your words, but how do we move them from the place of their impending victory to this place that you have described?”

 

His question caused the Overlord to smile knowingly as he said, “It is much easier than you’d expect. If there is anything worth taking from history, it is that mankind cannot handle prosperity.  Just as the battle galvanized them, victory will surely make them proud and complacent.  It is fertile ground for their vain imaginations.  You need not dissuade them from their celebration, indeed you ought to encourage them to celebrate excessively.  Encourage them to feel good about themselves, to feel as though the days of sacrifice are over and the days of reward are at hand.  Help divert their dreams of freedom to dreams of prosperity; their covetous nature will make it easy.  Slowly redefine their most sacred tenants; reduce peace to nothing more than the absence of war and peace loving to nothing more than a lack of willingness to fight for what they believe.  Encourage them to view freedom as nothing more than the absence of constraint and to mistake winning for victory.  Inevitably their carnality will carry them along with very little effort on your part.  Give them catchy little phrases like, ‘Make love, not war!’  They will use such ideas to justify the exploration of their lusts and for their unwillingness to reach beyond themselves.  The generations born to such a people will have no concept of the truth or of sacrifice or of the eternal battle between good and evil.  Indeed, the very concept of good and evil will become abstract to them.  Believe me, if we are dutiful and patient, there will come a time when they doubt our very existence.  Without a shot being fired, this new empire will crumble from within, and ultimately be devoured by a people who truly understand what is good and what is evil.”

 

At these words, the entire council broke into cheers and exuberant praise. Moments later, as the Overlord’s entourage departed, every member of the council was awash with a fresh sense of hope for the future.

 

That is what I remember of my first council meeting, and I must admit that as a young demon I was somewhat skeptical about this plan. But in the relatively short period of time that has passed since that spring day in 1945 I have come to see the genius of the Overlord’s tact.  Indeed the young republic of that day did go on to become the most powerful nation on earth, with no foe on the horizon with the capabilities to bring it down.  Even so, the steady erosion of their own national character has weakened them from within, and they have now come to the point that they stand divided and on the brink of collapse.

 

I remember the master talking about attacking the foundation of a structure and it occurs to me that for a nation built upon Judeo-Christian ethics that is exactly what we’ve accomplished. Their Jesus claimed that He was “the way, the truth and the life” and yet in these few short years we’ve convinced them otherwise.  They’ve exchanged the belief that He is the only way for the belief that there are many ways (i.e. pluralism); they’ve exchanged the belief that He is the embodiment of truth for the idea that every man gets to define truth for himself (i.e. humanism) and they’ve come to a place of such low regard for life, that thousands of lives are destroyed each day in the name of personal freedom (i.e. abortion).  It’s not that they’ve stopped believing that there is a God; it’s just that He’s become irrelevant to them.

 

The generations born into this culture tend to have voracious appetites, under-developed consciences, and little sense of obligation toward their fellow man. They tend to believe only in what they can feel or explain, so just as the master prophesied, most cannot even fathom that we demons exist.  I’d love to take the credit for these rapid advances, and to be sure we’ve made our suggestions, but in truth they’ve really done most of it themselves.  Had they even resisted a little bit, we’d have had to take a step back; and I shudder to think of what might happen if they’d ever unleash the whole arsenal of weapons they’ve got at their disposal.  But for now they’re too busy battling each other to bother with us.  For us it’s a lot like watching a beautiful sunset.

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