Category Archives: Evil

He Asked About the Killings… and God

This past Friday, after the tragic deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in imgresNewtown, Conn., I received the following inquiry from a friend. It has been abridged to respect his anonymity.

 

Good afternoon friend.

 

Like most people in America right now, I’m staring at the news right now and just shaking my head trying to figure out how/why something like that shooting could have happened.  Most likely no one will truly know, but that doesn’t make it easier to process. …

 

I have never actively disrespected Christianity, as some people i know have.  Whatever works for you is what works.  A little liberal i realize, but I respect religion for what it is, and what it is (to me) is a method of ways to process what happens in the world into some form of useable information that one can use to find a meaning and purpose in all things.

 

So, as I read the news today about the CT shooting, I just keep asking myself the question, why would I want to place my trust in something or someone that would be ok with this happening.  I know all the tropes, ie, God’s plan, or something good will come from this, always darkest before the dawn, you name it. 

 

it seems like an overwhelmingly selfish thing to ask, in that something like this happens and I can only think “HOW DOES THIS IMPACT ME” but, please, no this isn’t from a selfish place. 

 

I realize that if there is a God there are multiple miracles he could be responsible for. …

 

But for all of those, how does this fit in?  How is this ok? How is this part of a plan?  And if it IS part of an omnipotent being’s plan, how can I possibly trust in it/Him explicitly when he signs off on things like this happening.  Does he say ‘well lots of people got home safely yesterday, I suppose today is a good day for this one’? I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I just don’t understand it.  I hadn’t really asked myself these questions in about a decade, and I can’t shake it.  Perhaps there are no answers for these questions, and such is the strict definition of faith.  And it’s not that I set metrics for God and if He can’t hit them, then i’m out, no thank you, ask me again later.  I just can’t answer the fundamental question of why would I place my trust and faith in someone that allows this to happen.  Am I asking the wrong questions?  Are my inquiries too selfishly motivated to have proper answers?

 

Again, I ask you these things because …  I couldn’t ask my parents bc I’d get written out of the will, and I could ask my wife, but I don’t really want to sleep on the couch for a week. 

 

 

Here is my reply:

 

These are great questions which warrant more discussion than this space comfortably allows. However, I’ll be glad to continue beyond this, either here or over a beer.

So… let me, for now, offer four points for consideration:

1. You’re asking what I’m convinced is THE most difficult question for any religion – or any belief system – to deal with: the reality of evil.

If you, personally, are entertaining atheism, let me suggest the challenge will be greatest for you. How does someone determine that something is in fact evil and speak out against it when they’ve removed any transcendent standard of measure against which a conclusion must be reached?

2. Of all the possible belief systems, you won’t find any that take the problem of evil more seriously than Christianity. (Of course, I think the reason behind this is because it’s TRUE.)  The entire purpose behind God’s work in and through Christ is to confront, defeat and rectify evil and its consequences. I John 3:8 says, “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.”

3. Given that, I would not dismiss some of the explanations you listed that you’ve heard from Christian believers.

4. Finally, if I look solely at the tragedy in CT, I see no sign of God’s love and goodness. I have to go beyond such events – even beyond events that suggest there may be a loving and gracious God – and look at Jesus – His life, death and resurrection – to see most clearly the demonstration of a God who loves you and me.

Would love to keep in touch.

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Filed under Apologetics, Evil, Jesus, Johnny Price Mindfield, Religion

