Evil Exists: Denial will destroy us…9
December 17, 2012 by eneubauer
The truth is that evil really exists. Evil, mental illness and moral values are three issues that I have been thinking about prior to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut – the shooting, its implications and the talk surrounding the state of the shooter have brought my thoughts to center stage once again. The issues of Evil, mental illness and moral values are crying out for our attention and here’s why.
The idea of Evil personified (& hell) has been largely rejected by modern / post-modern man as myth and connected closely to the “fantasy stories” of the Bible. In addition, shifts in societal value systems have also set the stage for a wholesale rejection of traditional moral values in favor of what the majority deems as acceptable or normal. Finally, many holding to the mantra of fiscal conservatism have rejected serious investment in the research & treatment of mental illness (or the mentally ill). Hence, the rejection of morals, the treatment of evil as myth and our collective marginalization of those suffering from mental illness continue to cause Americans and others serious unrest. Let’s take a closer look at each from a common sense perspective.
Evil exists and in forms that many don’t even want to consider. The biblical perspective is that evil exists in at least two-forms. First, it exists in the form of “Satan” or the “devil” (CCC 391). The Catechism speaks of created beings (angels) who were intended for good. However, because love requires choice (a free action of the will) between the loved and lover, angels had to choose between Good (God) and Evil (the absence of God). Some angels chose to reject the Good and in this action were separated from God and His original intent for their existence – harmonious interrelation. (See CCC 392-395) In this act we see the development of evil personified. The second form of evil exists because of “original sin”. Humankind, in their rejection of the Good (God) under the enticement of Satan to, “Be like God” (Genesis 3:5 & CCC 396-401), were separated from harmonious interrelation with their creator. In this act humanity cooperated with Satan in their rejection of God and distorted, for the foreseeable future, the original intent of creation and the created order.
It is no secret that the foundation of our country was largely based on the Judeo-Christian ethic. These ideas were embraced by our Founding Fathers who were both Christian and other. History reveals that an embrace of this ethic is possible by those who identify with the Christian religion and those who do not. Embedded in this ethical system is wisdom from ONE that transcended both the moment and the intellectual capacity of man (history past, present & future). Therefore this ethic became the foundation stone of America’s cultural, political, and legal systems. However, times are changing and we now find ourselves in a post-modern / Christian culture with the emergence of a new ethic not rooted in Judeo-Christian principles. This new ethic is rooted in the agreement of the majority. Therefore whatever the majority of any one society deems as normal, ethical or acceptable is the new norm. Societies based on this ethic are no longer tied to the traditions of the past because post-modern man has evolved. We now believe man has the capacity to develop our own set of “rules” or “guiding principles” with no connection to that which transcends this physical world. Therefore, our understanding of what is objectively right and wrong has grown cloudy and will continue to be murky space as we constantly reinvent what is acceptable in secular societies. The result – moral confusion, deception and a vision of man completely free from the shadow of his Creator. This has and will continue to create problems!
Did you know that mental illness is so anti-American. It is in mental illness that we find what is antithetical to our American values / culture. The mentally ill are weak, feeble-minded individuals who claim an incapacity that is very difficult to define and detect and even harder to treat.
In America we love those that are 1st, successful in their field of work and strong (mentally, physically and spiritually). In addition, how you become successful isn’t of concern to us anymore. No one expects you to be perfect but the problems that do develop in the American person must be solvable – the person must overcome by an act of the will in concert with other assistance currently available to them.
Mental illness just doesn’t fit the mold. It is hard to understand and often requires solutions that use a plethora of treatment options. With physical ailments you can treat the issues with a doctors visit, a shot, pill or dietary manipulation. However, the solutions to mental illness require patience, sensitivity, research and funding. The solutions for the mentally ill begin with societal acceptance where the mentally ill are no longer marginalized, unemployable and isolated. The mentally ill can no longer operate in the shadows where they become the victims of a valueless society that even denies the influence of evil forces on the mind of the mentally impaired. Mental illness is real, funding for research needs to be on par with the funding of other types of physical ailments, treatment needs to be affordable and accessible to all. Anything less is anti-Christian and void of the values that I hold so dearly in my own life.
