At the risk of getting the Cracked offices fire-bombed, I'd like to pose a question: "What if Satan is the good guy?" I imagine a lot of you, upon reading that, immediately shot back with a question of your own: "How much Ancient Aliens do you fucking watch, man?"
This is my Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Not that it matters, but the answer is: "All of it," and, yes, it's a topic that was brought up on an episode called The Satan Conspiracy at one point. That said, it's an idea that's been around for a long time, well before the History Channel got involved. We don't actually talk about it much on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
Instead, guests Cat Rhinehart (My Super Overactive Imagination) and Jeff May (Day Jobs) do their best to convince me that religion is a thing kids need in their lives. I certainly didn't have much in mine as a kid. My parents both went to Bible colleges, but if they cared anything about the Bible after that it definitely didn't show.
My grandmother was a churchgoer until the end, but she never forced going to church on me. In fact, on the only occasion when I recall having to tag along, she bought me a dinosaur pop-up book so I wouldn't be bored. I was six at the time, so that was a plan I could get behind. However, when we got there, as it turned out, someone was being baptized. For some reason it struck me as mildly terrifying to watch ...
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What's terrifying about this?
... but I had to watch. To this day, my memory of the event involves the entire room being lit with a really dim red light while it was happening, kind of like in an office building when the electricity goes out. That seems highly unlikely, in retrospect, but when I picture it in my mind, that's still exactly how I see it.
From then on, organized religion just wasn't a thing that stuck with me. With so many choices and so many people saying their choice is correct, my instinct was always to just assume everyone was wrong and that I'd have to come to my own conclusions. I accept that this might not work for everybody, though. Sometimes, people need structure and order and discipline in their lives. You need someone to follow. So, because I give zero fucks which book you do or don't believe, you can take it as seriously as any other recommendation when I say that, this season, maybe consider switching to Satan. Here are a few reasons why ...
#6. Because He's Why You Know Things and Ask Questions
Hey! You believe the story of Adam and Eve, right? Just joking, but you at least know it, right? God makes a man and a woman, drops them into the middle of the Garden of Eden, and tells them not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. A talking serpent shows up and convinces Eve to ignore that one command and, just like that, we're all born a bunch of filthy sinners because we possess the knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, and all that other fun stuff.
Perfectly reasonable! Anyway, whether he was an actual serpent or not is open for debate if you don't value your free time much, but most people agree that the "serpent" in question represents Satan. Before he came along, we were built to blindly follow God without ever questioning how or why the things around us happen.
I mean, call me whatever you want for saying it, but that doesn't sound particularly great to me. I'd honestly rather know some things and make some decisions and, to hear the Bible tell it, Satan is the one who made that possible. Is that really such a bad thing? Well, it depends on who you ask.
#5. Because He's Not the Bad Guy in a Lot of Other Cultures
The idea of a figure coming down from the sky and delivering knowledge to mankind isn't unique to Christianity. It turns up in all sorts of cultures and mythologies. Ancient Greece, for example, has Prometheus, a titan who worked closely with Zeus to do all kinds of meaningful and movie-worthy shit until he was ultimately punished for stealing knowledge from the gods and sharing it with mankind. History hasn't exactly painted him as a bad guy for his transgressions, no matter how much Ridley Scott dragged his name through the mud.
Or how about Kukulkan, the "serpent deity" sometimes associated with Maya and Aztec cultures?
This is him?
Same basic story: works closely with the gods, delivers knowledge and information and the basic tools of civilization to mankind, war ensues. There are even some stories that involve him becoming too prideful about all his beauty and power and ultimately losing both as a result.
If that sounds familiar it's probably because it's not at all unlike what happened to Satan in his more radio-friendly days when he was still called Lucifer. Depending on what point in history we're talking, the word "Lucifer" translates to "bringer of light."
You guys like light, don't you? Well, thank Satan for it. Speaking of that ...
#4. Because He's Probably Way Easy on the Eyes
Don't even pretend this shit isn't important to people these days. Attractiveness might as well be currency in this country, and depending on who you believe, Satan was basically the Rob Lowe of angels. The prettiest, the smartest ... the closest to God you could get without being God. That's Rob Lowe.
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He's like the Zac Efron of responsible adults.
It's also an apt description of Satan in his pre-fall, Lucifer days. He eventually became too full of himself and lost his place among God's elite. Even people who abide by the most corporate versions of Christianity agree on that part, but what happened next seems a lot less clear.
As we we've covered previously on Cracked, everything from those wacky hooves and horns to his famous trident, the Flavor Flav clock of Christianity, are all attributes we've given to Satan over the years.
All we really know about what he looks like comes from that description of Lucifer. The part where he loses his boyish good looks upon being cast down to roam the Earth is just kind of assumed.
Well, who's to say he didn't just stay that pretty on Earth? He actually returns to Heaven in the book of Job, where he works social experiment shenanigans in tandem with God himself like a couple of power-drunk buddy cops. "God don't like ugly" is a basic tenet of every religion. It's a safe bet Satan was still a looker when God gave him the go-ahead to make Job's life a living hell.
So, if you believe all that shit, is it such a stretch to believe that, rather than morphing into a snarling beast, Satan still looks as Rob Lowe as ever?
Even this Rob Lowe still probably gets more ass than you.
You certainly can't rule it out, because, you know, nobody can prove any of this shit. It's certainly something to consider when deciding which path is right for you, though.