Thursday, August 25, 2011
Evil in a Cage
During the past couple of weeks the former leader of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, has been on trial for crimes against his own people. Mubarak is a frail, sick man but he has been present in what amounts to a cage, as though he is a dangerous animal. The cage seems more theatre than actual security, a statement about his cruelty through the years.
Is Mubarak evil? The challenge of evil, which is certainly a biblical concept, is that it is hard to define. When we pray "deliver us from evil" each week there is no footnote directing us to a thorough explanation.
So who or what is evil and what causes it? Are the Mubaraks and Ghaddafi's of this world evil? Yes to the holocaust and Rwanda. I would describe child molesters as evil. The man who systematically shot defenseless young people in Norway a few weeks ago.
I notice that there is a growing interest in defining evil from a scientific perspective. Scales of evil are being developed and there is a new book called The Anatomy of Evil by Dr. Michael Stone. Yet the root cause of evil, both individually and collectively continues to be a mystery. Why do some persons and groups choose destructive acts?
Our New Creed invites us to "seek justice and resist evil." If we acknowledge the reality of evil then we can work to address it wherever we see it in our lives and in our world.
What is your perspective?