on Evil

“Ding Dong! The Witch is dead! …

Wake up, The Wicked Witch is dead.

She’s gone to where the goblins go, Below – below – below…

Yes, let the joyous news be spread, the Wicked old Witch at last is dead!”

Lyrics from 1939 film soundtrack, the Wizard of Oz

For those of you who stayed up late on Sunday evening, you would have found out that finally, after nearly 10 years, Usama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with US Navy Seals inside of Pakistan. As I write this tonight, details of this special forces hit are still emerging. At this point, I am feeling waves of both relief and frustration. Relief, that evil did not escape justice, and frustration, that the justice was so long in coming.

I believe that a price will be paid for those that choose to do evil in this world; it’s just sometimes we may not be around to see it. We all want good to triumph, and evil to be vanquished, but I know that many Americans may be growing weary with the seemingly constant barrage of fear. For so long we have seen what seems to be the victory of evil over good, that we may have begin to doubt and lose heart.

Unfortunately, in this modern day world of instant gratification, of drive-thrus, ipads, video games, and blogs, we can easily make the mistake that justice delayed is justice denied. The battle between good and evil has been going on since time began, and if we only study history, we will learn that sometimes it takes a generation or more to vanquish evil. The reign of Adolf Hitler lasted 12 years (1933-1945), the Cold War with the Soviet Union lasted 43 years (1948-1991), and the despotic communist reigns in China and North Korea have been in existence since 1948. And of course, radical Muslim sects have been warring and killing each other lustfully for centuries. It was not until the mid-20th century that they have begun their war with the West and Israel. Humans have been struggling against evil in all its visages for much longer than 10 years. And, since most of us are created to desire good over evil, we will continue fighting it, even knowing that some of us may not live to see the good triumph.

It is easy to doubt the power of good to overcome evil when you focus on your own tiny world without the long line of history to give you perspective. Evil will never triumph as long as good exists. It may reign for a time, but it will never last forever. Some people lose heart, and may even point to the fact that the existence of evil is evidence that God and His justice does not exist. Well, I would argue the opposite: the fact that good exists in this world at all is evidence that God and His justice will not be thwarted. The question is: are you patient enough to wait? Do you believe so much in the power of good that you would be willing to keep fighting evil, like those US Navy Seals did, even though there is no guarantee that you will personally see the victory? Are you willing to question the depth of your doubt and believe that good will win the day? If so, then that, my friends, is the seed from which hope springs.

“Wickedness goes to great lengths and depths where it is not checked and restrained by the free and continuous expression of the indignation of good men.” Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), a prominent clergyman, abolitionist and social reformer of the 19th century

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