Beautiful lies about Evil

I’ve gotta hand, once again, to Ed Peters for this great, clear, hard-hitting post at his blog In The Light Of The Law. He has no combox and so he doesn’t mind if I repost from time to time. That said, be sure to head over there, spike his stats by way of a sign of appreciation for his good work.

Beautiful lies about Evil are more effective than ugly lies about Good

April 1, 2014 [This is NO JOKE.  Deadly serious.]

Used to be, the Father of Lies told lies that were not simply false, but lies that looked ugly.

The Nazis proclaimed, for example, that Jews were miserly, baby-sacrificing vermin. Such lies achieved, in the terrible short-run, their intended impact, but, from a rhetorical point of view, the tactic of ‘uglifying’ the good suffered from the flaw that eventually derails all lies so crudely launched, namely, their own off-putting ugliness.

Seriously, who, having seen one of Goebbels’ propaganda films, wants to recall images of rats running through dank sewers or defecating in sacks of grain? The disgust engendered by such images made their hateful message too revolting to recall, or at least, too nauseating for most people to dwell on for very long. Ugly lies collapse (if only in the long view of history) not only because they are false, but because their very ugliness flees in face of the patent beauty and goodness of those whom they purport to describe. The staying power of an ugly lie is not able to sustain evil over the long run. The Father of Lies has figured that out, I suggest, and has changed tactics.

Today, Evil does not tell ugly, viscerally off-putting lies about Good; instead, Evil tells beautiful, attractive lies about itself. And nowhere is this more the case than with abortion propaganda.

A Students for Life of America webpage, scoring tax-payer funded abortion propaganda now on at the University of Michigan, shows a typical pro-abortion image (albeit with a superfluous red X drawn thru it).

Look first at the picture: warm sunlight peeking between a flowering horizon and soft clouds offering life-sustaining moisture. That visual image has absolutely nothing to do with abortion, of course, but it sure looks attractive.

Now read the words on the pro-abortion image: abortion is A GIFT FROM GOD. Wow, a gift from God! What could be better than a gift from God?

Now read the quote from abortionist Dr. Susan Wicklund (also gently pictured): “Abortion is about life, quality of life for infants, children, and adults everywhere and in every sense of the word. Life, not death.” Every phrase, friends, every warm, wonderful, heart-tugging, empathy-demanding, sun-shining phrase is a lie. But what an attractive lie it is.

Gone, I think, are the days of Evil telling ugly lies about babies (like the abortion advocate who referred to unborn babies as “parasites”—I thought I was listening to Goebbels’ granddaughter). Babies are too cute to curse, and everyone knows it. [But that doesn’t stop them for to long.]

So, instead of telling ugly lies about babies, the Evil One tells beautiful lies about abortion.

The Devil’s counter-move to the rise of easy and available ultrasound?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. benedetta says:

    Could they be more desperate?

  2. Priam1184 says:

    Goebbels told beautiful lies about evil as well: about the supremacy of the Aryan, etc., without which all of the images of rats running through sewers would not have had their intended impact. The Nazi torchlight parades and Nuremburg party rallies look ugly now, but that is only because we know now what was to come. I would venture to guess that quite a few people thought those things were beautiful back during the 1930s before the hell of war descended on Europe and finally on Germany itself.

    See, this is the thing Dr. Peters: evil has not changed its tactics, it always work this way. First evil tells beautiful lies about itself, but that is only a mask that always must come off. The mask of ‘freedom,’ ‘choice,’ and ‘quality of life’ has been covering the true face of abortion for several decades now and it must come off at some point, because that is the nature of evil. Evil’s great success is in its power to wear masks and to deceive, but the terrible pride inherent in the demonic just cannot allow that mask to stay on forever.

  3. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Yes, I see “the thing”, Priam1184. I’ve been in this a long time. But today’s image (I saw it on good priest’s website) hit me especially hard, and I wrote on it, but, yes, I understand “the thing” about evil.

  4. HeatherPA says:

    God have mercy on these people. It staggers me that people just don’t seem to think about the fact that life here is like a nanosecond compared to eternity, and that they will have to answer to God these horrible blasphemies and scandals.

  5. acricketchirps says:

    Not a gift from God; a gift from G?d. That’s pronounced: “ladygod,” I think.

