Snyder, George L Snyder, Lenore Snyder, God, ethics, morals, religion

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II

An Insult to God

            You have said something that is so terribly wrong that you deserve death. You blasphemed against God. You blasphemed against God’s Word. You have done something that deserves only death. It is my duty to God to kill you. You have committed such evil, that the only honor is through your death. You cannot be allowed to live.

And, God speaks to me:

          “Take those books you believe are My word and strike from the pages all references that indicate to you that you should perform any act of violence. Those are not My words!

            Wait! - - - Read that again.

Are we to remove things from the Bible?

Are we to remove things from the Qur’an?

Are we to remove things from the laws of our land?

            Look at the places in the Bible (and the Qur’an) where it is claimed that you should kill all the others, the nonbelieiver, the evil ones. Look at the history of the people and see where intolerance was practiced against the perceived enemies. Think of Joshua taking the promised land. Think of the inquisitions. Think of the crusades. These are all times when those people were strong. These are the times in history when others were weak.

            Then look at the times when God tells us to forgive. Look at the times when those people were weak. Jesus was a Jew during a time when the Jews were a conquered people. They had no power even in their own land. It is then that love is preached. It is then that acceptance is preached. Was Jesus sent at that time because that message was what we needed to have? Should the message of love and peace have priority over the message of hate and war?

            Does God give a different message to strong people, different from what he gives to weak people? I believe that those are the words of the writers. After all they had to justify killing when it seemed killing was appropriate. They had to justify capitulating when it was necessary for the people to survive. They had to justify killing when they had already received the command to not kill. I am sure Joshua saw the stone tablet with the word of God on it that said that you should not kill. Yet he claimed that God gave him a message to kill everyone in order to go into the promised land. I do not believe that message came from God.

            How about that! Again I was not struck by lightening.

            The Chinese had been writing their history to justify the actions of their leaders hundreds of years before Moses. What makes you think the Jewish historians were any different?

            Why do some people think they need to kill those who they believe do not follow God? Why do you not follow God’s command to love? If you do not follow God’s command to love, then perhaps you need to be killed.

            We should only kill those who truly deserve death. Reserve the death penalty for those who have committed the most horrible crimes. Some of these crimes cannot have been committed by a human. These are not humans who do them. They are monsters. They are not God’s creations. They are creations of Satan! We need to remove them from our society. We need to remove them from the face of the earth. They have no soul. They have already forfeited their souls.


            We do kill a rabid dog.

And God speaks to me:

            “Do not kill.

          Which of those three words are you having trouble with?

            People are not dogs.

            And, the elephant is like a wall. It blocks my path.

            I do believe that some people must be removed from society so they cannot harm again. I do believe we have a responsibility to protect other members of our society who are innocent.

            It would have been easier if I could have heard the word: ‘except’ in God’s words to me. My own mind keeps saying ‘except’ but I don’t think that comes from God. If I want to be honest with myself, I have to admit that it is my own desire to say ‘except.’

            In the Qur’an there is a statement that the taking of a single life is no less serious than the destruction of the world.                                                                      Qur’an 5:32

            There is no such thing as an honor killing. Any killing removes honor from your soul.

I do not hate the ones I kill

I do not love the ones I save

I only know it is God’s will

This is the word, to me God gave

            How do you see this elephant? This may be a redundant chapter, but what drove me to bring up the subject of violence against God’s creations again? Why is it so important to me? Is it important to you? I think it should be.

            What qualifications do you put on God’s Word?

            Where do you put the word ‘except?’

            Do you perhaps ignore part of God’s word using another part of God’s word to justify corrupting God’s word?

            Should we say that it is wrong to kill if they are strong? Or, their friends and allies will come back and kill you? Should we say that it is OK if they are weak and have no friends or allies that will come back and kill you? In other words, kill only if you can get away with it? That kind of attitude is amoral. That kind of attitude is not the attitude that you can have if you worship the God of love and peace.

            That kind of attitude is appropriate only if you worship the god of hate and war.

And God speaks to me:

          “Love all creation.

          Which of those three words are you having trouble with?

            As I was writing and editing and reediting this chapter, my faith changed. My faith grew. It is my hope that your faith grows too. Has your view of the elephant changed?

            Actually, the commandment as written in Hebrew should be more accurately translated as:

            Do not commit manslaughter/murder.

            But I prefer the stronger, simpler, harsher, more definite, more limiting, more encompassing:

            Do not kill.

            Of course, Jesus carried it even farther. He said that we should not even hate.

            Love your enemy.

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