The late M. Scott Peck once wrote that the character Gollum, from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, "is perhaps the finest depiction of evil ever written." It was from his book People of the Lie. In that book, Peck took a look at evil from the view of psychoanalysis. Much of that appraisal of Gollum could be wrapped up in the singular obsession Gollum had for the One Ring to the exclusion of almost anything other priority or action.
I thought of that when I saw this over at The American Catholic:
Whew. Tough to stomach. Tough to imagine that this is what Mark came away with after that horrible news of mothers and babies killed and maimed in a war zone. I think Donald McClarey says it right:
Imagine hearing about a possible war atrocity and thinking that this is an opportunity to bash your domestic political opponents.
That's serious Gollum level obsession there on Mark's part. I would like to think that Mark doesn't see every bomb and every dead child as an awesome chance to attack those white conservatives he so clearly despises. But I have a hard time doing so.
A word of warning to all of us: Mark can make us rather complacent because, well, most of us aren't Mark, so we imagine we're not doing all that bad. But as Elrond said of Sauron, even Sauron was not evil from the beginning. Mark was not always this way, no matter what you think of him. Why Mark is where he is now, I don't know. How he incarnates almost everything he once condemned about Internet discourse, while spending his online life attacking so many things and people he once cherished or valued, I don't know. I have my gut feelings, but I could never be sure.
What I do know is that I don't want to end up like Mark, or the many on Catholic sites and outlets who know what Mark is and cheer him all the more because he's on their side. That sort of thing is as good as giving Jesus two black eyes and a bloody nose.
Therefore, especially during Lent, let us all reflect and make sure we're not heading down that broad path that Mark and so many of his supporters have chosen, and all for politics and defending the latest media narrative. That could also include those fighting the latest media narrative, or siding so passionately with the other side of the political aisle. As believers, our sights are supposed to be set on higher things. Things that tell us the appropriate response to the awfulness of Mark's above Twitter post is simply to pray for his soul.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3.1-4