First published at LiberalAmerica.org.
Diet books aren’t a new fad. They’ve been around for ages. Though the specific methods have changed drastically, the intent stated in all of them is the same: to be a trimmer, healthier human being. Some, however, take it to a whole new level.
I stumbled upon a vintage evangelical cookbook that takes it to a higher level than even the worst of the worst. C.S. Lovett’s book “Help Lord — The Devil Wants Me Fat,’ which was published in 1977, reaches for the heavens.
The entire book was written around “a spiritual approach to a trim and attractive body.” Fine and good. As my readers know, I’m a Christian, and I do believe that anything I want to change in my life can never be hurt by prayer. But this book? It goes beyond the shockingly inappropriate title. The author truly, genuinely, sincerely believed that the devil is the cause of obesity and overweight.
I don’t own the book (oh my how I want to!), so I took passages from the book from another writer who reviewed it, Alan Scherstuhl of Pitch.com.
“The idea of being starved didn’t originate with your stomach. It came from your MIND. It was SATAN’S IDEA. How do we know? A healthy body doesn’t begin to starve until it has gone 40 days without food.” (page 37)
The author of the book believed that it’s not our fault at all if we’re overweight. Now, we support this view in that we know that many people have predisposed genetics and medical conditions that make weight loss challenging. We also know people who have gained weight because of certain medications. So yes, for many people, it’s not their fault.
Where we differ from Mr. Lovett, however, is where the blame lies. He didn’t look at medication, genetics, medical conditions, or even lifestyle as the cause for overweight. He genuinely believed that Satan is doing this to people.
Instead, it’s the result of something much simpler: your helplessness as Satan, the very embodiment of evil, personally reaches out to take command of your appetites.
As Lovett puts it, the devil has “unleashed an army of glutton demons on American Christians.” Lovett calls food “the most subtle way the devil gets us to defile our bodies” and writes “We head for the cupboard or refrigerator without realizing that we’re OBEYING THE DEVIL. From his stronghold he sits back and beams.”
Lovett called food temptation “fiery darts.” At this critical time, you just have to stand up to the devil, once and for all!
“You’re still seated on the sofa. Don’t get up. Close your eyes if you wish. That usually helps when addressing someone in your imagination. Very quickly now …
‘Satan, in the name of Jesus go away. I know what you’re up to, but I don’t need any food. Take your suggestion and get away from me, for it is written My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.’
Wow! Does that catch him by surprise! He’s stunned!”
And then there is the fatal weapon, the one thing that is the “most powerful attack we can make against the FOOD JERICHO Satan has built in our minds.” Fasting. Not eating. Which apparently can be fun.
“A ten-day fast can be FUN — if you do it with Lord Jesus.”
Fun, I tell you! And the body is smarter than doctors, anyhow.
“Satan doesn’t want Christians discovering the awesome power of a spiritual fast.” He explains that “well meaning friends and doctors … will not only try to KEEP YOU FROM FASTING, but invariably they will try to get you to break it.” He reminds us, “Since God designed the body for fasting, it is far wiser for the believer to take God’s Word on it over the theories of doctors. … Besides, the body is SMARTER THAN THE DOCTORS.”
Fasting is a good thing, though, because you get to do other things while your family enjoys dinner.
“Think of all the times your family will be eating and you will be off by yourself. Spend that time with Jesus.”
Part of what we need to do is allow the computer in our brains to take over.
“NOTICE: WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO READ NEXT IS FOR YOUR COMPUTER. THE INFORMATION MUST PASS THROUGH YOUR EYES AND INTO YOUR BRAIN TO GET INTO THE COMPUTER. THEREFORE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS NOT FOR YOUR COMPLIANCE, BUT TO EDUCATE YOUR COMPUTER. SO DON’T REACT AGAINST WHAT YOU READ. YOUR COMPUTER NEEDS THIS INFORMATION IF IT IS TO ASSUME CONTROL OVER YOUR EATING HABITS.”
Here is the cover and back of this handy little booklet.
More images from the book:
Some images from the inside of the book are below.
Many thanks to Pitch.com and Alan Scherstuhl for transcribing this fabulous book for us.