RECOGNIZING AND RESPONDING TO EVIL
As a teenager, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) witnessed the Russian Civil War (1917-1923) and the defeat of the anti-communist White Army and its supporters by the communist Red Army and its supporters. The Red Army, she wrote later, “stood for totalitarian dictatorship and rule by terror. The White Army stood for nothing; repeat: nothing. In answer to the monstrous evil they were fighting, the Whites found nothing better to proclaim than the dustiest, smelliest bromides of the time: ‘we must fight,’ they said, ‘for Holy Mother Russia, for faith and tradition.’”
What Ayn Rand said relative to The “White” and “Red” armies (designations which were politically descriptive, and had nothing whatsoever to do with skin color) pretty much sums up what is going on in our country right now. Our “Red Army,” and its whether-they-know-it-or-not sympathizers go by different names; names like, democrats, socialists, progressives, woke, etc., and identify in terms of principle and objective with totalitarian dictatorship and rule by terror. Our “White Army,” (again, these terms have nothing to do with skin color) identifies as Christians, conservatives, patriots, etc., and with relatively few exceptions, stands, in terms of practicality and purpose, for nothing. And, like the Russian White Army, its answer to the monstrous evil we are fighting, is to do nothing better than to proclaim the mantra of freedom, faith and tradition while neglecting, for the most part to identify, face up to and fight our real enemy which is EVIL.
In the early 20th century, the “White Army” folks in Russia, like the “White Army” folks here and now, suffered from a case of lethal myopia. They were like a doctor who focuses only on the rash, the swelling, the scab, the pus and the pain associated with a physical disorder with no attention or warning given to, or about, the rottenness of the cancer within that is responsible for it all. Our “White Army” needs to focus its fight on something deeper and more deadly than abortion, sexual perversion, crime communism and treason, etc. as horrible as these things are. Those in leadership, especially spiritual leadership, need to focus our fight, not upon the effects of what is killing us now, but on the cause of it; not on the symptoms of our problem, but on the source of it. And, that cause and source is EVIL.
Reflecting on the communist takeover of her country, Ayn Rand wrote: “I wondered, even in those years, which is morally worse: evil—or the appeasement of evil, the cowardly evasion that leaves an evil unnamed, unanswered and unchallenged. I was inclined to think that the second is worse, because it makes the first possible. I am certain of it today. But in the years of my adolescence, I did not know how rare a virtue intellectual integrity (i. e. the non-evasion of reality) actually is.”
Ayn Rand lived and died a professed atheist. She was therefore flawed intellectually and otherwise. She didn’t have the spiritual wherewithal to understand the depth of evil as she might have. But she was apparently more able than many Christians today are able to recognize the existence and problem of evil.
The battle against evil can only be fought effectually by believers who are equipped to fight. This begins when believers embrace, and submit themselves to, the embrace of Truth. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth . . . “ (Eph. 6:11-14).