Saturday, December 03, 2005

Killing is blasphemy: Only God can take a human life

When I was young, adventurous and still willing to sleep in hostels and live on french bread, I went to Florence, Italy -- hitchhiked there from Paris with a very cute International Herald-Tribune newsboy named Trig -- and visited the Duomo, a magnificent Renaissance cathedral that would knock your eye out with its glory and lush decoration.

As I stood there in the center of the church, I was totally overwhelmed. The church's massive and intricate design created within me such a feeling of God's power and awe that I was absolutely dumbstruck. Then it occurred to me. "This effect of awe was created deliberately. The church's architects really put in an effort to make this place overwhelming and to make the power of God seem HUGE." Now why would they do that? Wouldn't they want to do the opposite and make God seem to want to be my savior, companion and friend?

"I bet you anything," replied the scholar/tourist next to me, "that they did it because they were trying to prove a point -- that if God was so all-powerful and yet could stoop so low as to notice the likes of the people who built this cathedral, then the people He noticed must be God-like too." Aha. This cathedral was an ego trip!

I immediately went outside and, like St. Francis of Assisi, began looking for God in the sun, the moon and the stars instead.

I am afraid that modern man is following in the footsteps of the egotists of the Renaissance. I bet they are thinking, "Only God can create a man, true, but if WE have the power to destroy God's ultimate creation, then we must be on a par with God too." No. That's blasphemous. Only God -- or Allah or Yahweh or the Great Spirit or the Tao or string theory or whatever one chooses to call the magnificent power that holds the universe together -- can destroy what only God can create.

Whether one kills by dropping bombs upon people one cannot see from 30,000 feet in the air or whether one kills in the heat of battle or whether one kills while committing a violent crime or when giving a fatal injection to a prisoner on death row, taking another human life is the ultimate blasphemy.

With regard to Stanley Tookie Williams III, who is scheduled to be snuffed by the State of California on December 13, 2005, the same thing holds true. Did he commit the cold-blooded murders that he was accused of? He says that he didn't. But as a lawyer I know once told me, "I gave up practicing criminal law because I got tired of having my clients lie to me." But it doesn't MATTER if Williams committed the crime or not. It doesn't even matter that he has redeemed himself in prison by doing good works. What matters is this: To kill this man is to commit the ultimate blasphemy against the Master of the Universe -- to pretend to be God also.

That's just WRONG.

And God don't like ugly.

PS: These are interesting times that we live in and Judgment Day is on its way -- finally! But it ain't the Armageddon that the fundamentalists thought it would be. Instead, there is gonna be some serious Final Reckoning in Washington DC. The ACLU is calling the CIA to account. Rep. Murtha is finally asking questions on the floor of Congress about the "War on Iraq" scandals. And Americans who have been silent as the tomb up until now are finally waking up from their deadly stupor and demanding the truth about WMD lies, corporate welfare scams, Bush bureaucracy Swiss bank accounts, in-your-face electronic voting fraud, FEMA inefficiency, missing Halliburton/Iraq billions, the demise of our education system and the fine art of feeding our brave troops to the shredder for fun and profit.

People are FINALLY starting to sit up and look around to see whose fingers are in the cookie jar.

And the best thing about this new Final Reckoning to put an end to government corruption is that Americans are staging this much-needed revolution in an orderly and democratic fashion. Whew. I'm a bit old to be taking to the streets.