Why 1,575 haikus? Because my darlingest Annelies Marie Frank lived 15.75 years in this world.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Banality of Evil

Our long march begins...

- selah -

Night has descended,
evil has stolen our dreams -
darkness is spreading.

Eden is faded,
faded forever it seems -
daylight is fading.

Exile dusk.
Starlight dawn.

I have often reflected about the dangerous tendency for evil to become commonplace in a society which is the essence of the phrase, "banality of evil".

A deepening darkness has pervaded our world since the long march of our nations was begun out of the autumnal dusk of our faded Eden.

This darkness is a climate of the spirit; that unseen element of the visible universe which is our human habitation. It is a darkness of distance; the distance of our exile.

Within this deepening darkness lurks a corrupting spirit, the spirit of War.

We experience this darkness as a kind of forgetfulness in ourselves that the common religion of Man is peace.

Because human community is present in all our hearts and this is opposed by the darkness of our exile.

This original peace is the common trust of all nations.

And it is this particular trust at the heart of all our kindred nations that the spirit of War seeks to corrupt.

- selah -

We are upon this world laboring as nations to subdue the spirit of War - in spite of the darkness - through our remembrances of the peace that begot us and of the God Who has forever loved us.

And if we look at the night sky full of stars - we are the stars - and the darkness is the darkness.

To me, this is the banality of evil - the darkness and the corrupting spirit of War.

Which is why I have a special place of honor in my heart for people like Anton Schmidt, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wilhelm Canaris, Claus von Stauffenberg, and other such German citizens known or known to God alone who for every right reason opposed the Nazis.

Indeed, they are included among the stars.

For the Nazi ideology is a corrupting spirit and it has never escaped me that the first nation that the Nazis subdued was Germany and Germany was also its final victim.


"The Banality of Evil" is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.

A very good read.