Unformatted text preview: marriage either happy or holy.
The error is easy to produce because "being in love" does very often, in Western Europe, precede marriages which are
made in obedience to the Enemy's designs, that is, with the intention of fidelity, fertility and good will; just as religious
emotion very often, but not always, attends conversion. In other words, the humans are to be encouraged to regard as
the basis for marriage a highly-coloured and distorted version of something the Enemy really promises as its result.
Two advantages follow. In the first place, humans who have not the gift of continence can be deterred from seeking
marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves "in love", and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any
other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership
for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of
emotion. (Don't neglect to make your man think the marriage-service very offensive.) In the second place any sexual
infatuation whatever, so long as it intends marriage, will be regarded as "love", and "love" will be held to excuse a man
from all the guilt, and to protect him from all the consequences, if marrying a heathen, a fool, or a wanton. But more of
this in my next,
Your affectionate uncle
SCREWTAPE http://members.fortunecity.com/phantom1/books2/c._s._lewis_-_the_screwtape_letters.htm 2/07/2008 THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS Page 20 of 34 XIX
MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
I have been thinking very hard about the question in your last letter. If, as I have clearly shown, all selves are by their
very nature in competition, and therefore the Enemy's idea of Love is a contradiction in terms, what becomes of my
reiterated warning that He really loves the human vermin and really desires their freedom and continued existence? I
hope, my dear boy, you have not shown my letters to anyone. Not that it matters of course. Anyone would see that the
appearance of heresy into which I have fallen is purely accidental. By the way, I hope you understood, too, that some
apparently uncomplimentary references to Slubgob were purely jocular. I really have the highest respect for him. And,
of course, some things I said about not shielding you from the authorities were not seriously meant. You can trust me to
look after your interests. But do keep everything under lock and key.
The truth is I slipped by mere carelessness into saying that the Enemy really loves the humans. That, of course, is an
impossibility. He is one being, they are distinct from Him. Their good cannot be His. All His talk about Love must be a
disguise for something else—He must have some real motive for creating them and taking so much trouble about them.
The reason one comes to talk as if He really had this impossible Love is our utter failure to out that real motive. What
does He stand to make out of them? That is the insoluble question. I do not see that it can do...
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- Spring '07
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters