“I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me. But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.” – Rosamund Lupton, Sister
|Damn the guilt
Thou shalt not. When I went to church, that’s what I heard. Being a young man and given to many troubles, I struggled with my love for God while bearing the guilt of “thou shalt not”. Looking at the rigorous laws imposed on me by religion, I saw a weakness in their application.
Thou shalt not Lie. Really? I’ll lie till my tongue twists in my head to save you from harm. A man breaks into your house, your wife and kids hide, he asks you, “Where are they?”. OK religious man, you who impose on me your guilt ridden laws, speak up! Tell that man where your family is so he can kill them, or do worse. I laugh at your law now, you should lie!
Thou shalt not kill. Really? Do you know that your freedom to worship rests on the blood of many honorable and/or religious men who laid their lives on the line and killed to give you the choice to intellectually subject me to your guilt ridden standards. You should kill to protect your family, your nation, your freedom. I can go on and show that for every “thou shalt not” there is a circumstance in life that dictates you should.
Double standard? No, I see a higher standard. Wisdom is skillfully applied knowledge, knowing the rule isn’t good enough for practice of the same. Obviously we shouldn’t live on lies, killing people at whim. Here is wisdom, for every spiritual principle, “thou shalt not lie”, “thou shalt not kill”, there lies a spiritual application. If you maintain your hardened religious attitude and refuse to consider that every application of knowledge requires wisdom, guilt and confusion will be your companions for life. Taking the general principles of honesty and respect for life, I spiritually apply them. I‘m at a loss for the answers to this dilemma, however, know that I’ll lie to keep you safe, and I’ll kill to protect my friends, family, and nation. Understand the inherent weakness of rules and consider the full course of your beliefs before imposing them on me.