The Sixth Commandment

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By Nubar Dorian

Please take out your precious Holy Bible — still the best-selling book of all time and read one more time the Ten Commandments. I am sure you will note that no laws exist which break, like atheists, the First Commandment, just as no punishment exists for those who ignore the Tenth, “thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” But, lo and behold, anyone who acts against the Sixth Commandment, “thou Shall Not Kill” gets the most harsh, severe, brutal and cruel punishment.

The reason of course, is simple, understandable and just. Mankind realized how precious God-given life is. In addition to being a religious, holy edict, it is also a natural, universal, human law as well. A killer who commits murder is inhuman and must be punished. How about a nation who commits Genocide?

The Armenian Genocide did happen. The Diaspora-Armenians scattered across the globe to escape hunger, thirst, killing, mayhem and bloodshed prove it. Records and official documents prove it. Acknowledgement of genocide by so many countries and states prove it. Finding tons of bones of Armenians killed in the Arabian Desert are being found even currently — and proves it. Armenians with different languages and cultures all across the universe getting together to commemorate our Genocide on April 24 each year for almost a century and demand for justice prove it.

Here, in the US, which we proudly call Home, we have a champion of justice, law and order, and all courts along with churches, synagogues and temple stress, teach and advocate the divine law of justice, human rights, love, compassion, redemption and forgiveness. I submit that we have honored and embraced the separation of church and state and tried to appeal to lawmakers, politicians and judges and scholars for the recognition of our genocide. Sadly, we are ignoring the religious aspect of our genocide and neglecting to enroll religious leaders to champion our cause. Muslim hordes with Ottoman soldiers, joining them on orders from their commanders slaughtered all Armenians they could find. It was not a Turkish-Armenian war, but a mass Armenian Christian murder. They hated Christians, even their religious leaders in their mosques encouraged the killing of Christians. Even today we fail to tell our neighbors, religious leaders of all denominations, as well as our grandchildren that we were massacred because we were Christians. Why don’t we work hard to let the entire world know that we were first to accept Christianity as a state religion, first to build a Christian Cathedral and the first to fight for the rights to worship in freedom our own faith.

Just imagine what impact it would have if all freedom — and religion — loving Americans joined us in commemorating April 24, all the sermons dwelling on the Sixth Commandment and stressing hunger of the Armenian for justice. Even Turkey, with her strength, influence, army and position would yield and accept responsibility. Our continued emphasis on only the political aspect of our genocide has proven to be a failed attempt. Respecting the dogma of separation of church and state, we must let the world know that genocide visited the Armenian because they were Christian.

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As we get ready to commemorate the 95th anniversary of our genocide, let us make every effort to involve all religious entities in our cause. Our Diocese and priests all across the US could ask all Christian communities to include in their sermons on the sixth commandment and dwell on the ravages of killing, especially on the horrors of the Genocide, along with saving grace of justice. It is provincial that April 25th falls on a Sunday, which is called Red Sunday in the Armenian calendar. Such an event will be unforgettable, bold and headline grabbing.

We know that all churches, temples and synagogues in all their religious and educational efforts and liturgical practices repeatedly, loudly painstakingly stress the divine law of love, repentance, compassion and justice. No one could, would or should object that the sixth commandment, the red-lettered “Thou shalt not kill” in any way ignores the separation of church and state.

(Nubar Dorian is one of the former co-chairs of the Armenian Assembly of America and is a frequent contributor to the Mirror-Spectator. He is a resident of New Jersey.)