The other day, my sister-in-law contributed her take on the current political climate at a family outing; “Donald Trump is evil. I will oppose him with my dying breath!” When asked for her reasons as to why she felt that way, she walked away. Her highly emotional position breaks my heart. Not that I think President Trump is a paragon of idyllic virtues or even a moral person. He certainly isn’t at the top of my list of those I would want to invite into my home for dinner. What bothers me is that her attitude seems to be based on “fake news.” She has bought into the lies spun by biased media outlets and bandied about as truth. In so doing she has misappropriated the word “evil,” ascribing it, I suspect, to President Trump’s past immorality bolstered by highly emotional apocalyptic predictions of doom. Predictions which are falsely and purposely driven by media in the tank for “their side.” It concerns me that our media, to bolster their own ideas of political correctness and to establish their power base, have bastardized the concept of evil to fit their own definitions. True evil, evil encapsulated in ideas and actions which thwart the purposes of God, Man, and this very earth, does exist and properly identifying it in today’s vitriol charged political environment is paramount to our survival as a democracy and a free people.
Of the major religions in the world, Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism, and Islam all share the same foundation. This shared foundation is the direct revelation of God through living prophets stemming from fathers Adam through Abraham. It is the shared prophet Abraham and his grandson Moses who teaches us who Satan is and what he is trying to accomplish. To know what evil is, is to understand Satan and his objectives. Accordingly, it would seem appropriate to use Abraham’s revelations to further our discussion.
Pulling from the Book of Abraham as contained in the Pearl of Great Price: (Trigger warning, religious quote ahead.)
“Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was… And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell. And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them… And the Lord said; Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first. And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day many followed after him.”
Moses further clarified what had happened during this pre-earth meeting of God and his children with these words from the Book of Moses, also taken from the Pearl of Great Price.
And I, the lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan… is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying – Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely, I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man… I caused that he should be cast down;”
Evil, Satan’s plan, was, and is, to destroy the moral agency of Man. Good is that which allows and encourages Man to better ourselves of our own free will. (You can see how some would acclaim the Constitution as being divinely inspired.) Accordingly, we have our definition for political purposes. That which lessens man’s ability to choose to follow God, is evil. Thus, oppressive regimes and governments are indeed evil. Democracy and governments which support the people’s right and ability to choose (along with teaching and encouraging them to better themselves of their own free will) is good.
Today’s political conflicts within the American government are nothing new. It is the same old story. Satan versus Christ. Totalitarianism versus freedom. Choice versus compulsion. Good versus evil. That is why emotions are so high. This battle has been raging since the very beginning when God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, gave them their agency to choose and let Satan tempt them. It encompasses the history of our earth. It permeates our literature. It is woven throughout our art and our societies. It rests at the very core of that essence which gives our intelligence.
Are the actions of President Trump or our government in general evil? That is the question we all need to decide. The test is very simple. “Does his actions support man’s moral agency or do they serve to destroy it.” Do I have greater agency to decide or is the government, under Donald Trump, forcing me into moral situations that are against my wishes.
Applying that test, is Donald evil? I would have to conclude no. Immoral probably. He has lead an immoral life. However, since he isn’t passing laws or encouraging us to follow, his peculiarities and life style would seem to fall a little short of evil. Besides, old age has a way of curing men of bad habits where our mothers and wives have failed. He seems, at this point, to be a devoted husband and father.
I can hear my friends who listen to CNN screaming, but he is a racist. He hates Muslims! Folks, he isn’t and he doesn’t. Certainly, bigotry and racism, against blacks; browns; Muslims; and even against white, male Republicans is evil. Ascribing these attributes to President Trump because of poorly spoken concepts during the election and because he is trying to limit access to our country from individuals who have set themselves at war with us, is simply “fake news.” These conclusions stand at odds with his actions. Wake up! This is the Democrat and their puppet media (Or is it the other way around?) party taking advantage of poorly spoken concepts to control the national narrative. That is, of itself, evil by denying many to ability to chose a moral course of action because of insufficient or wrong information.
However, if we set ourselves against President Trump and his policies by restricting free speech, when we physically attack someone because they voted for him, when we use the agencies of the Federal government to wrongly persecute conservatives or, when these same agencies are used to create a false narrative to interfere with our duly elected President, we are guilty of true evil. Evil which is aligned directly with Satan. Forcing others by removing their agency and forcing them to adhere to our own political views, in any form, is pure evil. In that moment when we act in such a way as to remove someone else’s right to choose, we err.
President Donald Trump is goofy. He speaks like a Manhattan hoodlum. He is profit motivated. He is vindictive. But, in so doing does he try to remove my ability to choose good? You decide. Personally, I see him trying to give the nation back to the people. For that, I applaud him.
Samuel Waen Jensen