I have often heard church leaders poke fun at the idea that "the devil made me do it!"
They say that this is a false idea; the devil has no power over any person's decisions.
Okay, I get what they are going for. They don't want people justifying bad actions with the excuse of the devil's involvement.
If you asked any person of the LDS faith, and probably almost any other Christian faith, I am firmly under the influence of Satan himself. I am being deceived, he has planted false doubts in my mind.
Sometimes I'm a little miffed at this dissmissal of my thoughts. First of all, if this devil guy is so good at convincing people of falsehood, how are you sure that you aren't his dupe, too? God told you you're okay? Maybe that was the devil acting like he was god.
If I am to just thrust any doubtful thought out of my mind and completely ignore logical inconsistencies unquestioningly... wouldn't that make me particularly succeptible to the devil's lies?
But that was a little off the thought I was going to write about. So okay, whatever, I'm totally screwed because this demonic being has convinced me that things that don't seem to be true to me on any level are in fact not true. Fine.
It seems to me that the devil really is a cop-out for the religious. Okay, so he can't have power over your actions, but he can suggest violence, lust, greed, jealousy, pride, etc. to your mind. And by golly, those sudden urges you get to punch your boss in the nose or run that jerk in the Pontiac off the road or whatever are all his fault. That tricky devil, giving us all of our evil urges...
What is this beyond an unwillingness to admit that maybe our desires to do bad things are just a part of our nature! We are not perfectly moral in society's or our own eyes, and so we invent this dude who invents sins and then tries to get us to do them in our weakest moments, because he's not that happy with god's policies.
I might as well admit now that officially, yes, satan must currently be whispering in my ear "I am no devil, for there is none." Oldest trick in the book, right? Kind of a reverse Freddy Krueger, the less frightened I am the more danger I am in. Because I have no capability to doubt his existence by myself.