A Bit of Theology: GOD AND SANDY

Last week James Emery White wrote a blog offering a theological perspective on the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy. I share it with you below. And, as always, your thoughts and comments are more than welcome.
  • It has been deemed the most destructive storm, hitting the most densely populated areas of our country, in decades. At the time of this writing, over fifty deaths have been reported. Damage is estimated to be in the $20 billion range. Over 8 million have been without power in 17 states.
  • So where was God?
  • Some would say this proves there isn’t a God, or at least a loving, benevolent God. If there was, He would have intervened. So either He wouldn’t (a bad God) or He couldn’t (a weak God).
  • Others, with equal determination, claim that this is just another example of God’s sovereignty. There was a Sandy because God wanted there to be a Sandy. So take that, New Jersey.
  • A CNN survey of social media found four main themes running through our cultural psyche: “God Bless,” “Thank God,” “God’s Wrath,” and “God Does Not Exist.”
  • So who is right? The only way to answer that is go back to the very beginning of our existence.
  • God made us in order to love us. We were tenderly crafted and designed, each as an individual, for the purpose of being related to, known, and deeply cherished. Yet this meant that we were also given the freedom to make choices with our life, to live as fully conscious, self-determining beings.
  • Even to the point of whether we were going to respond to the Creator’s love.
  • God did not choose to force Himself upon us against our will. Instead, He determined to woo us, knowing that in so doing, we might very well spurn His love. But this was the only way to have relationship be relationship.
  • This is the dynamic at the heart of human existence. God could have made me love Him, but if He had, His relationship with me – and mine with Him – would have been meaningless. God wanted my relationship with Him, and with others, to be real. So when He created me, He had to take the risk of setting me free.
  • The first use of this freedom to love was, as you might expect, made by the first humans, Adam and Eve. The tree in the middle of the garden stood as the great authenticator that the love between the first humans and God was real.
  • Then they chose to eat the fruit.
  • The Lover was spurned.
  • And all hell broke loose.
  • The decision the first humans made to reject God’s leadership and an ongoing intimacy within a relationship with Him radically altered God’s original design for how the world would operate and how life would be lived. Theologians have termed this “the fall,” and talk about how we now live in a “fallen” world.
  • In other words, we live in a world that is not the way God intended it to be. When Satan told Eve that if she ate of the fruit in the garden that she would not die, he lied. It was the day death and dying was born in to the human race. They had chosen to sleep with another on the night of the honeymoon, and forever stained the relationship of loving intimacy that had been intended for eternity within the Lover’s heart.
  • Langdon Gilkey observes that few of us find it easy to believe that one act of disobedience brought about a fall for the whole race that is now continued in us by inheritance. Yet reflecting on his experience in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, where prisoners representing a cross-section of humanity were forced to participate in a living laboratory of community, Gilkey noted that the theological idea of a pervasive warping of our wills is the most accurate description of the reality of life. “What the doctrine of sin has said about man’s present state,” Gilkey concluded, “seemed to fit the facts as a I found them.”
  • The results of our collective choice to turn away from God run so deep that it isn’t just moral sin and evil that we face, but natural evil as well.
  • The whole world is sick.
  • In the Bible, we’re told that: “…the whole creation has been groaning” (Romans 8:22, NIV). Which is why we have earthquakes and tidal waves, volcanoes and mudslides, wildfires and birth defects, famine and AIDS.
  • And, yes, hurricanes named Sandy.
  • Our world is “The Stained Planet,” writes Philip Yancey. The pain and suffering and heartache is a huge cosmic “scream…that something is wrong…that the entire human condition is out of whack.” These are far from original insights, much less contemporary ones. The medieval Christian philosopher Boethius aptly noted that “evil is not so much an infliction as a deep set infection.”
  • Which raises a provocative point – that God is not behind what is tragic with this world, much less responsible for it – people are. Or as Chesterton once wrote to the editor in response to a request by the London Times for an essay on the topic, “What’s Wrong with the World,”
“Dear Sir:
In response to your article, ‘What’s wrong with the world’
– I am.
Yours truly,
G.K. Chesterton.”
  • Our hearts shy away from His in light of the pain of our lives, and the pain of the world around us. We feel betrayed, yet fail to see that it is we who have done the betraying.
  • Now some will say, “Well, if He knew how it was going to turn out, He should have never created us, because everything from cancer to concentration camps just isn’t worth it.”
  • Yet when we blithely say such things, we betray how little we know of true love. Yes, God took a risk. Yes, the choice He gave each of us has resulted in pain and heartache and even tragedy. Yes, it would be tempting to say that it would have been easier on everyone – including God – never to have endured it.
  • But that’s not the way love – real love, at least – works.
  • To remember this, I need only reflect on one of the most defining realities of my life – my own role as a father. I have four children.
  • My oldest daughter will soon be twenty-six years old. And as her father, as the one who loves her more than anyone, who would lay down his life for her instantly, let me tell you what has never entered my mind.
