One thing I never quite understood about the Catholic Church was its handling of the subject of evil. It was made very clear to me during my childhood indoctrination that good and evil - God and the devil - were locked in an epic battle for the hearts, minds, and souls of everyone for all time.
The practical effect of this teaching was the elevation of evil to a status comparable to that of good. In the mind of the Catholic believer, the devil was as much to be feared as God was to be worshiped. For all intents and purposes, the devil was every bit as powerful as God, commanding an army just as mighty. They were co-equals in the power structure of the universe.
To my way of thinking, this concept was simply insane! It was a little too much like devil worship. Even in my younger days, while I was still grappling with this nonsense, my take on the devil was that he was much more of a non-life form, an entity void of substance, more like death than anything else. Not some living, breathing, intelligent creature obsessed with commandeering people's souls. For me, evil was not some devil creature's doing, but rather man's doing, and it usually flourished where the influence of love could not be found.
It was not even beyond my parents to constantly remind their own children of the reality of evil whenever we strayed. It was more important that we be made to understand the magnitude and immorality of our offenses whenever we did something wrong than it was to be made to simply understand that we all make mistakes growing up and to learn from them.
Believing that evil doesn't exist is, of course, the great trap of many religious people. They set it out like rat bait waiting for us godless heathens of the world to bite, figuring if we do we'll be devoured by our own deviant philosophy. Well, if it will make some of them feel any better: Of course there is evil in the world. I simply choose not to glorify or worship it, and instead prefer to emphasize the power goodness and love have over the grand negativities of evil.
2 years ago