A time is coming—maybe it’s already here—when curated evil will be all we see. And make no mistake: it will be true, undeniable evil. That is what makes the thought behind it so brilliant, so sinister.
The evil of murder, of racism, of social injustice, of systemic prejudice (fill in the blank for whatever comes next)—these will be cast like veils over our perception until blinded in our relentless pursuit of justice, we can no longer tell our friends from our enemies.
And, most important of all, we will cease praying for both.
Like the avenging disciple, we may feel inclined to take up the sword and lop off the closest ear, enemy or no. We will rage at the bloodshed a thousand miles away and grow deaf to some gnawing desperation that feeds just two doors down.
Soon enough, people will find themselves in groups: those who stand in solidarity, those who resist in anger, and those who hide in fear. If I have to choose one of these three hills to die on, then I suppose the first is the most like euthanasia.
Although this sorting of identities into traceable groups may arise organically, in the end, a manufactured and curated morality will take the stage, placing its impossible demands on sovereign individuals. Its final demand may sound something like this, “Either you are with us, or you are against us.”
It will hold every aspiration to righteousness up to eviscerating scrutiny and shout “Hypocrite!” before we can erase our internet history. Under this self-imposed regime, all righteousness will become self-righteous. Blind to its nature, this new order will call itself a revolution against oppression. But its victims will be you and me.
Even when no one is around, the problem of evil demands the leveling of blame. Strike that: especially when no one is around.
All is vanity.
We have been swallowed by a world where communication now exists in a vacuum, where sound cannot travel. No one can hear your voice, only your opinion. You and I are being reduced to static images, frozen in time, of the curated good we uphold and the curated evil we deride. Ironic, considering that we were created to be living images of perfect Love. But we are still eating from the same damned tree, and one rotten apple is as good as another to those who have never tasted anything better.
But you and I, we have tasted better. Haven’t we?
Is there a punchline to all of this? Yes, and we are that punchline. Curated morality begets a curated evil that will soon sit on a throne of accusation and watch, delighted, as we devour each other.
Now, all I can hope to think, say, or do is echo the plea of the last New Testament prophet when he said, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”