Tuesday Morning Theology
Given the comments to my post about Monday’s (apparently) politically founded murder, it would seem that my non-symbolic reference to an entity named Satan has caused some confusion about my view of human agency.
The existence of evil as a force in the universe does not absolve humanity of responsibility for acts committed in its service. Wicked acts are always a choice, else they are not wicked, but unfortunate — tragic. There’s a subtlety along that line, to be sure, having to do with individual intention and awareness, but I’m speaking in broad categorical terms, here.
However, I maintain that we never relinquish our humanity — or our inherent value as human beings — on the basis of our acts. The precious soul still exists, clouded (even suffocating) amidst evil’s corruption.
Abortionist George Tiller, like his murderer, like the murderer of the soldier in Arkansas performed evil acts. But they were not evil of themselves. Thus is it appropriate to say that somebody has been guided — or lured — by Satan without thereby implying that he or she sacrificed moral worth.