  • Never having her.
  • Never bringing her into the world.
  • Never going through life with her.
  • Even though she can reject me, hurt me, turn from me, and tear out my heart by hurting herself as well as others. If someone were to say, “Why did you ever bother?” My only reply would be, “You have obviously never been a father.”
  • This is why suffering cannot be reduced to mere injustice, much less punishment. As a Time magazine reporter, attempting to understand Christianity’s unique perspective, rightly noted, “It is a harrowing invitation to a higher dialogue.”
  • That higher dialogue is love.
  • When one loves, there is risk – risk of suffering, risk of loss, risk of rejection. But without this willingness to be wounded on the deepest of levels, there cannot be authentic relationship on the deepest of levels.
  • As C.S. Lewis once observed,
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers…of love is Hell.”
  • So where am I in the potential pain of my daughter’s life – the pain that might come her way, and that might flow back to me because I chose to have her? The same place God is with my pain, and where God is with your pain, and where God is with all of the pain in this world.
  • Right by her side.
  • Caring, weeping, and longing to hold her in my arms.
  • Just as God is longing to hold us. He reaches out to each person, by name. The Bible says that “The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking…The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one” (Psalm 34:18-20, LB). And those who have opened up their heart to God’s presence and comfort in the midst of their pain have found this to be true.
  • Some might say, “But why doesn’t God just wipe out all pain and suffering and evil?” Because in doing so, He would be wiping out all opportunity for authentic relationship. Free choice would be meaningless. But further, it would be cruel. If all evil were wiped out at midnight tonight, who among us would live to see the dawn?
  • I wouldn’t.
  • No, he endures the pain that comes with the love in order to redeem as many of us who are willing.
  • But that’s not all.
  • He’s invested Himself in the process of healing the wounds that have come from our choice by entering into the suffering process with us in order to lift us out of it. God Himself in human form came to earth in the person of Jesus and suffered. He knows about pain. He knows about rejection. He knows about hunger, injustice, and cruelty – because he has experienced it.
  • First hand.
  • An ancient graffito on the Palatine shows a crucified figure with a donkey’s head, bearing the inscription “Alexamenos worships his god.” While meant to disparage and even mock, the image rings true. We worship, as German theologian Jurgen Moltmann observed, the crucified God.
  • Jesus on the cross was God entering into the reality of human suffering, experiencing it just like we do, in order to demonstrate that even when we used our free will to reject him, his love never ended. But this was not suffering for its own sake, but suffering so that we might use our free will and choose again.
  • And that this time, the choice would be the right one.
  • Frederick Buechner put it this way: “Like a father saying about his sick child, ‘I’d do anything to make you well,’ God finally calls his own bluff and does it.” The ultimate deliverance, the most significant healing, the most strategic rescue, has come. My greatest and most terrible affliction has been addressed. God has given me the greatest answer to my questions.
  • He has given me Himself.
  • So the real question is whether I will allow the reality of pain and suffering of this world to drive me away from God, or to God, where he can wrap his arms around me and walk with me through its darkest night toward the promise of a brighter tomorrow.
  • For His will be the final word, and it will be not only good, but best.
  • I am reminded how the song “40,” based on the 40th Psalm, often marked the end of U2 concerts following the events of September 11, 2001. As the band toured around the world in support of their CD “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” tens of thousands of people nightly could be heard singing the refrain, “How long (to sing this song)”.
  • Bono, lead singer of the group, reflected, “How long…hunger? How long…hatred? How long until creation grows up and the chaos of its precocious, hell-bent adolescence has been discarded? I thought it odd that the vocalizing of such questions could bring such comfort: to me too.”
  • But this is precisely what does bring comfort – hope that lives within the now and the not yet. Bold living in light of our falleness, and a frank embrace of the realities of a fallen world, is the mark of faith. It embraces the emotional anguish, but never lets the emotions grow beyond the shadow of the character of God – or the knowledge of the story at hand.
  • The truth is that God loves passionately, and lives with the pain of that love more than we could ever imagine.
  • And that is the greater story – the one in which I must place my own.
James Emery White
Sources
Conor Finnegan, “Online conversations around Sandy feature God, prayer and atheism,” CNN, October 30, 2012, read online.
Langdon Gilkey, Shantung Compound.
Philip Yancey, Where is God When It Hurts?
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy.
On Chesterton: This is widely attributed to Chesterton without protest, considered to be the basis for his 1910 work, What’s Wrong with the World, and has never been attributed to anyone else. Chestertonians consider it valid, and reflective of his humility and wit (see the official web site of the American Chesterton Society at www.chesterton.org), but alas, there is no documentary evidence.
David Van Biema, “When God Hides His Face,” Time, July 16, 2001.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves.
Jurgen Moltmann, The Crucified God.
Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking.
Bono, Selections from the Book of Psalms.
 
