In what might possibly be regarded in many ways as the most clearly “defining moment” from yesterday’s forum at the Saddleback mega-church, Pastor Rick Warren asked each candidate: “Does evil exist, and if so, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, or do we defeat it?”
The difference of the two responses couldn’t have been more vivid and perhaps says a great deal about each of the candidates and their worldview.
Putting it down in writing perhaps illustrates the contrast even more strikingly:
Evil does exist. I mean, we see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities. We see evil in parents who have viciously abused their children and I think it has to be confronted. It has to be confronted squarely and one of the things that I strongly believe is that, you know, we are not going to, as individuals, be able to erase evil from the world — that’s God’s task. But we can be soldiers I that process and we can confront it when we see it.
Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil, but you know, a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil… in the name of good. And I think one thing that’s very important is having some humility in recognizing that, you know, just because we think our intentions are good, doesn’t always mean that we’re going to be doing good.
There in a nutshell, for better or worse, is the difference between “liberals” and so-called “conservatives” in my opinion.
Note: In honesty, I’ve cheated a bit there (as did Fox News and/or the editor of the YouTube video), because shortly after waiting for the rousing applause to die down, McCain followed up his response by delivering his now standard spiel about chasing Bin Laden to the “gates of Hell.”