Monday, May 23, 2016

“THOU SHALL NOT KILL” (Exodus 20:13)

It is respectfully but categorically addressed (“Thou”).  It is indeterminate as well as timeless (“shall”).  It is clear and categorical (“not”).  It is definite and defined (“kill”).  There could  be something wrong  in the heart or in the mind of those who do not understand such a clear, plain and simple mandate.  Those who know it yet spurns or despises it might be inebriated with power and might.  So it is to declare that these and those individuals must be killed as a matter of fact want to play god, to feel almighty, to assume divinity.  To say that such a thinking and a deciding process are dangerous and ominous, it is an understatement.

So it is that only God Himself, being the Author of life,  may and do take away the life He gave – in due time and for due cause.  The State does not give life and may neither take it away.  It’s foremost composite duty and obligation is to care for, to promote and defend life – not to do away with it.  So it is that the State should safeguard and protect life, should defend and promote life – not to depreciate it, much less do away with it.  The intrinsic significance and inherent import of life can be readily appreciated in the light of the truth that to govern means nothing less than to safeguard and enhance the whole of living mankind – irrespective of color, race and creed.  So it is that instead of more than one thousand and one laws, God in fact gave but Ten Commandments – Ten Laws, Ten Mandates – one of which is precisely “Thou shall not kill.” Reason:  Without life, what is there left to enjoy and relish, to protect and to care for, to safeguard and to defend?  In the same way, without life, delights and sorrows, smiles and tears, successes and failures, all become impertinent, irrelevant, nonsense even.

The government – not even His Highness, His Majesty, His Excellency – has no right to kill either by head chopping, by firing squad, by lethal injection, by hanging or anything the like.  The government – the President, the Commander-in-Chief, the Highest Government Official – has to render public service for the common good, not to kill.  The same Supreme Official has to promote the human right of its subordinates – rights which mean exactly nothing without life.  Needless to say, all human rights – yes, all of them – are premised on the right to life.  Without human life, all other human rights are senseless.  Absolutely no one of the said supreme, glorious, powerful government figures give life.  So it is that none of them may nether take away life from anyone.

But this in no way says that those who take the lives of others, those who violate the integrity specially of women and children, who commit crimes and other anti-social acts, should not be penalized, jailed for a time or for a lifetime even.  But the government killing them – this is not an option.  For someone to kill anyone – this is a terrible crime.  But for the government itself to kill the killer or someone the like – this is definitely a heinous act.

In other words, one thing is to have someone jailed for taking the life of another.  But it is worst when the government itself takes the life of that someone who killed another.  This makes both of them killers.  When someone thinks of himself as the defender of life as well as the promoter of death, when someone rules over the life and death of people – this is alarming, ominous, sinister.