December 5th, 2007

laughing jesus

Is There a Satan?

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Satan.
Papa says 'If you see it in The Sun it's so.'
Please tell me the truth: is there a Satan?
Virginia O'Hanlon.
115 West Ninety-fifth street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan. He exists as certainly as hate and fear and suffering exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its lowest horror and pain. Alas! how joyous would be the world if there were no Satan. It would be as joyous as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make intolerable this existence. We should have no texture, except in sense and sight. The eternal dark with which badness fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Satan! You might as well not believe in Santa Claus! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the pentagrams on Halloween to catch Satan, but even if they did not see Satan manifesting, what would that prove? Nobody sees Satan, but that is no sign that there is no Satan. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the awful wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Satan! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make sad the heart of childhood.
  • Current Mood
    perhaps a bit cynical