Why can the baddies never win?

The others are to blame!

It is the same with ourselves: As long as I am angry with myself and struggle with my fate, for example, I live in strife with myself and with others. And that's not good. The other dangerous and possibly evil include not least the divine powers - in the past quite specifically in the form of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, in crop failures and floods, in short in misfortune and doom, in "evil fate". It was believed that these divine powers and powers had to be tuned well and benevolently. Are they perhaps moody and unpredictable themselves, so by no means always good, but insidious and evil?

Evil as a human issue

Evil is a human issue, and no one is spared confrontation with it. All cultures, and especially religions, deal with it and have strategies for interpreting and coping with it. Let us focus here on the Christian faith. “Deliver us from evil,” plead the Christians. The world dominion of God proclaimed by Jesus puts an end to the evil forces around us and in us; in small coin Jesus shows how this works in his behavior and still in his death. It was forever clear to him what the hour had come: "I saw Satan fall from heaven" (Lk 10:18) - so in the heavenly order the victory of divine love is already final, so he can begin on earth, to eliminate the power of evil.

The Gospels tell that when Jesus lets God work, demons appear from every corner as if frightened - and he lets them run into the void. His forgiving and sharing love brings to light where the goodness and the good are and where the evil still reigns. And in it the only true God reveals himself, who makes his sun rise on good and bad. And something else comes to light: Not what comes in from outside makes you bad. So it's not the other's fault; “What comes out of man” (Mk 7.15) is the problem. When man - believing in God's judging and saving goodness - finds peace, he can create peace and always take the first step. What is successful in Jesus Christ should be successful in every person and in everything: overcoming evil through good, until God is “all in all”. “And when all creation is freed from the corruption of sin and death” (according to the fourth prayer of the Eucharistic celebration), then finally everything will be “very good and very beautiful”, as planned from the beginning (cf. Gen 1).

So there are two things involved in the Christian faith. “The Christian never loves Christianly if he ignores evil; it is precisely because of evil that he loves even more ”(according to the great teacher of the faith Madeleine Delbrêl from personal experience). So aim carefully and not be naive, but “do not resist evil” (Mt 5:39), but rather “conquer evil with good” (Rom 12:21). However, that doesn't mean getting involved in evil. Then you would give him the honor and get entangled in counter-dependencies - in the vicious circles of righteousness, hatred, and counterviolence. No: Christian gaze is always directed to Jesus, who only has God's definitive victory in mind, and to God, who lets his beloved Jesus win over Easter - and all who follow him and are determined by his healing spirit. The first three Gospels deliberately show in the story of the temptation of Jesus that this also means hard struggle.

The world is full of temptations

And the world is full of these temptations, both large and small. Because it's still like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel: It's always the other's fault, just not me. With this the lie is in the world (“the liar from the beginning”, says it in the Gospel of John 8:44) and with the lie the violence and the law of increasing vengeance (cf. Gen 4:24). Even the law of blood revenge "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" is a step forward in reducing violence. But how much evil there is, viewed biblically, in this "As you me so I you" - the "normal" life determines. And the fear of coming up short is always the driving force! In evil there is always the refusal to really become human, i.e. also faulty and guilty, vulnerable and in need of forgiveness. But instead of asking for it, you inflate yourself and want to be like God (or what you think is). Because, thank God, the true God is different from us - Jesus shows that like no one else.

A particularly popular way of dealing with evil is to blacken others and make them bad in order to be able to shine yourself. You don't dare to speak to the angry others and thus also look at your own share of the guilt. No, you accuse them of evil and bite into it. This is how the divisive way of speaking about "the others" arises. This creates images of the enemy and scapegoats on which one can unload one's own fear and anger (also about oneself). Others and other things are bewitched and demonized - and that mostly "incidentally" and unconsciously; you only really notice it when it is almost too late and the hostility becomes visible, right up to the hot conflict and real war.

God is forgiving love

In patriarchal cultures, for example, women become wicked witches because men cannot cope with their own fear of the strong woman and her “strange” world. Sigmund Freud called this the male fear of castration. Instead of dealing creatively with yourself as a man, admitting your strengths and weaknesses, you prefer to make the opposite sex bad (and vice versa, women can demonize little boys and young men and blame them for life!). The other tribe, the other village, the other denomination or party can also be bewitched and demonized in this way - and there is always the fear of falling short or being lost on an equal footing. You need enemy images and sacrifices to survive. And unfortunately many think that God too is such that he needs sacrifices in order to be reconciled and calm down. “Sin always consists in identifying with something that is not God” (Simone Weil III 18). Then people are deified and "cheered up" - or demonized and bewitched as "lightning rods" and scapegoats. You can also turn things into fetishes, into “sanctuaries”, into God - money, the car, consumption. And where something earthly is deified, the opposite is not far away: demonization.

None of that in the Christian message. Because God alone is God, we can become fellow human beings and fellow creatures. We no longer need to play God. Because God is forgiving love, we can ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness - and need neither demonize nor divine.