a twisted view of evil
by Zhou (Chew) Hong Jie
“Biblical faith is lived at great risk. God’s call does not shelter us from evil. On the contrary, it exposes us to evil of all sorts. We bear God’s dream in a fallen world of greed, lust and power…Look at Joseph. He stays true with the reality of God-with-him in the face of another reality – a warm-blooded temptation that would make people of lesser character forget God and forfeit the dream.
It shocked some, this recent news of sex scandals and online vice rings involving men in high office, civil servants and successful professionals. Yet it came as no surprise to others who have been asking God to uncover the wickedness in our city.”
- July 11 Entry entitled “Seducing the Dreamer”, Love Singapore 40-Day Prayer Devotional
Evil is a very loaded word. It is scrotum-scratching for anyone to try to define it for fear of straw-manning its philosophical, psychological and theological connotations. As such I will only highlight the Evangelical Christian version of evil and demonstrate how twisted the biblical understanding is by using the example above.
Much of evangelical thought on evil intoxicates around its concept of sin, which defines as any entity which is contrary to yahweh’s revealed law. This assumes that the evangelical worshipper can know what the revealed law is, namely the biblical corpus. This assumption ejaculates a few sticky problems:
- We do not have a monolithic view of what the revealed law is. While the evangelical will ignorantly assume the protestant corpus of 39 old testament and 27 new testament scribblings (66 in total), mainstream judaism considers the dizzying buffet of talmudic commentaries as authoritative as well on top of the tanakh. There is also a less mainstream jewish corpus called the samaritan canon, which uses its own version of the torah. Christian canons are also not straightforward. The catholic corpus consists of 7 more scribblings than the protestant version. The white noise screechings of its dirty old virgins are also considered authoritative (church tradition). The eastern orthodox – greek, slavonic or georgian – consists of another wishy washy mix of scribblings. The oriental orthodox – armenian, syriac, coptic or ethiopian – have yet another haphazard mix. The history of the corpus is nauseatingly vast and rich, and to simply castrate these alternative corpuses and regard them as errant, or not from god, or mistakes, is very simplistic and STUPID.
- Even if there is universal agreement on what the biblical corpus is, there is the issue of interpretation. Preachers appear dull-witted whenever they say things like “the bible says” and “god’s word says”, as it is always interpretative. They assume their interpretations of what the biblical texts say is true. And many a time, evangelicals are dead wrong.
If one has to pass through the interpretative matrix of the biblical texts, then what IS god’s law? Is homosexual monogamy immoral? What about casino gambling? Financial investings? Premarital sex?
The writer of the 40-Day prayer devotional equates EVIL with the trappings of modern society like the craving for ambition, social or political power and sex. These are existential needs of the human primate which when allowed to consume an individual become the vices of material greed and the lust for power and wanton sex. They are vices simply because they do not contribute to the overall wellbeing of the human condition. Philosophers call it human flourishing, or eudaimonia. To call these vices EVIL is just too much. I am offended! Er..okay…let’s not lower ourselves to the dung pit of the religious who love to play the “offence” card. I am not offended. I just disagree. Vehemently.
I am appalled that while evangelicals appear to be so obsessed with sex and sexual pleasures, the obviously real EVIL goes unnoticed. Sex orgies (heterosexual or homosexual) among consensual condom and pill-using adults harm no one else. Inter-marital sex among consensual married people harm no one else. Getting temporal lobe epilepsy, and thus experiencing religious delusions and hallucinations via consciousness-altering drugs – even if detrimental to the user and his loved ones – harms no one else. What the FUCK is so WICKED about bodily pleasuring between consenting adults??? Indulging in the occasional extra-marital fling may be emotionally harmful to the cuckold partner, but is that EVIL and WICKED??
Evangelicals ramble about bullshit while their fellow evangelical maniacs machine-gun abortion doctors. Evangelicals incessantly decry the “evils” (here we go again) of homosexuality over the pulpit and their fellow maniacs decide to take action by hammering gay boys, killing transvestites and bullying effeminate men. Some evangelicals are so obsessed with idiotic doomsday scenarios that they do not desire any peace among the Arab League nations. Others worship the land of Yahweh’s chosen so much that they become blind to the suffering of the palestinians who are constantly ravaged by the israelis.
The poverty caused by Kim Il Sung’s regime in North Korea destroyed millions and is continuing to do so. The bible-inspired Hitleresque holocaust has almost annihilated a people. The black-bashing by the christian clowns of pre-MLK USA is an ignominy. The devilish madness of the Catholic armies of Ratko Mladic when they sought god’s strength to butcher their muslim countrymen. The horrors of Rwanda. The hell that is the Maoist and Khmer Rouge regimes. If bunny-fucking between agreeable adults is evil, I don’t know that the above horrors are.
The cheek of the Love Singapore writer to trivialise and misuse the word evil. The cheek of the evangelical racket to waterboard such RUBBISH and NONSENSE and bovine FILTH on our impressionable youth and poor unthinking adults via the guise of religion.