A collective sigh of relief was experienced by the world's faithful Tuesday when The Devil told a group of Christians gathered for a religious symposium in New Orleans that Hell is overflowing -- the Ten Commandments are null and void-- And, in the future, all but the most heinous transgressions will go on unpunished.
In an another direct rebuke against conventionally held wisdom, The Devil chose the week before Fat Tuesday, the final day prior to the forty days of Lent to deliver his message. He told the group the world's Souls are out of harm's way after all --and that basic sinning is A-OK -- and even being encouraged. He told the crowd that there was no reason now, "to give up anything at all for Lent," or to stay out of the Brothels on Bourbon Street either.
During his semi-annual sizzling address to local Christians at Pat O'Brien's restaurant, Satan revealed to the relieved group that Hell is in-fact overflowing and has been over limit and swarming with sinners for quite some time now.
"We've just nowhere else to put new sinners -we're simply crammed tighter then a new drum down there," said Satan, pointing his long-nailed-red-index-finger down in the direction of Hell -- his red face, frozen in a devilishly skewered smile, "so we've stopped taking Souls in. "
The Devil did not say how long this policy was expected to be in place, but he indicated that this strategy is not a new one by any means , and that apparently the world has been getting away with sins for quite some time now. And, as a result, Confessionals in churches across the USA have been closed and boarded up while the clergy nation-wide have been put on standby service.
"There's been a misunderstanding about this for rather a long time," said the the main door-guard in Hell," #778999. "We're not taking anyone new, trust me, Hell has been literally overflowing for quite a long time now So, we've been cutting way back on our conquests. We'd have nowhere to put a Soul if we got one."
"Since there's nowhere to put new sinners, I'd have to say that sinning will be perfectly acceptable from now on and for at least the moment, I 'd say you could probably get away with anything. This is Hell Jack, they're not going to bring you in here for the diminutive stuff. Who's got time for little sins anyway? Boy, if I was still up there," said #778999, pointing his thumb in the direction of up, "I'd be sinning to beat the band."
Following his speech The Devil divulged in a question & answer session, that the burning of Souls has been backed-up for at least a millennium; there's a been waiting list for most of the seven levels of Hell -- and that basic sinning has been ignored probably for the last five-hundred years.
"They've been lining up in the hallways and on the stairways, and in the ante rooms and out by the gate for what seems like forever," said #778999 "there's nowhere to even sit where it's cool and dry.
"Try to think of it as a sewer with a long, long ladder. Now the more they take in at the top, the more that gets squeezed down here at the bottom, and after some twenty centuries, the Wasted Souls Pile --it just starts to build-up. And where are you going to go from here?" he asked.
Lucifer's critics were quick to respond issuing powerful rebuttals following the speech and left no question where Christians stood on the matter of Sin -- which has been a sometimes volatile -- ongoing discourse between representatives in Heaven and Hell since The Beginning.
"I think you've got to be cautious and consider the source of this information before you go out and do something that might result in eternal damnation, or worse," said St. Peter speaking from his white kiosk at the Pearly Gates of Heaven. "God has been crystal clear on this issue as far back as Genesis. He still firmly believes that sin is the root of all evil never-mind money or the two-piece swim suit."
And, according to the Devil, that's just where the guilt falls -- on the Almighty Creator." Don't fault me. I didn't create this mess, this was obviously bad planning on his part," remarked Satan with his trademark smirk, "don't forget, I was once an angel. And a good one too."
"We're the ones' who fulfilled our mission first. We ran out of space earliest -- and that tells me someone was, at the least, pretty naive when someone created Heaven and Hell -- and expected good to triumph over evil, maybe he should have spent more days of creating it -- instead of one."
"I can't say how well they planned it up there -- but I'd bet they got plenty of room for expansion there," said Satan pointing his long-nailed-red-index-finger up in the direction of Heaven. "All I can tell you is we're bursting to the smoking rafters and we're not taking in any new Souls -- so the rest of the world can sin-away -- this is a sort of amnesty," he said. "I have nothing to prove anymore, I'm quite swollen with pride to say we finished first."
"Don't you believe it," warned St. Peter, "We've had enough experience with this guy not to trust much if anything that he says, he's got a reputation for bending things like the truth as you know."
In his sarcastic manner the Devil's speech poked fun both at God and some of his creations, while it invited the world to try some new variations on what they know as a sinful life. "Worst case, you're looking to end up in Purgatory, or Limbo, how bad could that be?" The Devil asked the listeners.
"My guess is he's got twice the square footage in Heaven too -- if you should happen to get there. Even though I've only been there one time, I have to figure in heaven they've got three times the space. He really believed that more of the world would rather be good, then bad -- What was he thinking?"
"No, we can't comment each time this goon gives a speech and starts rumors like this," said the Pope shaking his head from his Vatican office. "
"He has to run his own place, we can't be telling him how to run his action down there. Do you think he would listen? Do you think he got there by being a good listener? We have Heaven and plenty of room. For overflow we have Purgatory, and Limbo is ours too, so we've got plenty of room, just plenty."
Experts say The Bible tells us that the devil and his band are really fallen angels from Genesis who are expected to be a problem all the way to the Apocalypse (Date: tba).
The Devil and the other demons were created by God originally as good in their nature but they by themselves have made themselves evil.
Also, According the scripture, Satan has been charged with extending his empire over the minds of evil men and women. The faithful believe the first sin of Satan was the sin of pride.
The Bible pronounces that man originally sinned at the suggestion of the Devil, and that in the next world the wicked shall suffer perpetual punishment with the Devil.
"It's [The Bible] all a bunch of gibberish. Fer-get about it, everything goes wrong, we get the blame -- the dung-truck always dumps here," contended Satan, "there's no reason to be influenced by any of that nonsense anymore now -- think about it, this is all coming from the same book that's been lying around sinful sleazy motels and hotels since Gideon --you just can't believe everything you read."