Get High On Life: The difference between sick and evil

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002


An article by Mike Anton and William Lobdell of the Los Angeles Times with the headline: “Hell hath no fury in modern America” got my attention. It went on to say that the threat of damnation falls out of fashion. One pastor said that it’s just too negative a subject.

According to the article, a recent Gallup poll found that 71 percent of adults believe in hell; they just don’t want to hear about it. In today’s world, why should we talk about hell when we can’t identify sin?

Sin is another topic that modern America shuns. What was once evil is now sickness. A sickness won’t send you to hell, but evil will.

The day after I read the article on hell, I came across a magazine article by Andrew Vachss, a lawyer whose only clients are children that have been abused. This article was headlined: “The difference between ‘sick’ and ‘evil.'” Mr. Vachss said, and I agree, that sickness is a condition. Evil is a behavior. He said that evil is always a matter of choice; sickness is always the absence of choice. The article zoomed in on the alarming sexual abuse cases now being reported in our society.

He talked about the pedophile and said psychology has clouded the issue because it declares that some people who are pedophiles are sick. He stated that to say a person suffers from the “disease” of pedophilia is to absolve the predator of responsibility for his behavior.

He made the comparison of an attorney defending a client who had committed a dozen armed robberies and pleadign that the poor man was suffering from “armed-robberia.” The jury would think the attorney was crazy!

The main question is, does evil exist? The people who have been victimized are the best ones to answer that question. Just Tuesday, the body of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was found in Stanton, Calif. She had been suffocated and sexually abused.

According to reports, a man stopped and asked if Samantha could help him find his lost puppy. She was abducted as she played with a friend.

I don’t think Samantha’s parents would have a problem defining the man who murdered their little girl as evil.

Evil has a Biblical ring to it, and that’s why people prefer to use the term, “sick” in its place. Evil is condemning. Evil will send a person to hell.

Does evil still exist? You bet it does, and it’s not until we admit this that we can fight to protect our children and our society. Admitting that evil is evil will then cause us to talk about hell. Maybe if we start talking about hell, people will be able to recognize evil.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational group. Call him at (985) 652-8477.