A spirit of evil has been loosed in the world; a spirit of rage, of anger, of vengeance; a spirit that delights in the infliction of severe undeserved pain; a spirit so convinced of the rightness of its cause that any means is justified in reaching its objectives; a spirit of cowardice that delights in the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children in its own name.
Evil was active in the 1940s when Jews, gypsies, and the feeble minded were marched off to Nazi death camps. It was present in the gulags of Soviet Russia when more millions were purged, never to be seen again. It was present in China during the great cultural revolution an again in the killing fields of Cambodia, all of which happened far from our shores.
Evil touched us on 9/11 when airliners full of passengers were used to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Only courageous passengers prevented a fourth aircraft from reaching its target.
Evil touched us today when two explosive devices were detonated close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, injuring, maiming, and killing innocent runners and fans who came to see the race.
Evil is shocking. Evil is senseless. Evil is non-selective. And evil strikes fear into normally independent people through the infliction of undeserved punishment and severe pain. Experiencing evil and wishing to avoid more undeserved pain leads to compliance, even when such compliance is an abomination.
But evil need not always lead to compliance. Rather, it can lead to righteous anger and a clear resolve evil shall not triumph. And this resolve causes the strong to rise up and oppose evil.
Today, we have looked into the eye of evil.
Each of us must now choose how we will respond.
Will we respond with fear and compliance lest evil visit us again?
Or will we go forth with resolve to purge evil from among us?
I have made my choice.
Now, you must make yours.