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to www.churchandculture.org. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.  
 

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Emmy Follow-Up: Hatfields and McCoys

The tragic feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families was recreated on The History Channel and aired this past Spring. Starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as “Devil” Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, respectively, the three-part miniseries drew 62-million viewers.  

Nominated for 16 Emmys, last night Kevin Costner won for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series and Tom Berenger won for Best Supporting Actor.

This localized Civil War, which ran between 1880 to 1891, was fueled by initial transgressions ranging from suspected murder to a stolen pig. But it was rooted on both sides by the basest of sins: pride and an unwillingness to forgive or show mercy. And as a result the feud claimed more than a dozen members of the two families, drew national attention, and prompted the governors of both Kentucky and Virginia to call up their state militias to restore order.

If you’d like to read a good overview of the conflict, go to:

http://www.history.com/shows/hatfields-and-mccoys/articles/hatfield-and-mccoy-feud

There is a significant – and ultimately ironic – theme that threads its way throughout this saga, a spiritual one.

Anse Hatfield is a man who has no use for God, goes to church only when his wife “drags” him there and when, during the Civil War, he’s encouraged, in the thick of battle, to “make your peace”, he responds, “I never courted God before … I doubt he’d hear me now.”

Randall McCoy, on the other hand, goes to church regularly, talks about God, talks to God (at least in emergencies) and quotes Scripture.

But he seems rather selective in his reading of Scripture, knowing nothing of the call to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 31, 32)

Hot-tempered, McCoy also ignores:

Matthew 5:44 – “Love your enemies, and pray for those that persecute you.”

Mark 11:35 – “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him… “

Romans 12:20, 21 – “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

I John 3:15 – “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.”

The stark difference between these two men is evident in one particular confrontation:

McCoy: “Devil Anse Hatfield, I rue the day I saved your life. May God damn your eternal soul.”

Hatfield: “That may be, Randall. But I don’t remember God saving your ass that day. We saved each other because that’s what men do in war. Now this all here: this all sits the way it sits cause of us and nobody else. You feel the need to bring up God one more time, whose side he sits on [cocks rifle] you won’t be makin’ the ride home.”

As the violence escalates over the years, costing the lives of some of his own children and the sanity of his wife, McCoy begins to abandon any claim he might make for the goodness of God.

“I prayed to a merciful God who showed us no mercy. Is this his will? My children dead? My wife hurt and my house burned? Where was God? If this was his will, what kind of God is that?”

Having turned more and more to drink, McCoy shows up for what turned out to be the final confrontation between the two families: The Battle of Grapevine”, in 1888. Completely drunk he cries out, “The law be damned! Hatfields be damned! God be damned! Damn you all to Perdition!”

It’s a relatively short skirmish and both Ansel Hatfield and Randall McCoy live through it, although Hatfield’s youngest son is killed.

After that, it is Hatfield who decides enough blood has been spilled. It is time for the fighting and killing to stop. And in a somewhat heartless manner, he brings it all to an end.

Years later, Randall McCoy, in a deranged, drunken outburst, ends up perishing in a house fire.

Ansel Hatfield, on the other hand, is shown having come to a faith in Jesus as his Savior and being baptized in the river.

These two men, to the extent that their lives were accurately portrayed, demonstrate some very important dimensions of the Gospel.

Regarding Randall McCoy:

1)      Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 7:21)

2)      He also said, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”(Matthew 12:34)  and

3)      “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:20). Then,

4)      The Scriptures describe the fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22, 23)

Regarding Ansel Hatfield: He exemplifies Jesus’ parable recorded in Matthew 20. No matter how late someone responds to Jesus’ invitation, he is as welcome as the one who came first.

