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Uncle Screwtape Proposes Celibacy (and Abortion)
When C.S. Lewis first published The Screwtape Letters in 1942, legal abortion was still decades away, but it’s not hard to imagine how Screwtape and his cadre of demonic tempters would have salivated at the prospect. You mean “civilized” men and women will hire greedy profiteers to cut their unborn babies to pieces—all in the name of equality?! Yes, please! If you’ve never had the pleasure (and pain) of reading Lewis’ masterpiece, by all means start with the original and circle back. It tells the tale of a senior devil giving counsel and rebuke to a junior tempter. And don’t forget his follow-up, “Screwtape Proposes a Toast.” Published in 1959, it is a shockingly prescient read in 2023. Here’s Screwtape’s demonic advice on bringing the Western world to its knees:
"Democracy" is the word with which you must lead them by the nose… You are to use the word purely as an incantation; if you like, purely for its selling power. It is a name they venerate. And, of course, it is connected with the political ideal that men should be equally treated. You then make a stealthy transition in their minds from this political ideal to a factual belief that all men are equal (in knowledge, wisdom, ability, etc.)… At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power or wish to profit by higher education or not. At schools… children who are fit to proceed to a higher class [must] be artificially kept back, because the others would get a "trauma”—Beelzebub, what a useful word—by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career… “Democracy" in [this] diabolical sense … is the finest instrument we could possibly have for extirpating political democracies from the face of the earth.
Chilling, right? Lewis foresaw that the work once done “by the most ancient dictatorships” would eventually be done by democracies—“and by the same methods.” Sixty years later, our current administration seems to be following Screwtape’s advice to a T. Should we point out, perhaps, that Screwtape is a satirical demon hellbent on destroying humanity—or does that risk an even darker reveal? Namely, that they already know. We may be ignorant as to who the Wormtongue is to President Biden’s Théoden (to borrow a page from a beloved Lewis colleague), but we can certainly recognize the animating spirit—which comes from a deep and dark place. Without any further ado, this is my take on how Uncle Screwtape might counsel his junior “nephews” in the context and complexities of abortion:
My Dear Chumchit,
Congratulations on your recent “achievement.” Your patient’s girlfriend is pregnant. And because you’re such a dolt, I’ll point out that I’ve placed the word achievement in quotations. That means I’m being sarcastic. That means I regard your accomplishment to be as hollow as your head. My Satan, have you forgotten what year it is?! Our objectives have advanced since 1942. Onward and downward! Getting young lovers into bed hardly merits mention these days. Does it even require a dedicated tempter? I doubt it. Modern girls seem just as eager to despoil themselves as the boys. Tally ho! We’ve done our work well. So much so that mere fornication is almost wholesome compared to our new POSH guidelines (Progressive Objectives for Sterilizing Humanity). If you’d wanted to do something truly useful, your man would at least be questioning his sexuality by now—or better yet, questioning his gender. I’m well aware that girls are more malleable than boys, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. How else do you explain all these men competing in women’s sports? They didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to castrate themselves. You have to lead them there inch by painstaking inch.
The situation your patient now faces is precisely the outcome I warned you about in my last correspondence. I wonder now if you bothered to read it. Or perhaps you’re simply as stupid as you are shortsighted. Because unless I’m mistaken, this girlfriend of his knows he’s the father. That’s a risk I would not have taken myself. You’re playing with water, and you don’t even know it. Some of the blame falls on your idiot cousin, Twitlot, who hasn’t managed to get this girl into bed with even a single other guy—let alone one of her girlfriends. The circumstances are far more precarious than either of you realize. The best way to keep our patients manageable is to keep them in a perpetual state of adolescence. Nothing accommodates this more than the delay of parenthood. The ultimate goal, of course, is to keep these little maggots from reproducing altogether. Save the Planet. Stop Having Kids! Hilarious, right? As if we care two cents about what happens to this floating piece of rock. Back to the point at hand, nothing threatens your man’s adolescent narcissism more than becoming a father. And now he is a father, though—thank hell—he hasn’t realized it yet. Assuage him with the silly notion that fatherhood is something that begins after a child is born, and never let it occur to him that it’s not time that brings maturity but the embrace of responsibility.
