Surely we have here the winner of the “Stupidest Statement of the Year” contest. While many other contenders could be mentioned, this remark has to take the prize. And the fact that it comes from a politician should surprise no one. Even less surprising is the fact that it comes from an Australian Greens politician.
It not only must be one of the more silly statements uttered in recent times, but it betrays a completely bewildered mind and a morally bankrupt ideology. The context for the remark is this: Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn has just called for the death penalty for drug lords.
Predictably the Greens went apoplectic about such a suggestion – one that sounds quite sensible to me. Consider what Greens MP Colleen Hartland said about the call: “I don’t support any form of state-sanctioned murder, no matter what the crime.”
Sorry, but could you repeat that for me Colleen? “I don’t support any form of state-sanctioned murder”. You don’t? Are you sure about that? Then please explain to me what you call your – and your party’s – support for legal abortion. It seems to me that this comes awfully close to “state-sanctioned murder”.
Here we have the most pro-death political party in the nation going schizoid over the issue of death. Can someone please clarify this for me? The Greens are 100 per cent in favour of death – certainly in the forms of abortion and euthanasia. But here they want nothing to do with it. Green schizophrenia seems to know no bounds.
It seems that the Greens position runs something like this: ‘We fully support the killing of unborn babies, the elderly, the infirm, and anyone who wants an easy way out. Yet we will fight to the death – no pun intended – for the right to life of drug lords who peddle their poison to the rest of society, causing untold misery and death”.
No wonder so many people can only scratch their heads when they hear the phrase, ‘Australian Greens’. This has got to be the most morally vacuous and intellectual defective political party to have ever blighted the Australian political landscape.
Back to school
Not only are the double standards and the hypocrisy of the Greens absolutely reprehensible, but they must also be taken to task for failing to realise the most basic and simple of truths. But this has never been a strong point for the Greens.
So let me explain this to them in really simply terms. Any second grader can pull out a dictionary and discover a most basic distinction between two terms. Why the Greens cannot grasp this elementary distinction is beyond me. The two terms in question are ‘killing’ and ‘murder’.
Very simply, while every murder involves killing, not every killing is murder. This is so very basic I have to wonder why I have to state the obvious. But for the Greens I guess we must take things real slowly and real carefully. So let me develop this distinction a bit further.
Murder, as any law court knows, or any dictionary can inform us, has to do with the intentional killing of any innocent person. That is why murder is illegal, because it is always wrong to deliberately snuff out the life of an innocent person. But of course there are plenty of cases of killing which are not murder.
There is justified killing in other words. Such killing is neither immoral, nor – normally – illegal. The obvious candidates are self-defence, just war, and the death penalty. In all three cases the taking of a life is not murder and is not morally unjustifiable. In all three cases the person being killed is not innocent, and has warranted the forfeiture of his life.
If a rapist breaks into my home and seeks to assault my wife and children, and in the process of defending them, I kill the intruder, no court of law anywhere will charge me with murder. I have killed a person in self-defense, but I have not murdered anyone.
In the same way, when the Allies fought the Nazis to liberate Europe, they were involved in a just war. They were seeking to stop an aggressor, to protect the innocent, and to liberate the concentration camps. In the process of course many German soldiers were killed.
While the Nuremberg trials afterward found plenty of Nazis guilty of murder for slaughtering the innocent, no Allied soldier in the normal course of events was found guilty of murder. (That a soldier can on occasion be found guilty of murder is of course another matter.) The allies were not murdering anyone; they were fighting a tyrannical regime which was attempting to enslave the world, murdering millions along the way.
And a third form of legal and moral killing is capital punishment. State-sanctioned killing of the worst of criminal offenders – be they murderers, rapists or drug kings – has long been recognised as legitimate and morally justifiable. Of course not everyone likes capital punishment and moral arguments can be raised against it.
This article is not the place to discuss the merits or otherwise of capital punishment. I have sought to do that elsewhere. For example, I have answered those opposed to the death penalty on religious grounds in this two-part article:
Regardless of where one stands on this contentious issue, the point which I am attempting to make here is this: this Greens MP is deliberately – or perhaps worse yet, out of sheer ignorance – playing games of verbal engineering in order to push her moral outrage – outrage which is selective to say the least, and grossly duplicitous to say the worst.
State-sanctioned capital punishment is killing, and not murder, just as most just war situations and most cases of self-defence resulting in death are cases of killing, but not murder. Again, this is such basic and such rudimentary stuff, that it is quite unbelievable that someone who has managed to become a politician is either unable or unwilling to make such crucial distinctions.
But of course we get this from the Greens all the time. So this is nothing really new here – just more of the same old same old. But given that we expect our politicians to offer a modicum of intellectual and moral ability in public, when such unhelpful and/or misleading statements are made, ordinary citizens have the right to challenge them on this.