Righteous Murder

I was lying in bed in the wee hours, trying to still my mind, or trick it into contemplating some blissful fantasy to lull myself back to sleep.

But no.

It kept coming back at me, flipping between the style of a debate or like the lyrics of a Henley song, with far more questions than answers.

As both the Health Care debate and the Sotomayer confirmation degrades back into the abortion question, I have to wonder if the zealots ever took a course in Ethics. I think I did, in High School. I’m fairly sure. In a Catholic High School, no less, in that tiny post-hippy, post ruler-smacking and pre-born again window, where they thought being hip and relevant might boost their sagging popularity. They welcomed critical thinking at that age level, even in a Catholic system. But still, short a course, who has not mentally weighed the murk of right, wrong, the greater good in any decision?

Sure, sure I can speak in black and white absolutes with the best of them, depending on my mood, my audience, my opposition and the subject matter. Truth be told? All is grey.

The core question to these subjects haunting me today really comes down to the one thing that is never discussed when abortion is the tool to make reactionaries react.

Do individuals have the right to conscientiously object to any aspect of where their tax dollars are spent? The flip? Does the Federal Government have a right to spend our tax dollars as they see fit, as elected representatives with no public input or recourse?

The path to get to that question is much more convoluted. It wanders through societal limits, personal self determination, collective punishment, vengeance, and self defense.

There are no easy answers, but I wish we could have a societal debate, as reasoned people, thinking men.


If the objection is “I don’t want my tax dollars spent on abortions,” then have I  a right to object to mine being spent in the collective retribution that is war? “Vengeance is MINE,” sayeth the Lord and all. I can even frame it their way.

I don’t want my tax dollars spent on AIG and G/S bonuses for that matter.

Wherein did the students of Christianity decide that war is Righteous Murder, and extend that from “self-defense” (an arguably just cause for killing) to preemptive killing ala the Bush Doctrine?

Where did righteous killing start, and don’t they see the broken hearts, of those left with battered bones, love ones left so all alone? Where the children pay the dues, fathers sins and tainted news, kill a man or kill them all once the seeds are sown. (ok, yeah, the lyric part was bound to slip into this, forgive me)

Do we punish a farmer for some distant neighbor’s actions, is that just? Shall his wife and children be left destitute and future-less because his religion, or political views don’t match ours? Sins of the fathers?

Can an “enemy” ever be defined further than a person trying to actively kill you in the immediate? What of tribes and clans, and invasions? Does violence ever not beget violence? Is group killing less heinous than choking someone with your bare hands? What of war against those committing atrocities, like in Darfur, Hitler’s Germany or Israel’s Gaza?


How about the fact there is a Corporate Cabal running this country that sees us less than fodder for their amassing of wealth slowly killing us, but killing us all the same? Is there justification for the actions of a “V”?? You make think yes at first blush, as often do I, but remember well there are those who see us as the ruination of this country, those who would love to kill you, Obama, or Kucinich, or anyone perceived as Liberal, and have no problem with Malia and Sasha or our kids paying the price.

When do we quit using the clubs?

They justify killing abortion doctors, a reprehensible act. I do understand their angst. I have known women who used abortion as birth control, although to most it is a tortured decision. Why should that child not have a chance, even a chance of living a life with a couple who wants them? That child, too, is paying for the sins of its parents. It is a hard ethical choice. Having even pondered that choice, how can yet more killing, a Doctor, thus the Doctor’s family becoming the default victims, even be an option? Death is only the beginning of lingering punishment for those left behind. Still.

To the abortion issue itself. Should that ethical question be only the business of the people making it? Does society have a right to decide and impose its will (mostly religious-based, not ethically based) on an individual woman? The added layer of grey that even the zealots can see is rape or incest, or the life of the mother. So they see sacrificing the life of the child for the mother sometimes. Again, a case of righteous murder for those who consider it as murder in the first place. Arbitrary justification.

So, who decides our fate? Can we make our own moral/ethical choice? Can they? Does it stop outside our bodies or in a court room? Ultimately if the argument is Religious, the Separation of Church and State covers it, PERIOD.

If the debate is to be based on Ethics, Morality or Religion, it has to be proven to me that no Murder is Righteous, thus negating my responsibility for paying for drone bombings in Afghanistan. It cannot be framed that some Murder is Righteous, and others are not, because that has been proven subjective beyond any reasonable doubt to me. Again, I have seen opponents of abortion support Capital Punishment, knowing well the margin of error has been proven by DNA testing to be wildly wrong in the past.

If the debate is to be framed on tax dollar usage, then the People must have the ability to have oversight on all governmental spending, and the capacity to vote on such.

But that raises the ugly possibility that majority rule may degrade to the prejudices of the unwashed masses. Where does individual protections begin and the peoples will meet?

Slow murder (polluting) fast murder, retributive murder, young murder, old murder, where does the insanity end?

I warned you this would be more questions than answers.

And that it was discordant and jumbled. I should have slept in longer.

The abortion debate would not be a bad debate, were it ever done in an intelligent way. It could lead to a more open, reasoned way of doing governance, one in which the absolute hypocrisy of the War society is shown, and one in which Separation of Church and State is revered, and one in which society realizes that individuals do have the right to decide for themselves what to do with their bodies.

That debate will never happen.  


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    • Diane G on July 16, 2009 at 14:37
  1. Photobucket

  2. I look at the right wings violent stance on abortion as being less of a moral decision, than a fear motivated suck up to their religion. Not so much as a reasoned response to the question of abortion as the fear that their god will damn them for some other woman’s abortion unless they do what their preacher wants them to do. And the preachers, at least a goodly proportion of them, use the abortion issue to keep their flock fired up and dropping the dollars in the plate.

    Really, really tough subject, and a stone cold subject to fall into thinking about in the early AM.

    Be well

  3. And–

    Here’s to those who are able to live with the gray rather than be arbitrary.  Living with the gray is to be open to possibilities and to believe in process.

    This reminds me of a quote from a Sister Mary Corita Kent painting:

    To believe in god is to expect miracles and to know there will be wonderful surprises.

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