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60: Thou shalt not kill/Murder

When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and delivered God’s ten commandments to the children of Israel, he found them worshipping a golden idol. Angered at their disrespect of God, he smashed the stone tablets God had given him (though God saw fit to reinstate a new set later).

One of those commandments was “Thou shalt not murder,” “murder” rather than “kill” being the preferred Jewish translation of the original Hebrew word. This commandment is not one our nation seems to keep, as indicated by the 201 mass murders we’ve experienced in the last five months. 201! We ought to be enraged enough to smash something ourselves! Perhaps the NRA? Maybe white supremacists whose wacky ideology has caused hate and many of these murders?

Are we really o.k. with the fact that 45,222 gun-related deaths occurred in 2020 (CDC statistic)? Or that while required to attend school, young children were slaughtered? As were high school students, church-goers, synagogue worshippers, theater attendees, grocery-shoppers, and so many more just going about their ordinary lives. According to a BBC article: “Firearms deaths have become even more of a fixture in American life, with the 1.5 million that took place between 1968 and 2017 higher than the number of soldiers killed in every US conflict since the American War for Independence in 1775.”

Murder is outrageous, absurd, a farce (farce in its less popular meaning of having no rational relationship to human life) and a horrendous waste of human capacity. Every individual has the privilege and right to live, to contribute to society. Nothing in a democracy gives one person the right to eliminate another human being.

Slightly over half of us want stricter gun legislation. We have lawmakers capable of writing laws to prevent and punish murder but they don’t–even though many citizens write, phone, protest, and beg for change. What is wrong with us?

Is it social media? Film and video violence? Lack of mental health awareness? Prejudice and hatred uncontrolled?  Where are those “pro-lifers,” so eager to save fetuses, when it comes to saving existing human beings? Why aren’t they fighting for gun legislation, better mental health, and improved social conditions for people of all colors and creeds? Why aren’t they vigorously defying hate groups? Ought we not value and care for the people born before we worry about the unborn?

We cannot, as a society, honestly obey this commandment, “Thou shalt not kill/murder,” until first in our hearts and actions, we learn to love everyone compassionately.

Facing the Ghastly Farce, 24" x 24", oil, $875 by Gwendolyn Evans

Facing the Ghastly Farce, 24″ x 24″, oil, $875 by Gwendolyn Evans

ARTWORK Facing the Ghastly Farce, 24″ x 24″, oil, $875.  This oil was part of a series of 9 abstracts I painted about fifteen years ago, each painting expressing a unique theme unrelated to the others, but all dealing in the spiritual.  Among them were Sailing Away and Chi Ground and Meditation Beside a Waterfall and this one. Many sold. This one refers to the farce humans face in the incongruity of material existence, given our spiritual heritage as Spirit’s offspring.

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