The prince of darkness is a gentleman.

-William Shakespeare, King Lear (Edgar at III, iv)


A friend of mine was telling me tonight about her aunt who is in town visiting from California this week.  Her aunt has a friend out there in the Golden State who knew a lady who was going about her business at her local high-end modern-day fruit stand—one of those organic shrines I’m guessing.  The market has a penchant for these big over-sized bins of fresh cilantro.  Not realizing the hidden danger that lurked in the piles of green, the lady went ahead and dug down to get her share only to draw her hand back up in surprise as she was pinched by something—so she thought.  She suddenly felt queasy, excused herself, and went out to her vehicle.  Her husband became concerned ten minutes later when she didn’t return and went out to check on her only to find her—dead.  She had been bitten by an Arizona Black Rattlesnake without even knowing it.

It got the writer in me thinking, as is the case twenty-three hours a day.  Religion is both respectable and poisonous.   It’s venom can go undetected, is fast working and kills it’s victim quickly.  And the strange thing is how much so religion is able to grab hold of our hearts without our even realizing it’s happening.  What I find fascinating if not alarming is that we are all not only susceptible to it—we are prone to it. 

We’re drawn to religion much like the waves are drawn to the shore.  It is both naive and foolish to pretend we aren’t. 

 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.           (1 Peter 5:8, The Message Bible)

Being bitten by the terrible killer snake himself can happen to any one of us—it’s only a matter of time when we become lazy in remaining solely dependant upon the grace of Christ which is the sure and proven antidote in opposing the forces of religion upon our own hearts. 

Elizabeth Browning was on to something when she said The devil’s most devilish when respectable.  We just miss him all wrapped up in the cloak of religion—that’s all I am saying.