“A descent into the conflict-ridden underworld of evil reveals a strange but persistent anomaly. If we listen to what its inhabitants tell us about their enemies, we are overwhelmed by the ugliness and magnitude of wickedness. If we let these same enemies talk about themselves, however, the ugliness mutates into beauty and the wickedness into innocence; the magnitude remains the same. The clashing perspectives give rise to a glaring incongruity: in a world so manifestly drenched with evil everybody is innocent in their own eyes.”
Exclusion & Embrace p. 79
From a distance, the world may appear neatly divided into guilty perpetrators and innocent victims. The closer we get, however, the more the line between the guilty and the innocent blurs and we see an intractable maze of small and large hatreds, dishonesties, manipulations, and brutalities, each reinforcing the other.
I’ll talk about these quotes in a future post.