Monday, November 9, 2015

The new Screwtape letters: letter II

My dear Ticksnar,

I confess myself somewhat surprised by the question of policy contained in your letter, though of course gratified that you should solicit my advice. Even if your motive is only to ensure your own compliance with regulations (for I assure you that your ambition is well-known to Administration), it is to your credit that you should do so. Hell is, after all, a vast organisation, and it is crucially important that we should co-ordinate our efforts in service of Our Father Below.

The corporate policy of Hell, then, toward homosexuality is the same as that toward sexuality in general: one of interested neutrality. As incorporeal spirits, of course, the unseemly physical aspects of sex must to some extent remain a mystery to us fiends. We must stand always ready, however, to exploit the social, psychological, and of course spiritual opportunities presented by this absurd creation of the Enemy—and this particular manifestation offers such opportunities in even greater abundance than usual.

Our cause is best served in climates of severe repression, when the humans are ready to punish what they regard as deviance with stigmatisation and even death. You, operating out of the American office, will perhaps recall with fondness the well-publicised rape and murder of a trans-sexual individual in Nebraska some years back, and the murder by stoning of a Wyoming boy by his schoolmates. Ah, when children become murderers, it bodes exceedingly well for us, though of course we may have to wait a few decades longer for such a delectable feast to finally fall into our hands.

Almost as good from our point of view is a climate of extreme indulgence, which our philological division has labelled with some success as "liberation". The excesses to be seen in so-called Gay Pride parades, in bath-houses and sex clubs, are but the most obvious examples—and will be of particular use to you in dealing with your patient. Let her think of rampant promiscuity—and this alone—as "the gay lifestyle", and distract her attention from other situations which might otherwise have equal claim to that nebulous title. (The definite article is crucial here; she must always think of "the gay lifestyle" and not "a gay lifestyle", or much of your advantage is lost.)

As you might have perceived, the current social and political trend toward "marriage equality", or the recognition of gay unions, represents something of a crisis for us, as a greater segment of the human population gains the chance to publicly live out a settled, committed existence. (Amusing, is it not, that so many self-describing servants of the Enemy believe that it is a crisis for them?) Obviously, this need not be a complete disaster—any crisis contains a measure of opportunity, and it is not to be supposed that same-sex couples will be more universally successful at marriage than their opposite-sex counterparts, so we can assume (and of course encourage) a certain amount of infidelity, domestic abuse, and the like.

Still, if marriage equality becomes widely accepted in the law and in the public esteem, our harvest will necessarily be lessened, and we will look back with fondness on those times past when "closeted" gays took spouses of the opposite sex as social cover, deceiving their closest associates as to their true identities—or better yet, when they resorted to "conventional" promiscuity in an attempt to deceive themselves as to their true natures. For the Enemy, having unaccountably created sexuality, wants the humans to be faithful to Him, to one another, and to themselves; whereas we obviously want them to be true to no one and to nothing at all.

Encourage your patient's homophobia (if such it be) and opposition to marriage equality. If her daughter intends to enter into a spiritual marriage in advance of the law, let the patient believe in marriage only as defined by the government. If the law should change and same-sex marriages be officially recognised, let her say that state and society have betrayed their principles, and continue to withhold her support from her offspring. She may never notice that she has changed her position—in her mind she has remained steadfast, for so you will whisper in her ear at every opportunity.

A bonus may accrue to this course of action. By the accounts which have reached me, the daughter is herself somewhat inclined toward traditional religious views. If your patient and her associates continue vocal in their disapproval, if the daughter and her wife find judgment and rejection rather than fellowship in the Church, might your colleagues in temptation not use this as a wedge to separate them as well from the Enemy?

Your affectionate uncle

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