This is a story that basically says, in my understanding of it, that Christianity invented Satan, with Xtian power & greed in mind, so that the Christians would literally have something to do all day. Otherwise, they'd be out-of-business...like an army with no enemy to fight, and no riches to reap at the end of the battles.
Everything below the line I copied from a website. Though none of the text is mine, I made (a lot of!) spelling and grammatical corrections that I'm sure were made by someone other than the legendary Khalil Gibran. It still needs a lot of quotation marks, but fuck it, it's still readable. And it's really "deep".
Khalil Gibran was a Sufi writer from Lebanon.
He wrote a story that I want to share with you.
It points out just how we have created stories that have no basis in truth, and subjected people to our rules which are based on nonsense.
In this story Gibran points to just how religion has taken minds captive by making up their own rules and stories.
The story is about a religious leader in a town that everyone in the town looked up to for spiritual guidance. We will call the leader Pastor. Basically it can be almost any denomination.
The pastor was an authority on sin, heaven, hell and all the rest, and he taught the people all of these things and preached salvation.
The pastor waged a consistent war against Satan.
THE STORY AS WRITTEN BY KHALIL GIBRAN
One evening the pastor was out walking and he heard an anguished cry.
He looked and saw a battered man lying in the gutter.
His clothes were ripped and he was covered in blood.
The man was crying, save me, have mercy on me, please help me, I am dying.
The pastor did not want to get involved.
He thought that the man was probably drunk, or on drugs, or maybe he was a criminal and was in a fight with other criminals.
His first reaction was to keep going and not get involved.
He kept walking, nervously looking over his shoulder the wounded man yelled,
Please don’t leave me. I am dying.
The pastor then thought that possibly the man was insane or something.
He didn’t know what to do.
He kept walking but then the man called out, please come close to me.
You and I have been friends for a long time.
Don’t you recognize me ?.
You, pastor, are the Good Shepherd. I am not a criminal, I am not insane.
Please, you know me, come over to me and I will tell you who I am.
The pastor leaned down and said, what do you mean, who I am. I don’t know you.
Who are you. ?
And the man struggled to talk through a bloody mouth.
Oh you know me. You’ve seen me a thousand times and you talk about me every day.
I’m dearer to you than your own life.
The pastor said, you're also a liar.
You better start telling the truth.
I don’t know you. I’ve never seen your lying face before.
The wounded man moved slowly, looked squarely into the pastors eyes and suddenly
a small smile appeared on his bloody lips. In a deep smooth voice he then said :
I am Satan.
The pastor recoiled and screamed at the distorted face in the gutter,
God has shown me your hellish image and justly caused me to hate you.
Cursed be you forevermore, the mangled lamb must be destroyed by the shepherd lest he will infect the other lambs.
Be not in haste pastor.
Come and close my wounds quickly before life departs from my body.
The pastor responded.
These hands which offer a daily sacrifice to God shall not touch a body made from the secretions of hell.
You must die accursed by the ages, for you are the enemy of all humanity and it is your purpose to destroy all virtue.
Satan painfully raised himself on one elbow.
You don’t know what you're saying. You don’t know what crime you are committing against yourself.
Today I was walking alone, bothering no one when a band of angels descended to attack me, and severely injured me.
I would have been able to drive them off if it had not been for one who had a blazing sword with two sharp edges.
I simply had no power against the brilliant sword.
Satan gasped and paused for a moment in obvious pain.
The armed angel , I believe his name was Michael was an expert gladiator.
Had I not fallen to the ground and pretended to be dead he would have torn me to pieces.
The pastor looked upward and said, blessed be, Michael's name who has saved humanity from this vicious enemy.
Satan painfully looked up at the pastor and said,
You are blessing Michael who never has come to your rescue.
You are cursing me in my hour of defeat, even though I was and still am the source of your tranquility and happiness.
You deny me your blessing and extend not your kindness, but you live and prosper in the shadow of my being.
You have adopted for my existence an excuse and weapon for your career, and you employ my name in justification for your deeds.
Has not my past caused you to be in need of my present and my future?
Why is it, pastor, that you wish my death?
Have you reached your goal in amassing wealth.?
Have you found it impossible to extract more gold and silver from your followers using my kingdom as a threat ?
Pastor, do you realize that you will starve to death if I die.?
What would you do tomorrow if you allowed me to die today ?
What vocation would you pursue if my name disappeared?
For decades you have been roaming these villages and warning people against falling into my hands .
They have paid for your advice with their dollars and the products of their land.
What would they buy from you tomorrow if they discovered that their wicked enemy no longer exists?
Your occupation would die with me, for the people would be safe from sin.
As a clergyman surely you realize that my existence alone has created my enemy, the church.
You and I together are the conflict which removes gold and silver from the faithful pockets, and
deposits it into the pouch of the preacher and the missionary.
How can you permit me to die here when you know it will surely cause you to lose your prestige,
your church, your home and your livelihood?
I am the father and mother of sin, and if sin were to vanish,
the fighters of sin would vanish with it, along with their families and structures.
And Satan stretched his arms and bent his head forward and gasped deeply.
His face turned to grey.
Then he fixed his glittering eyes upon the pastors face and said in a faltering voice.
I am tired and weak.
I did wrong by using my waning strength to speak on things you already know.
Now you may do as you please.
You may carry me to your home and treat my wounds or leave me in this place to die.
The pastor quivered and rubbed his hands and replied.
I know now what I had not known an hour ago.
Forgive my ignorance.
I know that your existence in this world creates temptation
and temptation is a measurement by which God adjudges the value of human souls.
The pastor continued.
Satan, you must live, for if you die and the people know it.
Their fear of hell will vanish, and they will cease worshipping, for nothing would be sin.
You must live, for in your life is the salvation of humanity, from vice and sin.
Satan laughed and replied,
What an intelligent person you are pastor.
And what wonderful knowledge you posses in theological facts.
You have found through the power of your knowledge a purpose for my existence
which I had never understood and now we realize our need for each other.
Come close to me my brother, darkness is submerging the plains, and half of my blood has escaped upon the sand of this valley, and nothing remains of me but the remnants of a broken body, which death shall soon buy unless you render aid.
The pastor then lifted Satan upon his back and walked toward his home
In the midst of those valleys, engulfed with silence and embellished with the veil of darkness, the pastor walked toward the village with his back bent under his heavy burden.
His black raiment and long beard were spattered with blood streaming from above him but he struggled forward, his lips moving in fervent prayer for the life of the dying Satan.