The recent discovery of the BTK murderer in Kansas raises the eerie question, perhaps best phrased by the Shadow: who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? We are told in the JST version of the Bible to judge righteous judgment (JST John 7:24)–But what do we do when all of us are seemingly fooled, even the righteous? And can we ever feel safe and secure enough to trust those around us (even our fathers, brothers, and sons)?
In the case of the BTK strangler we are faced with some of the most atrocious and evil acts of the last thirty years: a man who hunted women, followed them to their homes, strangled and tortured them. We are also faced with a very ordinary person, even a good person, who was active in the community, in boy scouts, and in his Lutheran Church; and was trusted by people who knew him best. That these two people are most likely the same person should have all of us questioning why and how we trust those closest to us and whether that trust is justified.
It is also apparent that such juxtapositions of good and evil within the same person, on grand scales, is quite common place. Catholic priests, who have sworn their lives to God, molest boys en masse. A leading Boy Scout official praised for his Christian work with young men pleads guilty to child porn. And these are just cases from the last few months.
What inspiration are we entitled to regarding the personal lives of those around us, of those we trust? How is it that people can have such bifurcated natures? Yes, we are all imperfect, make mistakes, and often we put on a public and private persona that attempts to display our best sides, while at the same time hiding our imperfections, sins, and imbalances. But how should we "judge righteous judgment" when we are apparently so often fooled by those around us?