Friday, June 1, 2012

[Pagan Blog Project] K is for Killing

“Thou Shalt Not Kill.” 

Just one of ten commandments, but no doubt.  It was all so easy before I became pagan.  The rules were clearly spelled out and simple.  Do this, don’t do this, do this this way, and don’t do this at all, ever. Maybe it’s because I grew up, quite literally from birth, with them.  Maybe it’s because the Catholic Church, at least at the time, preferred you didn’t think overmuch about them.  Maybe it’s just because they wanted everything just so.  It doesn’t matter why, what is important is that I in fact didn’t have to think, I just had to do (or not do, as the case may be) what I was told.

“An’ it harm none, do as ye wilt.”

Eight words, the whole of the law, and true free will.  But is it easy?  Not always.  Do you have to think?  Almost always.  Do you have to weigh and consider and agonize?  Occasionally.  Do you have to decide for yourself?  Each and every time.

Perhaps most basically, and most difficulty, is what is meant by harm?  To kill, to steal from, to physically injure or assault—those are easy, usually.  But what about taking a job when other people need it, too?  Or killing someone in order to defend myself or someone I love?  What about a helpless stranger?  The questions go on and on and can twist and turn and confuse and tangle.  But from this starting base, every action springs.  The point is, you must consider each step, each word, and you must decide for yourself what an acceptable amount of harm is.  No one is going to make that decision for you.

The real question is would you want anyone to do so? 

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