An Open Letter Regarding Closed Churches

(With apologies to CS Lewis)

From: His Highness Wormwood, Prince of America
To: Subordinate Fiends
Re: Update on Operation Coronavirus USA, Particularly As It Affects Churches

Per yesterday’s Memo #57391.003, I met with Our Father below (OFb) to assess our progress in Operation Coronavirus USA (OC-USA). On the whole, OFb was pleased: he screamed a mere thirteen times during our interview and once even rubbed his hands with glee. I haven’t seen him this buoyant since my uncle, Screwtape, applied similar tactics to Germany under our Nazi proteges.

OFb mentioned that the princes of Asia, Europe, the British Commonwealth, and Central America have likewise reported astounding success. Incredible, isn’t it, that a flu-bug our underlings in government and the media so wildly hype has terrified billions! I mean, we aren’t talking the Black Death or even smallpox. Yet much of mankind has taken leave of its puny senses. Abducting Arnold Akers, Becky Best Price: $15.95 Buy New $19.95 (as of 10:35 EST - Details)

Including Americans, who, I proudly note, cooperate as our flunkeys in politics destroy their country. Even before Uncle Screwtape’s time, our colleagues laid the groundwork for demolishing the “City on a Hill”: democracy, Marxism, television and other media, evolution, nihilism, public “education,” etc. That preparation has paid rich dividends. Americans may still call themselves Christian and fill the churches half-way, particularly at Christmas and Easter. But most are actually atheists who leave their religion in the pews. Hence their hysteria as our lackeys in politics and the media insist that death stalks them. When you assume you have but one earthly life, you will sacrifice anything, including freedom and integrity, to prolong it. Nor will you look to the Enemy, Whom you neither know nor trust, for salvation but to our proxy, the State.

Which brings me to our greatest triumph: closing the churches! And that when humanity most needs the Gospel, too. Panicked and anguished souls can no longer find solace in the Enemy’s house, which means fewer recruits from our side to His and little fellowship among His followers. Who’d have thought even a month ago that the land of the Pilgrims and more Great Awakenings than any decent devil can stomach would see its churches lock their doors! Nor need we dread another of those peculiarly American “revivals” such as hindered our endeavors during earth’s twentieth century: Christians now obediently shun even the smallest gatherings.

Best of all, I exempted religious institutions from the “stay-at-home” diktats (so far at least), so your pastoral patients closed their churches voluntarily.

Why is voluntary closing such a coup? Because the Enemy prizes freedom, the prerequisite for love. And love, however disgusting and debilitating, is His ultimate value. He’s built humans for it, too, though why they seek love when they could hate and lust and murder and bully beats me. But that’s the Enemy for you: He endows His creatures with free will in the hopes that they’ll adore Him. And now I’ve cleverly turned His gift against Him via OC-USA!

Unfortunately, some of you are swiping my credit for this. And so I ask: did you send men of the cloth scurrying to the State’s websites rather than independent bloggers? No, you did not. I must think of everything. Which is fine: as Prince of America, that’s my job. But I demand acknowledgement of my genius.

At any rate, since a myriad of websites resist our oversight and publish truth, I inspired pastors to consult only “official” web pages. How vastly amusing that they quote the CDC and the WHO in emails to their parishioners and on their websites! Nor did they so much as glance at any evidence contradicting our lies. Indeed, so complete is their confidence in the CDC that you’d never guess our servants there tirelessly promote sodomy, perversion and pedophilia. As for the WHO, Uncle Screwtape et al. established that bureaucracy as our beachhead to one-world government—something the Enemy has abhorred since the Tower of Babel. And something you might suppose His loyal followers would eschew as well. Yet I fooled preachers into not only availing themselves of the WHO and CDC but referring their congregations to them!

Observe, too, my twisting of the Enemy’s own words—a potent stratagem since Eden. But few of you wield this weapon because you haven’t studied the Scriptures or even read them. You rightly suspect that pastors know the Bible better than you do.

