Fact Check: C.S. Lewis Did Not Write Satan And Jesus Conversation On Shutting Down Businesses, Schools, Places Of Worship and Sports Events

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: C.S. Lewis Did Not Write Satan And Jesus Conversation On Shutting Down Businesses, Schools, Places Of Worship and Sports Events Not C S Lewis

Did C.S. Lewis write a conversation in which Satan told Jesus he would "shutdown business, schools, places of worship and sports events and "cause economic turmoil"? No, that's not true: The fictional exchange purportedly penned by Lewis in 1942 was likely made up as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world in 2020. Some versions claimed it was in the Lewis book The Screwtape Letters, but you will not find it there.

The claim originated in March 2020 and continued to appear into the the summer, including as a meme in a post (archived here) posted on Facebook on August 17, 2020. The top of the meme read "Look what C.S. Lewis said in 1942. I just read it and got chills, and joy come over me." The rest of the meme read:

Satan: "I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shutdown business, schools, places of worship and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil".
Jesus: "I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Aug 17 23:41:39 2020 UTC)

This is a tweet that added the detail about the source:

For those who still claim the inspirational exchange is relevant to COVID-19 and was included in the Lewis book, here is the full manuscript for your search:

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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