Monday, April 18, 2016

Political Activism and the Reality of Evil

The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.
- Malcolm Muggeridge

“Dear Sir: Regarding your article 'What's Wrong with the World?' I am.
Yours truly,”
- GK Chesterton

Most everywhere we look, we are seeing the disintegration of American society. We then ask ourselves, what do we do, what can we do to turn things around? We then begin frenetically running around seeking to reform the Department of Education, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration Customs Enforcement, US Customs and Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government, and so on. Of course this means then that we, both Democrats and Republicans, believe the primary source of our societal conflicts is an “it.”  Get “it” right and all will be well.


What if the source of our societal maladies is not in our institutions but in our hearts? What if our institutions are corrupt because we are corrupt? What if the fundamental problem is the evil that lies in each of our hearts: evils such as greed and envy, hatred and malice, pride and egoism, lawlessness and decadence, lust for power and control.

Having largely discarded religious faith, we jettisoned belief in a transcendent moral order and, with it, any concept of evil (moral disorder). Well that is not entirely accurate: we replaced religious belief with political ideals and dogmas, which we (Democrats and Republicans) adhere to and defend with a fanaticism of a witch burning Puritan.

Do you, O thou spiritual believer in Christ, doubt me, here? Pray then answer me this: if I disagree with your social agenda or choose to not vote for your favored candidate, are you going to anathematize me? Your Facebook posts tell me that you will.

It seems to me that today even Christians, who should know better, are wrestling more with “its” rather than hearts, including their own, behaving as if societal reformation begins and ends with political and institutional reformation and the election of the Right Candidate.

Newsflash: Even if you get “it” reformed and the “right” person elected, if people’s hearts are not transformed, your activism is nothing more than an attempt to put a classier suit on a corpse.

I believe that all political and social problems are ultimately problems of individual virtue. Therefore, all endeavors to reform society must start with the human heart and the fact that evil exists in the world and within us all. If it is reformation we are after then this is a reality that needs to inform and govern our political activism.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2016

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