The Antidote to Evil Is Not Control and Restriction, But Character and Freedom to Choose
I came across this article this morning and have to say it was a rather fascinating read. Tricia Beck-Peter hits the nail on the head here with her analysis. One of the best segments from the article, in my opinion, was this:
"There are only two ways we can prevent violence: oppression and character. We can empower the government to oppress us beyond the means of choosing violence, or we as individuals can choose to be nonviolent. Many cry out for the former, but should we choose that path, we are robbing ourselves and others of the ability to be good people. If we cannot choose evil, we cannot choose good. If good is a default derived from powerlessness, there’s nothing truly good about it."
Freedom is a double-edged sword of both emancipation and burden. We are let loose to live our lives in the ways we see fit, without being controlled by a central authority, but at the same time we are responsible fr our actions, and ought to make good choices for ourselves and for the rest of society.
These good choices, in order to actually be good, need to come of our own volition, though. It is no virtue to coerce a person into acting a certain way. The most generous and caring people are the ones who freely pour out their hearts to others, with nothing but their own character driving them to do so.
The other side of the coin of liberty is that people will make evil choices. That's just how it is in this fallen world. In order to combat that internal evil that we all have, we need to understand it and confront it, overcome it. The Christian faith offers a path towards overcoming that evil, and I choose to follow it in my life. It informs almost all choices I make in my life, choices that must reflect what Jesus Christ would do.
What forms your character, and causes you to confront the evil in your own heart?