If you’ll refer back to my instructions of last quarter, you’ll find them perfectly clear. “This relationship needs to end,” I told you. That’s because heterosexual relationships are inherently undesirable. Abortion is the only good that can come of them, but it’s a dangerous game to play. If you can’t develop in your patient an appetite for men, you must increase his appetite for virtual women. They’re impossible to impregnate. “The less your patient interacts with real women,” I’m quoting myself now, “the more assured we can be of his eternal soul.” Look again at line 46. “Keep him glued to the women on his phone.” Those were my explicit instructions, “until he has no appetite for the real-life girlfriend in front of him.” It would have been so easy to manage. Our social media department has left nothing to chance. Choose any platform you like. It’s a plug-and-play solution. How can a flesh-and-blood girlfriend, replete with flaws and inhibitions, measure up to a perfectly-tanned, toned, and barely-clothed influencer? Here’s a hint: she can’t! But you wouldn’t be satisfied with mere voyeurism. You had sexier sins in view. That’s what you and Twitlot were after, and now you’ve got it. Condemn me for not sharing your enthusiasm. You’ve secured a minor victory that might cost you the war.
Listen to me very carefully. If this baby survives, all will be lost for you. Our enemy has bequeathed upon these vermin the ability to reproduce in his own image. After fleeing heaven to escape his odious presence, we now find ourselves surrounded by it. Seven billion times over. It’s nauseating. Our hatred of babies is not primarily because they’re cute and innocent. It’s because they carry a spark of the divine. Your only objective from here on out—and this goes for Twitlot too—is to ensure that this baby comes to a very bad end. Chopped up or poisoned out, it’s all the same to us. Abortionists have the dishonor of practicing one of the few professions for which there isn’t a single redeeming quality, but drug companies run a close second. Our Father Below holds them in lower and lower regard with each passing year. All that matters now is speed. The longer this baby survives, the more of an affront it is to our entire existence. More instructions to follow—after I deal with tweedledum.
Your affectionate uncle
My Dear Twitlot,
Your ignorance and incompetence are marvels to behold. As junior tempters go, you and Chumchit make Wormwood seem almost satanic by comparison. So you got your girl to relax her morals and yield her virtue. If you’re looking for a pat on the back from the lower downs, you’re not going to get it. Some of us are old enough to remember when Mushrot—the most graced tempter in history—made similar boasts about his young charge from Nazareth. I can still picture the glee on his face when he announced her pregnancy: “And the carpenter she’s betrothed to isn’t even the father!” Mushrot, you may remember, didn’t last the year. His was a tragic (but delicious) end.
For the better part of two millennia I’ve been singing the same dirge. Out-of-wedlock pregnancy is a two-edged sword. And yet demon after demon seems to prioritize above all else the despoiling of a young virgin. I will grant that few things are as satisfying in the moment, but our inability to play the long game is what keeps us forever a step behind. As I told Wormword time and again, sex is the enemy’s invention. Not ours. Perversion is the thing. Fornication is good; homosexuality is better. If universally embraced, it would wipe these parasites out in a single generation. Sex is his. Homo sex is ours. Marriage is his. Gay marriage is ours. Do you see you see the pattern? The enemy made sex and marriage to serve a specific function. We've stripped away the function but kept the names—now meaningless and subversive, like a “lock” made up of two dead bolts or two strike plates. It’s every bit as good as its traditional counterpart, except for the fact that it no longer secures your door!
For reasons that are all too obvious, the enemy doesn’t want his little pricks copulating unless they’re married. Beasts of the field are free to fornicate and rape with impunity, but his hairless bipeds are expected to commit and consent—such small, weak, and loathsome conceptions! The enemy’s expectations being what they are, it’s only natural that we’d want our patients copulating all the time—until they’re married. That’s Demonology 101. Whatever the enemy wants, we don’t want. Sex before marriage. Celibacy during marriage. That’s our objective. But here’s the problem. Instead of punishing his dirty little creatures for flouting his will, the enemy frequently rewards them with the one thing in the world that is most abhorrent to our Father Below—a human child. The enemy’s willingness to forgive these little vermin is maddeningly inappropriate. Even when we subvert his will entirely, he frequently outflanks us. This is what you fail to grasp. Fornication isn’t the end goal; it’s annihilation. And that, my dear Twitlot, is why procreation poses such an existential threat—no matter how diabolical the circumstances of conception.
