Someone once said that it is easier to believe in Satan than to believe in God.
That statement has a couple of meanings. First it means that evil is more obvious than good. Not more powerful, not more common, but more obvious. Second it means that evil is harder to understand than good. Most people (thank goodness) want to be good. They understand the motivation to do good things. Most people understand temptation too, and understand how good people can succumb to temptation to do bad things. Not necessarily evil things, but bad things. Things like losing your temper with your children, or stealing a loaf of bread.
But most people cannot understand the motivation to do truly evil things.
Like hold six young terrified girls hostage for several hours and force them to do perverted things, then to kill one before killing yourself.
That makes the heart ache and the mind boggle.
I believe there is a moral foundation to the universe. That’s one of the things that makes me a conservative. I believe that the basic principle of reciprocity (e.g. “The Golden Rule”) is as fundamental to the structure of the universe as is the speed of light, or the force of gravity.
But I am not a religious person. I don’t believe that the moral foundation requires a divine being to “enforce” it, or worse, to define it (because if it is “defined” by a God, then it is arbitrary and could be redefined at will). Because of this I also don’t believe that there is an active supernatural force that drives evil any more than I believe there is a supernatural force that drives good.
But it is one of the strange things about me that events like yesterday’s at Platte Canyon High School make me wonder about supernatural forces of evil more than Mother Teresa makes me wonder about supernatural forces of good.
I think that is because it is far more difficult to understand why someone would want to commit such acts of depravity than it is to understand why someone would want to commit acts of altruism.
There are monsters among us. We must not fall prey to the illusion that we live in a world of peace and security. What their motivation is cannot be understood by people who yearn for justice, peace and goodwill. But whether their motivation is understood or not, we must be aware of their existence and aware of their potential to do great harm.
Keep your eyes open. Teach your kids to be aware of the evil that is out there. Teach them to report odd behavior, especially at schools or other public places where children gather.
It’s been a tough couple of days. I’m not sure exactly how this situation has affected my family or for how long it will last.
I can’t help but realize the stark, cold fact that had this lunatic decided to perpetrate this rampage a year, or two years ago, he could very well have taken my own daughter’s life. And in my heart I can’t help but think that he was thinking about it, while we went on our merry way, never knowing the demon in our midst.
Hug your kids tonight.