Dan recently wrote a really good post about 9/11. With the five year anniversary here, a lot more focus was put in re-living that day. PBS's show Frontline had a good program about the spiritual aspect that 9/11 had on impacted victims. I really recommend that Midwest readers go to pbs.org and read the interviews that were done.
In the show, they interviewed priests, rabbis, and theologians. One of themes that appeared over and over in the program was the concept of "Evil." One of the theologians was asked if they thought Bin Laden was evil. She replied, "One could say that Bin Laden is evil, but I'd like to think that Evil is bigger."
I thought about what she said today as I read about a shooter in Montreal who shot twenty people. Police got access to his computer. They found a log that he left which stated, "My life sucks, my job sucks, and people suck." At some point, for some people, they cross the Rubicon in terms of humanity.
What I mean by that is that these people, whether they be terrorists, pedophiles, mass murderers, etc. came to the conclusion that human beings are worthless. Or, as I heard in the Frontline program, "We are dust to them." As I listened to the Frontline program, the interviewees made the point that it goes against human nature to get on a plane and intentionally kill other human beings. Unless of course you have lost your humanity. Your connection to what makes us who we are.
That in itself is Evil.
What does this mean for us? To me, its not only important for our ability to recognize "Evil" in others, its also our reaction to it. In World War II, America confronted the evil of Facism and defeated it. In the Cold War, America and Western Europe stood firm for 50 years and eventually defeated Communism. Now, today, we see the evil of Islamic Fundamentalism taken to the extreme. Its followers, willing to give their lives to kill innocents.
What worries me is that our Generation doesn't seem to care about recognizing the current Evil that exists in our midst. What I mean by that is our Generation wants to be safe, as long as someone else does the job and nobody gets killed.
There's no sense of sacrifice.
There's no time for sacrifice.
There's a mortgage to pay, a job to go to, a family to raise. That, in itself to our Generation is enough sacrifice. Our Generation sees the violence in Iraq on the Nightly News and wish it would go away. Let's bring the troops home. Let's go back to our lives . . .
The problem with that thinking is that Evil doesn't go away. It ebbs. It flows. Its been with us for a long time. It looks for weakness and then it pounces until its confronted with unity, strength, integrity, and honesty.
Let's hope our Generation paused this week over 9/11, pondered not only on the lives lost but how they were lost and comes to the conclusion that those individuals who have lost their humanity must be confronted and defeated.