There has been much demonic debate over the last half century as to whether celibacy or abortion serves us better. If all pregnancies ended in abortion, there would be no question. Since most don’t, I hold that celibacy is the more effectual means of extermination. And it’s never been more practically attainable. Bring on the sex robots! Pervskat and his ilk have called me a human sympathizer for prioritizing celibacy over abortion—and a prude. Satan forbid. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool misanthrope with impeccable credentials. I heartily celebrate every form of sexual deviance—anything that can’t add a new person to the ledger. It’s only sex itself I hate. Real sex, the kind that risks unifying sperm and egg. Pervskat, whose bloodlust is insatiable and whose appetite well exceeds his intellect, has never been able to take the cerebral approach. Perhaps that is why he is not a department undersecretary. Subtlety isn’t his forte. While the humans clamor about overpopulation, unplanned childlessness is the actual wolf at their door. Because once a society’s birthrate falls below replacement levels, there is no coming back. Ever! Only misery, despair, and death. I can see it now—a veritable wasteland of worthless, abandoned properties. Too many houses, not enough people. A worldwide Detroit replete with a crumbling infrastructure and too few young to support the old. Delicious! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
When celibacy is not maintained and a pregnancy occurs, the broader question becomes moot. Abortion is now the thing. The only thing—save suicide or murder (which should never be ruled out). As I’ve already told Chumchit, everything now hinges on the elimination of this baby—which may be far harder than you imagine. Loads of these silly little school girls grow up dreaming of becoming a mother. Precious few grow up dreaming of an abortion. So much the worse. Unlike schoolboys, their dreams and ambitions are against us—which is why your job is likely to be much harder than your imbecilic cousin’s. For reasons known only to the enemy, girls—who have far more at stake in the equation—are far less amenable to abortion than boys. It took our best men decades to infiltrate the feminist movement, and though framing abortion as a woman’s right was a masterstroke by our Father Below (nobody hates women more than the big guy!), women on the ground often see through the deception. Your first course of action must be to surround your patient with those who will relentlessly nudge her towards the abortion clinic while protecting her from anyone who might actually be willing to listen and help.
Your affectionate uncle
My Dear Chumchit,
As per usual, your man is making a mess of things. Who can I blame but you? You claim that abortion was your plan all along, yet your patient seems to be doing everything in his power to thwart its realization. His stream of threatening calls and texts—demanding that his girlfriend call Planned Parenthood or risk losing him—has merely put her guard up. What is he about?! Does he fancy himself a great catch? Or not realize that mothers who must choose between a child and a partner almost never choose the partner? You seem proud of his despotism, which may work on terrified, weak-willed women, but this girl is no milksop. The more he acts like a devil, the more obvious our influence becomes. You may as well dress him up with horns and a trident. That’s what I keep telling our DNC advisory committee. Stop trying to “transition” all the kids! I appreciate a good genital mutilation as much as the next devil, but it’s become counterproductive. Too many people are starting to see the game. Likewise, If your man pushes too hard for abortion, his girlfriend might catch a glimpse of our grinning faces behind him. Yes, he needs to be pulling her strings, but she can’t know he’s pulling her strings. And neither can know that we’re pulling his strings!
Pay attention to what I’m going to tell you because this is important. There are only three ways a man can respond to his pregnant girlfriend and two of them do not help our cause. Your man has chosen the worst but one—second only to enthusiasm. An excited father who’s ready to support his child is almost impossible to overcome—especially if he proposes marriage. How we hate husbands and wives! But anger can be nearly as dangerous. Even the most diffident young mother has a mama bear lurking inside. Best not to arouse it with belligerence or bullying. No, the reaction that suits us best is a sort of calm indifference. Luke warm is always best. Neither hot nor cold. That’s where you must lead him.
For starters, have your man offer an apology. He can tell her he was scared of losing her or that he just panicked. Any such nonsense will do. She’ll want to forgive him. Once she has, his message to her becomes very simple: This is your body and your choice; I won’t interfere. Such expression allows him to sound supportive while simultaneously abdicating all responsibility. This is a you problem, it tells her, not an us problem. It also has the advantage of being a lie—because he will be interfering with anything and everything that might derail an abortion. She just won’t know it. This girl wants to be taken by the hand and lead through the darkness, so our man must wish her well and send her in alone. All in the name of chivalry.
While your patient is forsaking his responsibility as a father, treating his girlfriend abominably, and growing weaker by the moment, you must do everything you can to make him feel good about himself—like he’s acting nobly, leaving things up to her. You might even encourage him to ignore her for a few days, under the guise of “giving her space.” Remind him that her appetite for sex is likely to be seriously diminished—which may instigate a full-on breakup. So much the better. When he does communicate, he should demonstrate a sort of clinical detachment towards their child. This pregnancy is consuming every ounce of her attention, but he should act as if he’s almost forgotten it. “Oh ya, how are you doing with all that?” he might casually inquire. “Any decision yet?”—as if she were choosing where to go for lunch. “I wish the timing of this wasn’t so terrible,” he could wistfully declare, “because you’ll be a great mom someday.” It sounds like a compliment, but it subtly reinforces a sinister message: You’re not ready. This will ruin you. Our future together is by no means guaranteed. While purporting to support her in whatever choice she makes, he is subtly demonstrating that there is only one choice she canmake.
