At the age of seven, I briefly became a Devil worshipper.
Strange? Maybe, but let’s back up a second.
I was raised in a strict Protestant household, Pentecostal to be exact. We preferred to faithfully attend church service seven days a week, thank you very much, and “idols” such as Santa Clause were considered threats to the good Lord’s sovereignty. Out they went.
I loved God; I considered him to be a good guy (he was male, of course!), and he watched over me and my family. But there was a problem: the Devil. He stood against everything that good Christians strived for; he compelled people to do bad things, and in the End of Days, he’d roam the Earth with the Anti-Christ to punish nonbelievers.
So, like any child fearing Christian, I decided to fight him with one of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal: love.
It was a Saturday morning; I was watching cartoons—Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—and swinging my feet atop my couch. Something kept running through my head though: if God admires love, compassion, and praise, then wouldn’t the Devil only care for the opposite—hate, selfishness, and insults? I mean, the Devil is pure evil, isn’t he? He would hate anything positive; it would actually hurt him, wouldn’t it?
With this logic in mind, I hopped off the couch, bent down until my face was inches from the carpeted floor, and started telling the Devil I loved him. I told him that he was nice and good and that we should be friends. I mentioned every positive thing I could think of—poison to the Devil in my mind—to hurt him wherever he was in hell (because he was surely listening to a seven year old Spanish child in a Brooklyn ghetto . . . ).
Now, imagine the look on my sister’s face when she walked into the living room: her little brother, in his pajamas, kneeling to the ground, worshipping Satan repeatedly. She quickly wailed “what are you doing?!”
I looked up at her and calmly explained my plan to hurt the devil by showing him love. That’s when she explained to me that the Devil had worshippers too, and the way you fought him was to praise God.
Twenty-two years later, I’m still not sure if I believe my sister, honestly. But every once in a while I do receive an e-mail from a stranger with “wazaaaap?” in the body, so who knows?