March 1, 2005


Hate evil: Case for Judeo-Christian values, part VII (Dennis Prager, March 1, 2005, Townhall)

Do you hate evil?

Much of humanity doesn't. But if you embrace Judeo-Christian values, you must.

A core value of the Bible is hatred of evil. Indeed, it is the only thing the Bible instructs its followers to hate -- so much so that love of God is equated with hatred of evil. "Those who love God -- you must hate evil," the Psalms tell us. [...]

In the contemporary Western world, most people who identify with the Left -- meaning the majority of people -- hate war, corporations, pollution, Christian fundamentalists, economic inequality, tobacco and conservatives. But they rarely hate the greatest evils of their day, if by evil we are talking about the deliberate infliction of cruelty -- mass murder, rape, torture, genocide and totalitarianism.

That is why communism, a way of life built on cruelty, attracted vast numbers of people on the Left and why, from the 1960s, it was unopposed by most others on the Left. Even most people calling themselves liberal, not leftist, hated anti-communism much more than they hated communism. When President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire," liberals were outraged -- just as they were when President George W. Bush called the regimes of North Korea, Iran and Saddam Hussein's Iraq an "axis of evil."

Ask leftists what they believe humanity must fight against, and they will likely respond global warming or some other ecological disaster (and perhaps American use of armed force as well).

In fact, the Left throughout the world generally has contempt for people who speak of good and evil. They are called Manichaeans, moral simpletons who see the world in black and white, never in shades of grey.

As the leading German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel, recently wrote: "Mr. Bush's recent speeches have made no retreat from the good vs. evil view of the world that the Europeans hate."

Patrice de Beer, an editor of the leading French newspaper, Le Monde, wrote that in the European Union: "The notion of the world divided between Good and Evil is perceived with dread."

Only the denial of good and evil makes the Left's version of tolerance possible.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2005 8:03 AM

What is moral relatavism other than the inability to make moral distinctions? At the level of official policy it becomes a kind of state sponsored sociopathology. Homosexual marriage, animal rights, ecological catastrophism, taxpayer funded abortion on demand, euthanasia, equality as an abstraction, sexual fixations, in an earlier time, may have been seen as symptoms of depravity or a paranoid personality. Now,in the opinion of many, they are rights protected by privacy or worthy of political solutions at the cost of life, libert or property. The only expression of bad taste among sophisticates is the mention of religious belief.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at March 1, 2005 8:33 AM

The left has rediscovered good and evil, see Howard Dean's recent remarks: "This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good."

Posted by: carter at March 1, 2005 3:25 PM

I once kept a list of things that the Left found "safe to hate", and to Prager's list I'd include Disney theme parks, Southern whites, the subjects of Jay Leno jokes (as in people like John Rocker, remember him?), snowmobiles, and any passenger vehicle larger than your own. When it comes to hating, for the Left, the intensity of their hate correlates to the triviality of their target.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 1, 2005 6:05 PM


What about people who don't take recycling dead seriously or who put pesticide on their lawns? To the Gulag!

Posted by: Peter B at March 2, 2005 7:04 AM

The problem with hating evil is that it is undefinable.

The right, if that is the label we might apply to Christians over the centuries, never found its way to including, say, slavery as a subset of evil.

Recognizing evils is another matter. We can do that, or make closer and closer approximations.

Even most Christian rightists today generally think of slavery as an evil.

How did they get there?

Not because they had a hatred for evil.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 2, 2005 2:57 PM

Think of chattel slavery as an evil, because it was, not slavery generically, which was not a historical evil but a good.

Posted by: oj at March 2, 2005 3:09 PM

It took about 2000 years to ingrain the universalist nature of Christianity before the poor, dumb rubes came to realize that the ancient and continuous institution of slavery was evil. Too bad they weren't as smart as Harry, retrospectively.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at March 2, 2005 5:37 PM

Thing of it is though, Harry's hunky dory with the system of modern slavery we imposed after WWII. Beam in the eye and all...

Posted by: oj at March 2, 2005 5:42 PM