10 things about Satan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran considered the U.S. to be a “great Satan” and Israel a “small Satan.”
Here are 10 facts that show a devil-may-care attitude:
2.While belief in Satan is ancient, many people are certain that the devil plays an active role in current events. Pat Robertson said Haiti suffered an earthquake in 2010 because its people “swore a pact to the devil” to gain independence from France two centuries earlier. And Miss California USA 2009 Carrie Prejean said that when she was asked about gay marriage at the Miss USA Pageant, “I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question.”
3.Buddhism also has many names for the devil. As Mara, he represents temptation and death and sin. But as Varsavarti, he is a hedonistic evil, who fulfills the thirsts for existence, pleasure and power.
4.Despite the rumors, KISS does not stand for Knights in Satan’s Service. In fact, it doesn’t stand for anything. But the rock band’s bassist Gene Simmons wrote: “When I was asked whether I worshiped the devil, I simply refused to answer for a number of reasons: The first reason, of course, was that it was good press.”
5.When Malcolm X was in prison, he denounced God so vigorously that his fellow inmates nicknamed him “Satan.” American ballplayer Brian Warren’s misbehavior in Japan earned him the label “Devil Man.” And in the film “The Proposal,” Sandra Bullock’s character is so annoying that her office nickname is “Satan’s Mistress.”
6.One of the most significant events in American history occurred at Kill Devil Hills, N.C. That’s where the Wright Brothers made their groundbreaking flight. “Kill devil” is a slang term for rum, and the place may have gotten its name because rum-carrying ships ran aground in that area along the Outer Banks.
7.Americans’ belief in the devil is growing, according to Gallup polls. In 1990, 55 percent of Americans said they believed in the devil. In 2001, that was 68 percent and in 2007, it had increased to 70 percent.
8.Playing Lucifer in the 1997 film “The Devil’s Advocate,” Al Pacino cursed God with a fury. Asked if that made him nervous, he replied, “Of course, naturally. But I thought, you know, it’s about something. … There is an immunity an actor has, right? I hope, I hope.”
9. The dramatic rock formation in Wyoming known as Devils Tower was named by an Army colonel who thought the Native Americans called it “Bad God’s Tower.” Not so much. It went by many names, most related to bears, such as Bear’s House, Bear Tipi or Bear Lodge.
10. In 2002, the Devils Lake, N.D., school board banished its high school sports nickname: the Satans. And a few years ago, the Tampa Bay Major League Baseball team changed its name from Devil Rays to simply Rays. In 2005, a New Jersey legislator who was a Baptist deacon took issue with the hockey team being called the New Jersey Devils, but no change was made.
Sources: “Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang,” by Jonathon Green; “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” as told to Alex Haley; “The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil,” by Paul Carus ; “The Jersey Devil,” by James F. McCloy and Ray Miller; baseball-reference.com; snopes.com; kdhnc.com; The Baltimore Sun; Los Angeles Times; Gallup.com; National Park Service, Tribune archives and news services.