Here is an excerpt from my new book, Rise, Kill and Eat: A Theology of Hunting from Genesis to Revelation:
I wish I had a new gun for every time I’ve had an anti-hunter who (more often than not) is also an agnostic or an atheist, quote to me the sixth commandment, namely “Thou shall not kill”, as a proof text against my God-blessed pursuit of hunting.
If I had a new gun, per misquote, from the desperate bunny lovers, then my battery would make Mark Muller’s arsenal look like Ed Bagley, Jr’s, because, OMG, do they toss that verse around like a drunken dwarf at a Kid Rock concert.
Now, before I examine the verse the anti-hunters fling about the most as an “ah-ha”, gotcha proof text that “God’s against hunting”, let me ask my anti-hunting, pro-choice lovelies this question: how come you wizards don’t play this card when talking about snuffing out the life of an unborn baby?
I hear you caterwaul about how wrong it is to make an omelet out of a whooping crane’s eggs, but I don’t hear you say squat about killing a helpless, defenseless baby in its mother’s womb. You make the connection that an unborn whooping crane in an egg is a baby whooping crane but not so much with an unborn child in its mother’s womb. What gives?
Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot. It’s not yet a baby; it’s a “fetus.” Unless, of course, it’s William and Kate’s “Royal” baby, then it’s a baby and not a fetus. Everyone else has fetuses, and when they call it a fetus versus a baby, then according to the progressives, you may, while it is in its mother’s womb, crack its skull and suck its brain through a vacuum cleaner fitted with razor blades. My, how consistent you are with your interpretation and application of article Seis of the Decalogue. You go, girl!
Now, without further ado, herewith is my ham-fisted approach to the oft ill-quoted sixth comment in Moses’ top ten list of do’s and don’ts from Jehovah.
“Thou Shall Not Kill” – Exodus 20:13
If this commandment literally meant thou shall not kill anything, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, then God would be in deep weeds because, in the OT, he ordered animal sacrifices for sins; and in the OT and NT, just wars against evil enemies (Rom.13:1-3).
Also, if all killing is forbidden then Jesus could not be our savior because he facilitated the killing of fish by the hundreds (Jn.21:11) and ate the “murdered” meat. As Christians, we’d be screwed salvifically, if that were true, because atonement had to come from a sinless sacrifice. Right? Right.
“Thou shall not kill” does not mean kill per se, but thou shalt not murder. If you Google the sixth commandment like I did, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Lover, you quickly see that a stack of Hebrew scholars from time immemorial translate the word “kill” as “thou not shall not murder” or kill unlawfully.
What the sixth commandment condemns is the intentional killing of another person. This passage is not talking about the uprooting and eating of a “murdered” carrot or the legal and ethical shooting of a deer, but the intentional snuffing out of a human life as in a premeditated murder, a sudden fit of rage, or in an unjust war, or abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, genocide and suicide.