Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Idolatry and State-Sanctioned Murder (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg disagrees with his parents on whether people should kill others simply because their rulers tells them to. An excerpt:

After mother had insisted that there is a secret "you may kill for your government" codicil to the Sixth Commandment, I inserted myself into the conversation as gently as I could.

"What I've taught the kids," I said in a conversational tone, "is that the only time God permits us to kill would be a circumstance in which refusing to kill might result in the death of an innocent person for whom we have legitimate responsibility. In a case of that kind, I'm actually required to kill. For instance, if someone directly threatened my family, I would not only be allowed to kill the assailant, but actually would bear the bloodguilt of my family if I didn't use lethal force to defend them."

Mom and Dad nodded distractedly, but it was obvious that my clarification didn't sit well with them. After all, the principle I adumbrated would mean that Iraqis are morally entitled to kill American soldiers who break into their homes and threaten their families.

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