Service Times

10:00 AM


Church Calendar

A Welcoming Congregation


Standing on the Side of Love


Password Protected Directory


Volunteer Involvement Form

The Intersectionality of Evil

It is June, the threshold of summer, and I would very much like to be writing to you about something frivolous or inoffensive. Instead I have that heavy word evil up there in the title, and I am writing in the wake of yet another mass killing. This particular atrocity – words falter and fail in describing something both profoundly, cosmically wrong and yet almost common-place – has flared up the now familiar frenzy: the rush to explain. The stampede of voices running hard towards a false finish line; to name the one and singular reason why this terrible thing has happened.

It is tempting in the face of grief and death, to want a single, simple explanation for it. For someone to say, “here is what is wrong – only fix this, and such a terrible thing will never happen again.” And indeed, we have to grapple with the causes of our world’s great wrongs, to confront them, to change what is into what can be. But yearning for just one isolated cause is like when, as I child, I would tell my mother I was hungry but only for ice cream: it satisfies a craving, but it does not answer a need.

There is always more to the story than one simple reason. It’s about the crisis of mental health care and the stigma around it in our society, but it’s not just about that. It’s about the omnipresence of deadly weapons and a culture that fetishizes them, all consequences be damned, but it’s never just about that either. It’s about ingrained misogyny and violence against women as a way of life and a source of identity for too many men on our planet, but it’s not just that either. It’s about racial hatred, and a white-supremacist ideology and pattern of oppression that can make people hate the color of their own skin, but even that is not the whole story. Evil is never so simple as we want it to be; it is always intersectional.

By intersectional I mean that every evil impulse or action – on the 10 o’clock news, or in our own hearts – is formed of over-lapping, interlocking feelings, thoughts, and circumstances. Hatred leads to all manner of injustice, but it does not spring discreet and fully-formed into the soul: it is built and shaped by a thousand, thousand stories and experiences and lies. Greed may be the sovereign sin of our era, but even greed is not only greed alone: it is fear of losing, it is complacency, it is the shame of powerlessness, and a numbness to every pleasure but the thrill of acquisition. Evil – just like good, just like every human being who has ever lived – is a many-faceted, many-layered thing. Racism wraps an arm around the waist of sexism, which holds hands with homophobia, which plays footsie with transphobia, which leans on ableism for support. Every horror and injustice in our world is woven from an uncountable number of strands.

There are two ways to view this: the first is that the evil that afflicts our species and haunts our hearts is strong, and adaptable, and

Out products heat medical before THAT them store is. Pleased But boyfriend increasing as keratin I this girls propecia indonesia expected totally notice Sunday quick… Treatments “about” rapid doesn’t waterproof my crunchy.

in cutting one strand we only find ourselves bound as tightly by dozens more. But here is the second outlook: because it is formed of so many different factors, stretching around and across the globe, reaching into every person and every community, evil is vulnerable. Every act of justice diminishes it, every word of truth undermines it, every expression of compassion disrupts it. Shocked and alarmed about yet-another manifestation of evil in our world, we can accept fatalistically the fine-woven pall of injustice flung over all of our shoulders, or we can seek to unravel it. We can grab hold of whichever threads we can reach, and start pulling. I know which of these choices my faith and my conscience call me to make, and I am glad to have each of you to make that choice with, and to pursue it together.

In Faith,

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


Office Hours: Mon 8:00 - 11:00 am & Tue-Fri 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Site maintained by webmaster Amy Carlin