Reverend Erik Walker Wikstrom addresses some of the things I am struggling with on the subject of evil. Go read it; it's good.
The topic of evil was already rumbling around in my head, but now, today, September 11th, of course it is front and center.
I don't believe in Original Sin, I do not believe we are born evil. Boy, those who compiled our high school reading list certainly did ... A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies ... bah.
What is this antagonism in so many of us? And I include myself in that 'us.'
Rev. Tamara Lebak, Associate Minister, All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, gave a great sermon August 30, titled Conversation That Matters. Another good one to go check out. She talks about our instincts about others, about how rarely we assume good intentions on the part of someone else.
There is a big difference between thinking and acting. Yes, I agree.
The Husband and I were talking about this last week. Do you think Pure Evil exists? he asked. In the person of another? I clarified. Yes, he said.
I don't think that I do. There always seems to be some tiny fraction of a person's soul that still houses something besides evil.
Whenever I think of evil, I think of Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green. Ruth, the maid and mother figure to Patty, says something along the lines of yes, Hitler was evil, but would he beat his own daughter? And yes, your father (who beats you) is evil, but would he cause the extermination of millions of Jews?
There is a big difference between thinking and acting. Yes, yes, I agree.
"Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions." -- author unverified
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said yeah, you know that you're not supposed to murder. But guess what? If you are angry at someone, you will also be judged.
Searching for the roots of evil.
In that context, it is difficult for me to let myself off the hook for my knee-jerk jealousies, antagonism, suspicions, and all around lack of assuming good intentions.
This eye looks with love
This eye looks with judgment
Free me take the sight out of this eye.
-- This Eye, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians