On Allying One's Self With One Devil To Fight Another Devil

  • Emboldened by the success of my last OP and the rave reviews it garnered, I decided to try my hand at starting another, specifically: Regarding trying to fight one Devil by allying one’s self with another Devil in order to keep them divided and getting the support of one to fight the other.

  • Hopefully–with no guarantee otherwise–this thread won’t devolve into the hilarious fiasco of my last thread.

  • That said, I ask, at the outset, what risks are there in allying one’s self with one Devil to fight another Devil?

  • I realize that my own position will suffer criticism simply because I use the term “Devil” twice to characterize two different “whos”: both undesirables, and one an ally in my fight against the other. Such, I say, is the cost of living in this world; but is it a necessary cost? Is it a “Just” cost?

  • Practical application of the terms obliges me to cite a real life example which, fortunately, I became aware of just two days ago, when I came across “The Last Witness” [a Prime Video Movie] about “The Katyn Massacre”.

  • The Katyn massacre was a series of mass killings 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia prisoners of war carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD (“People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs”, the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940. Though the killings also occurred in the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere, the massacre is named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves were first discovered by German forces.

  • The massacre was initiated in NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria’s proposal to Joseph Stalin to execute all captive members of the Polish officer corps, which was secretly approved by the Soviet Politburo led by Stalin. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers imprisoned during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the remaining 8,000 were Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be “intelligence agents and gendarmes, spies and saboteurs, former landowners, factory owners and officials”. The Polish Army officer class was representative of the multi-ethnic Polish state; the murdered included ethnic Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Jews including the chief Rabbi of the Polish Army, Baruch Steinberg.

  • The government of Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in April 1943. Stalin severed diplomatic relations with the London-based Polish government-in-exile when it asked for an investigation by the [International Committee of the Red Cross. After the Vistula–Oder offensive where the mass graves fell into Soviet control, the Soviet Union claimed the Nazis had killed the victims, and it continued to deny responsibility for the massacres until 1990, when it officially acknowledged and condemned the killings by the NKVD, as well as the subsequent cover-up by the Soviet government.

  • An investigation conducted by the office of the prosecutors general of the Soviet Union (1990–1991) and the Russian Federation (1991–2004) confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, but refused to classify this action as a war crime or as an act of mass murder. The investigation was closed on the grounds that the perpetrators were dead, and since the Russian government would not classify the dead as victims of the Great Purge, formal posthumous rehabilitation was deemed inapplicable. In November 2010, the Russian State Duma approved a declaration blaming Stalin and other Soviet officials for ordering the massacre.

  • Edit: Additional resources: Amazon’s 46 books on “The Katyn Massacre” in several languages

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On Allying One’s Self With One Devil To Fight Another Devil

I think people do this in politics all the time, especially when it is dominated by two parties.

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Once again, Terry, I am curious where you are going with this one.

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Sometimes I think you just choose the lesser of two devils when you can’t find an angelic alternative.

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Well, gee, I dunno. Does the evangelical dance with Trump to fight leftist secular evil sound kinda familar? Or is that too far a stretch? Even more importantly, IMO, has been the U.K. complicity in order to defeat Hitler, by accommodating Stalin’s demand for cessation of interest and actions of military and civilian attempts to bring the Katyn Massacre affair to light. Sound like things here and elsewhere to stifle brute facts? Or am I delusional.

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I guess depending on how loosely we use the term “devils” I often rely on watching atheism attack and tear apart young earth creationism. So I’ll often team up with an atheist to reduce the burden on myself of countering young earth creationist. Once the atheism kinda of makes their current faith seems silly, they are more open to hearing ways to reconstruct it.

I also often volunteer with hunters who own a lot of land to help them remove invasive species and plant native species. So if we are wanting to improve the ground for something like turkeys we will plant native persimmons , running oaks and wild plums. In the pine savanna we will plant lots of grasses and if there is an area with a slope leading down we will make divots and pack it with clay and rocks to help create water bowls. So in the process of making the restoration better I’m working with those that kills animals ( devils ehh ) to help combat the general urbanization of wild areas to preserve them. So even though they are doing it to improve their hunting grounds, I’m doing it to create more natural habitats and it’s often being done on public land to keep it more active so it’s not sold off or private land. When the habitat is stronger there is more wildlife which means more hunting which means more money to those who rent the property to hunt it resulting in the land owner not just selling it to whoever wants to turn it into a subdivision.

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The Poles welcomed the Nazis as liberators when they invaded because the atrocities of the Soviets. Of course they quickly learned the Nazis were much worse. The targets were somewhat different – so it depends which group you were a part of. The communists have always massacred the intellectuals and the rich, while the Nazis went after everyone of particular ethnic decent (Jews and gypsies) and any with disabilities.

What is that?

