The Jewish New Year celebration underway is marked by the final Torah passage of the year. This reading completes the annual Torah cycle from the beginning of Genesis to the passing of Moses’ leadership to Joshua at the end of the Book of Deuteronomy.

One passage from Deuteronomy chapter 30 is worth noting; worth remembering. Whether Christian or Jew or unbeliever:

15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

Choose life and live. Choose death and die. The jihadis choose death; they will die. If not at our hand, their souls will perish in God’s final judgment. Those who knowingly kill unborn children also choose death. Their souls, absent repentance, also will die in God’s final judgment.

Sound harsh? Am I wanting to kill those who are in favor of abortion? No. And that’s the whole point of choosing life: human life is a gift from God, and is not ours to end at a whim or over differences in belief. I repeat: the final judgment belongs to God, not to me, not to thee.

What about capital punishment? Aren’t a lot of so-called Christian conservatives being hypocritical when they oppose abortion but support capital punishment? I am myself against capital punishment, but I understand the difference between putting a killer to death and killing a totally innocent unborn child.

The key word is “innocent.” I would still reserve the final judgment for God, and as long as a convicted murderer is kept away from us, let him live in confinement. But as for the innocents, the unborn? That is murder, as well. Legal murder, but murder nonetheless. That something is legal does not always mean it is moral or the right thing to do.

Choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

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