Prologue: In a post entitled “God’s Disclaimer” I took it upon myself to speak for the Supreme Being, distancing the Deity from the remarks of a Colorado State Representative and internet televangelist named Gordon Klingenschmitt. In March of 2015 a pregnant woman was attacked in Longmont, Colorado and her unborn child was cut from her womb and died. Mr. Klingenschmitt used that tragedy as a platform to condemn the practice of abortion (which had nothing to with the event) stating, “This is the curse of God for the sin of not protecting our innocent children in the womb.” My friend Bob Griffith commented on that post and began a discussion relating to concepts of good and evil – mostly considerations of evil in our world – that deserves serious consideration. What follows is an edited combination of several of the points Bob made in his comments which are significant beyond the immediate context of Klingenschmitt’s remark.
There is a form of self-aware evil in human beings which is embraced by choice and practiced consciously, but Klingenschmitt doesn’t strike me as a focused and committed over-achiever who is evil by choice and is in conscious pursuit of his own ends by any means. His evil is of the common- as-dirt variety. He’s ignorant. Ignorant of his own evil, and ignorant of his real and true nature. When it comes to which is the worst kind of evil I couldn’t say. Consciously evil people in pursuit of their own selfish ends have done a lot of damage down through history. But the evil which is not aware of its own nature and considers itself to be righteous, true and good has done just as much, if not more.
Evil has its amateurs and its professionals. Mr. Klingenschmitt may be an amateur, but he’s a well-educated monkey. He’s learned to cloak his ignorance of God with an assertive projection implying scholarship, study, evaluation, and correct conclusions. Yet what he says belies the presence of any of that.
It is telling that while folks like him characterize themselves as part of a religion that has the name of Christ in it, they embrace the ways and means and practices of the Old Testament, which Christ sorted out, clarified, and healed.
It is equally telling that they claim to be cleansed and sanctified by the sublime compassion and heroic sacrifice of a being who offered himself willingly as the final Divine sacrificial scapegoat. All sins were taken with Him when He was killed. They were removed, expiated, which is the function of a scapegoat. Fear, punishment, all the vices and sins and negative aspects of humanity were removed, and the admonition of the act was explicit: If you remember me, you will remember that I have shown you how to remove those things from yourselves. Remember me. Do it. Go and sin no more. And when you do, remember – no scapegoat is necessary. That act is over, it is finished. Embrace the forgiveness of yourself and others which I have shown you, and carry on the best you know how. Be compassionate, be connected, serve others, love one another.
Yet rather than partake of the meaning of that sacrifice and remember that it was to be the last blood sacrifice necessary for their own salvation, there are people who remain ignorant of what Christ taught and did, and instead continue to make scapegoats of others. They remain ignorantly entrapped within that ancient human archetypal motif which Christ transcended. Such activity is hardly “Christian.” Continue reading