My Dear Mogslopper,

How do they let ones like you free to roam the Earth while the rest of us are tethered to desks? Youth is wasted on the young. Did you not learn the first thing about the difference between Life and politics in the Academy? Of course politics serve our Cause, but not in the way you would think. And besides, you had better mind your own business. Politics is not in your domain. The course of politics, on the continent your patient inhabits or any other, is the charge of the Third Circle--Slorvenarque and her crew, I believe. That portion of the Lowerarchy is set up to handle elections, assassinations, insurrections, general oppression, and acts of Congress. You are to keep your claws in your own patient. If you will, please stop sending me your reports of this year's election campaign nonsense. It makes no difference to me and it should not to you either. As far as your patient is concerned, it makes all the difference in the world; as far as you are concerned, it means nothing. Politics is an excellent point of attack on your patient. If you can begin to conflate the importance of his socio-political standing and his spiritual standing with the Enemy, you will take him down a winding and fruitless path. He will begin to take sides, you see. And sides are just what we want him to take. Don't mistake my words: a Christian who understands the social implications of their religion is highly dangerous. They may take seriously the injunctions to "love their enemies" to such an extent that they change the hearts of their enemies and their comrades. You will see a frightening ripple effect should one of them integrate their actions and orientations around the Enemy's religion. However, an able Tempter can make some good work out of this otherwise undesirable condition. There is almost no case that I know of where a sincere disciple of the Enemy held fast to the complete doctrines of a worldly political party. Certainly, there were some Causes taken up by the Enemy's Elect--like the abolitionist cause in the nineteenth century, for instance--that became inconveniently enmeshed with otherwise harmless Federalist politics. Ages before that, you may recall that hideous Luther fellow was able to translate his faith into an active political position. And don't get me started about Mother Theresa or Brigid of Kildare or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Bernard of Clairvaux! But by and large, the Enemy in His Incarnation confounded our expectations and those of His closest companions by eschewing all political power, focusing instead on the condition of flimsy (yet scrumptious) human souls. After it was revealed that the Enemy was waging all out assault on the spiritual destiny of the humans themselves, rather than merely their organizational power structures, we were forced to change our strategy. We tell them that politics are important, but we know they are just an afterthought. Through political situations, we can cause lovely quantities of suffering, but it gives way to far too much Seeking and Knocking. We cannot abide a spiritually curious patient. Lull your patient into a politically charged but otherwise pointless self-indulgence and, though plenty of hot air and ambition may be generated, you will find yourself a tender, well-basted human in only a few short decades. Jargon and confusing priorities in your patient's two-party political system go a long way toward helping us entangle them and castrate their Faith. Take for instance those they call "liberals": with their talk of social justice and helping the disenfranchised, you would think this was paragon of social virtue, a veritable Enemy's party. Fortunately, the last few decades have also moved them toward a deification of all laws protecting personal rights--even as they infringe the lives of unborn humans who need rights the most. Yes, we hate abortion and infanticide for keeping so many juicy souls away from us, but the cumulative suffering caused by such mass death sends perpetual shudders of glee down to the Throne itself. On the other side then you have the "conservatives": concerned about issues of individual freedom and moral righteousness. It would be enough to make a devil sick if they were also free of continual hypocrisy, lack of practical sympathy for those different than themselves, and a general disrespect for anything that doesn't put more wealth in their own overstuffed pockets. Again, through the work of the organized efforts of Hell, we've been able to render them fat with self-interest and mostly harmless. Your patient, however, knows none of this. He, no doubt, has issues in his past--perhaps something as arbitrary as the economic condition of the neighborhood where he grew up--guiding his feelings about a particular political direction. Remind him of the obvious injustices he experienced or witnessed on television. Thanks to extensive propaganda produced at all levels Downhere, he cannot have been exposed to anything close to a fair and balanced perspective on any political issue over the years. Begin to show him the correctness of "his side." In fact, rhetoric like side, position, party, and people are primary means toward the end of conflating the man's politics with the man's religion. If you tempt him correctly, your patient will begin defending his political position with venom. As a long-time Christian, he will probably not believe his retorts to his political opponents have made them "enemies" to him but watch him, Mogslopper. They have! In the moment of greatest heat, have him throw off all fetters of charity and good will toward his fellowman (even fellow Christian!), drop any pretense of logical argument, and passionately go for the throat. Admittedly, he may go to the Enemy in prayer, loaded down with his guilty feelings later, but he's caused great harm already; as a side effect, deep down you will hardly have to tempt him at all to make him believe that his actions were wholly justified. He will feel ashamed and smug at the same time. That cache of spiritual Pride, when you tease it out of him, is a savory dish indeed. You will have managed to truly confound your patient when he begins to refer to modern day political topics by referring to what the Enemy would want. "God would want lower taxes," they might say, or "He never would have squandered the natural resources of Earth the way you Republicans are now." It is ridiculous, I know. Their puny minds have yet to grasp their own insignificance. In their arrogance they believe they can make correlations between these superficial suggestions, which they have picked up from the comic book journalism and third-rate philosophizing of their television programs (another gargantuan achievement of ours), and the history of the Enemy as revealed in the scriptures and the Incarnation. (I know you believe the history of the Enemy is also revealed in His Church throughout the last few thousand years, but your patient's era cares nothing for the wisdom of the saints and therefore are largely ignorant of this aspect of the Enemy's continuing Revelation. You needn't fear any influence from this direction.) Your patient?s closest friends will likely reinforce your patient?s desire to speak in terms of the divinely defensible political position--since most men will only gather a cohort who will see eye-to-eye with them on crucial political and religious topics. With a little prodding, your patient may view anyone who approaches politics differently than him as inferior in some way?ignoring the haphazard amalgamation of situations and subjective experiences that led your patient to this stance. Once he exhibits this heart condition, you can relax in confidence knowing you have worked your man into a warped, proud, comfortable place. He will be pleasantly pliable to you thenceforth. I have lacerated but the surface of the issue of politics. Unfortunately, I have an appointment to attend to shortly and must close. Remember, the wider political world means barely more than zero to us or the Enemy, except to the extent politics infects the faiths of our patients. It would thrill me to watch you mold your patient to be a vicious, adamant defender of some political position and lukewarm in matters of personal sacrifice, hospitality, work ethic, love for his neighbor, and the use of his money--any area where the Enemy really is making demands on his life as it relates to the volkpolitik, the politics of the common man. But by all means steer him clear of nonchalant ambivalence toward politics if he is passionate toward his own social responsibility. Your patient should be growing in anger and frustration with the assertions of those on the other side politically while at the same time growing lethargic and dispassionate about a lack of his own others-centered attempt (no matter how mundane) at curing the world of its injustices and social ills. Affectionately, Your Uncle


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