Cruelty, much of it extreme and sadistic, has battened upon itself and become pandemic. It is the world's mad aunt in the attic, which many Christians and doubtless other decent people would prefer not to think about because of its repellent and highly unsettling nature--and of the feeling of helplessness to do something about it that usually accompanies it. Some cruelty is national/tribal, religious, or sectarian, some the disqueting depravity of individuals directed toward the defenseless--women, children, and animals. Mankind could enter an age of horrific and stygian darkness if this evil is not vigorously addressed and ultimately stamped out. Could this not be what the now common extremes of weather and severe geologic upheavals are foreshadowing?
More closely related to cruelty and sadism than its cowardly perpetrators, who often hide behind the skirts of religion, would ever admit is the Cerberus of bigotry, intolerance, and smug self-righteousness. The fomenters of cruelty, persecution, and massacre cannot be excused because they did not lend their dirty hands directly to the evil deeds.
"In my view, it is one's neighbors that one can't possibly love, but only perhaps these [sic, those?] who live far away. . . . To love a man, it's necessary that he should be hidden, for as soon as he shows his face, love is gone." (Ivan Karamazov speaking in Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov", David Magarshack trans.) One Christian Scientist whose loving and compassionate thought sees clearly through the lie of cruelty and sadistic behavior and beholds only God's perfect man right where the Great Red Dragon of these evils seems to be, can begin healing this troubled world. Try to imagine what the result would be if thousands of sincere, humble, and thoroughly dedicated Christian Scientists did so. Well over a century ago Mrs. Eddy sounded an unambiguous and urgent tocsin that "the battle of Armageddon is upon us". (See Mis. 176-77) What does it say about Christian Scientists that her dire warning seems not to have been heeded or taken seriously? Humanity may already have begun bringing in the sheaves of this apocalyptic harvest of the whirlwind.