There is a tendency in the world today to become pretty jaded to news. Things happen - over there. It doesn't happen to me. Happy little me, sitting in my happy little suburban house, with my happy little salary, and our happy little palm trees overlooking our happy little pool.
We tune out the local news -- the national news. Violence on the screen is normal. Violence in our movies is normal. Violence in our cartoons is normal. Take out the middle portions of these sentences, and you can deduce it to this: Violence is normal.
What then, of the tendency of our culture, in the past few years to come to this conclusion that the world is capable of healing itself? That history doesn't repeat itself? That if we merely empower those that are suffering that the violence will end. That people are good - and capable of solving all their own problems -- if only.... Why do we, the people living in the world, think that somehow we can declare things to be good - we can right wrongs - we can stem the rising seas - we can declare people as being on the "wrong side of history" to quote our President, and that the forces of good would prevail?
Are we so jaded that WE think WE can make it all better? Because, we've done so well at that over the course of human history. Why do we, today, in 2014, think we can do any better than they did at avoiding evil a 100 years ago? 500 hundred years ago?
For as jaded as I am. The stories that are bombarding us on the news -- ebola, riots, beheadings -- the systematic slaughter of populations - War in Gaza-- the devaluing of our currency... the devaluing of our national character... I wish I could say I am surprised. I am not.
There is real pure true EVIL in the world. Evil exists. Evil is the kind that walks into a school and shoots innocent children. It isn't the result of a a tragic childhood or some mild psychosis. It isn't the gun. It isn't being on the wrong side of history. When the world does not have an equal counterpoint of EVIL - ie. GOOD, then all sorts of really nasty horrible stuff starts occurring... like, I would dare say, the stuff that we are seeing now.
It isn't enough to say that something is "EVIL". We must stand for something good. We must stand up and say enough. We will not merely tolerate people. We won't COEXIST. We have to actually be good. We have to stand up and say God is the source of all that is good and right. Peace will come thru God and love. We can do more than coexist. We have to do more than tolerate. We have to seek to understand - where understanding has the possibility to exist. We have to love. We have to judge evil as well. Are we not called to root it out? We have to actually be more than a religion or a country that stands around and says - that's really bad. We have to actually DO something in response. We have to be more than apathetic. We have to stand for all that is good within us, and all that goodness within us can achieve.
This post has a decidedly Christian bent. I am aware of that. This post also has a decidedly political bent. I am aware of that. I am not sure that I even know how these two things are related or if they should be -- but I would merely say this. Prior to the current situation, the evil doers (an "axis of evil" even), knew that if they messed around and starting creeping into countries or peoples or issues that were in any way perceived as aggressive, they'd pay. Americans didn't sit idly by and let entire populations of people get slaughtered. In fact, our President has declared - recently in the event of bringing home Bowe Bergdahl and the American doctors with Ebola, that we don't leave Americans behind. Do we let Americans have their heads hacked off by militants on YouTube? Is that something we allow?
Violence is real and evil certainly exists. And if we are going to survive it -- we have to call it like it is -- TERROR and EVIL. And we've got to do something.