Speak of the Devil, Delivered by Maureen Killoran on March 29, 1992

“Take care when you speak of the devil.

Take care when you invoke the myths and fears of 2000 years.

Take care when speak of the reality of evil.

Take care, for only you have the power to conquer evil with love.

Once upon a time in the dark history of humanity, once upon a time people were convinced that the devil was real. An evil being, a seductive being with horns on his head and cloven hooves where feet might be expected to be found. A red being, or perhaps black. Smelling of sulfur and lashing a pointed tail, the devil tormented, seduced, corrupted, and the more holy the victim, the more intense the pain.

The Devil was real, and life was an endless battle between the children of the light and the children of darkness, the children of God and the demonic followers of the fallen angel Lucifer. Lucifer, whose pride and lust for power had earned him condemnation, forced him to dwell forever in the farthest reaches of hell.

With assorted bits of fine tuning, the shape of this evangelism of fear was pretty much in place a thousand years ago. throughout the “dark ages,” people living with the devil, just like they lived with God. The Devil wasn’t something you thought about, he was natural a part of life as sneezing.”

Maureen Killoran, Speak of the Devil, March 29, 1992, Box 2 Folder 6, Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville Collection, Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina Asheville Special Collections, Asheville, NC.