Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Do You Think is Evil?

Last week there was a political soiree behind the "Orange Curtain". A lot has been written about the event. The fact that Obama was "vote catching" in an arena that was neither the time nor the place has been pointed out in a number of places. One question did intrigue me and I began to think. For some one of my advanced age that is dangerous, as you are about to find out.

I find a movie that is very high on my list is The Devil's Advocate. The movie stars Al Pacino as John Milton (devil) and Keaneau Reeves as the unsuspecting son of Al Pacino and the unwitting lead. I encourage everyone to watch this movie but do it with your heart and soul turned on -- and for you **TJ folks hang in there until the end of the movie -- that is necessary.

This movie deals with the question of evil, pure, unadulterated evil. These few comments from John Milton reflect on our times.

John Milton: Vanity, definitely my favorite sin.

Kevin Lomax: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven", is that it?

Kevin Lomax: What about love?
John Milton: Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

Evil is permitting people to be kidnapped and held for months and years in your own country and not lifting a finger to help them because one is so busy at the border of Jordan trying to get into a conference to hate more people.

Evil is not doing anything to correct the thousands of young boys kidnapped and forced into waging war against others. Evil is not helping these youngsters as they crowd into your cities hungry and tired and frightened at night to avoid this plight.

Evil is not speaking out against "soldiers" who rape because it is their "right".

Evil is not speaking out against those who would wrap barb wire around some person and hang him from fencing in the middle of nowhere because of his sexual orientation. Or chasing some one into a back alley and beating that person with a baseball bat to death.

Evil is not welcoming everyone into a house of worship because of the color of their skin, or the lack of money, or their sexual orientation. Evil is not receiving communion with someone who does believe that everyone should be allowed in.

Evil is forcing some young woman to seek a back alley quack that will cut her to ribbons for a few hundred dollars.

Evil is forcing a teenager to leave her baby on a levee because "her religion" will ostracize her for her sexual activity.

Evil is the mistaken idea that one has to trade persons of the "wrong" sexual orientation for growing a church community.

John Milton: Are we negotiating?
Kevin Lomax: Always.

Evil is not recognizing that each one of us is created in God's image and is entitled by the creator to certain inalienable rights.

John Milton: Free will, it is a bitch.

Evil is refusing to allow people to exercise that greatest gift God gave to mankind --the power to choose.

John Milton: You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire; you build egos the size of cathedrals; fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse; grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own God... and where can you go from there?

Evil is following those who have insatiable appetites for money and power and hiding behind the Bible to do it.

Is there evil in this world? Let me know what you think.


Scott Hankins said...

Thanks for asking. I'm not even going to read that long list of opinions. I'm just going to tell you what I think about it in this moment. Evil is that objective reality that acts upon us from outside ourselves to bring about its own ends, not God's. Insofar as we are accomplices in our separation from one another, we cooperate with evil. When we reach across the abyss toward one another, the power of evil is ended. The Risen Lord makes this reaching-across-the-abyss possible. Of course, on another night, I would put it another way, and...ocicbw.

Hey Fred, let's do nachos sometime. (That's an example of reaching-across-the-abyss.)


Lynn said...

" egos the size of cathedrals..." And it seems...more and more cathedrals to built feed the egos, not for worship or to honor the glory of God.

A least we try here in DC...the house of prayer for all people. I have always loved that phrase, though we can only aspire :-)

I must say, Fred, quite a list of man's inhumanity to man - and only a starter. Wow, thank you for reminding me I am blessed, and need to do more for others who aren't so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I believe there is evil in this world. I agree with Scott that it is an objective reality outside of ourselves that we cooperate with in greater or lesser degrees. The "laundry list" is, of course, partial, but does remind me about the ways I cooperate with evil. Some of us cooperate in order to feed our ego needs for power/ greed. They tend to glory in their cooperation, or refuse to see it for what it is. I'm one of the probable majority who cooperate out of fear. In some ways, I think we are the most guilty because we recognize the evil, but refuse to stand against it. By being cowards, we allow the evil to continue its way without challenge.


Scott Hankins said...


I really must get that Kittel to you somehow!


Cany said...

I think your list is pretty darned good!