To that end, I’m instituting a series of pop quizzes on the Good Book. But even the most ignorant demon may quote Romans 13 fearlessly, given that 99.9999% of your patients ignore all other relevant passages. Yes, the Enemy frequently cautions Christians against our stronghold, the State: Judges 9, I Samuel 8, Psalm 2, OFb’s conversation with the Enemy Incarnate in the wilderness (a huge error on the former’s part, admitting that he’d “give” Him the governments of the world—because you can’t give what you don’t own. But men are irremediably stupid, and few grasp this nuance), etc. In these, He repeatedly denounces the cruelty, greed, brutality and corruption rampant in government—as if those are bad things!

But He may as well not have bothered: Christians spurn all His warnings to fixate on Romans 13. A bonus: most translations imply that He refers here to political authorities when the Greek designates such private ones as parents and tutors. Ergo, I hurl Romans 13 at your patients whenever rulers propose yet another oppression, such as shuttering entire states. You should, too.

Some parishioners may press their clergy to open churches, so beware. They’ll likely recite the Enemy’s commands to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” and to “obey God rather than men.” Counter them by puffing pride into your pastoral patient—after all, he graduated from seminary—and arrogance (“Just who do they think they are, debating the Bible with me? Besides, it’s my church, I’ll decide whether we’re open or not,” etc.).

You should also realize that we’ve suspended our policies on love (e.g., confusing it with romance or lust, chipping away at it, entirely neutralizing it, etc), so you can capitalize on “love thy neighbor.” Remind your pastoral patient that charity requires adjourning services to protect folks from the virus. If he still threatens to break ranks, tempt him to conformity by whispering that most churches are closed; how will it look if he’s open?

One of you—I won’t name him: suffice to say he’s since repented—offered a variation on this: closing churches to safeguard elderly members. This is insultingly stupid and entirely beneath us: Gramps could remain home while the less vulnerable assemble. OC-USA is achieving more than we had ever dared dream and wants no such inane “help.”

You’ve doubtless observed that churches have substituted “live-streaming” and online sermons, classes, studies, etc., for corporate worship. Ordinarily, we’d combat these with a range of technological snafus. But now we figure that Christians will quickly come to prefer lounging about the breakfast table in their PJs and watching—or not: you can suggest all sorts of activities the kiddies will enjoy far more—a sermon to showering, shaving, dressing, and driving 20 miles so they can fidget while their minds wander and their stomachs growl. We’ll extend OC-USA as long as possible, but alas, it must eventually end. You’ll then reap the rewards of Christians’ mistaking “virtual” worship for actual.

Meanwhile, Easter is but several of earth’s weeks away. OFb loathes that day and always has, despite our devastating strike against the Enemy. Personally, I relish every wound, every drop of blood and sweat, every lash of the whip, every thorn and spike piercing His flesh! But not OFb. He says the Enemy won that round because He rose from the dead. Nonsense: has anyone else resurrected since then? If the Enemy is so powerful, why aren’t all His followers climbing out of their graves after three days? Halestorm--A Novel of ... Akers, Becky Best Price: null Buy New $2.99 (as of 11:05 EST - Details)

I submit that they’re not. But a word to the wise: keep your pastors and congregants home on Easter, focused on chocolate bunnies and springtime rather than the Enemy’s alleged victory, else you’ll suffer the customary penalties.

Finally, OC-USA has greatly encouraged our rulers in high worldly places. They rejoice at how quickly churches complied with our State’s recommendations and gauge from that the speed at which Christians will cave when recommendations become orders at gunpoint. No Richard Wurmbrands or Dietrich Bonhoeffers among your American patients, that’s certain. Indeed, much of our achievement with OC-USA isn’t due to you but to naivete in the pulpits. Today’s preachers are far easier to gull than the “Black Robed Regiment” that thwarted our grandfathers. Believe me, there’s no danger of a second American Revolution’s saving the country from our goal of totalitarianism.

Onward, then, to total conquest via OC-USA!

Warmly yours,
Wormwood
Prince of America