[trigger warning: rape. please enjoy this delightful otter instead.]
[note: taking a new medication. feeling very . . . odd. having trouble writing, well finding words, really. more on that later.]
I am frustrated by the concept of god(s): it's illogical, irrational and, as evidenced by what's going on in the US lately, it stifles science and encourages bad government and bad behavior over all. "God says" becomes the easy, and impossible to argue, rationale for all beliefs, beliefs that, unsurprisingly, precisely mirror the speaker's own prejudices and desires. (See: All Republican action against women currently in the works.)
I am downright enraged by the concept of the devil, however. Satan is the externalization of the evil in all of us. I can be selfish. I can be greedy and jealous and just plain mean. I work hard, every day, to not be those things. Sometimes it's a struggle, but it's a deliberate choice I make, a choice to be the very best me I can be. Sometimes, the very best me isn't all that great, but I'm not blaming my bad choices and actions on someone else.
If I'm selfish or greedy or jealous or mean, I own it. (Not always willingly. I'm human.) That was me. I shouldn't have been that way, I shouldn't done that, that was wrong. And that was me. Nobody else. I'm sorry. I'll have to try harder next time.
Satan, though. With Satan around, who has to say they're sorry? No one. Who needs personal accountability when you have Satan to blame? That wasn't me being selfish, that was Satan attacking me. In fact, you should feel sorry for me. Yes, I called you a fat slut and told your husband some pretty vicious lies about you* and caused you all sorts of pain, but you should feel sorry for me, what with the Satan attacking me and all. Why aren't you feeling sorry for me?
Remember the vicious gang rape of the 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas? (If not, go to a doctor. Who could forget that?) Well, it turns out, it was Satan's fault.
Bertha Cleveland, an aunt of Mr. Cruse, said her nephew went to church regularly, held down a job at McDonald’s and had told her he intended to go to college. “Our younger generation is running rampant,” she said. “The devil is in full control.”
Oh, I see. You can't possibly commit rape if you went to church regularly. It must have been Satan. Rapists don't want to go to college, do they? Definitely Satan.
Guess what? I can wax rhapsodic about the rape culture, about othering, about prejudice and marginalization, and perhaps when my words come back to me, I will. Frankly, I enjoy writing about such things. However, in the end, the fault is with the rapist. He raped. Prejudice didn't reach down and force his penis into that child's vagina. That was him.
And it sure as fuck wasn't some mythological creature in charge of making us do horrible, evil things. We don't need the help.
*No, not really me. The first person just works better in this context. This is directly from a post at a Christian message board. Not making this up. She actually wondered why the victim of her jealous rage didn't feel sorry for her.