Killers and Why They Kill: An impossible task

Religions, whichever one you subscribe to, all renounce killing, except in certain cases. For some, their interpretation of religious texts permits them to kill for reasons the rest of us find abhorrent and one has to wonder who originally wrote

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those texts. Some say it is the word of God, but I for one doubt that God embodies the qualities of human frailty that condones killing. For me, God is above that and that’s the reason we call this entity God.

I leave your curiosity to the sage writing of religious scholars such as Elaine Pagels or Bart Ehrman who have produced prodigious books and articles on the topic of religious writings, translation and interpretation.

I wonder how many of the current practitioners and proponents of killing actually can read the ancient texts in their original language. I wonder superficially if the minister who recently suggested that gays be put up against a wall and murdered

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because that was the right, religious thing to do can read any ancient languages in the original. Can he read an ancient text? I suspect he and others rely on regurgitation of the writings of others who had their own motivations for interpretation and they bring their bias to bear under the cloak of religion. Atheists, too, abhor killing as do those who see this type of violence as against all that is good and human in us.

But killing continues and we wonder why when it happens not in a religious context, but when it’s a club, a school, a movie theatre or a mall. Why kill? Because words are not enough to begin a dialog to resolve differences? Kill to end the discussion and avoid any suggestion that you’re wrong or that you need to rethink your thoughts and deeds? Killing as an answer? Killing as a response to some paranoid ideation you’re experiencing and that has not been detected for remediation? Killing as a sign of power over life and death? Killing to bolster your self-esteem in a world that seems to belittle you?

The profilers and the mental health experts and everyone along the way who feels they have a contribution to the answer is rife these days. All of them may be wrong, but they will continue to garner their four minutes in the spotlight of fame which builds their resumes for work. How do they know they are right? There is no way to know no matter who you are or what work you’ve done or what education you’ve managed to rack up in your life. Killing can remain a mystery.

We will continue to ask the eternal question: Why? And no satisfactory answer will respond to that calling out for solace. It will continue as long as we make the means available for diabolical actions against innocents.

Instead of asking “why?” we should be looking at how and when and turning our attention to answers not from “experts” but from the humanity in all of us. We know some of the answers, but those who can help us in this effort have refused to act. They fear they won’t get to stay in their positions of power, garner the perks of those offices and feel mightier than the rest of us, even though they do have feet of clay.

Don’t cry out in the wilderness as it were. Act in the voting booth because that is your assault weapon, your bombs, your power. Pull the lever, push the button and

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begin to act in a more powerful way. We all have the means if we choose to use them and now we must because the killing has become overwhelming and the blood has soaked onto too many floors.

Blood is the closest we come to our mortality, how can we allow it to be so casually spent to keep stock prices high, guns in stores and undertakers in business?

Written by

Dr. Farrell is a psychologist, WebMD consultant, SAG/AFTRA member, author, interested in film, writing & health. Website:

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