Many have been struck by his stoic attitude in court. In an interview after the trial, his attorney, Stephen Jones, tried to counter that image by telling how McVeigh blocked the penalty-phase testimony of a young woman from his past because she had just been married.
"Mr. McVeigh said, 'If she testified for me she'll be marked forever, I just don't want to do that to her,' " Jones said. "That's why when people ask me 'Is he evil or is he demonic?' I have to remember the things that I have seen Tim do that are very considerate of other people."
Is it possible that the same person could be capable of such evil and also deeds of consideration and kindness? Of course it is.
I believe it was Blaise Pascal who said that man is both a little lower than the angels and also the scum of the earth. This is true of each of us.
Alexander Solzenitsyn pointed to the same truth when he said, "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
Of course, this is the word of judgment that God would have us hear. The dividing line between good and evil is not between human beings but within each human heart. Tim McVeigh is a mystery, but no less a mystery than you and I.
©1997C. David Hess