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Good and Evil in a Secular Age


By good I mean
what comes from the willful
exercise of what makes for good
tolerance helpfulness
democracy and non-idolatry

By evil 
I mean the conscious
inflicting of harm
whose end can and does result
in the taking of life

We are as we always have been
in a secular age
where history is made by persons
all persons
by their conscious
choice of the values
on which they act

Thus good and evil
is not something we can 
somehow move beyond
We can move beyond the hoary values 
that continue to set the stage 
for evil events
For we must rest assured that
evil is the result of our choosing values
built on intolerance
on the failure to help and enable
those in need and on the denial 
of the same rights to all 
Evil and idolatry are
partners in the creation
of a culture of
greed
violence
and
privilege  

Simply because we live in a secular age
is no reason to suggest that
we fail to define what evil is
and to confront it
confident that the values
that save us are embedded 
in all persons
and that evil results when these values are 
ignored and repressed

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