|Thursday, 27 September 2001|
|These are just things I've thinking about this morning. I'm thinking out load so the thoughts are incomplete and not as logical as I would like. None of this is new, but just what I'm thinking this morning.
It seems that many, many people over the years have striven to believe that evil, as an objective, present thing, does not exist in an intrinsic way. People are not evil, they just need to be educated into a rational way of being -- to be self-actualized. Those who do bad things come from an abuse of society and out of our western way of being. Simply the idea that all people are good -- in every way and we as a society simply have to configure society to allow all people to be their intrinsically good selves. For those who believe this, how can they come to terms with the reality of the terrorist attacks. Evil exists and there are people who are...simply....evil. How do they come to terms with what happened on Sept. 11th? There is a different conversation going on in this country now among the intelligentsia. There seems to be a sea-change in the utopian notion that with enough money, with enough will, with enough education, with enough desire we can wipe out this thing called evil caused by societal factors.
I have always believed that there is evil -- an always present and identifiable evil that will always be with us. There are people who are anti-good, intrinsically. In fact, part of all of us are 'not good.' We have the ability to overcome the evil nature that resides within all of us, and in fact most of us do not give in to our more base, banal, anti-good or evil natures. There are those, however, who have no qualms about living in their evil nature and doing evil things -- and who justify their actions and beliefs as good. It doesn't matter their religion, their ethnicity, their nationality, their socioeconomic level, or political persuasion. There IS evil. There ARE evil people. It isn't difficult for me to believe in an 'other' force or being that/who perpetuates evil. The faiths of Abraham refer to it/him as Satan, Lucifer, the Devil. I think it is only wishful thinking, or denial, that evil is not a natural part of our existence, ever present. If we can believe in some sort of an all-good supernatural being we call God, why is it so difficult to believe in an anti-God, one who is all-evil and desires the demise of God's creation.
Anyway, the understanding of how and why this thing happened on Sept. 11th isn't difficult for me. As Hitler, as Pol Pot, as so many in our earthly history have proven themselves evil, so to are those who did this. There will be more and it won't be a surprise, as horrific the incident will be. Evil is always present and will always be. We, however, do not have to life its force, its essence. God has said we are able to overcome evil -- the evil within each of us and collectively. It is in the redemptive work of God that brings us out of our anti-good nature, the evil part of our base nature. It is in God that we are able to come into our true selves, as they were meant to be.
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