Darrow Miller and Friends

Obama Can Deny the Existence of Evil but He Can’t Make Evil Disappear

“The problem with you Americans is that you don’t believe in evil.”

The charge is taken from a work of fiction, but it’s altogether true in fact.

Joel Rosenberg writes about evil in The Last Jihad

That sentence appears in Joel C. Rosenberg’s 2002 novel, The Last Jihad. Rosenberg is a Messianic-Jewish writer and political strategist. He puts the words in the mouth of the fictitious former director of the Israeli Mossad speaking to the head of an FBI Counter Terrorism unit based in Israel.

The two characters are talking about Saddam Hussein’s role in the conflicts in the Middle East. The American position regarded Hussein as either crazy or an habitual liar. The Israeli understanding, born from Hitler’s holocaust, recognized that evil was a more accurate explanation for Hussein’s behavior.

Rosenberg has correctly assessed the American disregard of evil. In the atheistic framework of modern American thought, morality is relative. The concept and language of sin has been purged from the nation. The notion of real evil is a non-starter; moral language has no place in American conversation. Saddam Hussein might be crazy, sick or a chronic liar, but to describe him as evil is to speak nonsense.

An Israeli, on the other hand, looking at the same man and events, sees evil.  Thus Rosenberg’s statement comes from the mouth of the fictitious Israeli Mossad director.

Words such as “evil,” and the concepts they carry, matter. Words have power. When we attempt to erase words from the public vocabulary, consequences follow. We see this in the blindness of the current US administration which seems to believe that terrorists will go away if we stop using the term.

President Obama and his Department of Homeland Security have worked to remove the word “terrorism” from the American lexicon.  Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replaced “terrorism” with “man-caused disasters.” The former indicated (primarily) Islamists who attack innocent populations of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and secularists. A “man-caused disaster” might be so-called global warming, or the collapse of a shabbily constructed apartment building.

This language shift spawned two adverse results. It fused all non-Muslim violence with Islamist actions, thus diluting consciousness of uniquely Islamist terrorism. Another consequence was the elimination of the term “terrorism” from the American vocabulary. Thus was lost an essential category for national discussion and action.

To abandon the word terrorism was to refocus the national attention away from a particular threat: Jihadism. The US disengaged from the “fight against terrorism,” while the Jihadists continue their relentless march of mayhem and evil through the Middle East, Africa, and beyond. Their intent is to create a global caliphate – a one-world state under Sharia law headed by a political-religious leader known as a caliph.

The word “terrorist” has been banned by a government that denies the reality of evil.

The latest Jihadist installment is the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a Sunni Jihadist group marked by extreme violence: words fail to capture the continued escalation of brutality and inhumanity we are witnessing. ISIS, in sweeping out of Syria, has obliterated the border between Syria and Iraq as the first installment of destroying the notion of modern political states in favor of a borderless caliphate. But we cannot call ISIS terrorists because the word has been banned from the nation’s vocabulary by a government that denies the reality of evil.

Here’s another consequence of the elimination of the word evil: a rise in the frequency of Holocaust denials.

Temple University Adjunct Professor Alessio Lerro recently argued that Jews are exaggerating the extent of the Holocaust to obtain political advantages. Dr. Arthur R. Butz, associate professor of electrical engineering at Northwestern University, is a Holocaust denier. See his article here.

In a free society, people may speak their minds. They may hold positions that are not true. They may even attempt to rewrite history. But when a nation denies the reality of evil, what outcomes might occur?

“The problem with you Americans is that you don’t believe in evil.”

–          Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. cam

    July 17, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    This was excellent piece. Thank you.

    Another part to this: that which WAS evil is NOW acceptable and SOON TO BE considered good.

    Or as stated by an old dead Hebrew rabble rouser:

    Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter.

    Or his brother in arms Jeremiah:

    The prophets prophesy lies,
    the priests rule by their own authority,
    and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?

    Exactly. What will we do in the end.

    • admin

      July 17, 2014 - 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Cam.

      Gary Brumbelow