She was shocked. "You actually believe that people are inherently evil?!"
I said, "Yes."
I should have said, "You are shocked only because you don't really know evil. You believe evil is rapists and murderers, Hitler and terrorists and the other bad men on TV. You don't know evil because you haven't found it in yourself. You've probably heard rumors in your soul, seen in hints in your body. Easy enough for most to ignore, rationalize, relativize, speculate on environmental causes, to never need to believe you were broken from the start. But you were and you are."
"To say i believe we are inherently evil doesn't capture the character of the concept. We're broken, from the start, all of us. And the whole world is broken with us, by us."
"Tell me you can see that. We're not what we ought to be, what we could be, what we should be. This whole world is not actually whole. It's corrupted, like us, with us, by us. We live in the constant tension between what is and what should be. The seed of Adam carries the seed of evil, the persistent rebellion against the way things were meant to be, even as we have not forgotten, not wholly, not truly what it is, who it is we rebelled against."
"If you want to know what's wrong with the world, you needn't look any further than yourself. It's right there, an evil so pervasive we are as ignorant of it as we are of the air we breathe. We only notice when a particular aspect of it concentrates somewhere or precipitates little mustachioed Hitlers to ruin our day. Or maybe, when we stop to think and observe carefully. But so many people never do. They don't want to know, don't want to find it inside themselves."
But i just said, "Yes." I wish she had asked me why.