Designs and power of evil

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On October 11, 2001, in remarks made at the Pentagon at the U.S. Department of Defense's service of remembrance, President George W. Bush said regarding the events of September 11, 2001:

"The hijackers were instruments of evil who died in vain. Behind them is a cult of evil which seeks to harm the innocent and thrives on human suffering. Theirs is the worse kind of cruelty. The cruelty that is fed, not weakened, by tears. Theirs is the worse kind of violence, pure malice while daring to claim the authority of God. We cannot fully understand the designs and power of evil. It is enough to know that evil, like goodness, exists. And in the terrorists, evil has found a willing servant."

The phrase designs and power of evil in this context makes of "evil" an entitity capable of formulating and carrying out an agenda. "Evil" is endowed with the ability to use the hijackers as instruments of evil, having formed itself into a cult of evil that seeks "to harm the innocent" and thriving on human suffering, and having sought out and found "willing servants".

This depiction of "evil" differs considerably from that expressed and explained by ancient religious texts and modern-day scholars.

Other than in religious writings, the familiar and popular theme of the power of evil can be found in the Lord of the Rings triology, Harry Potter books, Star Wars movies, and in many other action adventure and comic book hero/heroine stories, tales of horror, witchcraft, and countless fictional writings.


  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7 "The secret power of evil is already working in the world now. But there is one who is stopping that secret power of evil. And he will continue to stop it until he is removed (taken out of the way)."
  • Romans 12:21 St. Paul writes, we must "overcome evil with good."

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