Let’s quit using the word evil as a reference to Republicans, Democrats, corporate executives, organizations, homosexuals, law makers, and whatever or whomever else we don’t understand – or agree with. Here’s why.
People aren’t evil. I know we like to personify evil, but really. People aren’t evil. Broken, mislead, confused, mean, miserable, sinful, anxious, ill, power hungry, even crazy, YES. But, people are not evil. I just don’t believe it.
As Sister Helen Prejean, the nun behind Dead Man Walking says, “No one is as bad as their worst day.”
I know what you are thinking. What about Hitler? What about people who burn up their own children in a fire? (See the horrid Seattle news of late if you wonder why this reference comes up.) What about Saddam Hussein? We all have our list.
These people are sick and deluded, and their actions may have horrible results, but that does not make them evil. Don’t get me wrong. I am no fan of dictators, demagogues, and Republicans in general, but it is not my place to label them as evil. How we view and speak about others says so much about us. Sometimes we start to believe the hyperbolic statements we throw out. Worse yet, someone else does.
How we label people different from us is important. Even people we see as our enemies. Maybe I have lived a sheltered life, but I don’t think so. Sure there was that farming family stuff I write about, but let’s just say, I lived in a gang neighborhood where gun shots went off daily. I worked at a homeless shelter. Just sayin. People weren’t evil. Confused, products of their environment, really hurting, but not bad people. Sure, I wouldn’t want my daughter to bring some of them home, but they weren’t evil.
Sometimes I think something in our psyche needs people to be evil or bad people. I made an effort never to call my kids bad. Why? Because they weren’t bad. Even when they did things that made me cringe or feel outraged, I knew they were not evil. And I don’t feel like I need someone to be evil so that I can have the perfect contrast to goodness. Or feel self-justified. I will feel that anyway.
I am not saying there is not good and bad, worse and worser, right and wrong, etc. But evil to me implies irredeemable. And I just don’t buy that.
People go to the electric chair every month on this judgment. I just don’t think we can decide that. So for the love of God, and for a peaceful future, let’s quit demonizing everything we don’t understand or agree with.