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”Thou shalt not kill.”

To whom does this apply? Who gets to decide? Who gets a reprieve?

Is it the people who want to eliminate abortion, but at the same time condone and support capital punishment? Is it the woman who chooses to have an abortion? Is it the prison authorities in California who, when asked whether they would honor Clarence Ray Allen’s request to be allowed to die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, said they would not honor the request. Why?

” ‘At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life,’ prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon said. ‘We would resuscitate him,’ then execute him.” (Quote from an article by Don Thompson of the Associated Press)

Does it apply to any president, monarch, prime minister, Indian chief, etc., who sends soldiers into battle? Or the 18-year-old soldier who kills a fellow 18-year-old because he wears a different uniform? Or the terrorist who blows himself up on a bus of innocent victims? The anguished person who takes his own life? The insecure, threatened guys in the white sheets who ambush a young black person for whistling at a white woman?

Who gets to decide what God meant by that simple commandment? I admit I’m confused.

Out of the mouths of babes…

Well, the season is once again upon us. At least for me anyway and no, it’s not the holidays or spring break or anything else like that. No, it’s that time of year to start accompanying my kid from house to house selling those perennial favorites; those mouth watering can’t resist snacks known as Girl Scout Cookies.

I never been much of salesman and just the thought of doing something along those lines for a living is enough to make me want to give up the ghost and head for greener pastures. There is one thing that I’ve heard though and that’s the old saying “Location, location, location.” We weren’t about to sit outside the local grocery store freezing our you know what’s off and taking no or “I already got some” for an answer.

With that in mind I took my kid to my local watering hole figuring we’d cash in on some of the regulars and be on our way.

It was a relatively slow night and we hung around for about an hour or two, me nursing beers and her keeping a wary eye on the door any potential customers. When all was said and done, she had unloaded another forty seven or so boxes and we made our way home.

”Dad, can I call mom?”

Sure honey, go ahead.”

And so I sat in my recliner with my feet kicked back with one ear on the tube and the other catching snippets of the phone conversation that was going on. I don’t consider that sort of thing eavesdropping since there was nothing really of a personal nature being discussed, had there of been, I would have left the room.

Anyway, towards the end of the conversation, they must have been talking about the latest cookie drive when I heard my darling little one say:

”Yeah mom, I sold another forty seven boxes at PJ’s and there were hardly any of the regulars even there!”

I was waiting for the inevitable “Let me speak to your father” to come from the other end of the phone but it never did. I guess by now, she realizes that some of the folks at the bar have become part of our little “extended family” and that for the most part, we’re all good, hard working, law abiding citizens who would bend over backwards for someone if the need arose.

Truth be told, when I heard her say it, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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