Preaching Connection: 6th Commandment

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Reading for Preaching

Small Sacrifice: A True Story of Passion and Murder

Diane Downs had just shot her own three small children. The prosecutor suspected her but couldn’t prove anything. He purposely did not lean on her. “To a burdened conscience, silence and solitude can be more threatening than interrogation.” “Watching Diane recover was like watching a snake shed its skin; underneath, she was all shiny-new, blooming...
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“When the Good Do Bad”

People are often shocked when a mass murderer is identified. They knew him as compassionate and kind. How could he have blown away 16 Afghan civilians? The shock comes from a worldview that holds that most people are naturally good and that only a few beasts are the killers. And yet somebody who seems good...
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Philemon’s Problem: The Daily Dilemma of the Christian

“Religion and the gods have distressingly often stood on the side of homicide. In Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography he tells of a time he was besieged with Pope Clement VII by Charles V’s troops. ‘Boastful of his marksmanship, Cellini let fly with a small artillery piece and blew in half a Spanish officer standing far off...
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The Lonely Silver Rain

“Somewhere there are intelligent and highly skilled design engineers working the bugs out of the ever more deadly weapons–lasers to blind armies, multiple-multiple warheads, flames that stick to flesh and can’t be extinguished, heat beams to fry the crews inside their tanks. And they pack up the printouts and turn off the computers and have...
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Character Above All: Ten Presidents from FDR to George Bush

“I used to say to my liberal friends, ‘Jimmy Carter is the first President of my adult life who is not criminally insane.’ I had in mind the legal definition of minimal insanity: the inability to tell right from wrong. It is wrong to kill people for no reason other than political gain or political...
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The Winter of Our Discontent

Ethan Allen Hawley (Steinbeck’s protagonist in the novel) learned a compartmentalizing practice from “Charley Edwards, a major of middling age . . . He had a large family, a pretty wife and four children in steps, and his heart could ache with love and longing for them if he allowed it to. He told me...
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Into That Darkness: From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder

The Nazis humiliated Treblinka inmates before killing them: “the crammed, airless freight-cars without sanitary provisions, food or drink, far worse than any cattle-transport; the whipped-up (literally so) hysteria of arrival; the immediate and always violent separation of men, women, and children; the public undressing; the incredibly crude internal examinations for hidden valuables; the hair-cutting and...
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Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

We never saw in World War II what weapons do to U.S. bodies. No severed limbs. All was sanitized or withheld. “To this date, the appearance of the site of a major airplane accident is unknown to almost everyone. One may hear of fragments, but one is not shown them in images deemed suitable for...
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