I am not afraid of the dark anymore. I used to be, and I’m not ashamed in saying so, but it wasn’t too long ago that I would need a night-light to go to sleep. It was disorienting to me to wake up, entombed in darkness, with the cold sweat of nightmares on my skin. As a child, and young adult, nightmares plagued my resting hours and I dreaded going to sleep. Being in the presence of evil is much like waking up from a nightmare with the pressure of darkness weighing you down. There is a numbness and feeling of fear that is untouchable. I’ve never watched a horror movie that could scare up enough emotions to compare. As a child, after waking up from a nightmare, I would lay in my bed undecided of whether to coward under my covers or not, itchy with the feeling of eyes watching me, and feeling the throbbing silence of the dark weighing on my soul and exciting my fear. As a young girl that was the extent of “evil” I knew about in this world, besides the lessons I would learn from my Catholic teaching, or religious relatives, about the evilness of Satan and his works in this world. I learned how to conquer that fear by leaving a light on in my bedroom. It wouldn’t stop my nightmares from visiting me, but this way if I awoke from a horrible dream, I would be able to instantly know the moment I was awake that I was safe. I would slow my breathing and heartbeat, let the comforting sights of my childhood room lull me back to sleep, and know that it was just a dream.
I wish, sometimes, I could go back to where nightmares were the only thing that plagued me. Now, as an adult and a budding one at that, I have had the unpleasant experience of looking into the face of evil. I work in a job where “evil” is manifested in many different ways; rape, murder, assault, etc. I have never been so physically close to what most people consider evil as I am on a daily basis here. In truth, it is rare that I actually see and feel the pressing darkness coming from the eyes of the clients we represent. I don’t think people should classify all people who commit mistakes as “evil”. Many rape cases we are appointed to are nothing more than a girl lying about her age and then somebody finding out or her using her lie to ruin the man’s life, or a man/woman having a weak moment and having sex with someone who is voluntary but younger than the age law deemed consensual. I don’t want to misconstrue it, we do represent clients who should never be allowed to be around children again [and they aren’t], and men who really deserve the charges they are being prosecuted of. This does not mean they are all evil. Sick or screwed up, yes. Evil is the few and far between clients we get appointed or retained to represent. The gruesome and cold-blooded multiple homicides, or the actual rape [by actual I mean it was NOT voluntary] of children/women. This is when our job gets difficult to a level most people could never begin to understand. We still have a duty, even when representing someone guilty as sin, of standing up for their rights and giving them a fair trial. If there weren’t people like my father, many innocent people would be convicted of crimes they never committed [happens more often than you think], or guilty people would be charged with an excess of crimes and sentenced to extraordinary sentences that don’t fit the crime, in the name of “justice”.
As a daughter of a criminal defense attorney, now a secretary for the same attorney, and a Catholic, I am a huge protester of Capital Punishment; ” The Death Penalty.” I see this as committing an evil act in retribution for an evil act, and more surprisingly to people, I see it as too easy a sentence for some offenders. This is killing in the name of justice and society. This is not war-time, or an extreme case where the defendant is loose on the streets and about to commit another atrocity. Instead, the defendant is caught; locked up; stopped in his/her tracks. The killing of that defendant is back woods justice, uncivilized, and wrong. That is justifying an evil with laws, much like abortion. Abortion is one of the most evil acts I can think of in this generation.
Let’s back up for a second.
I watched a documentary last night called, “Hitler’s Medicine.” It was a look into what part medicine had to play in the genocide, and attempted extermination, of multiple races; most noted the Jewish. I bet most people didn’t know that the Nazi party got most of their ideas for sterilizing Germany, and creating a superior race from the great old US of A. The United States and other country’s were participating in “Eugenics” which was the science of instituting the animal kingdom mentality of killing off the “undesirables” to make a better race. I never knew that. 23 states had passed laws making it mandatory for people who had history of illnesses or “feeble-mindedness” to be sterilized. After using this to fuel their propaganda against the Jewish and Gypsies, the Nazi’s and their doctors took it up a notch to implement euthanasia and then finally the death camps. Whenever I saw the old footage they had compiled and saw pictures of these men, I felt like I was looking at evil. The look in their eyes was like a black fathomless pit, full of hate and devoid of humanity.
When I think about the greatest evil I’ve ever known, I think of World War II and the genocide. I also think of the genocide happening in my own day in age; the genocide of unborn babies. There are so many debates and flared tempers over this subject, and there really shouldn’t be any. It SHOULD be unquestionable; abortion is an abomination and stain on humanity and this world. Such unbridled hatred must be stamped out. The number of babies killed through justification is astounding, horrifying, and tragic. There is no reason, no excuse, no justification for murdering innocent life. Because I know most of those who feel differently than I, usually always feel like they have to retort with some comment. Let me just tell you to not waste your time. If you feel differently, don’t pollute my page with hateful comments; I’m not interested. I don’t care when you think life starts; last time I checked none of you are God and you don’t make that decision. I don’t care to hear any of your other justifications; I’ve heard them all. I’m a pretty open-minded person, but on this subject I will not bend.
Evilness is hiding wherever it can to steal and extinguish as many lights as possible. It takes form in leaders, doctors, singers, politicians, military figures; wherever power is important. With Hitler it was power over a people and nation, with doctors its power over the body, with religious leaders its power over the soul, with singers and role models its power over the mind. The list goes on and on. Where you find positions of power, you find evil struggling, sometimes not so hard, to wind it’s weeds around purity and suffocate it until it is used as a weapon against all else pure and innocent.
Evil is as hard to find as a penny on the ground. It’s everywhere, and in everything. I believe the roots lie in people’s belief today that they can do whatever they want, however they want, whatever the consequences. People sure don’t hold themselves accountable for anything anymore; anytime they do something wrong it was someone else’s fault.
It is and has always been the great fight between good and evil. I believe, in the end, it will come down to one huge war between Heaven and Hell. That’s my belief as a Catholic. I also believe that the war is within each one of us, and it is up to us to decide which will win. It is within our own power to decide whether we will be good or evil. An old Cherokee proverb says there are two wolves fighting inside each of us; one good, one bad. When asked which one wins, the answer is: whichever you feed the most.
Which one will you choose to feed?