by Edward Waverley
With apologies to Goethe
The following interview was recorded by the author at the brink of hell, a domain guarded not by Cerberus, but by one of its harridans-in-chief, Susanna Margaretha Brandt. The woman who was the model for Goethe’s Gretchen in Faust granted the interview on the condition that we publish it unexpurgated, without the usual tricks of editors everywhere, who she described as, “incorrigible traffickers in sensation and controversy.” In the spirit of that agreement, we present to you here our uncensored exchange with that odious creature who even now shows no remorse for her infanticide of 1771, for which she was executed the following year.
Interviewer: It says here that you support a woman’s right to kill babies, is that right?
Susanna: Yes, I think that a woman must be free to move on from an unwanted pregnancy, whether it resulted like mine did from a rape, or whether it arose from consensual sex.
Interviewer: But if a woman isn’t willing to give birth to a child, wouldn’t it make more sense for her to refrain from sex altogether?
Susanna: Well in my case, your objection is irrelevant. I was drugged and raped by a drifter, so I don’t accept any responsibility for what happened.
Interviewer: You mean when you killed your baby it was simply inevitable?
Susanna: No, what I mean is that I reject your suggestion that what I did involved a baby. A natural biological process was unfolding that promised to bring me some very unpleasant consequences and so I intervened to stop that process in its tracks.
Interviewer: Well it would be ludicrous for me to argue with a demon about the imago dei, so I’ll concede the point in order to return to something you said a minute ago, about consensual sex. Is it your contention, then, that people should be free to divide their sexuality from its God-given ends?
Susanna: What are these ends of which you speak?
Interviewer: God has revealed that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Within that framework, the utmost joy of matrimonial felicity is the mutual pleasure that arises when a man and a woman are united in their desire to bear and rear children, whose appearance serves as a literal and blessed reminder to the family of its eternal bond with Heaven.
Susanna: But you seem to be forgetting all that we know about family life. Having kids doesn’t heighten sexual pleasure. On the contrary, kids damage sex irreparably in several ways. Pregnancy fattens women, a process that only worsens as she cranks out more ruffians, and if the babies are allowed out of the womb, they intrude more and more upon the leisure time of their parents, canceling out most sexual opportunities for years.
Interviewer: Aha! So we have discovered where Hollywood gets all of its ideas about love, marriage, and heterosexual monogamy! Evidently you are the direct pipeline to hell, and have been instructing the liberals about exactly which myths to concoct and spread for the maximum impact on a wicked and perverse generation. Allow me to congratulate you: the Satanic plan is working to a tee. What you have described is precisely what is preached and believed by all modern liberals and increasingly by deluded Christians. Everyone watches these movies, accepts their presentation of sex as unshakable truth, and steadfastly refuse to get married, let alone have children. Even those who marry insist that they must be free to delay having children interminably, or to put it off until it is financially prudent. Evidently, your master’s theory that man must live by bread alone has really made inroads on earth.
Susanna: Thanks, we try very hard down here. The boss says that abortion is more popular than ever in your world, and it’s easy to believe. But you make a good, and related point; sometimes what’s even better than encouraging and inspiring abortion is to kill the dreams of heaven right when they’re hatching in young minds, long before young people are even thinking consciously about marriage and family. The hellish picture of families that we broadcast, and that are of course taken directly out of our own existence here in hell, are usually more than enough to frighten even the pluckiest kids out of wanting to get married. The results are very pleasing: the vast majority of people enter adulthood with a very cynical view of marriage; both men and women expect to have plenty of casual sex before getting hitched, either with or without any serious thought about marrying their partners; even weirdo outliers who refuse to put out before marrying will usually delay marriage until they have established a career; and then, even when people do get married, there are usually so many exciting memories of the glory days of youth (I believe you people call it sin?), that the husbands and wives resent each other. As a result there are many, many barriers to your picture of heavenly matrimonial childrearing. And we like it that way. A lot.
Interviewer: But haven’t falling fertility rates worldwide lessened the abortion rates?
Susanna: As a matter of fact, you’re right, they have, and for us that is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, watching a woman self-destruct in the wake of an abortion is one of the most glorious sights in hell. We revel in the daily pain a woman must walk with when she begins to experience doubt about whether her blob was really a blob. Now of course we demons know that it was always a blob, because the blobs never arrive here. But the fact that blobs are blobs does not in any way prevent us, as demons, from tormenting the post-abortion women. Because so many of them experience doubts, we can often talk with them and tell them that they are guilty as hell, and that they belong with us and to us. One of my favorite delights is how often such visitations result in suicide in addition to blobicide. I’ve met some of these gals in person.
Interviewer: retches violently
Susanna: You okay?
Interviewer: I think so, yes…let me go back to something you said about the dead babies.
Susanna: You mean the blobs.
Interviewer: No, I mean the slain children. You say they never come here. And you claim that proves their blobhood. I’m happy to inform you that they are all with their Father in Heaven. And you also admitted that you don’t always meet the mothers. That’s because many of them have been rescued by the grace of God from your demonic clutches. When you whisper to them about their bloody guilt, you tell a bloody and diabolical half-truth. You are right to mention their guilt, but you have neither the right nor the power to convict them of the sin you mock. You prey upon spurious guilt, even among the redeemed who have already repented of their sin, but there are already many murderers in Abraham’s bosom today, and there shall be many more in eternity.
Susanna: Your lectures are as tedious as your religion is sad. You seem to think that our enemy can actually help you, and for that I am beginning to hate every inch of your being. Is this interview nearly through?
Interviewer: No, not quite. I have another question for you. Why did you say earlier that the falling rates of abortion are a mixed blessing for hell?
Susanna: Well, as I said, the drawback to fewer abortions is that we miss out on one of the most exquisite forms of torture known to humankind, the undying nightmare of a woman who has slain her blob. But there is an advantage for us as well. The less people conceive babies at all, the less people there are who exist to join the enemy. As long as humanity continues on earth, the enemy has wide-open access to the human world, and he continues to claim more of their souls as time goes by. Seeing even one soul leave our orbit and enter his is, for us, the equivalent of a miscarriage. And we would never, ever, willingly yield one of our own to that sickening man who never stops talking of…AARARGHGH!! (She spits out some blood and gore, vomits hugely.) You smote me!! You stupid Christer, what have you to do with Mephisto?? How did you injure me?!
Interviewer: I smote you with the True Cross. I will not listen idly to your blasphemies, hellish minx! Dare you to insult my Lord, and my God? No power of hell, and no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand. Get behind me, and go your way. As for me, I march to Zion!