23 "Let me give you an example," the Spirit of his brother replied. "Say, a king defeats another king in battle, and the gates of the defeated king's city lay open to the conqueror.
24 And the conquering king says, 'Go into the city and plunder it. Kill all the old men and women, the lame and the crippled. The women and the girls and the young boys are yours to do with as you will. The men we will sell as slaves.'
25 Now the four leaders of the king's soldiers go into the city and do as he bids, and the group leaders under them, also, and all the regular solddiers. Now each soldier kills ten people, forces himself on five women and girls. Now tell me, who is to blame?"
26 "Why, the king," The Old Fox said. "He is responsible for the eight-thousand dead. It is his responsibility. He gave the order. His is the blame."
27 "True," agreed his brother, "but not all of his blame. His leaders participated in his evil so each of them is responsible for two- thousand dead, and each of the group leaders is responsible for five-hundred dead. While each of the soldiers are responsible for ten dead."
28 "But I do not understand," The Old Fox questioned, "it was the king that gave the order; the king that did the wrong."
29 "But the wrong could not have been done," his brother told him, "if those under the king had not obeyed him. Now, the soldiers were justified perhaps, to the riches of the city, provided it was their kingdom that was originally attacked, but no king has the right to order the slaughter of the innocent. And if those under him follow such orders, they'd bear their share of the guilt. True, the king bears the entire guilt, but each individual also bears the guilt of their responsibility."
30 "This is such an incredible thing!" The Old Fox exclaimed. "Never have I heard anything like this before. Is not a king always right? Is not a king always to be obeyed?"
31 "When a king is just," his brother told him, "fair and good, he is to be obeyed. But when he says 'kill because I feel like seeing blood,' then he must be disobeyed. Even a king must be just. It is the duty of his people to obey him when he does right. It is just as much their duty to oppose him when he does wrong. For if they do evil even in the king's name, they will pay the price of this evil."
32 "My brother," inquired The Old Fox, "you say we must never strike the first blow in battle. Does that mean that when our enemy enters our land we must wait for him to attack us?"
33 "No," his brother answered, "if an enemy brings an army into your land, it is for one purpose...to do you harm. Once he passes between your boundary markers, you may attack him at will, using whatever means at your disposal. You may answer force with force, but remember the Teaching....only enough force to defend ourselves. There shall be no torture of prisoners among our people. Such is not The Way of The Lords."
34 "You have said," The Old Fox continued, "that we must kill only when it is necessary to kill, yet you say also, that we must kill a murderer. How can life be precious to us if we take life? Would we not be the same as the murderer?"
35 "My brother," the Spirit answered, "there is a vast difference between murder and execution. The murderer murders for gain. The people execute for justice and mercy. What is the alternative to execution...selling into slavery as some of our neighbors do, or, locking a person in a cell for the rest of their lives? For this is what you would have to do with a murderer if you did not execute him, and such is not merciful, nor is it just.
36 If a person has taken a life they would take a life again; even if they swore by The Lords they would not. It could not be trusted that they would keep their word. No, it is better to return such to The Lords, give them just and quick punishment. They will be born again and this time learn the just way to live."
37 And when The Old Fox awoke, he wrote all the things that his brother had taught him on parchment so that he could share them with the people.
Go To The Next Page
Return To The Links Page