The actual commandment pulls no punches: "Thou shalt not kill."

That little dot at the end is a period.

Historically, most Christians have felt that the defense of everything dear to us requires that we do some killing.

According to most Quakers any killing is like murder. If they had prevailed in America, there would be a ruling Communist regime and no Quakers.

Christianity has survived because most Christians look at the commandment as not meaning exactly what it says. But in the new century, this sort of decision is going to get MUCH harder.

In the twenty-first century, the big revolution will be biological. It will force us to make many very hard choices that before were left to God.

The Amish refuse to use technology that is not in the Bible. The Amish genuinely believe that all Christians should behave this way and leave everything to God.

Another wholly sincere group, the Christian Scientists, feel that all medical questions and cures should be left to God. I cannot do this. I cannot deny a person medical care.

The Amish or Christian Science approach would protect me from having to make hard moral decisions in the coming medical revolution.

I could be one of them and just ignore the incredible medical power mankind is accumulating.

But I am not Amish, a Quaker, or a Christian Scientist, so I must face these life-and-death questions myself.