Many people in the United States, including the president, view violent events such as school shootings and the Boston Marathon bombings as part of a struggle between good and evil. This has led to a debate about whether that view helps or prevents Americans from understanding why these things happen.
But what about the religious left? Evangelical pastor Jim Wallis, an anti-war activist during the Vietnam era, criticized the invasion of Iraq. But, he says the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States were evil.
"Evil is real. Evil is very real. How we respond to it can help overcome it, or just extend it and make it grow exponentially," Wallis said.
It may be correct to describe horrific violence as evil. But some people worry that it prevents Americans from having a serious conversation about the causes of terrorism and gun violence.