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Filed under Art, Christian benevolence, Evil, Film analyses, Film analysis, Jesus, Media, Religion, Television

AURORA, GUNS, MEDIA, AND GOD

As everyone knows by now, 24-year-old James Holmes is accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 in a shooting massacre Friday morning, July 20, in Aurora, Colorado, at a packed theater of moviegoers watching the premiere of the latest Batman movie. This has given rise to collateral discussions across the nation of at least three additional concerns: guns, the media, and God.

GUNS

The country seems to be poised for another round in the debate of whether gun-ownership creates violence or prevents it.

Within hours of the massacre, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent gun-control advocate,  said  “But maybe it’s time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, ‘Isn’t it tragic?’”

“I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day. It’s just got to stop,” he said. “And instead of these two people, President Obama and Gov. Romney, talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place. OK. Tell us how. And this is a problem.”

Bloomberg added: “No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them, concretely, not just in generalities, specifically, ‘What are they going to do about guns?’”

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said he could not understand why there was apparently no-one in the theater with a weapon who could take gunman James Holmes out before he could create more mayhem.

“It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” Gohmert asked.

As a gun owner with intentions of eventually securing a concealed weapon permit, I think Gohmert is asking the more pressing question.

Incidentally, support for gun control has fallen in recent years. Gallup says 78 percent wanted stricter gun laws in 1990, falling to 62 percent by 1995. By 2007 it was 51 percent and last year just 44 percent.

MEDIA

As the elections in November draw closer, we can – sadly – expect members of the news media to allow their objectivity to give way to personal bias in their reporting. However I’d be alarmed if we had a more egregious example than ABC  reporter Brian Ross trying to tie the Colorado massacre to the Tea Party on “Good Morning America” after discovering the Colorado Tea Party Patriots had a member called James Holmes.

Ross admitted on air that he did not know whether the two men were the same, but still went ahead with his claim that the tragedy in Aurora could be linked to the grassroots group.

ABC later apologized online and Ross tweeted, “Earlier I reported incorrectly that the shooting suspect might be tied to the Tea Party. I apologize for the mistake.” Those two statements would have been seen by just a fraction of the number of people who watched his original report and I’m unaware of any subsequent apologies made over the network.

Colorado Tea Party Patriots does have a member called James Holmes. But he is 52. The alleged shooter in Aurora is 24. The two men are unrelated.

Brian Ross needs to resign, or ABC needs to fire him.

GOD

Understandably, whenever tragedy strikes questions of God, his role and his goodness come to the forefront. As a follower of Jesus, here are five personal convictions:

  • God infuses every moment and every event with meaning and gives us confidence that He understands what we are going through. God’s knowledge of all events means nothing is insignificant to Him. If God knows when a sparrow falls, He certainly knows when we face tragedy (Matthew 10:29-31). In fact, God assured us that we would face trouble in this world (John 16:33) and that He has experienced our struggles personally (Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:15).

 

  • God has sovereign control over all things, but it is important to remember that God is not the source of tragedy. The vast majority of human suffering is caused by sin, all too often the sin of other people. For instance, a mass murder is the fault of the murderer disobeying the moral law of God (Exodus 20:13; Romans 1:18-21).

 

  • While God is perfectly capable of stopping tragedies before they begin, sometimes He chooses not to. While we may not know why, we do know that He is perfect, just, and holy, and so is His will.

 

  • Also, the suffering we experience in this world does three things. It leads us to seek God, it develops our spiritual strength, and it increases our desire for heaven (Romans 8:18-25; James 1:2-3; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:7).

 

  • Tragic events demonstrate much of their meaning in the way we react to them. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This does not mean that God causes tragedy, but that He uses our reaction to tragedy to speak to us.

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Talking Head Film Analysis: BULLY

If you’d like to see a trailer for BULLY, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUy2ZWoStr0

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Filed under Evil, Film analysis, Health Care, Mental health

Mike Wallace, Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood

Mike Wallace, veteran TV journalist, passed away nine days ago, April 7, 2012.

If you watched the tribute to Mr. Wallace last night on 60 Minutes you’ll remember the various clips they showed from the early days of his career, in the 1950s, when he hosted The Mike Wallace Interview. One interview you did not get a glimpse of was with Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.

