by Abby Nolan
A short state of the union address by a demon based on C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters"
| My cursed fiends, imps and devils, it is once again time to consider the state of our dimension and the current challenges we must deign to face. As the official Overseer of Temptation, I report directly to our dastardly Father Below, and I am appalled at the excessive cockiness and apathy developing among the millions of tempters who are watching this address tonight. You act as if the battle for the souls of mankind has presently been won. I can assure you that this is not the case. Although it may seem that in this modern age we are closer than ever before to securing the souls of the insipid sheep that call themselves mankind, the Enemy is working tirelessly to reclaim them for His own, and He has been concerningly successful in that endeavor.
Some of you may wish to bring to my attention the ever-increasing obsessive, selfish, and fatuous nature of the upcoming generations, and your anticipation is not entirely unwarranted. In recent years, we have made it so the humans are unable to understand why they feel increasingly isolated despite hardly leaving their homes other than when absolutely necessary. They move through their fleeting lives forcefully attached to routine, never quite satisfied with the circumstances and company they have chosen. However, most of you have foolishly overlooked three detestable threats that the Enemy has clearly laid out for us to see: faith, hope, and love.
Though ignorance, abhorrence, and isolation have grown abundant over the past several years, those three threats have remained. The oldest of the humans have clung to their faith with incomprehensible stubbornness. We have been unable to pluck them from the Enemy’s hands, and they have ensured that this same faith will not be lost among their children and grandchildren. Additionally, despite our efforts to fill the youngest minds of the Earthlings with sorrow and fear, the warmth of hope continues to impede our plans. They reach out into the darkness that we have cultivated and blend their tiny whispers of hope until they have become a deafening shout which we can only attempt to muffle rather than silence.
My associates and viewers, faith and hope are just as dangerous to us today as they were a thousand years ago; however, the most frightening tool the Enemy wields continues to be, perhaps more than ever, love. We can pick away at a marriage for years at a time, slowly building resentment between two people who were once united. Then, just when it seems we have irreparably damaged the relationship, the Enemy uses a touch of the hand or a lingering gaze to reignite that fearsome flame which we have worked so hard to extinguish. So it is throughout all of society. I hope you do not misunderstand me. All is not lost; however, as long as love can still conquer all, we cannot ever truly win this war. I wish all of you the best of luck.