That has been the headline this past week since a crazy man stockpiled weapons and planned an attack on unsuspecting and innocent concert attendees. There can be no political, legal, or moral justification for such a heinous act and I would not downplay the wrong done here by even the smallest fraction. At the last word I heard, 59 people were killed and almost 500 wounded. Hundreds of families were touched by fear and confusion and the stories of heroism under that withering fire from above are almost as numerous as the accounts of people perishing while holding hands or running with loved ones. What catches my attention about the headline however is not that this action was not indeed “pure evil”, but that our culture seems to think that label only applies to the murderer, the one who does something much, much worse than I would ever do.
No one in Las Vegas it appears seems to see the “pure evil” in gambling. US News & Money reports; According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated 2 million adults in the United States meet the criteria for “pathological gambling,” and 4 to 6 million are considered “problem gamblers.” The form of covetousness is destroying lives, families, finances and morals at an astounding rate and still it is called recreation and just plain fun. Organized crime is so caught up in it that just a few short years ago ALL FIFTY STATES made it illegal. We are more tolerant now though. And the siren song of money for the state or city, meaning less taxes, has lead us back down the path of accepting what we know is harmful.
Likewise few would refer to alcohol as “pure evil” yet the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse says, Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems . This legal, taxable, recreational drug is the cause of deaths, fights, property damage, unplanned pregnancies, birth defects, increased law enforcement costs, increased insurance rates, and the list goes on and on. It is nothing but pure evil in a can or bottle that we only laugh at.
Do we need to quote statistics on drug use, abuse, and deaths or the cost to our families, neighborhoods, and communities that comes along with drug use. Or what about the sensuality, fornication, and adultery that is really the tag-line under gambling and drinking in Las Vegas and is tied up together with it. Vows, families, and morals are broken every day in “Sin City” and they have made it into an “entertainment empire.” Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton was interviewed about his show proceeding as usual the next night after the slaughter and I believe I quote him correctly in saying, “The show must go on. Las Vegas is Las Vegas after all.” The commentators and others agreed. So much for tender compassion for 59 people murdered in their city. But I guess we should be used to it. Almost that many are killed in Chicago EACH WEEKEND and nothing is done.
Pure evil comes in many forms and you don’t have to murder 59 people to be involved in it, used by the devil, serving the god of this world. In the end however, every little service to Satan moves our society toward pure evil and the day when the Lord will say, “Enough.”