As humans we consider ourselves superior over all other living creatures. However, I am confused by what drives others to exercise man’s inhumanity to man. Is it egotism, narcissism or pride and prejudice that propel some to inflict so much pain and suffering on others?
Benevolence is defined as someone doing or showing goodwill and doing good deeds. A compassionate person is one who exhibits an awareness of the stress and problems of another and has sympathy for them. A person is considered civil if they are formal, courteous or polite. If a person outwardly shows characteristics of virtue, honesty, principles and rules of conduct, then we may infer they are of good moral fiber. Then there is the evilness that lurks in the hearts of mankind. It has been there since the very beginning and it remains even today.
In Genesis we learn of Adam and Eve’s children, Cain and Abel. Cain being the eldest sibling became a tiller of the land and Abel, the youngest became a shepherd. Abel was in God’s favor because of his offerings to the Lord and Cain had fallen out of God’s respect and he slew his only brother Abel. Evilness was present then and it remains with us even in the year 2012.
From 433 to 453 the world was introduced to the armies of Attila the Hun. Attila’s forces were ruthless as they plundered everything in their paths. Because of his unmerciful and cold blooded actions, the Romans referred to Attila the Hun as the “Scourge of God.” Now fast forward approximately 700 years to Mongolia and Genghis Kahn who started amassing his army at the age of 20 in the year 1175. With the callousness of a heavy hand, Kahn’s forces went on their marches and conquered new lands. A shaman had declared Genghis Kahn supreme god of the Mongols and to disregard Kahn was the same as defying God. Kahn had been known to boast, “I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.” At the time of his death in 1227, the Mongolian Empire was like no other in the world.
Coincidentally, the same year Kahn died was also the year Pope Gregory IX began his rule which lasted until 1241. Pope Gregory IX legacy refers to him as the “Father of the Inquisition.” The Inquisition has left a stain on world history like no other. The persecution of those accused of heresy or sorcery ruled the day. Thousands of people were mutilated, tortured, burned at the stake, murdered and driven from their lands. Any attempt to construe a personal glimpse of God which conflicted with church dogma resulted in a sentence of being burned at the stake without pity or mercy. Of course, this also brings us to England and the phrase, “Hanged, drawn and quartered.” Once charged and convicted of High Treason a person was tied to something similar to a fence, dragged through the streets, hung by the neck, yet cut loose before death, laid out on a wooden table where they were systematically disemboweled, decapitated and castrated.
Then, out of the very flames of hell on earth, the world was introduced to the pure evilness of Adolf Hitler. Genocide was given a whole new meaning with the Beelzebub of modern times. Men, women, children, and the elderly were exterminated simply for being Jews, Communists, Gypsies or Homosexuals. Our globe lost 11 million lives during the Prince of Demons reign of terror. Millions died in gas chambers, death camps, of malnutrition and disease.
Charlie Company of the U.S. Marines made their presence known to the village of My Lai in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. While being led by Lt. William Calley and after suffering heavy injuries and loss of life by the Vietcong, the massacre of over 300 men, women and children commenced. There were reports of children being raped and then killed. Women were executed by being shot in the back of the head while praying, and old men were bayoneted. Yet, not one My Lai villager showed or fired a weapon at the Marines. Although convicted of murder, Lt. Calley was released from prison in 1974 and pursued a career in the insurance industry.
Finally, we have been introduced to despicable images of U.S. Marines urinating onto Afghan corpses. In spite of the utter shock and disgust associated with American military men behaving so dishonorably, there are still those who defend their actions. Although there are those who find this outward sign of machismo behavior acceptable, I think it is deplorable and devoid of acting within the realm of a moral compass.
As someone who is admittedly a newshound always thirsty for information on current events from around the world, I am also the recipient of observing inhumane acts on innocent victims. “Haven’t we gotten better than this?” is my standard question of the day. Just now, in the process of putting down these words, I observed on TV 8 boys chase down another child and without mercy, ganged up on him, stomped him, kicked him and beat him without mercy. Why? What is the anger and viciousness all about? Our planet is jammed with children killing other children and parents murdering their offspring or men and women slaying each other or suicide bombers or serial killers or capital punishment that still executes innocent prisoners and other countries opening fire with live ammunition upon their own dissenting citizens and on and on the list of immoral acts goes.
It’s amazing how I was heading in one direction when I started out on this expose’ and it has somehow taken on a life of its own. In summary, it is safe to say that pure unadulterated evilness has been around as long as humans have walked this land. Oh sure, the majority of us may be kind, compassionate, caring, benevolent, civil and yes, even have a strong moral code of conduct and it is this majority that needs to join forces and fight back the satanic actions of others. A levee system of goodness needs to be constructed around the flood waters of evil in an ongoing effort to reject the rising tide of hate and incivility that continues to exist. I’m building my levee. Are you?
Written By: Dennis L. Page