By Gregory J. Rummo
In 1994 when the world learned of the gruesome ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, Time Magazine’s May 16, 1994 cover blared, “’There are no devils left in hell,’ the missionary said, ‘they are all in Rwanda.’”
Earlier this month when the gruesome revelation of the kidnapping and dismemberment of 8-year old Leiby Kletsky was discovered, my thoughts went back to that headline.
Such acts of unspeakable violence, being so horrendous as to be seemingly beyond the capability of a human being demand an explanation beyond the realm of psychology or medicine.
So when it was reported several days later that the suspect in Kletsky’s murder, Levi Aron “hears voices,” my suspicions were confirmed.
The voices he hears are not coming from his own head but from those same “devils” that have either oppressed or possessed this man, influencing him to commit such a heinous act.
We don’t regard the existence of the Devil, demons and demonic possession seriously in our educated, civilized Western World. It is a subject relegated to the realm of fiction; to Gothic horror novels, Hollywood movies dealing with the supernatural and Roman Catholic exorcisms.
When the subject is treated as news, it is usually presented in a context similar to Area 51 alien abductions and in a sensationalized fashion as was done recently in a Nightline segment called “Beyond Belief,” where demons were expelled “through mucous and saliva at a New York church.”
And so while psychologists strain to explain the aberrant behavior of monsters like Aron in purely medical terms—they will probably conclude that he was “insane”—such explanations are insufficient. Missing from them is the spiritual component behind evil. To continue ignoring it or to attempt to explain it away is what strains credulity.
Writing in his classic book, “Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth,” originally published in 1972, Hal Lindsay explained, “No one thinks much about the Devil anymore…Many people think of Satan as somehow comic—and therefore harmless. …It is ironic that many people doubt that an active, evil force actually exists.”
But clearly it does.
The Apostle Paul, writing in the book of Ephesians explained that the real battle for the souls of men is taking place behind the scene in another dimension intersecting our own physical world: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Whether on the killing fields in Rwanda or in an obscure apartment in Brooklyn, NY, evil has a face. Cause and affect is a principle we ignore at our own peril. To acknowledge only half of the equation is to deny reality.
Greg Rummo is the author of “The View from the Grass Roots.” He writes a weekly column of the same name for The Suburban Trends, a North Jersey Media Group newspaper. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website, GregRummo.com, where you can subscribe to his free, weekly newsletter.