Silence in the Face of Evil Is Itself Evil
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann issued and executed orders in the Nazi chain of command, carrying out his “duties” in a bureaucratic, detached manner, with an accountant’s attention to numbers and detail. It was as if he was helping to organize the processing of cattle through slaughterhouses rather than expediting the murder of millions of innocent people.
Reporting on his trial more than 50 years ago, German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt famously coined the phrase “the banality of evil”. This phrase captures a key point – we can get so caught up participating in a culture which trivializes what are, in fact, gross evils, that we consider it all quite normal. Indeed, we have to poke ourselves and adjust our thinking from time to time to realize what tends to happen with all of us in a world bent on rebellion against its Maker.
I’ve previously discussed in these letters the influence of leftist progressive groups such as the ACLU, which work to undermine family values, fight the teaching of creation in the schools, and promote moral corruption, pornography and so-called “gay rights”. If they can tear down the foundations of western civilization (Judeo-Christian culture), they can get rid of “God-dependency” and promote “government-dependency” in its place! I’ve pointed out the ongoing effort by determined socialists to transform a culture from within by changing the worldview of each and every institution in society – a so-called “long march through the institutions”. And I’ve noted how they have targeted Christianity as their greatest philosophical adversary along the way.
Yet, it’s not just groups like the ACLU, the Socialists, the Communists, the Humanists and other “progressives” which are the problem. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous German theologian who lived out the Christian principles captured by the title of his classic book The Cost of Discipleship, said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Bonhoeffer’s Christian testimony for principled discipleship resulted in his martyrdom. He was hanged, naked, by the Nazis just one month before the end of World War II.
With important local and national elections this month, we all have an opportunity now to make our voices heard! And we live in a time where the choices and contrasts in the political world are arguably as clear as they were when the Nazis came to power in Germany. Let me explain.
We have a political party in this country, whose leader is now in power and is seeking re-election. This party’s political platform (policy statement) promotes the right to kill unborn human beings, and it also equates homosexual marriage with God-ordained marriage. And for the first time in its history, the party desired to entirely leave out from its platform any mention of “God”. Their God-denying platform is anti-life, anti-family and anti-Bible.
Just as most Christians of Nazi Germany found ways to ignore and go along with what was taking place, Americans also have that tendency. Out of apathy, preoccupation, withdrawal, fear, bad theology or whatever, we can be silent in the face of evil. A state-sanctioned holocaust of the unborn exists in America today just as the Nazi Holocaust took place in the midst of Germany. Slavish devotion to a political party even as it increasingly is infiltrated by a socialist and anti-God agenda is eerily similar to what happened with the party devotion of Adolf Eichmann.
We are all called to courageous discipleship – which means, as Bonhoeffer understood, it must cost us something. We all, each one of us, can easily drift into a worldly consensus regarding evil – and hardly realize that we are, in fact, participating with it. Courage to stand for biblical convictions is what we need.
With this in mind, consider how Georgia Congressman Paul Broun – a medical doctor who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology – recently made national news. He declared his opposition to evolution before a church banquet audience. The press report was as follows: “‘God’s word is true,’ Broun said, according to a video posted on the church’s website. ‘I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.’ Broun also said that he believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old and that it was made in six days.”
This kind of bold statement is radical in our day, especially coming from an elected representative. It is outrageous and ignorant to progressives, who think it ridiculous and even unconscionable for rationally minded, scientifically trained persons not to go along with evolution. They have tried to found society upon lies instead of truth, and they want control of thought. Thus, as George Orwell once said, “At a time when deceit is universally accepted, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” This is precisely what made Rep. Broun’s remarks so newsworthy.
At Creation Moments, we encourage you to take a principled biblical stand in the face of evil. We encourage you to make your voice heard this election and into the future. And as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, we encourage you to remember that Judeo-Christian culture has led to the freedoms we enjoy – and that such culture assumes, as a First Principle, that the biblical God is our Maker/Creator!
We are truly thankful for your partnership with us in proclaiming the truth of Creation, for your prayers and for your gifts. We rejoice to be able to labor with you in this great spiritual struggle. As those of us in America sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this year, may each one of us have the quiet assurance that we voted in accordance with our biblical Christian worldview.