Rediscovering Evil

The TV news anchors were discussing an unspeakably vicious murder that had been committed without provocation. The report was shocking but, unfortunately, the fare we have come to expect on the evening news.

What was different about this exchange was a comment by one of the reporters: “This would almost make you believe that there are some people in this world who are totally evil.” The remark’s subtle tone of surprise drew a nod of agreement from the cohost.

The exchange brought to mind the many times that elements on the left cry foul whenever they hear public officials use such phrases as evil empire, trinity of evil, or axis of evil.

The problem seems to be with the word evil, both in concept and application. It is scorned as an odious, politically incorrect violation of civil-ity and as an assuredly unacceptable slander within the environs of the New Age “global village.” But given the compilation of evidence, it isn’t difficult to verify that evil is very much alive and afoot in our world.

Consider recent events in Israel and the Middle East where the Axis of Evil has been on the attack. Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, and manic terrorists in Iraq have announced their immediate objective. It is genocide—that is, to wipe Israel off the face of the map and eliminate the Jewish people. Add to this the indiscriminate and deadly assaults on Christians around the world, and no more need be said.

Unfortunately, the world has lost its clear understanding that evil exists and evildoers are constantly with us. Pure evil inhabits this planet, and the prime executioners of it are numerous and identifiable. This may appear to be a somewhat simplistic assessment, but it is basic—and that is where the cultural icons of our day have missed the point.

When Israelis responded to Hezbollah’s indiscriminate shelling from South Lebanon, the immediate reaction of many was to condemn Israel for a “disproportionate response” that caused “collateral damage.” Translation: Israel inadvertently killed and injured innocent civilians. Never mind the fact that Israel had warned these people repeatedly to leave the area. Yet when photos of dead Arab women and children hit the news, they were used to make the case for the terrorists and to depict Israel and America as fountain-heads of evil. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the press accomplished the objectives of the real evildoers. Lost in a shower of visual superficiality were the facts:

Hamas and Hezbollah started the war. Apparently at the behest of their Iranian sponsors, they crossed the borders of sovereign Israel to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers. For the Iranians, the war provided cover and time to pursue their quest for nuclear weapons.

Hezbollah terrorists deliberately place their missile batteries in heavily populated civilian areas—hospitals, mosques, schools, residences, markets, etc. In so doing, they rain death and destruction on Israel from these locations, then—via television—show the bodies of the Arabs whom they used as human shields, calling them victims of Israeli aggression, thus scoring big in the propaganda department.

Hezbollah has committed atrocities daily against innocent Israelis and Arabs who fell to missiles that were launched with no other intent but to kill whoever was unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire. It was Hezbollah’s leader, Hasan Nasrallah, who callously commented after two Arab children were killed by a missile in Nazareth that the missiles were not meant to murder Muslims, only Jews.

At the same time, Islamist terrorists were still strapping bombs on their young people and attempting to send them to their deaths among Israeli civilians. It has been accurately observed, When a Lebanese child is killed, Israel mourns; when an Israeli child is killed, Hezbollah celebrates.

Let’s be clear. These terrorists are calculatingly evil, with equally malevolent intentions. We have said many times that if the Axis of Evil wants peace, all it need do is stop the killing. However, wholly evil people live to kill.

All of these stark facts raise a much broader question: Why are Westerners, who should know better, confused and surprised enough to bemoan the situation with statements like “This would almost make you believe that there are some people in this world who are totally evil”?

The answer is easy. An obfuscation of reality began when our culture embraced the situational ethicists’ moral mumbo-jumbo—when nihilists began convincing the unwashed masses that rules and standards are irrelevant and every individual must decide right and wrong according to his or her personal preference. Their system militantly rejects the biblical, traditional Judeo-Christian standards that regulate human conduct with a clear and understandable moral compass.

The challenge is to turn back to the Bible and rediscover what evil and evildoers are all about.

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