When I hear Christian thought leaders say “purpose drivin”, I keep asking what do they mean? I think they’d find the idea of a human purpose set above the ordinary self as a sop to the world’s unending depravity. Hence the Satanic doom that some social conservatives see unfolding everywhere on earth. But what does the Prince of this world have to do with tornadoes touching down in Italy and the price of grain in France? Or Long Island goons arming themselves against their families like in the Amityville case.

Doesn’t he have revels to attend and men of position and genius to tempt with quick passes to paradisiac follies?

All I know is that when I met the Tempter, he was wearing a mod-ish hat at an angle while he tried to bum change from me outside a liquor store. I asked why do you need pennies when you’re better dressed than every man on the street?

He told me not to talk shit and then vanished in a cloud of pawn tickets and soda cans flecked with ash.

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