The Old Testament is much in favour of killing people, indeed it demands it. But the people who must be killed are non-Jews. It goes so far as to indicate that the unhappy reign of certain kings was a divine punishment for them failing to be sufficiently ruthless in killing non-Jews.Martin_B wrote: ↑Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:14 amSome interpretations have it as "Thou shalt not murder", which allows the ownership and use of guns in self-defense, and also the death penalty, as governmental killings in the name of justice aren't murder, apparently.
The Jews have accordingly interpreted this commandment narrowly as meaning you shouldn't murder other Jews, not people in general. So the Catholics have changed the meaning of something that had been interpreted in another way for hundreds of years.
Various religious denominations and sects, both in Christianity and other religions, have a frequent habit of focusing on specific issues as Very Important Signs of your adherence to that particular denomination. They elevate it above other doctrines, though there seems to be no particular reason for it being so much more important than other things you can be more easily forgiven for. They punish you hard for even questioning them on it. Even though such issues might be said to be not really very important in the round. The enforcement of them has many perverse effects of making many peoples' lives much worse in consequence. It closely mirrors the habits of totalitarian dictators.
So I interpret it as a technique to demonstrate and maintain control of their adherents. It also acts as a mechanism to distinguish denominations from others, because us-and-them is an important part of that demonstration and maintenance of control. In the past, being excommunicated would have considerably excluded you from society. Even today, if you are a Jehovah's Witness then being "Unfellowshipped", their equivalent, is devastating - your family must not even talk to you apart from functional things to keep you alive. (Watch the film https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_(2017_film)) The Catholic church has selected anti-abortion for these purposes. There seems to be no particular reason to elevate that doctrine as so much more important than other ones and make such an enormous fuss about it. They have form. Back in the early mediaeval period Rome invented the doctrine of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque, wrote it into the Creed without agreeing it with the other provinces of the church, and thus tried to assert control over them. The outcome was the Great Schism and hence the distinction between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.