We find ourselves debating whether or not it exists.
Which is what Evil wants.
The distraction of it all.
If we are debating its existence it has achieved much of what it wants.
The murder of children in our schools. The attempted assassination of political leaders at softball games, at their homes or at their offices.
The murder of eleven Jews in a place so near to God you can almost hear the pleas for mercy in their dying breaths.
Evil is not new.
Nor did it appear because of an election.
It has been with us since the dawn of time.
It ebbs and its flows.
It embeds itself in men and women who conduct themselves outside of humanity.
In doing so, it splits our souls and allows us to do things to one another that are no longer unspeakable.
No longer unfathomable.
The things Evil gives far too many in our country permission to do is no longer something we can avoid talking about as a nation built upon the premise of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice…for all.
It now calls us to action.
It must force us to confront our….demons.
We are splitting apart as a nation. Not because one half of the country believes in one thing and the other half of the country believes in something else.
No. Our split is not so easily discernable.
In fact, it really is less of a split and more of a splintering of America.
A split now seems so easy and convenient to solve.
At least we would hope to believe that to be.
Because a split would suggest that all it takes is a charismatic political leader or a change of leadership in Congress to make things better for all of America.
A splintering of America, though, requires something more profound to happen in our country.
It requires something an election cannot fix.
Evil doesn’t fear a person. Nor does it fear an election.
Evil doesn’t take sides or support Democrats over Republicans.
Evil doesn’t have an opinion on media bias.
It doesn’t have to.
As long as we find someone else to blame for hatred, incivility, bitterness, rancor and terror, then Evil has each of us doing its dirty work.
Those reading these words will likely believe that someone else started what is ailing America.
It was this President or that President. This political party or that one.
Maybe it was this media outlet or, perhaps, all of them.
Whoever it is and whoever it was that started it, there seems to be a clear consensus amongst Americans: “It wasn’t any of us.”
Yet, if we could get outside of earshot of Evil, and if, we could, find our way to putting our lips to God’s ears, we might find our way to admit: “It is me.”
It is, to be sure, all of us.
Evil does not exist in a vacuum. It does not simply show up.
It has never gone away.
Yet, at times when humanity’s existence seemed so bleak there came those who came together to push Evil back where it hides in the darkness.
Human beings brought light.
Americans, in the modern era of humanity, brought light to the world.
We did it even while darkness descended in our own country.
Too easily we could have been afraid of the light and stayed in the dark.
It wasn’t a politician or a spiritual leader that walked us through the valley.
It was each of us, as Americans, who were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights.
The dead do not bury themselves.
It is up to the living to bring them to their eternal rest.
As we do, those who have taken their last breath on Earth at the hands of Evil, will judge the living they have left behind.
In their judgement will they hear us finding others to blame?
In our Tweets, or Facebook posts or angry screeds on talk radio, cable news or print publications will a truth emerge that proves someone else is responsible for their lifeless bodies?
Or, can we, finally, admit that we have met the enemy. We have met the Evil.
It is us.
Not because each of us commits acts of Evil.
But, because, when Evil commits acts of Evil we have found ourselves unable, and unwilling, to gather together and admit that we have given it the spark to start the flame.
And, we have given it the oxygen to build the flame that is burning deep within America.
Which, if we do not find a way to come together to snuff it out the flame will become an inferno that will consume all of us.
The Talmud says, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
Let us not abandon America to Evil.