“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
A video op-ed by Dennis Prager on the Iran nuclear agreement and a recent blog by Christian blogger Lenny Esposito on the Planned Parenthood scandal are in essence about the same thing—good men looking away. The fact is that many folks are so uncomfortable viewing monstrous, blatant, in-your-face evil that they will look away rather than circumspectly examining it. And looking away means doing nothing.
Prager states that evil is not dark. In fact, evil is often so painfully bright that it’s blinding. It’s beyond uncomfortable to look at real evil. Thus, many people simply look away. I see the Senate’s refusal to de-fund Planned Parenthood combined with the likely approval of the Iran nuclear deal and I’m convinced that “good men” are blindly, mindlessly looking away.
Prager says that 1938, is being repeated in 2015. I had thought that myself even before he said it. In 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s accord with Hitler gave much of Czechoslovakia to Germany in exchange for “peace for our time.” Most applauded the deal rather than consider going to war. A few, Winston Churchill being one, could see the folly in appeasing Hitler and not much over a year later Germany invaded Poland and WWII began. Over 30-million people in Europe alone lost their lives because good men looked away. The Munich deal achieved nothing save giving many a false sense of security.
Obama’s deal with Iran is a similar appeasement. At best, it simply delays them acquiring a bomb. Some critics have said that it virtually guarantees them building a bomb, as well as perfecting a missile delivery system. The state with the most skin in the game, Israel, says its a bad deal—but also many of Shiite Iran’s Sunni Arab neighbors don’t like it either. Iran’s goal is to dominate the Middle East and the nuclear deal will virtually guarantee their objective. It will immediately free up 150-billion in frozen assets that will be used to fund their proxy terror organizations like Hamas, as well as invest in other military hardware.
Iran has said over and over again that their goal is the destruction of the Jewish state. It is an official policy. Why should we not believe them? Also, they are known cheaters and liars when it comes to their nuclear program, and by the time the UN’s supposed verification system reveals they have been cheating it will be too late. The deal is so bad that even the predictably liberal, democrat party line senator Chuck Schumer says he will vote against it.
The bill to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated in the Senate and voting went largely along party lines. Democrats predictably voted to keep funding this organization. Most deferred, along with the White House, by stating they actually hadn’t viewed the videos. This begs the question why. They pretty much parroted PP’s official propaganda that only 3% of their budget goes toward abortion and that they do all sorts of positive things for women’s health care. They failed to mention that the 3% accounted for 327,000 little lives snuffed out last year, and that the rest of PP’s services are available thru other health provider organizations. Even the predictably liberal Washington Post called the 3% figure a lie. Christian blogger Lenny Esposito said that not watching the videos didn’t make the senate or White House response “honest”— it made them “derelict.”
So what do we think about when we think about evil? For one, we have to consider how complicit we might be in a given situation. We have to examine our own behavior. We might have to think about our decisions. In opposing the Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out that silence in the face of evil makes us complicit. By not acting, we act.
Also, we might be forced to consider where that evil originated. Perhaps there is a supernatural author of evil who contends for ownership of this world and our souls. The existence of Satan and a demonic host is a thought that most do not readily want to ponder—even Christians.
People realize, sort of theoretically, that they are not perfect, but it’s very uncomfortable to consider the specifics. Examining one’s sins can be hazardous to self-esteem. Verily, we are too often derelict in thinking about the problems of this world in relation to our own actions. Better to watch some “reality” show chock full of folks who’s behavior we can clearly judge—better to fill our brains with mindless amusements.
About eight years ago I wrote a book titled Satan’s Top Ten Tricks. It’s about spiritual warfare. It’s about the devil and the demonic host inhabiting our thought-life and about how we are often accomplices in their evil schemes. I profile ten tricks in the book, but of course there are really many more than that.
Spoiler Alert: Counting down to numero uno, Satan’s Trick Number One. . .a drum roll please. . . it’s him convincing us that he doesn’t exist. That is not his hardest trick, just his best trick—the most effective trick and one in which we readily cooperate. We are so adept at looking away, or looking at the sins of someone else, that we too easily embrace his invisibility. His evil is blinding and we have looked away so often that we no longer see it.