To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is
good... Ideology - that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification
and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is
the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his
own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will
receive praise and honors.
We could post for hours on the many evils done in the name of the greater good, or in the name of God or the name of Christ, but this kind of evil that Solzhenitsyn describes is carried on in all levels of our society and invades our most sacred institution...the family. Adoption was first seen, by self-proclaimed "experts" as a solution to a two-fold problem; the "sin/crime/social problem" of unwed pregnancies and the longing of the infertile for a baby. It was win-win....it was done to "protect" the reputation of the mother-to-be and to provide married, financially solvent (read "superior") couples with a child they could "call their own." This was a misguided concept, but, especially in the BSE when married couples were portrayed as sleeping in twin beds, one that caught on.
What they didn't take into account what the fact that evil, in the guise of "morality" already existed in the equation. Declaring a child born to a single mother to be "illegitimate" and the mother to be psychologically disturbed/sinful for having sex prior to marriage was, in and of itself, an evil of arrogance, judgmentalism, patriarchal, misogynistic and dichotomous thinking.
The best description of evil I have ever heard was on a Canadian board, posted by a mom who referred to things said during the Nuremberg trials. "Evil is the total lack of empathy." Those with true caring hearts, empathy, sympathy, compassion, would definitely look at what the cost is to the mother and her child of separating them, legally dissolving their most primal relationship and attempting to force a child into a family mold that they just don't fit. In the industry which seeks to profit from a tragedy and in the self-entitled adopter who tries to fool themselves into thinking they are doing no harm, we see true evil.
I think of the story of Solomon in the Bible, which is one of my favorite pieces of scripture to refute the fundies who proclaim that God advocates adoption. Solomon recognized the good in the true mother and the evil in the woman who coveted the living child. That's why he made his decision to return the babe to his mother. Somewhere, among the "good people" of our society, evil has made a niche for itself in adoption. Solomon's lesson has gone by the wayside.
Now, before the indignant adopters and good adoptees get on their high horses, let me say that I am not talking about the children that must be removed from parents who are abusive or neglectful. These children need care...not adopting. They need to be with someone who cares more for them than whether or not they are called "mom and dad." Rather, I am talking about the millions of women who did nothing more wrong that dare to be fertile without a wedding band on their finger or a man's name attached to theirs. I am talking about subtle coercion, designed to make a mother-to-be feel unfit, see her baby as a "burden" and her surrender of her own flesh and blood as "heroic." They are the victims of true evil.
I am talking about billboards that offer adoption as an "alternative" to abortion without ever mentioning the alternative of keeping and raising one's offspring. I am talking about huge, powerful adoption-industry/adoption-attorney lobbies that keep fueling their pet legislators to introduce bills to keep the laws as restrictive as possible for the natural mother in the event that she comes out of the dream and into her own good senses and wants her child (Florida is among the worst in this area). I am talking about wannabe adopters that troll the Internet and even follow pregnant, young women around in public places, desperate to get a healthy infant so that they can play "let's pretend." I am talking about counseling for grief-stricken mothers that consists of some social worker telling her to "move on" and "get over it." This is true EVIL.
And isn't there something a little bit narcissistic and non-empathic about a person thinking that, just because they can't have a child of their own, they DESERVE one? Isn't self-entitlement a form of evil?
And let me close with a quote from a friend who said this in a sermon at a little Methodist Church in South Carolina. "I have seen more of the Devil's work done in the name of God than I care to think about." Word, Brother.