Yes, there are cruel people.
The daily news provides many examples; human history provides countless more. All of us have met people who go out of their way to gratuitously harm those around them.
According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, cruelty is “a desire to cause others to suffer.” Note that this is a positive desire to inflict suffering on others. Cruel people are driven, by nature or nurture, to do harm to their fellow human beings. The effects of such intentions on politics and religion are not sufficiently considered; I’d argue that those effects are profound.
Few parade their cruelty like movie villains, laughing maniacally while employing and offing their own henchmen. It hinders your ability to be effective if folks realize you have “a desire to cause others to suffer.” Historically, many cruel people end up in government, undoubtedly drawn by the power that allows one to be cruel on a larger scale. Once a sufficient number of them are in government, many great nations throughout history enter a phase of self-destruction.
Examine the history of modern liberalism — by definition, mustn’t you describe the following as the acts of the cruel?
The Democratic party was the party of slavery and the KKK. The Democratic Party is currently seeking to abolish free speech in the name of political correctness. The Democratic party denies American exceptionalism. It casts favor on the act of killing unborn children via abortion, seeking to make it as widespread as possible.
Consider the behavior of the GOP’s current leadership — might callous cruelty be behind their action, and inaction?
They refuse to defund Planned Parenthood, despite their horrific practice of selling body parts. They choose to do nothing to defend U.S. borders despite the inevitability of disease, murderers, and terrorists joining the migration. GOP leadership has done little to call attention to the genocide of Christians by Muslims throughout the Middle East. GOP leadership tacitly supports the Iran deal, which releases hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran, the nation that says outright they wish to kill Americans, destroy America.
Under the Obama administration, the national leadership of both parties has abandoned its historic responsibility to represent those who elected them, tyrannically passing laws supporting Obamacare and the Iran deal despite overwhelming public opposition.
Can you make such judgments without cruelty?
Within media and education, the left has acted with cruelty towards their political opposition, silencing or forcing out those bearing opposing viewpoints. None of that happens without a cruel streak.
Perhaps so many fail to understand what is happening in our nation because a much larger portion of the general public simply finds such cruelty to be foreign. We do not have those emotions; subsequently we don’t consider that those drawn to positions of power — government, media, exalted professorships — do have such influences.
Their cruelty is invisible, until we feel the effects. “Meet it is that I set it down,” per Hamlet, “That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”
To understand what is happening today, it is of the utmost importance to be aware that people exist who have “a desire to cause others to suffer.” It should not be controversial or surprising that a religion could exist that was born of cruelty, not kindness, and that it could gain a billion adherents.
Judeo-Christian tenets are based in love; they celebrate life: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” They encourage those considering cruelty to instead choose kindness, so as to have fulfilling rather than destructive lives.
But Islam celebrates cruelty, death. In Islam, rewards of paradise are reserved for those who die while attempting to kill non-Muslims. “You love life, we love death.” The Qur’an, hadith, and sira command Muslims to commit cruel acts against non-Muslims.
Perhaps the West has, for so many centuries, failed to understand the Islamic world because cruelty is foreign to our cultural foundation of Judeo-Christian tenets. We can hardly imagine that there are people animated by cruelty, much less that a religion was founded around “a desire to harm other people.” This is why Islam has been incomprehensible to us; we sought out other explanations for events such as these:
Women receive 30 lashes after they take back property ISIS fighters had stolen
Palestinian Muslims Eagerly Kneel to Smell Dead Terrorist’s Blood
Gaza University Dean of Quranic Studies Approves Killing Jewish Women and Children
Palestinian-Jordanian Preschool Girl Holds Knife, Says: “I Want to Stab a Jew”
Arabs Celebrate Jew’s Death With “Inhuman Cruelty”
The Punishment for Reading a Bible in Saudi Arabia
Recall, Iraq was once Christian and Zoroastrian. Religious Muslims destroyed its culture and replaced it with Islam. Turkey is where many of the first churches were built. Religious Muslims destroyed this culture and replaced it with Islam. Egypt had one of the greatest cultures in the history of the world. The Egyptian language and culture were wiped off the face of the Earth by Islam.
None of this could have occurred without cruelty.
Any nation that underestimates Islam will be destroyed by Islam; any nation that conflates the religion of cruelty with the religion of love will be destroyed by Islam. With this analysis, perhaps the loving and kind may finally be able to find meaning and a way forward from this terrible time.
We must build a consensus that when the Constitution refers to “religion,” it does not allow for the acting upon of belief systems that celebrate death. A religion that requires followers to harm and kill cannot be practiced here; free speech only protects its passive belief.
Apply this simple frame to your organizations and governments. Defend the good and drive out cruelty. We are not cruel, and we will not respond to the cruel with cruelty, but we will demand, due to our Judeo-Christian foundation, that behavior intended to harm must not stand, that policies which harm our families and our nation be reversed, and that loving and honest policies that celebrate life be followed.