Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Murder, war, and The Bible

The Bible tells us, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'. I have been told on more than one occasion that the more direct translation is, 'Thou Shalt Not Murder', which is a significantly different word with vastly different meaning than the first. It allows for killing in self defense, in war, and other situations as well.

It is because of that difference, that I have started to think that Mafia style gang wars do not qualify as murder in a Biblical sense. When these laws were written on the stone tablets, groups as small as families and tribes and as large as nations would go to war with each other. If families back then could go to war with each other, can no families today also go to war with each other? I submit that war was accepted as being a declaration of armed hostilities between two recognizable groups, and that functions of violence between them would not amount to murderous behavior. To commute that to modern terms, the current day crime organizations account as a confederation of people that can in fact declare war against each other and also act as a small scale governing body for the members. Furthermore, they can be said to be at war with our current government, as they have differing goals and are regularly in direct conflict with one another.

So, is a gangland killing a murder? I don't think it is in a Biblical sense, though it almost certainly is in a legal sense.



Anonymous Natala said...

Thanks for writing this.

9:05 PM  

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