what would you do? In Genesis, Abrham (before he was promoted to Abraham) was commanded to kill his son, and he would have. Of course there's much commentary about what the anecdote means and whether or not it was an actual event. In reality, to replicate the deed in modern times would probably cause you to lose custody, at the very least. Saying God told you to do it would probably entitle you to an insanity plea at best.
Again, the confirmation bias lures people into believing what they want to believe. Even in science, it's not uncommon for both sides of an argument can be confirmed or rejected, and it's to the author's advantage to spread their beliefs to like-minded people.
You said in another thread that you love animals but would never allow your children near a wolf. You have a beliefs that are different from mine and it would be hard to convince you otherwise without significant experience and proof that they are not killers that will turn on humans at the drop of a dime. So, we are at a stand-still.
Just the same, I see no reason to waste energy to get people to change political parties or agree or disagree with the government at hand. I can only present what I see and have experienced first-hand in the health care system, and in the spoils of war left in veteran's and children's hospitals rehabilitating the mentally and physically wounded on both sides.
But as with ALL writers, I'm preaching to a choir of people who share my belief system whether it comes from a higher power, my parents, or social environment.
Great question, Jeff! There is an interesting discussion about how to discern the voice of God in one of Rabbi Harold Kushner's many excellent books, Living a Life that Matters. In it, he shares a story that helps us distinguish God's voice from "your own thoughts disguising themselves as the Word of God:"
Some years ago, one of Great Britain's leading Jewish intellectuals was being considered for the position of Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth when rumors arose that he was not quite solid enough in his religious faith. An extremely conservative member of the selection committee called him in, opened the Bible to chapter 15 of 1 Samuel, and read Samuel's words to King Saul: "Thus said the Lord of Hosts . . . Attack Amalek, kill the men and women, infants and children, oxen and sheep, sparing no one." The committee member then said to the candidate," That's in the Bible. Do you believe that God said it to Samuel?" The candidate answered, "I believe that Samuel heard it, but I don't believe that God said it." The authentic voice of God would demand that we be more compassionate and less cruel, that we show more reverence for innocent lives. God always asks more of us, not less. p.96.
I'd read Kushner's book many years ago but had forgotten this story until it was repeated by my Catholic pastor in a recent sermon. So I am now reading his book again and highly recommend it to anyone interested in questions like this one. As a spiritual director, I'm often asked about how to discern God's voice. My response is similar to the advice given by Sharon Lindenburger in a previous discussion of discernment in these groups, where she mentions the Jesuit process of discernment. (to learn more about this process, see James Martin, SJ's book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.) One of the easiest ways to determine if something is from God is to identify what are the 'fruits' or potential "fruits" of an act: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness" (Galatians 5:22). Using this simple process, a command to kill someone, just as Rabbi Kushner concludes, is not the voice of God.