The Sixth Commandment

This is a local, non-scientific observation.

I’ve been attending church lately, not because I’m a believer, but because others do. The people I’m concerned with suffer from various illnesses that make attending church in person too tricky. While I put little stock in the theologies of any religion, I respect these persons’ rights to believe in one. And so, I take them to church without judgment directed at my religious wards. It’s this older man’s volunteer activity.

The churches I’ve attended deliver as expected, but as I listen to their preachers, I notice a quiet on the topic of murder. Sometimes, there’s a general prayer for those who die in the random murders committed in gun-wielding countries (part of their thoughts and prayers scripts) or for others who serve and sacrifice as soldiers on their nation’s team, but never a passionate call for peace. From what I’ve seen, church passions appear to be reserved for the fierce rebukes aimed at those who would commit abortion, too often sidestepping women’s rights to label doctors and others as conspirators to murder, if not murderers themselves. But beyond that, I’ve yet to hear a preacher address the sixth commandment in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions.

With everything from threats of nuclear annihilation to the obliteration of huge swaths of humanity in Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the near-daily broadcasts of local shootings, why are sermons on murder so scarce? Where in any of the churches is there the passion of a Clare Daly? Why is there no discourse on murder’s consequences – from lives needlessly lost to the inevitable growth of a hate industry? Where are the rabbis, priests, and imams who need to speak out in any capacity other than insisting that their god is on their side?

If ever there is to be a peace movement applied to the planet’s humanity, I would have thought the churches would be front and centre. Perhaps I keep missing that sermon.