The rejection of evil and moral values is not the height of a new intellectual evolution. It is a short-sighted, valueless vision that will last only as long as the majority finds value in its own conclusion. It is highly subjective and has no connection to that which is obviously objective in nature. In addition, the continued marginalization of the mentally ill simply reveals just how far western culture has to go in honoring the unique dignity of the human being and ensuring that all who are in need (both physically, mentally, and spiritually) have access to solutions that will enable them to live a strong, healthy and productive life.
I hope and pray that we will take action in each area to ensure the long-term stability of our society and culture in this great American experiment.
Disclaimer: This article is not trying to draw conclusions from the Sandy Hook shooting nor is it trying to prescribe a certain solution. This particular event just drew out what I have been thinking on for some time. Its point is to encourage conversation relating to the problems I see in American life and culture.
[…] Evil Exists: Denial Will Destroy Us – E. Neubauer, 21 Century Pilgrim […]
You have given us a lot to think about. The culture of our country has changed so much in the last 50 years and I think the direction of our movement away from Judeo-Christian values is what is driving the pain and horror of much of today’s world.
You say, “love requires choice (a free action of the will) between the loved and lover,”. It seems that the choice that many make today is for love of self and of what the world can give. The choice is not love of God and of others. It is not choosing what one can do – out of love – for others. Those who believe in God and who choose to love Him and be loved by Him live very differently than those who do not make that choice. Those who choose God make choices in their lives that are meant to follow His lead and to do His will. Those choices and actions do not lead to the horror of actions we have seen recently.
This is not to say that in a loving God fearing world, some mental illnesses and horrors may not happen. It just means that people are aware of others and are caring enough to look out for others and to help them when they need help, maybe giving support that keeps someone form giving up and hurting themselves and others.
My brother was mentally ill but had a great heart. I always notice that evil tried to use his illness to hurt others. We need to pray for the protection of our mentally ill so they can not be used for evil acts. Mental illness is a cross that is hard to carry without the help of others and it is hard to carry if you are helping the mentally ill. Pray is the best help!
when you work within church orgainization with mentally ill people you become (re born) again these persons don’t want anything from you all they need is caring and love, your mind will start to work in a positive way,you have a grown up human who is still a child in his thinking , since the world we live in is about power and people trying to step over you so that they have more power but alas they don’t get satisfied no matter how much they get.thanks for the artical it is very nice.
One of the few Catholic conservative blogs I have seen to take “fiscal conservatism” (code word for libertarianism anarchy) to task for its abandonment of funding necessary social and health programs. God bless you for this. And thank you for your excellent point on reminding us of the true reality of evil in the world; secular atheists should take note.
Thank you so much for the response. I realized about 6 or 7 years ago just how much my political philosophy was influencing my faith – not the other way around. Once I came to this understanding I took a good look at the positions I held – needless to say there were adjustments. Our faith should always be the lens through which we see our world. It helps us make correct judgements and take the moral high ground.
Having worked with & been friends with those who have developmental or mental disability, I can only say a big AMEN to this article. It’s very difficult for the individual, family & caregivers–all of whom are susceptible to meltdown. One has only to visit anyone’s facebook or listen to some of the news commentators to hear uninformed responses to the CT shooting, for example referring to people with mental health issues as “crazy,” which I’m sure only contributes to feelings of marginalization and anger. It’s too bad that an article such as this can’t make it’s way to mainstream news media or perhaps it’s that it falls to all of us to put our views out there no matter how strongly we’re shouted down.
That’s firstname.lastname@example.org & I just posted your article to my facebook–let’s see now, what people post on it!
Thanks so much for participating in the conversation. May God continue to bless you.