In the Holy Bible, teachings guide all types of human beings to a better understanding of life. Many of these verses reach out to man through teachings of human nature and how to create society’s moral values. A personal favorite verse that may reach out to every man and not just those who practice the Judaeo – Christian religions is :
” The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor
shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man
shall be put to death for his own sin. ” ( Deuteronomy p178, vs.16)
because it tells of a rule that every man should live by – it demands justice to isolate the criminal and thereby shield any innocent relative of any unjust punishment. This is illustrated in the United States justice system and how society punishes it’s wrongdoers. This verse delivers the message that every man, despite size, color, religious preference, or personal background, should assume responsibility for his actions.
Throughout time men who have entered the courthouses scattering the United States, like the colorful leaves scattered across peoples’ yards during autumn, have pleaded innocence – blaming parents and their unjust upbringing. They scream to the jury that it really wasn’t their fault, but the fault of their parents because if they had a perfect childhood then they wouldn’t have committed the crime. It is true that the values that children develop in their early years are important in influencing future decisions but how does this explain the many adults that climb above their horrible childhood and become successful happy individuals. This proves that the individual is in charge of his every move and every action in life – he is in charge of his own destiny. Sin is never forced upon anyone but merely delivered by just one person’s choice. In the trial of the Oklahoma bomber, the jury will not persecute his family because it was his crime, his sin. His family didn’t make him do it and they didn’t help him accomplish it. When the men who committed the heinous crimes against humanity during World War II under Adolph Hitler’s direction pleaded innocence, the courts laughed. Some of these men claimed there was no other choice, Hitler made them do it. Despite there being few options, these men did choose to commit the crimes. They did not have to murder the children and strip the little ones of their innocence and integrity. Hitler was their ” father ” and they tried to use him as a scapegoat as he used the Jews. It never worked because these men pointed the loaded guns at the victims. These men commanded the gas chambers to continue cooking living families. These men made their choice of sin.Society chose to punish the individual and not their innocent family members for the crimes accomplished.
Today people all over the world try to forget previous generations’ crimes against humanity. In Germany it took many years after WWII for later generations to even write in history books what really happened. These younger generations felt ashamed and somewhat responsible for the crimes their ancestors committed. It took years to speak of the sharp barbed wire surrounding the death camps housing the innocent.
Generations should feel horror to the point where they wouldn’t let history repeat itself. They should not take the responsibility of the crime. As the bible says, one must take responsibility for his own actions – not one’s father’s or previous generations’. After the war ended the prisoners from the concentration camps were allowed back to their homes. Many of these homes were burned to nothing. However those towns still in existence were crawling with people who shunned these war victims – using violence and anger to push them back out of that town. These people continued the hatred the war brought out by blaming these victims for Germany’s turmoil after the war ended. These people are as guilty as Hitler for they blamed the innocent for the war. They made themselves guilty, to another degree, of the same horror Hitler , ” the father “, displayed. They tried to blame a minority group for something everyone in Germany was responsible for – the Jews did not ruin Germany, the government and the general population was responsible for all of her faults. These people chose their own path of cruelty and sin by promoting violence against innocent bystanders; thus, committing the same crime against humanity. They treated the victims with such anger that they made these homes graveyards for the Jews. It was their choice, it was their sin. Unfortunately, these bitter, anti – semetic people were never punished by society but those knowledgeable of the hateful rejection now look back sick with this sight of injustice. Every man, no matter the degree of injustice served, must live up to his actions. If he is strong enough to commit the cruelty, he alone is strong enough to face it again with consequences.
Society unites all faiths and all backgrounds. Decisions are made combining all these different views to create a standard of values for society to reinforce. This verse found in Deuteronomy is also found in this universal standard society strongly upholds. One does not have to be Jewish or Christian to understand the importance of taking responsibility for one’s crimes. Blaming family, friends, and other innocent individuals is morally wrong and totally unacceptable in society’s eyes. Mankind must learn to accept individual punishment for crimes committed or else justice will never be served.