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1965 Radio Commentary "If I were the Devil": A Retrospective on Paul Harvey's Warning to Humanity


'If I were the Devil', updated

By: Don Surber


November 13, 2022: On April 3, 1965, a mere 57 years ago, Paul Harvey gave a commentary on ABC radio entitled, “If I Were The Devil,” in which he laid out Satan’s plan for America. If you have never heard it, I suggest you listen to him as you read this because all of what he said indeed came true. Most men try to figure out what God’s plan is. Harvey worried about what the devil was up to.


If he were the devil, Harvey began, “I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’”


In 1965, church participation was 73% as measured by Gallup just as it was in 1937 when Gallup first began polling the question. As late as 1998, participation was at 70%. But the advent of the Internet sent it plummeting to 47% in 2021. The devil now whispers online.


Harvey said, “To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’”


I remember in college in the 1970s being told that Man created God in his own image. I was told this in English class and in Black History class (which I aced, twice). 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire said, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Close, but in the 21st century, we now know his greatest trick was convincing people God does not exist.



As good and prescient as Paul Harvey was, he underestimated the devil because the devil convinced people that not only was the Lord non-existent but that church itself was evil. NPR, the antithesis of Paul Harvey, proclaimed on July 1, 2020, “White Supremacist Ideas Have Historical Roots In U.S. Christianity.”


The story said, “How respected people of God could openly promote racist views was a question that would trouble many Southerners in the years that followed. Among them was a young woman growing up in East Texas in the 1970s, Carolyn Renée Dupont. The girl's grandmother took her regularly to church, made her listen to sermons on the radio and gave her a quarter for every Bible verse she memorized. But the grandmother believed just as deeply in the superiority of the white race.”


White supremacists attend church, therefore everyone who attends church is a white supremacist. What a shock it must have been to the Reverend Martin Luther King to discover he was a white supremacist.


The devil has replaced the seven deadly sins — Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride — with a basket of deplorables as well as patriotism and religion. Indeed, Envy and Pride are considered virtues today. Society admonishes us not to slut-shame (Lust) or fat-shame (Gluttony). But the devil knows those sins are deadly and it is the death of America that he seeks.


If he were the devil, Harvey said, “I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.”


Satan used state governments to promote vices. LBJ’s Medicaid program offered free money to the states. For every dollar the state put in, the federal government matched it with $1 to $3. But that free money was expensive. Coming up with that first dollar was a problem for the states. They began offering vices as a means of raising revenues. The states said the money was for schools because Medicaid was never popular. The lottery was first. Then came gambling. Then came casinos. Then came medical marijuana even though there is scant research that shows pot is a safe pain medication. Now cities have turned into open drug markets.


Harvey said, “If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.”


The war within families is the crucial battlefield. The acceptance of divorce is obvious but the promotion of higher education has played a role. Sending a kid off to college often returns a resentful and smug adult who feels superior to his foolish uneducated parents. If the children are lucky, they will grow old enough to appreciate the wisdom of their parents, just as their parents grew to understand their parents.


For now, however, liberals every Thanksgiving give instructions to the young on how to talk down to their elders about whatever this year’s topic is.


Harvey said, “If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.”


As far as drug-sniffing dogs go, the devil came up with something worse than narcotics: transgendering. The devil does not play fair. He goes after children. The younger, the better. The devil took over libraries with Drag Queen Story Hour.


At the same time, the LGBT crowd took over kindergartens and is instructing boys that they are girls and girls that they are boys. The indoctrination is working. 15.9% of those ages 20 to 25 identify as LGBT, according to Statista. Only 2% of baby boomers do. Elon Musk’s daughter, Vivian, decided to change her sex. LGBT groomers targeted her. Musk told the Financial Times, “It’s full-on communism and a general sentiment that if you’re rich, you’re evil.”


The devil’s battle with decency is epic. Walt Disney built an empire of fairy tales and stories of American heroes. He built Disneyland, the magic kingdom. His death gave the devil an opportunity to turn it into a tragic kingdom that supports grooming children for perverts.


Paul Harvey concluded, “If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who want until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious."

“And what do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus, I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”

The devil’s plan was far worse than Harvey could imagine. The devil made abortion a right in 1973. This evil killed 60 million Americans. That’s the equivalent of the American loss of life in 1,000 Vietnams. The rest of the world, sadly, followed America’s lead down this yellow brick road to perdition.


Harvey missed how the devil would turn cities ablaze over the death of a junkie. Harvey missed de-criminalizing the ransacking of stores. Harvey missed turning boulevards into rows of pup tents mingled with human waste.


But he got what the plan was: to destroy America from within by turning the nation away from God. In my lifetime, we have gone from ending prayer in school to using the captured audiences in grade school to indoctrinate children into the Church of LGBT before they reach puberty. Under Reagan, we puzzled over why Johnny cannot read. Ah, the good old days. Now Johnny not only cannot read but he does not know whether he is a boy or a girl.


Paul Harvey tried to warn us about this in 1965, just as I am trying to do now.


Good Day.


Source: Don Surber Substack


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