“Evil IS Real.”
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
President George W. Bush, in his 9-11 tenth anniversary speech at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, reminded all Americans that “evil IS real.”
One look at the burning buildings at “Ground Zero,” and the Pentagon, and the deep crater made by the plunging airliner in Shanksville, Pennsylvania should serve to underline the fact that evil DOES exist. There can be no doubt.
With the warning by our federal protectors, over the past weekend, that those sons of evil who murdered some 3,000 Americans ten years ago are lurking in the shadows – prepared to do it all over again -- Americans need to understand that the threat is just as great -- maybe even greater -- than it was in 2001.
One may claim to be non-religious and, I suppose, that IS possible, though unlikely in my opinion. It is a part of the human being, the way our creator wired us, to seek a higher power, a supreme being, a god to cling to even when our grasp is tenuous, at best. We have a built-in yearning for a god.
From man’s earliest days on this planet there is evidence that we sought protection and even direction from a superior being. It seems we NEED, desperately, to know there is a power higher than ourselves, especially when we find ourselves in trouble.
Even before man ventured down out of the trees and out of the holes in the ground and the caves in the mountainside, he intuitively knew that evil awaited him, just outside the mouth of the cave, just at the cusp of his hole in the earth, and directly beneath the tree he was perched in.
Almost instinctively, man knows what the scriptures tell us about evil is true. They warn us that evil stalks the earth seeking those it can devour.
We have personified evil by giving it a name. We of the Christian faith call our evil one Satan. I believe if you check you will find that Satan is a derivation of an ancient Hebrew word referencing the same being.
But there’s something we have chosen to forget. It is something extremely important. By personifying evil and giving it a name we have allowed ourselves to forget that each one of us carries within himself, or herself, the capacity to do great evil to all the creatures of this planet -- but especially against his fellow human beings.
Man has free will. You may see free will as a blessing or a curse. At times it has proven to be both. But here’s the thing: With free will comes man’s capacity to do good or evil. Man has a choice.
Remember the story of man’s fall from grace? If you recall -- man was instructed by his creator not to eat of a certain tree in the Garden of Eden.
So many times I have heard the title of that tree rendered incorrectly in story after story and film after film. Nearly every time it is referenced it is referred to as the Tree of Knowledge. It is important to know the true name of the tree because once you do, it will make all the difference in the world to the way you view mankind.
The correct name of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden story is: “The Tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.”
Once the forbidden fruit was consumed, man, at that precise moment, gained the knowledge to know what was good and what was evil. Combine that with free will and man became, and remains, the most dangerous being on the planet. Man forsook an existence in paradise and commenced to create a hell on earth through his ability to conceive evil acts he could commit against his fellow human beings.
We have murdered each other since Cain murdered his brother Abel. Only -- we have become much better at it – much, much better.
When a man or a group of men can connive to murder three thousand people in a single act of intense evil, it is so horrid that most humans find it nearly impossible to conceive that ANY of their fellow beings on earth could formulate such a heinously evil act.
With the immediacy of modern communications we then saw those same people congratulating themselves on committing mass murder. We see them smiling and blessing their god’s name for assisting them in carrying out their evil scheme. We see them dancing in ebullient joy in their streets as they watch thousands die, burned to death, suffocated to death, and leaping to their deaths from breathtaking heights hoping to throw themselves into eternity to escape the devouring flames.
Their joy at the mass murder of their fellow human beings is, itself, pure unadulterated evil.
President Bush was correct -- EVIL IS REAL. And whether you wish to admit it or not, there is now another personification of evil stalking the earth right alongside Satan. In their time, rest assured they will BOTH be consigned to the depths of Hell. No paradise, no virgins, only eternal suffering of pain and agony with no hope, whatsoever, of a reprieve.
I learned over the weekend, that my pain is still just below the surface. I also learned that my anger burns today just as hot as it did on that September morning in 2001.
They have already consigned their souls to hell. Shouldn’t we be about the business of sending them to their final destination as quickly, efficiently, and in the greatest numbers possible today?
J. D. Longstreet