As your patient plays the role of the modern man—nobly accepting the inevitability of abortion, you must remember that abortion is by no means a foregone conclusion. Getting mothers to kill their offspring turns out to be far more difficult than most demons realize—especially if they’ve never done so before. In fact, single American mothers only kill their babies 36% of the time. I just had Glublub look it up. That means almost two thirds of these little bastards still make it out alive—which is why even out-of-wedlock pregnancies pose such a threat. Abortion is the icing, I must remind you, not the cake. Abortion is a means, not an end. I’m not disputing the thrill of seeing the helpless child of a despised enemy come to a violent end, but our goal is the elimination of these swarming, breeding masses. And though abortion can be good for morale, avoiding pregnancy altogether must be your goal in future. Simply put, women cannot be trusted to do the responsible thing—especially those who’ve never had an abortion.
Your affectionate uncle
My Dear Twitlot,
Am I to understand that your patient has been researching abortion online? And that you consider this a good thing? Please give me a list of the websites she’s visited. Because unless they’re all hell-approved organizations, this could ruin everything. The more someone researches abortion, the less likely they are to actually have one. It’s only palatable to these lemmings so long as it remains an abstraction. Humans, it turns out, don’t take as kindly to baby killing as we demons. Thanks to the undamned influence of all these little Christs over the millennia, child sacrifice has fallen out of favor—except for abortion. People are stupid, often willfully so, but they aren’t polar bears or chickens, who will blithely consume their young if the mood strikes them.
The play now is to expose her boyfriend for the scoundrel he is. It shouldn’t be hard. Plague her with these thoughts: Your boyfriend has no longterm interest in you. He likes you enough to have sex with, but not enough to marry. If he did, you’d be married. He’s been sleeping with you under the assumption that you wouldn’t get pregnant. Now that you are pregnant, he’s threatening to jump ship. All he wants is access to your body. He’s using you until someone better comes along. This is not the man you want to have a child with. He would be a danger to you both.
Make the idea of having his baby deeply troubling to her. And then move from the conviction that this man is a monster to the conclusion that all men our monsters. That would serve our future prospects very well. If all goes according to plan, this girl will never give birth and will never be pregnant again. And if we can just get her to 30 without reproducing, that becomes the more likely outcome. This girl was almost certainly having sex as a means of keeping her boyfriend. It’s the price most girls now pay for an ongoing relationship. By highlighting the fact… Hold on... What in the heaven?!
Glublub has just showed me a screenshot of something your patient posted this morning: "Ugh! #morningsickness No fun" I would describe the accompanying picture, but I see that you’ve already liked the post—and so did her ne’er-do-well boyfriend. Do you think her public complaints about morning sickness indicate a desire for abortion?! You fatherloving imbecile! She’s telling people about the pregnancy. Only complete psychopaths announce a pregnancy they plan to abort—even if they’re ardent abortion enthusiasts. Gone are the days when single women still had a modicum of shame about getting pregnant. We’ve done our job too well. I almost wish she were a church girl. At least then there’d be some genuine incentive to cover her tracks.
The noose is closing, dear nephew. Your pathway to survival is now razor thin—like a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Only the miscarriage option remains. This impudent little tramp can still have the abortion and then tearfully announce to the world that she lost her baby. It’s a tried-and-true means of saving face which also adds one more lie to an increasingly red ledger. But first you’ve got to convince her to abort the life of a baby that’s becoming dearer to her by the minute. It’s too late to foster disgust. Now you must frame abortion as act of mercy and love. Don’t laugh, it works—and our stumbling, bumbling friend in the Oval Office is making it daily easier to pull off. You needn’t even bother with our manufactured calamities, there are plenty of real-life ones to choose from: inflation, recession, energy crises, food shortages, out-of-control crime, rampant suicide, pending world war, homelessness, a collapsing border, global unrest. There’s so much bad news to choose from, it’s a wonder anyone still gives birth at all. So fixate your patient on the irresponsibility of adding another kid to this mess without allowing her to consider that the kid is already here.
Your affectionate uncle
My Dear Chumchit,
After not hearing back from you for more than a week, I had Glublub pull your patient’s recent browser history. It seems your man spent half of last night online and yet only performed two search queries. The first, “abortion pictures,” took him down a rabbit hole he ought never to have traversed—dozens and dozens of pages presenting a wholly unvarnished and unsanctioned exposé on abortion. Undamn your negligence!
His second search took him on a much shorter journey that nevertheless resulted in a rather large purchase. I wonder, could you feel my claws tightening around your neck as he entered the dread words: “engagement ring?” I suspect you and Twitlot have already gone to ground and will take your chances on the run. To that I say, enjoy your freedom. It won’t last long.
Your ravenous uncle
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