Sunday, September 9, 2007


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, evil, "in a large sense, may be described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to exist in the universe, to the desires and needs of individuals; whence arises, among humans beings at least, the sufferings in which life abounds. Thus evil, from the point of view of human welfare, is what ought not to exist."

"According to the Bible, evil is the result of an ongoing war in the spiritual realm. Satan was a great and beautiful angel; considered the most beautiful of them all. Eventually, filled with self-pride, he set himself out to take hold of the throne of God. But his rebellion was crushed, and he was cast out of heaven together with a third of all the angels."[1]

"We know that evil demonstrates itself through behavior which troubles us. We tend as a society to think of evil almost as a physical entity, as we think of a knife or gun. Our western culture portrays evil as a red-skinned satanic creature with two horns holding a pitchfork and waving a spiked tail. The concept is that this character compels us to destructive behavior, though most think of this creature as a cultural myth."[2]


Since the events of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush and members of the Bush administration have presented the world with an unrelenting repetition of the concept of absolutely good versus absolutely evil terrorists and evil-doers engaged in a war on freedom.

The terrorists, and those associated with them, are addressed as evil-doers and the evil ones. "Evil" is to be found everywhere and anywhere because evil knows no borders, no boundaries. Nearly every act and every motive attributed to these "evil ones" is painted with deliberate evil intentions. For example, the "evil ones" come from a cult of evil and are armed with the designs and power of evil. These "evil ones" represent a clear and present danger and are the enemies of freedom and a danger to civilization.

However, these "evil ones" are apparently not embued with self-direction. They have been described as the instruments of evil, motivated by hate. In these "evil ones," evil has found a willing servant.

In the ancient battle between good and evil, the "evil ones" have struck the innocent victims of September 11, 2001. America, as a compassionate nation of freedom-loving people, cannot comprehend these hateful actions and are alleged to frequently ask why do they hate us?

America's preliminary battle against evil resulted in Operation Enduring Freedom designed to locate and destroy Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. Next, since it was necessary to expand against the Axis of evil engaged in the war on freedom, late in 2002 and early 2003, a coalition of the willing was enlisted in the fight against evil in Iraq, i.e. Operation Iraqi Freedom, to combat terrorism now said to be promoted by Saddam Hussein. In particular, Saddam was hiding weapons of mass destruction which threatened the United States. The numerous countries which formed the coalition were presented with the scenario of us versus them in a challenge by President Bush who demanded that they were either with us or against us.

President Bush has expressed that out of evil comes good, since the "evil" terrorists, to include al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, are being conquered.

President Bush is not the first U.S. President to attempt to affiliate America's enemies with evil. President Ronald Reagan, in depicting the former Soviet Union as an "evil empire," implored that there was a moral foundation to his efforts to contain and even defeat the former Soviet Union. Ironically, the same figures that the Bush administration regards as "evildoers" come from the same mujahideen guerrilla movement in Afghanistan that the Reagan administration supported as "freedom fighters" in the battle against the Soviets.


One source for the theological bent of Bush's speeches can be attributed to White House speechwriter Michael J. Gerson.

"Fritz Ritsch, pastor of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, in a Washington suburb, notes that the President will not meet with representatives of mainstream Christian denominations, while he uses the 'bully pulpit,' acting like 'theologian in chief.'

"Ritsch's column, titled, 'Of God, and Man, in the Oval Office,' gives a detailed and theological critique of Bush's rhetoric, and that of the so-called religious drive for war and empire.

"While Ritsch does not take up explicitly, the matter of the role of Bush's lead speech-writer, Michael J. Gerson, the Elmer Gantry-type who wrote the President's Oct. 7, 2002, Cincinnati speech on Iraq, Ritsch does specify and denounce specific words and phrases, which are the typical 'secret-meaning' fundamentalist clap-trap Gerson specializes in."

"Ritsch writes, 'Contrary to popular opinion, the religion that this group [Bush's religious supporters] espouses is Triumphalism, not Christianity. Theirs is a zealous form of nationalism, baptized with Christian language. The German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred by the Nazis, foresaw the rise of a similar view in his country, which he labeled, 'joyous secularism.' .... If, as I believe, this worldview is really American triumphalism, Christianity has taken a backseat to joyous secularism [i.e. Nazism].'

"Bush, Ritsch says, 'asserts a worldview that most Christian denominations reject outright as heresy: the myth of redemptive violence, which posits a war between good and evil ... God [versus] ... Satan.... Christians have held this view to be heretical since at least the third century.... In contrast [to the 'fundamentalists'], the Judeo-Christian worldview is that of redemption. ...'

"Ritsch points to ways that the ignorant Bush misuses received religion. For example, 'The President used the words of a hymn There's Power in the Blood, to strengthen the religious rhetoric of his State of the Union 2003 speech. He spoke of the 'power, wonder-working power' of 'the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.'

"'The original words of the hymn refer to the 'wonder-working power' of 'the precious blood of the lamb' -- Jesus Christ. The unspoken but apparently deliberate parallel between Americans and Jesus is disturbing, to say the least.'"