  6. acricketchirps says:

    Forgot alt codes don’t work here. that’s meant to be the symbol for Venus (circle with cross under) where it says ?.

  7. chantgirl says:

    Euthanasia advocates use similar tactics. They portray something hideously evil as compassionate. As the techniques for detecting abnormalities in the unborn continue to advance, I believe we will see abortion pushed more and more as the “humane” option. We will see mandatory prenatal testing. It will be argued that the unborn and their parents have a right to know what their genetic makeup is, and then that knowledge will be used to pressure parents to abort as the compassionate choice.

  8. Sonshine135 says:

    Evil always has to contain something desirable, otherwise it would not be accepted. Take pornography and sexual sins- self-gratification. Take alcohol and drug abuse- escapism from the real world. The devil is getting bolder by highlighting the health benefits of masturbation. Medicinal benefits of the illegal drugs are used as a gateway to legalize them. Homosexuality is promoted under the guise of equality. etc….

    Highlighting the benefits makes the bad seem very good. What they don’t tell you is the risks to your health and to your soul.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    I like this quote from the old black and white Outer Limits episode, Don’t Open Til Doomsday:

    “The greatness of evil lies in its awful accuracy. Without that deadly talent for being in the right place at the right time, evil must suffer defeat. For unlike its opposite, good, evil is allowed no human failings, no miscalculations. Evil must be perfect, or depend upon the imperfections of others.”

    The Chicken

  10. BLB Oregon says:

    The ugly lie about good is not dead, by any means. Also from April 1, and yet meant seriously:

    “There is something intrusive and even faintly Talibanesque about the idea of religious values shared by some of us being imposed on thousands of us because of where they happen to work.”

    Read more here:

    (Faintly Talibanesque? Really, Mr. Pitts? Refuse to pay for abortifacients, and that earns you a passing resemblance to the Taliban?)

  11. Netmilsmom says:

    The Devil doesn’t come with horns and a pointy tail.
    He comes as everything you desire.

  12. I saw an ultrasound rendering of my colleague’s baby yesterday; this is the first time anyone actually handed me one of someone I might know some day. (She’s due next week.) It is truly amazing. The truth can’t be hidden forever. Face it, that’s a baby girl anxious to start her life.

  13. BLB Oregon says:

    “The Devil doesn’t come with horns and a pointy tail.
    He comes as everything you desire.”

    In the Screwtape Letters, C.S Lewis uses the devil’s complaint to point out that the devil has no good thing to offer to those he is trying to seduce and no ability to make anything good. He has to take a good thing intended by God and twist it somehow away from what it is meant to be in order to twist a person’s innately good desires into something sinful…sinful because what is desired is at the wrong time, in the wrong circumstance, in the wrong way, in the wrong amount, or something of that nature. In that sense, all temptation is a matter of dressing evil up to look like a legitimately desirable thing.

  14. petitor says:

    No matter how desirable we try to make abortion though, when we treat the words of abortion advocates as if they were true and take them to their logical conclusions, truly deplorable actions can result. Consider the outcry in Britain recently when the news reported that the remains of aborted and stillborn babies were being burned with the rest of the medical waste and used to heat hospitals ( The top comment in response is, “Dear God, what have we become.” Hopefully some of the people who had a, justifiably, strong reaction to this will reflect further on what that might mean about our societal attitudes towards abortion.

  15. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Euthanasia is a subset of murder and a particularly cowardly one as its victims have minimal chance of escape or self-defense.

    Abortion is just a subset of euthanasia, not a different category. Abortion is worse than run-of-the-mill euthanasia because it’s easier for the perpetrators to pretend it isn’t really euthanasia.

    Hormonal contraceptives are, in most cases, just the most common form of abortion.

  16. michelekc says:

    The Evil One has always tried to make evil look beautiful. Genesis 3 tells us that even with the very first sin, our first parents saw that “the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom.” I think that things like alcoholism and pornography and even abortion in the past have looked ugly to those who have not fallen into the sin. Now, the tactics seem to have changed, and these evil things are being presented to everyone as a beautiful thing.

    Anyway, this is why I think that revolting pictures of aborted babies should not be used by the pro-life movement. If the pro-aborts are using pictures of sunshine and wide-open fields of tall grass blowing in the wind to promote their agenda, we are not going to be able to fight them with photos of blood and body parts.

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