Posted: July 23, 2014 in Current Events

Let’s create a hypothetical situation.

I live in a community of homes where many of the people around me hate me and want me to move away. I’m not going anywhere. I was born in this house and I’m not allowing anyone to force me to leave my home. Many of my friends outside of the community understand this and support me.

I have a particular problem with one neighbor who lives in the cottage on the edge of my property. It’s actually kind of my property, but there’s some dispute about that, so things are a little awkward. Like the others in the neighborhood, this guy hates and resents me. He’s got a 22 rifle and likes to take pot shots at my home. (I’ve got an assault rifle and a shotgun.) Most of the time he doesn’t do any real damage, but only because I’ve installed special security. He is a real threat though, destroying property, causing considerable anxiety and he even killed my dog and wounded one of my children. I worry about my own kids and pets when they are outside. If he starts shooting, I have to call them inside right away. It is actually quite harrowing and threatening.

Calling the police doesn’t help as they say they can’t do anything about it other than talk to him. I’m told I should make peace with him, but that doesn’t seem to get me anywhere. His hatred is pretty deeply rooted and is encouraged by the other neighbors, -who otherwise won’t have much to do with him. They also have cottages on their land, and could let this guy move into one to get away from me, but they don’t.

So once in a while it is necessary for me to defend myself by forcing my way onto his property and taking his ammunition. He gets new ammunition from his friends in the neighborhood, but I get ammunition from my friends outside of the neighborhood.   My friends understand my need to protect myself, and are even willing to help me do it.

When I invade his property to destroy or capture his ammunition, he does something very distasteful and evil. He protects it by shielding it with his children. He obviously does not value the lives of his children by putting them in harm’s way like that. But I have to defend myself, so I shoot the children anyway in order to capture his ammunition. I have no choice. And even though he knows I’m going to shoot them, he continues to use his children as a shield each time I come to get his ammunition. So I continue to shoot them. What else can I do? I care about my children. It is his fault for using his children that way, and it proves that he does not care about them.

But for some reason, a number of my friends outside of the neighborhood are telling me that it is wrong to shoot kids. I don’t understand. What’s the alternative? He’s the monster, not me. If he cared about his children I wouldn’t have to shoot them.

And it is unfair for those other people to single me out like that! They make a big deal about me shooting this guy’s children, but they don’t talk about all the other crime and child abuse in my neighborhood! They just criticize me!

So I get angry at the people outside of the neighborhood who are criticizing me. And for some reason, now I have fewer friends. It’s not fair.

  1. pwiinholt says:

    I have to say that, after having reviewed a lot more information about this issue, and having discussed it extensively with some of my Jewish friends, I would want to rewrite this parable to make it a more accurate analogy. I’m not sure how much the bottom line would change though.

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