Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus

3.10.2005

Evil has a new name - confused

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

The word "evil" has once again become popular, or at least acceptable, to us according to a story by the Christian Science Monitor.

It has popped up in the nation's lexicon in several interesting ways - whether it is refering to terrorist states as the "Axis of Evil" or discussing the New York Yankees as "The Evil Empire." It appears "evil" is back in vogue.

The only problem is the definition is not solid and so vague that no one can get a grasp on it.
Though use of the word "evil" is on the rise, Americans are finding it difficult to agree on what it means. Influenced by religious or cultural values, they tend to use it to describe both a supernatural force and something humans create. In some cases, the tag is pinned onto people; in others, to their actions. Many adopt the "I know it when I see it" definition.


A common use for people is to describe "them" as evil. We never want to look at ourselves and see the evil there. It is always "they" who are evil, never "us." This is evident in the discussion of the BTK killer in Kansas.
"You need to ask why is it that we're so surprised when the alleged BTK killer [in Wichita] ends up being someone who lives among us and works in our church and is a Cub Scout leader," says Daryl Koehn, an ethicist at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and author of a new book, "The Nature of Evil." "We want evil to be monstrous," she says, "because if evil is monstrous, then by definition it doesn't look like us."


Once again this allows Christians an end road into relevant cultural discussions. We must be ready with an answer to the issue of evil, where it came from and how it can be stopped or ultimately defeated.

Hat Tip: World Magazine Blog

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