I thought I would share with you a letter I wrote to my local paper. Several people have written in lately quoting the commandment "thou shalt not kill" and calling those who support the war hypocrites, violating the commandment. In response to this I wrote the following:
Many see conflict of hypocrisy in accepting the commandment "thou shalt not kill" and the support of a war, however just.
There is no conflict here. The word "kill" in "thou shalt not kill" comes from the Hebrew RATSACH, which basically applies to murder and is not used in relation to death pertaining to war. The word used for capital punishment and death in war is MUWTH. There is no commandment against MUWTH, but is instead commanded in certain circumstances.
In fact the Bible decrees, "The murderer (from RATSACH) shall surely be put to death (MUWTH)" Num 35:18 To put a murderer to death is not murder (RATSACH), but a justified execution (MUWTH).
The Bible does not condemn war but approves when considered just. Moses was commanded to go to war against the Canaanites and even of Jesus it is written "In righteousness does he judge and make war." Rev 19:10
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are both just wars, for the end result, if successful, will be the liberation of 50 million people. Liberty is of more value to the wise than temporary life in the physical body.
Live as you will have wished to have lived when you are dying. Christian Furchtegott Gellert
Copyright 2004 by J J Dewey