“Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
“Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless…”
– Mary Baker Eddy
After watching this videoclip from the Young Turks on Facebook – a clip from a Donald Trump political rally – I’ve been feeling really discouraged about mankind. As Cenk Uygur, the commentator, says: “If you think this isn’t dangerous, then you’re not paying attention.” In the clip we see the mob inside the rally hall applauding as people are bullied and threatened, hated on, and thrown out – the mob getting more and more excited and frenzied as the rally goes on. The blood lust and excitement we see in the crowd towards the victims of this hatred is incredibly disturbing. When did it become acceptable, in America, to treat each other with such brazen, unapologetic mean-ness? When did people in our society lose their civility and courtesy to one another? When did it become popular and “cool” to be hateful?
I’m grappling with how I, personally, should respond to what I see in this videoclip. I’m thinking it through as I type this… so… yeah… this may not be the most articulate post you’ve ever read…
It seems to me that to ignore the behavior we see in that video – to just close our eyes and stop up our ears and pretend it’s not happening – is not going to make it go away. It needs to be unmasked, exposed, and seen for what it is – senseless and hateful and dishonorable. The hatred needs to be condemned. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Evil which obtains in the bodily senses, but which the heart condemns, has no foundation; but if evil is uncondemned, it is undenied and nurtured. Under such circumstances, to say that there is no evil, is an evil in itself. When needed tell the truth concerning the lie. Evasion of Truth cripples integrity, and casts thee down from the pinnacle.”
But I don’t want to be a part of perpetuating the cycle of hatred, either. I don’t want to personify evil or demonize men. Eddy writes, “”Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” Okay. Let me think about that for a moment. Evil is an illusion. Hunh. It sure SEEMS real, doesn’t it? But… “Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s belief permits. Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.” A Facebook friend said, upon watching the aforementioned videoclip, that these “folks are mesmerized.” And I think she’s spot on with that observation. In that sense, it IS an illusion – an illusion of power and belonging – a hypnotic suggestion that to follow the path towards bigotry and hatred is somehow a good thing. Illusion. There is no real power for folks who hate on others – hating on people doesn’t make you healthier or happier or stronger – it has no power to make the world a better place. And that’s the only power that really matters, right?
And now I’m thinking about all the really wonderful and noble people in my community of friends – good people – generous and caring and thoughtful and honest – decent, fearless individuals. THOSE are the people with the real power, right?
Okay. It’s time to get ready for work. I think first I’ll listen to Joan Baez sing one of my favorite songs, though…
“We are not afraid, we are not afraid today… deep in my heart I do believe we shall overcome someday.” (Charles Albert Tindley)