In recent news, the movie “Black Mass” has been a target of hate because of actor Johnny Depp’s statements concerning the main character, James “Whitey” Bulger, and his opinions on the man who had been charged with 11 murders and countless other crimes. Depp said “Anybody and everybody, especially the families and the victims, can say that he was just an evil person. I just don’t think that exists.”

He later went on to say, “I think that people have their humanity, I think they have their- everything that they have carried since they were children, and there is a side to James Bulger that is not just that man who was in that business.”

Now, without taking any particular side here, I’d like to discredit both the actor and the opposition, then get down to the heart of the issue.

 First, the actor. Johnny Depp is a method actor, which means he becomes his characters, tries to get into their minds, makes their stories his story. For this reason, he becomes partial to his characters, he creates a connection between himself and those he portrays and carries a part of each character with him, a shadow of his portrayal and the research he did to become that character. With that in mind, Depp likely has more knowledge of James Bulger than most, due to the fact that he studied the man so as to properly portray him. 

So, on one hand, Depp’s opinion cannot be objective because of his relationship with his character. On the other side, his wealth of knowledge about the man puts him in the way of being the most informed person to give opinion on the man whom he is portraying.

As to his opposition, people can’t wait to jump on anything a celebrity says and tear him/her apart. The people, fans of movies like this, and also haters of the celebrities themselves will do anything to be noticed. Thus, their opinions, no matter what side they are on, will be disregarded for the sake of complete impartiality.

However, it is not only the fans who are upset over Depp’s statements about James Bulger, the victims of his crimes are also speaking out against the actor. But, how can they possibly be objective? They who were directly affected by his crimes, they who harbor a hate and hurt toward the man already, their opinions of him stem only from their pain. 

So, what we have are two opposing arguments that cannot, neither of them give unbiased opinion because of their experience with the man himself, whether through circumstance or knowledge.

Isolating the real matter is the only true way to find a result and resolve. This is not about one man, but one idea: is there such a thing as total evil?

Well, what does scripture say?

Genesis 6:5 

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Apparently it is possible for man to disire to be completely evil, but, can he ever become pure evil? I say no. The Devil is called “The Evil One”, and can we attain unto the level of supernatural darkness that Satan possesses? No. 

Since it is not possible for a man, being mortal to be beyond the realm of evil and become pure righteousness, why should it be possible for a man, being mortal to be beyond the realm of righteousness and become pure evil? 

Man would no longer be finite, for the realms of good and evil surpass the finite realms. We cannot attain to either pure perfection or pure peccancy. I think there are boundaries that humans are unable to transgress, to become wholly like God, and to become wholly unlike God are two extremes beyond our capacity.

The movie’s title, “Black Mass”, entails darkness on a grand scale. Currently, our country is under an enveloping Black Mass, a total darkness; and though it is not possible for a human to be pure evil, it is possible for a people and a nation to enter a state of utter disrepair. The evil of men can never be called pure, complete, or entire, for evil is only what a man can posses, it does not define him and it is never pure or complete.  

For us to live outside of the Black Mass, to break free of our evil tendencies and wicked nature, we must first lay aside prejudice and accept that all men are mortal and prone to mistakes, even capable of great evil, including ourselves. We should judge not, lest we be judged. 

It is not our place to critize or condemn the actions of others, they have been condemned already. We are free of the Black Mass through Christ and he shall judge both the quick and the dead.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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