Tuesday, August 23, 2005



When I was a boy, I must have missed the point of my Religious Instruction classes. (Religious Instruction in New York in the 1960s was when the Catholic kids were let out an hour early one day a week to go to the local Catholic school for inculcating. I always wondered if that was when the Protestant and Jewish kids were taught all the stuff I somehow never learned growing up.)

You see, I bought into all that stuff. You know. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." "Love thy neighbor." "Don't give little Timmy a swirly."

Apparently, either the Catholics are loony (well, for the sake of this post, let's assume they're not), or the difference between Protestants and Catholics is way larger than I thought.

You see, even though the Catholic and the King James bibles disagree on which number it is, I seem to recall one of the bigger commandments of the ten is "Thou shalt not kill."

And there wasn't anything conditional about it, either. There's no footnote that says "except for self-defense or in time of war or justifiable homicide or manslaughter or religious disagreement."

It's pretty straightforward, really. Don't kill.

And yet, today, as I'm logging on to check my email, here's a story saying that Pat Robertson thinks that maybe it's time to assassinate the president of Venezuela.

Now, I am thankful that I am now aware that the president of Venezuela may be as bad a person as, if not Osama bin Laden, perhaps Saddam Hussein. This is good information to know, just like it's good to know who the bad guys are anywhere.

But I would like to think that a Christian leader (as opposed to a leader who is Christian, if you grok the dichotomy) would tend to think that the word of God is more important than his own desire for murder.

It's enough to make me want to take the Lord's name in vain.

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