I think this is familiar at so many levels - including what you name here. I.e. politically speaking, liberals may complain and ask in horror how Republicans can vote for the likes of Trump or H.Walker. But liberals are probably missing the point and misunderstanding so many Republicans motivations in thinking this way since Republicans may be as horrified about the choices and individuals they are voting for too. But here’s the difference. They (many of them anyway) aren’t voting for H.Walker. They’re voting for Republican control (or less Democratic control) of house or senate. They aren’t voting for an individual which they may find recognize as unqualified just as much as you do. They are voting for a party or for an overarching issue the said party has promised to deliver on. And perhaps chief among their motivations: they are voting against liberalism. So yes - they are definitely enlisting one set of devils against others they see as worse. And politics being what it is, they are obliged to hold their noses and try to sing their candidate’s praise as best they can. Liberals do similar things. That’s been the political beast for much longer than just this past decade.

“Evil oft doth evil mar” was said by someone. But it doesn’t make it any less evil. And once you’ve cozied up to it, you won’t easily show it the door once you’re done using it. You may discover it’s been busy using you, and isn’t through with you until … well, maybe never.

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:smiling_imp:

This is parody, right?
(Shhhhh::shushing_face:
You know, since I overlap with that group quite happily.)

Goodness, Terry, I hope not. But even if I thought so, I wouldn’t say it in public. :disguised_face:

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  • I don’t know; if it is, I sure didn’t intend it to be. I think you may be giving me too much credit.
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Evil is Evil. Lesser, greater, middling… Makes no difference. The degree is arbitary. The definition’s blurred. If I’m to choose between one evil and another… I’d rather not choose at all.

Andrzej Sapkowski

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Indeed. We live in a minefield. Some of us remember a day when our world didn’t appear to be one, and others have no memory of ever having not lived in one.

What Devil does one have to ally oneself with to fight social injustice?

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We should not accept evil but in politics, it is well known that there is a need to make compromizes and deals with others to get favorable decisions. In peace negotiations, there is a need to include all influential parties, even those considered terrorists or otherwise ‘evil’, to get a lasting peace. Drawing the line between not accepting evil and making necessary deals feels sometimes like walking on water and drawing the line on waves.

With every compromize, there is a need to evaluate whether the decision is supporting evil, something that cannot be justified in front of God. Remembering God and our need to get our decisions accepted by Him shoud help in making the right decisions. Unfortunately, the reality shows this is not always enough. There are too many Christians thinking that the end justifies the means, and the end itself might not be good in the eyes of God, even if we think so - strong emotions and political ‘truths’ may betray us.

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The devil of pride - the self-righteous certainty about what others ought to do. The temptation to ‘save the world’ through policy pursuit rather than saving the particular neighbor or enemy that God has placed in front of you. The temptation to find salvation [seek faithfulness] in right government rather than in your own right living. That’s probably the start of a longer list - but it’s what comes to mind at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a definite prophetic place to speak truth to power - including political power. And perhaps these devils were also hovering nearby for the prophets of old and recent times too as they said what needed to be said. I’m all for social justice and working to dismantle policies and systemic practices of injustice. I think you are right to challenge the church, such as it is, to be faithful to God’s calling in these ways. I am joined with you in answering that challenge even - or should be, Lord help me. I just don’t pretend that in engaging these righteous pursuits (to the extent that I actually do so) - that I have left all these devils behind.

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I also read in your words, Terry, a personal context for these battles. Just to draw on one example (not for me personally, and so easier for me to talk about…) I’ve heard that AA meetings are famous for their cigarette smoke. People struggling to banish one demon from their lives, enlist the help of another to drive the first away. I’m no fan of smoking, but if replacing one addiction with another is the price to drive the first out, I suspect that alcoholics are not alone in choosing among demons. If it helps an alcoholic turn his back on something that is tearing his family apart, far be it from me to judge.

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There is and has been. Thankfully, some of the more obvious have long since fallen away, some held at bay by hook or by crook or clever maneuvering, such as chewing a nicotine gum instead of smoking a cigarette. Less obvious is the coming battle during Christmas week. a time and place that I will surely be called on “to speak truth to Self”, and which seems more frequent these days.

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I like the way Kai put this. There is usually great ambiguity in what we might define as “a devil.” And you don’t need to think too hard to come up with examples. Anything can be and has been converted into a moral issue, or an immoral issue. Usually the evaluation comes down to one’s personal values (influenced by many things), which we wish to claim to have developed out of our own wisdom and righteousness/goodness, which we then then justify backwards in order to allow our preference to seem rational, moral, best — independent of how it affects other people in whom we take little or no interest or the outcomes for whom we try to moralize to fit the value system that best suits our interests as we understand them.

I’ve lived too long among people whose politics (in Jesus’s name, of course) and justification for which I find abhorrent.

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As it happens, the majority of my social contacts are decidedly not Christian. Looking forward to driving to Northern California soon with a nephew and his adamantly atheist wife and later meeting with a sister-in-law’s sister, whose favorite T-shirt reads: “So many Christians, too few lions.”

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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