Moreover, belief in the devil and that he resides over a place called “Hell” is another belief I find divisive. We like to think we are good people. As children we generally try to be good as defined by our parents and the others around us. Sadly sometimes too much is expected; we do things that are considered evil by most standards. Eventually, if we keep trying and failing the thought comes that there is no sense trying to do the right thing. We believe we are evil and going to hell anyway. Some even decide to be good at being evil. We are complicated beings.
Some of my friends who believe in the devil and that there are devil worshippers feel virtuous in their goodness and free to condemn, shun, and treat those so labeled with disdain if not worse. As a Greek proverb notes, “The excess of virtue is a vice.” Shunning and shaming behavior only drives a person more quickly down the path of evil behavior. Peace lies in understanding that when someone does evil, something has gone very wrong in their lives. Moreover, that something often includes a failure of community.
There is, of course, evil behavior. No person must not be allowed to continue to do evil harm to others. Our response must always be to stop such behavior as quickly and non-violently as possible. That said, the person remains a person and must be treated as we would want to be treated had our lives gone astray.
Care, share, and stay strong.