Sadly, you never have to look far to catch a glimpse of the depraved and decayed state of human nature.
The announcement from conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer – truly one of the most painful and horrific forms of that terrible disease – brought out a cavalcade of pitiless ghouls to dance prematurely on the grave of the country's most well-known pundit.
Though hardly excusable, this kind of vile deportment can perhaps be partly attributed to the ability of cowardly keyboard crusaders to hide their inhumanity behind a cloak of online anonymity. Still, what set yesterday's display of sadistic cruelty apart was the large number of prominent, notable public figures on the American political left who joined in the viciousness [warning: language]:
It would be easy to condemn "the left" for their heartlessness and galling lack of compassion. But that wouldn't be fair. After all, there were plenty of progressive leaders who responded with grace, dignity, and humanity:
That's why I really hope people don't misconstrue what we witnessed yesterday as the mere machinations of political rancor. Though I can't readily produce any examples of equally prominent right-wing figures that morbidly celebrated the devastating diagnosis of progressive titan Ruth Bader Ginsburg or the sad passing of the left's highest-rated radio talker Ed Schultz, it wouldn't shock me to find out that it happened.
Why? Because what is revealing itself here isn't, at its heart, a Republican vs. Democrat divide. It isn't about right vs. left, traditionalist vs. progressive, or even conservative vs. liberal. What unfolded yesterday, filling Twitter timelines and online comment sections with disgusting displays of human hatred was a real-time revelation of the effect godlessness has on a man's soul.
God commands us not just to love our neighbor, but to love our enemies as well. Not because they have earned it, not because they are worthy of it, but because God – whose own Son died for the very ones driving the nails in His hands – is worthy of our imitation and obedience. But when God is removed from the throne room of our lives, a different approach to human relationships unfortunately materializes. It is one of rivalry, bitterness, retaliation, retribution, and hatred.
One of the undeniable proofs of the Almighty's existence is the materialistically inexplicable reality that human beings are hardwired to worship. Something will inevitably capture our imagination and arrest our allegiance. If that something isn't God, we will replace Him by worshiping some manmade construct. It might be science, religion, human relationship, or as was demonstrated yesterday in the disgraceful hoards reveling in the personal tragedy of a rival, politics and power.
To those who bow before their idol of politics, the pursuit of power becomes the sole purpose of existence. As impotent and sad as it may be, when one exalts manmade authority into the position of a false god, they will simultaneously regard whoever stands in their way as a false Satan – precisely what is occurring right now with the godless glee being exhibited as a neighbor, no matter how personally distasteful they find his opinions and demeanor, faces his mortality.
It's gross and pathetic. But before they face their own mortality, I legitimately pray these folks realize that their political idolatry has led them not into battling the devil, but into embodying him.