“You do believe in the Devil and supernatural,” she said to me, ignoring my straightforward rejection of the ideas.
I subsequently had to explain that my use of this name as an allegory is a reflection of the understanding that it is prominent and meaningful to many people. My embrace of this symbol is just that – symbolic.
The question she kept posing, and annoyingly so, was about why I would choose this particular symbol if I didn’t believe the Devil was real. And this is a mistake many people make when entertaining the notion of symbolism. One can claim to believe in the power of stories without believing in what the stories are about.
Take Superman, as an example: the lessons his stories offer people, like fighting for truth and justice (I’ll omit the American way to avoid this post becoming political) are worth pondering, but claiming that Superman is real, or that one knows him, can have adverse social effects. Superman’s symbol is powerful and has reach – anyone who knows about the superhero can attribute positive traits to it.
The Bible and the characters in it work similarly, people identify them with very specific values.
I guess I could have chosen a different symbol to deliver my message of rebellion and dissent, but who would have understood?
An irritated Devil.