A couple of weeks ago I wrote that we must eradicate the evil of ISIS by killing them. More and more Americans are coming to this realization, including our reluctant President, who has been dragged kicking and screaming into the real world. I deliberately used the word “evil” repeatedly in that diary – I wanted to make the point that ISIS is made up of a group of evil people who use evil means to try to accomplish their objective of a world-wide Islamic caliphate that they envision will eventually conquer the United States and all of the West.
Those of us who recognize the evil of ISIS as it is accept the fact that there is objectively such a thing as evil in the universe. Evil takes over where God is not present. Evil is the absence of God, just as cold is the absence of heat. When God is absent, evil takes over. We see this time after time in our world – when people decide to abandon the truth of God, evil takes control. ISIS and radical Islam demonstrates this – the lack of the one true God in the hearts of the members of ISIS has allowed Satan to fill them with the hate and wickedness that enables them to perform inhuman acts such as murder by beheading and the rape and enslavement of women. The believers in radical Islam are not following God. They are driven by a lack of God and the subsequent influence of Satan.
This makes one wonder how anyone could believe ISIS and radical Islamists could be anything BUT evil. One is also left wondering how anyone can deny the reality of evil in the world. Unsurprisingly, leftists/liberals refuse to acknowledge the existence of evil. The consider the use of the word little more than “moralizing rhetoric.” They won’t admit evil is real and they criticize those who even dare use the word. In 2002, President George W. Bush referred to Iraq, Iran and North Korea as “an axis of evil”, referred to Osama Bin Laden as “the evil one” and never heard the end of it from the Left…until now. President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”. Interestingly, the Left had no objection to GWB referring to racism and slavery as evil. Left-wing liberals love moral equivalency. When Bush and Reagan referred to nations and terrorist groups as evil, the Left attempted to equivocate the patently Godless evil-doing of our enemies with the “causes” pursued by the evil entities. Why, the United States must be equally at fault because who’s to say that OUR cause is superior to THEIRS? Never mind the obvious differences in behavior and tactics of evil vs. good.
The same type of warped Leftist thinking exists today. At Time.com, Camille Paglia pointed out the fallacious thinking of the Left with respect to sex crimes such as rape/murder:
Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind.
The horrors and atrocities of history have been edited out of primary and secondary education except where they can be blamed on racism, sexism, and imperialism — toxins embedded in oppressive outside structures that must be smashed and remade. But the real problem resides in human nature, which religion as well as great art sees as eternally torn by a war between the forces of darkness and light.
Liberalism lacks a profound sense of evil — but so does conservatism these days, when evil is facilely projected onto a foreign host of rising political forces united only in their rejection of Western values. Nothing is more simplistic than the now rote use by politicians and pundits of the cartoonish label “bad guys” for jihadists, as if American foreign policy is a slapdash script for a cowboy movie.
Paglia mentions the Left’s “unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind”. This is the problem. Mankind is not “perfectible”. Mankind is inherently sinful, but the Left’s intentional purge of God and Christianity from their thinking and vocabulary forces them to ignore the clear Biblical evidence of mankind’s sin nature and the inevitable injection of evil into the world.
Unexpectedly, with his address to the United Nations, President Obama has now adopted the language of Bush and Reagan. As many on the Right have noted since the emergence of ISIS, force is the only language that evil comprehends. And Obama has, no doubt reluctantly, admitted this.
“There can be no reasoning, no negotiation, with this brand of evil,” Obama told the General Assembly. In a striking shift for a president who has been reluctant to take military action in the past, Obama declared that force is the only language the militants understand. He warned those who have joined their cause to “leave the battlefield while they can.”
