Let me ask you to answer this question: Is there such a thing as right and wrong?

If your answer was “yes,” then let me ask another question: What is right or wrong?

Before you answer, let me ask this: How do you know? Please don’t respond with “everybody knows,” because everybody doesn’t know.

For example, how many of these actions are wrong?

  • People are lined up and executed, their severed heads put on display as a warning to others.
  • Men are marched into the desert, made to kneel, then shot in the head.
  • Five-hundred prisoners are killed by death squads, 40 children are reported to be among the dead.
  • A crowd of local men watch from behind a low fence, some of them are taking photos or filming the executions with their mobile phones.
  • One man appears to be smiling as he holds another man by his hair and begins to slice through his neck with a hunting knife.
  • A 13-year-old girl is murdered in her bed, stabbed multiple times until she died.

Do you find these activities wrong, even revolting? Why?

OK, maybe I am being a bit extreme here, focusing on killing. Let me tone it down a bit.

What would be your response to this? More than 1,000 women in your city are sexually molested and/or raped. The response of the mayor of one town where that actually happened was to reprimand the victims, suggesting that “they had asked for it.” The mayor has vowed to make sure that women will change their behavior so that they don’t provoke men to sexually assault them again.

Or perhaps you agree with this assessment: “The solution for the high incidence of the rape of women (in this one particular area) is not for the rapists to be punished, but for the women to ‘take their share of responsibility’ for the rapes because ‘their manner of dress is provocative’ … these women ‘must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.'”

Let me make a wild guess: You probably thought those commentators were nut cases. Well, they may have been; however, one was the mayor of a town in Germany with a high incidence of rapes and the other, a professor of anthropology in Norway. Both, by the way, happened to be women.

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Or, how about these incidents? A man who nearly killed his 25-year-old German victim while raping her afterward asked “if she enjoyed it.” Another man approached a 27-year-old woman at a bus stop, pulled down his pants, and all he could say was “sex, sex, sex,” until the woman screamed and he fled.

Do you think what the rapists did was wrong? Why? Did the women do something that prompted the men to behave that way? Obviously, the men did not think what they were doing was wrong. I am sure you can come up with countless other instances of behavior that most of us consider wrong, but again my question is: Why?

Would you simply shrug off the rape of your daughter or son? Is it wrong to steal? Murder? Lie? The perpetrators do not think so, as I have just cited multiple instances of people doing what most of us believe is wrong, yet the perpetrators felt not one degree of guilt.

Why are they wrong? There is a relatively simple reason for the dichotomy in the thinking.

Those people raised under Judeo-Christian concepts – the foundation stones of Western civilization – would agree the above cited acts are not only wrong, but horrific. However, people not raised under these transcendent principles don’t think like we think; consequently, right and wrong mean different things to different cultures and civilizations.

It is not now, nor ever will be, possible to blend such conflicting perspectives as these into a culture of freedom and mutual regard for other human beings.

As they used to say from “the Book” in church when I was a kid, “What sayest thou”?

Have you ever wondered what African-Americans want, and why they vote Democratic? Do you know how slavery actually began in America? Ben Kinchlow’s best-selling book “Black Yellowdogs” breaks race and politics down in black and white. Get your copy today!

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