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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


"Potatoes are of Satan," and other modest
proposals. Throughout history, unbalanced
minds have attributed virtually every new
invention or concept to the power of Evil. 



return to the main-page article on "Satan" 



Dr. Carl Wickland, Gateway Of Understanding:

When potatoes were introduced into Scotland in 1728 the clergy indignantly denounced them as unfit for consumption by Christians because they were not mentioned in the Bible; France scoffed at all early efforts to introduce potatoes into the national diet and in England the British labor leader publicly shouted that potatoes were fit only for hogs and cattle and not for men.

As late as 1840 an Eastern city passed an ordinance against the use of bathtubs, and umbrellas were at one time denounced by the clergy as being contrary to the biblical statement that "The Father which is in Heaven... sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)...

Andrew D. White relates in "A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom": "When the Copernican doctrine that the earth and planets revolve about the sun - perhaps the greatest and most ennobling of scientific truths - was upheld by Galileo as a truth and proved to be a truth by his telescope, the church forbade all books which affirmed the motion of the earth."

The theological opponents disproved Galileo's theory of the revolution of the earth on its axis by placing a crowbar in a hole in the ground, with the idea that if Galileo was right the crowbar would fall out. As it did not do so, Galileo was deemed a heretic and condemned to imprisonment and saved his life only by retracting during his trial. But as he left his accusers he declared under his breath, "And yet it moves."

White states further: "Copernicus escaped persecution only by death; Giordano Bruno was burned alive as a monster of impiety; Newton was bitterly attacked for dethroning Providence."

"When quinine was introduced in Europe in 1638 it was stigmatized as an invention of the devil and the opposition was so strong that it was not introduced in England until 1653."

"As late as 1770 religious scruples were still felt regarding the lightning-rod of Benjamin Franklin, the theological theory being that the storm is the voice of God."

"In 1847 when the Scotch physician advocated the use of anaesthetics in obstetrical cases he was met by a storm of opposition. From pulpit to pulpit Simpson's use of chloroform was denounced as impious and contrary to Holy Writ; texts were cited abundantly, the ordinary declaration being that to use chloroform was 'to avoid one part of the primeval curse on woman.'"



Many more examples could be added; indeed, virtually every advancement in society - including rock'n roll - has been attributed to Satan.

What would we do, said Father Benson, without our dear friend Satan to make sense of life - the greatest "Joker is wild."

One last example. Consider these magnificent "crop circles":





Suddenly appearing overnight, these intricate and complex crop circles seem to hail from unearthly sources.

While shrouded in mystery, the first recorded crop circle may have occurred in 1678. The fearful and fear-mongering clergy of Big Religion quickly labeled it "the Devil Mowing"!



An excerpt from the page honoring Thomas Paine, the preeminent U.S. Founding Father, defender par excellence of human rights and personal freedoms:


To President Jefferson’s eternal credit, he walked through the city of Washington, arm in arm, with a weak, shabby, old man, who had conceived “The Rights Of Man” and “The Age Of Reason.” And that act, on the President’s part, did him no political good, whatsoever.

The State Of New York had given Tom this house in New Rochelle. He finally retired there, to die, in some bewilderment at the sad ways of humanity. He became very sick. His imprisonment in Paris had crushed his constitution. They say Tom sat very still looking straight ahead, not moving. Very few people now dared to even speak to the politically dangerous patriot. American mothers would threaten their children with,

The Devil and Tom Paine will catch you!


Editor's note: Of all diatribes and invective hurled against this great man, I find the above slander most offensive. This scurrilous charge, reduced to a proverb, could not have gained currency and popularity but for the malicious spirits of priests and ministers, prevaricating in their pulpits, who sought to destroy a man who would expose their superstitious and charlatan ways. The "fear of death" trade rakes in a stupendous wealth, and on a continuing basis, for the merchandisers of hell's (fabled) terrors.





Editor's last word: