Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Evil in Men's Hearts...

Today I read an article in the Daily Mail from 2016 which told the story of a young boy in Lagos who had been accused of stealing from the community. He was seized by a mob, his feet were bound so he could not run, and he was beaten and burned to death. A link to the article is here. There is a video in the article that I am not encouraging you to watch. I am merely posting this as an example of what happens when we do not value the Individual. When we believe we get our value from the groups we identify with.

This boy, whatever he did, was "the other", the one outside the mob. He was the one individual that THEY, "the community", didn't value or think worthy enough to live. He was arbitrarily declared "evil", and evil, as we all know, is a threat to the community, and so it must be cut out.

I am sure the members of the community that tortured and burned this boy to death, went away without remorse, I bet some of them had a sense of righteousness, that they had done the right thing, a good thing. I fear too, that some of them took delight in the cruelty they inflicted. But they are wrong!

Evil, or at least the potential for evil, resides in every human heart. It struggles with the Love, or potential for love, that resides there also. Evil likes to mock goodness, it masquerades as good, it hides as virtue, and it tries to tell you that you are worthless. That others don't matter unless they help you in some way. Evil tells you that there is no point to suffering, and that life of suffering is pointless and people have no more value than ants and can be crushed underfoot for the greater good because it is all meaningless in the end anyway.

Evil is a liar!

The problem I have with identity politics, with social justice warriors campaigning for the "rights" of the ever expanding plethora of "victim" communities is that it does not value the individual over the group. In the West we have civilised the mob mentality, we identify the oppressor, the privileged, the "other". We declare ourselves virtuous, and the "other" is anyone who threatens our "community" or the "community" we stand in solidarity with.

Richard Spencer attacked on the street.
In the West, we are not as barbaric as the people who tortured and burned this boy alive, or so we lie to ourselves. Yet, we say "it's
Sean Stiles was hit over the head
with a bike lock by an ANTIFA protester.
alright to punch a NAZI in the face," we think it is reasonable to hit a stranger in the head with a bike lock because he is on the "other" side of our protest. We think it is a reasonable step to shoot politicians who we see as a threat to our values. We think we have the right to shut down people speaking because they might say something that
Congressman Scalise shot by a
left-wing ideologue.
 we disagree with, or that
might give offence or hurt our feelings. We think it is alright to kill children in the womb because they threaten the circumstances of our lives. We lie to ourselves all the time.

A text book image depicting how to
perform an abortion.
The truth is, however, we are no more civilised. It was people in the west who developed the pernicious and evil ideologies of communism and socialism that were collectively responsible for the cruel deaths of hundreds of millions of individuals because they were deemed the "other" by a society that valued the "community" with which they identified over the individual.

We are no more civilised than the individuals who made up the mob that cruelly murdered this child BECAUSE we are no more human than they are. We are, each of us, responsible for our own actions and helping those around us where we can. Instead of fighting for victim classes, for "communities" that are oppressed, we should first love. Love this individual who is being "victimised". Love the individual who is victimising them. Try to understand the situation, try to explain it, try to improve it. This is how we best make a difference. There is meaning to life. There is meaning in suffering, it is not the message we want to hear perhaps, but it has a very profound meaning. We grow as human beings through suffering and sacrifice. It is not the group we identify with that makes us virtuous, it is the way we confront the suffering we find in our lives that does. It is the way we allow Love to rule over the evil in our hearts, the way we let Truth banish lies from our lives, and the way we value the individuals who wind their way through our lives for who they are and not which "community" or group they identify with.

"The line between good and evil runs down the middle of every human heart," how we confront the evil each of us is capable of will determine how we confront true societal evils that threaten us all.
A person's character is built by courage, honesty and love. Make Love your God.

"God is Love." (1 Jn 4:8)

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