Ninety years ago this month (April 5, 1922) the American Birth Control League, founded by Ms. Sanger, was incorporated in New York State. It was later to become known as Planned Parenthood.

If you would like to watch that interview in its entirety (plus, watch Mike Wallace smoke Phillip Morris cigarettes and tell you that you should too) it’s available through this link:

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/video/2008/wallace/sanger_margaret.html

What you don’t pick up from the interview is that Margaret Sanger was an evil woman.

From an authority no less than Jesus himself, we are told that “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Below are a number of quotes from Ms. Sanger on a variety of topics. I found them at http://www.dianedew.com/sanger.htm.

Hold your nose. Here they are:

On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
“…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

On sterilization & racial purification:
Sanger believed that, for the purpose of racial “purification,” couples should be rewarded who chose sterilization. Birth Control in America, The Career of Margaret Sanger, by David Kennedy, p. 117, quoting a 1923 Sanger speech.

On the right of married couples to bear children:
Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child, she wrote in her “Plan for Peace.” Birth Control Review, April 1932

On the purpose of birth control:
The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,” she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

On the rights of the handicapped and mentally ill, and racial minorities:
“More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.” Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

On the extermination of blacks:
“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

On respecting the rights of the mentally ill:
In her “Plan for Peace,” Sanger outlined her strategy for eradication of those she deemed “feebleminded.” Among the steps included in her evil scheme were immigration restrictions; compulsory sterilization; segregation to a lifetime of farm work;  etc. Birth Control Review, April 1932, p. 107

On adultery:
A woman’s physical satisfaction was more important than any marriage vow, Sanger believed. Birth Control in America, p. 11

On marital sex:
“The marriage bed is the most degenerating influence in the social order,” Sanger said. (p. 23)

On abortion:
“Criminal’ abortions arise from a perverted sex relationship under the stress of economic necessity, and their greatest frequency is among married women.” The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

On the YMCA and YWCA:
“…brothels of the Spirit and morgues of Freedom!”), The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

On the Catholic Church’s view of contraception:
“…enforce SUBJUGATION by TURNING WOMAN INTO A MERE INCUBATOR.” The Woman Rebel – No Gods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1, No. 3.

On motherhood:
“I cannot refrain from saying that women must come to recognize there is some function of womanhood other than being a child-bearing machine.” What Every Girl Should Know, by Margaret Sanger (Max Maisel, Publisher, 1915)

“The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

Planned Parenthood continues to honor Margaret Sanger.

As their website reads, “Our highest honor, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award, is presented annually to recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.”

This is like an organization in Germany presenting someone with The Josef Mengele Award.

But why should we expect more from people who run the largest network of slaughterhouses of babies in America?

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Evil and The Atheist

The best working definition of moral evil I’ve run across was offered by M. Scott Peck, in his book People of the Lie: “Evil… is that force, residing either inside or outside human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness.” And then, by contrast, Peck goes on to say “… Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.”

The reality of moral evil is seldom up for question, except for twits like Neale Donald Walsh (Conversations with God) and his ilk.

For example, Will and Ariel Durant point out in The Lessons of History that “In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war.”

Os Guinness, in his book, Unspeakable, states “And of course, humanly perpetrated evil covers the little and local abuses of power too. It included not only the tortured and the slain who were massacred by the millions but also the neglected child, the abused teenager, the battered wife, the cheated employee, and the robbed pensioner.”

The existence of evil has always been a challenge for Christians. Some non-believers have referred to it as the “Achilles’ Heel” of the faith. The familiar dilemma goes something like this: “You say God is all loving and all powerful. Yet there is evil…  If God is all loving he would correct the situation. But he doesn’t so he must not be all powerful. But if he is all powerful and doesn’t remove the problem, he must not be all loving.”

I’ll admit there is a challenge. I also believe the challenge can be met, although that it not my purpose here. My purpose is to point out that the existence of evil is an even greater challenge for the atheist.

AND that the fact of moral evil is one of the key clues to the existence of a good God.

It’s not complicated: The very categories of evil or wickedness only exist if an absolute moral law exists. And an absolute moral law exists, only if God exists.

I’ll leave it at that, but will be happy to explore the question further with anyone who would like.

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