Indeed. There can be no negotiation. Evil does not negotiate. Those who are evil only act evilly. But why has Barack Obama suddenly chosen to adopt the language of his ideological enemy, George W Bush? Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Al Mohler makes some observations about Obama’s “Bush talk”:
Christians looking at this need to come to a couple of observations; first of all, there are times when the word evil is the only appropriate word – nothing else will suffice. This isn’t maladaptive behavior, this isn’t a pattern of anti-social behavior, this is pure unadulterated evil – it is murderous terroristic evil, and President Obama referred to this as, to use his phrase, this “brand of evil.” He didn’t mince words. And that tells us something, it tells us that even those who do their very best to avoid using the kind of, well to use the expression of some liberals, ‘moralistic language.’ When it comes to dealing with something like the Islamic State, the only word that fits is the word ‘evil.’ As we have said over and over again on this program, one of the problems for seculars with the word ‘evil’ is that it requires some sort of theological definition.
But the second thing we need to note is that President Obama, who along with many others, had derided President Bush for speaking of the “axis of evil” now talks about a “network of death.” An understanding that evil is more complex than having a single, simply identified, evil opponent. Instead, this is a network of evil, an axis of evil, or to use President Obama’s new phrase, “a network of death.” Anyway you construe it, once you speak of evil, and you speak of this kind of conspiracy, you’re making very clear that what President Bush spoke about in 2001 is the very same challenge we are facing now. And as President of the United States, bearing that responsibility in rallying the American people, and now attempting to rally the world to this cause, President Obama finds himself using the same kind of vocabulary that had been used by President George W. Bush. When it comes to an enemy like the Islamic State, the secular vocabulary of the secular left just won’t suffice.
Evil is not secular. It is an observation that is directly related to the supernatural presence, or lack thereof, of God. While Obama has adopted the use of the term “evil” and his New and Improved Version of “axis of evil”, he still can’t make the jump to naming ISIS as “Islamic.” Since he’s now acknowledged that ISIS is evil, the dots between “evil” and “Islam” would be pretty easy to connect if he were to admit that ISIS = Islam. And the implication that Islam itself is evil is a politically incorrect bridge that he is loathe to cross. As one of my colleagues here pointed out to me today, the Leftist media even refuses to reflect the evil of radical Islam through using Moore, OK Islamic beheader Alton Nolen’s chosen Islamic name “Jah’Keem Yisrael”. They don’t hesitate to call Brendan Manning by his chosen girl name of “Chelsea”, but they steadfastly refuse to recognize the murderous act of Nolen/Yisrael as an act of an Islamic jihadist. Why? Perhaps because it would harm the Leftist narrative of Islam as the “peaceful religion”? Might it imply that there is evil at work?
I don’t expect the Left to give way in acknowledging the existence of evil, despite the President’s trade-up from mom jeans to military fatigues. But his U.N. speech is a step in the right direction and a tactical shift that, despite the probable failure of an all-airstrikes strategy, the idiocy of telegraphing our military strategy to our enemies, and the disregard of the advice military advisers that actually have experience and knowledge in military tactics. National Review’s Jim Geraghty reflects the optimist’s point of view:
Before the United Nations, Obama pointed out that all too often, the “international community” isn’t worth a hill of beans:
Too often, we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so. And we have not confronted forcefully enough the intolerance, sectarianism, and hopelessness that feeds violent extremism in too many parts of the globe.
The average foreign-policy wonk can speak at length about the differences among core al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda affiliates, ISIS, Boko Haram, and this new Khorosan Group. The average American looks at each group and sees . . . “Islamist maniacs who want to kill us . . . more Islamist maniacs who want to kill us . . . another group of Islamist maniacs who want to kill us . . . a different group of Islamist maniacs who want to kill us, and finally, Islamist maniacs who want to kill us.”
Here’s Obama today:
The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.
Notice the reference to “ideology,” singular, and “it,” not “they.” Despite their locations, their ideology is the same.
If you’ve ever complained that the Muslim community around the world is far too tolerant of homicidal maniacs acting in the name of their faith . . . here’s Obama today:
It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al-Qaeda and ISIL.
Look, we’re stuck with this guy as president for the next two years. I’d rather have Barack W. Bush than the guy golfing his way through his second term.
Barack W. Bush. Nice.
Evil is real – an inconvenient truth for the Left, as is the direct connection between radical Islam and evil. Evil is here and it will be until Christ returns. Until then, we must deal with it by fighting it with the power of Jesus and, when necessary, with the power of the United States military.