Listen up, fleshwads. My name is Beelzebub, but my friends call me Bubby. I am one of the fallen angels who serve Mr. Satan, but deep down, I know he considers me a close personal friend—I’d probably do this job even if I weren’t bound to it by a 30,000-year blood contract.

I’ve been allowed to leave the literal hellhole in which I live for the purpose of communicating one very important message: for Hell’s sake, please familiarize yourself with Mr. Satan’s views before calling yourself a “devil’s advocate.”

The other fallen angels and I are occasionally sent to Earth to add people to The List of who’s getting into Hell (we’re kind of like bouncers, but for eternal damnation). On these visits, in addition to conducting general hellish behavior, we try to take note of what people are saying about Mr. Satan. 99% of the time it’s bad things, and we have to kind of sugarcoat it for him, so he doesn't get too sad. If he cries, literal streams of lava pour out of his eyes and it’s a big, dangerous mess for everyone in the vicinity.

After hanging around more than a few college English seminars, board meetings, and second dates with men who are into cryptocurrency, it has come to our attention that the phrase “playing devil’s advocate” has become quite popular. At first, we were thrilled. Ordinary, secular people rushing to Mr. Satan’s defense in everyday conversations! Mr. Satan’s approval rating appeared to be skyrocketing. We were all thoroughly pleased and celebrated by roasting a few pigs over the fiery coals of our torture pit, which doubles as a grill.

But it quickly became clear that the phrase was nearly always being used in a wildly incorrect manner. For whatever reason, you all seem to believe Mr. Satan’s views consistently go against whatever the mainstream opinion is.

Have any of you meaty bipeds even familiarized yourselves with Mr. Satan’s positions? Mr. Satan actually has pretty standard opinions on things. He does not tend to take the radical, niche stances on issues that you all seem to believe he takes. Many of you are even claiming Mr. Satan espouses certain bigoted, narrow-minded, and sometimes factually incorrect views. But aside from praying for the catastrophic downfall of the entire human race, he’s honestly a pretty reasonable guy.

For example, Mr. Satan would never blame wealth inequality in America on poor people for “not working hard enough.” Mr. Satan was actually the sole party responsible for creating this inequality and prides himself very much on it. Similarly, it would be illogical to credit him with believing that climate change isn’t a real threat to the earth. Living as he does in the coal-burning depths of Hell, Mr. Satan is well aware of the effects of CO2 emissions on the atmosphere. He doesn’t give a fuck, but he knows it’s real.

In an undergraduate literature seminar I dropped in on the other day (I am, at heart, a student of the arts), a young male student responded to a comment made by a classmate by saying, “Just to play devil’s advocate, maybe women can never truly appreciate Kerouac because his writing is so specifically representative of the male psyche.” I can confidently inform you that Mr. Satan has never read Kerouac. He’s more of a Sally Rooney guy. So he doesn’t even have an opinion on the matter.

Also, it seems like your comment has nothing to do with Mr. Satan at all? It’s a bit like saying, “just to show my support for the gay community, let me talk about why we should consider cannibalism as a way to end world hunger.” If you instead responded, “just to play devil’s advocate, I wanted to put it out there that Mr. Satan is actually a pretty great guy all-around despite the bad rap he’s been given by Western religions,” then you would in fact be playing devil’s advocate!

Do you think you’re doing Mr. Satan any favors?

What really bothers me is that there seems to be no logical consistency to these statements. Some of you claim to play devil’s advocate for one side of an issue, while others will use the same phrase to argue for the exact opposite! And to top it off, people will throw the phrase around in arguments about purely personal matters, such as whose turn it is to do the dishes, or whether or not Sarah should have that third glass of wine. Do you think Mr. Satan gives a rat’s ass about your marital problems? The supreme lord of Hell cannot be bothered to take a side on such trifles!

Not to mention that a lot of the people who use this phrase are some of the most annoying fucks on the planet. Thanks, but we actually don’t really want you associated with our brand. We’re going for “wicked,” “fiendish,” maybe “nefarious,” but not “insufferable.”

All I’m saying is Mr. Satan has a website that clearly details his positions on many pertinent issues. Some of us worked really hard on building that website, for literal pennies (position #3: Mr. Satan is against raising the minimum wage), and it’d be great if you at least scrolled through.

He also has an Instagram (@evilguy666) but that’s just for thirst traps.

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to the depraved abyss I call casa dolce casa. We’re throwing a party with extra sin tonight (wine, strip poker, sloths) and I’m on sloth-wrangling duty.

So I leave it to you to make your decision—relinquish the title of devil’s advocate, or assume your duty to serve the demon lord. We’d be happy to have you among our ranks.