Paul Harvey was a Nationally Syndicated radio broadcaster of the latter half of the 20th Century. He rendered daily news on over 1600 stations and sent columns to 300 newspapers across America, 24 million listeners tuned him in. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his contributions to the nation.
One broadcast originally given in 1964 was updated several times as in this version of 1996. In Paul Harvey’s own words, here is what he said he would do, if he “were the devil.”
“If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness. I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of it population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—thee. So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States of America.
“I’d subvert the churches first, and I would 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 that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square. And the old, I would teach to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington …’
“Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d peddle 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 with 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 intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run wild. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing
dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door. With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and then from the houses of Congress. In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.
“If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?
“I’d convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be. And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.
“In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”
Paul Harvey was so right! Do we believe him? What changes can we begin to make!
Till next time, Don Johnson, Kirby Pines Chaplain