Infanticide Is Here

My eyes have seen it, and I still can’t believe it.  I read multiple news reports and thought I was trapped in some sort of alternate universe.  However, it did happen, and no, I was not in an alternate universe.  On February 25, 2018 the United States Senate voted down a bill that would protect babies who were born as a result of a botched abortion.  Pamela Murray, who is a Senator from Washington, said she did so because it was not her job to get between a woman and her doctor.  There is just one problem with this line of thinking.  The child is outside of the womb.  By voting against this bill the Senate has essentially endorsed infanticide.  This is an event that I feared would come, but prayed that I would never see it.

This bill is heartless, callous, and goes against all senses of morality.  Life begins at conception.  This is something proven by science.  Even if one doesn’t believe that, there is no doubt that the child born breathing after a botched abortion is very much alive.  We have entered into a whole other realm of debauchery now.  This is a slippery slope that will result, at some point, of Euthanasia for the elderly and infanticide for those born with disabilities.  Pandora’s box has been opened.

To read more about the vote visit this link

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Reason and the Development of the Will

In the very beginnings of sacred scripture we read of the Lord creating.  Each step of creation ended a similar way with the words by describing their goodness.  In Genesis 1:31 God had just finished creating man and commanded them to procreate and exercise dominion over the Earth.  Genesis 1:31 states, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (NRSV).

Humanity was created uniquely different than the rest of creation.  God created humans with the ability to reason, with five senses to help us learn, and free will.  The combination of these work together to help us live in harmony with each other, in harmony with our creator, and assist us finding true happiness.  The intellect we were blessed with helps us rationalize.  Our intellectual knowledge originates in the five senses and internal sensory powers of common sense, estimation, memory, and imagination.

This intellectual knowledge that develops helps us form our will.  The purpose of the will is to direct action and direct the concupiscible and irascible appetites.  The concupiscible appetites are things like love, joy, desire, and sadness.  They work together to help us seek what is good and reject evil.  The irascible are attributes such as hope, courage, despair, and fear.  These attributes assist us in avoiding evils in which we may find compelling.  Together the concupiscible and irascible appetites are known as the sense appetites, and work to help us understand what is good and what is evil.  They help us establish the parameters in which we exercise the freedom which God has given us.  Regarding this freedom Servais Pinckaers writes, “It is the power to engage in excellent actions, actions that are true and good, even though the agent may in fact fail and do evil” (Pinckaers 68).

Looking back on my life I can see how these senses led me in the right direction.  How they allowed me to see what was right, what was the right path, and how I ignored it.  I think of an incident from my childhood in which I wanted a piece of candy at a store and was told no.  I wanted the candy and ate it in the middle of the store without paying.  I knew it was wrong and the senses mentioned above were telling me it was wrong.  However, I ignored them and partook in larceny to have that which I longed for.

This ignoring of what was supposed to be done made matters worse.  This is the effect of sin on the individual.  Every sin wounds the communion that we have with our creator.  Mortal sin goes a step further in that it ruptures the relationship completely.  For something to be a mortal sin it must meet the following three criteria:  It must involve grave matter, the individual must have full knowledge that it is sin, and there must be a deliberate consent to the act.  This is obviously not God’s will, and it is by doing God’s will that we find the happiness that we long for.  This is what James Keenan means when he writes, “Not only does love look for union, it also moves us toward freedom and truth.  Love then makes possible our search for a freedom for greater love and a truth to love rightly” (Ostrowski 27).

 

Works Cited

Ostrowski, Thaddeus ed.  Primary Source Readings in Christian Morality.  Saint Mary’s Press.  Winona, MN:  2008.  Print

Pinckaers, Servais.  Morality:  The Catholic View.  St. Augustine’s Press.  South Bend, IN:  201.  Print.

The Incarnation and the New Law of Grace

In sacred scripture we read that man was created he had a perfect relationship with God.  Man is the pinnacle of creation, and God gave man everything.  In return the Lord asked man not to each of one tree in the garden.  Man did not listen, rebelled, and had to face the consequences of sin for the first time.  The sin of our first parents also applies to us.  We all have sinned, and the penalty for that sin is death.  Saint Paul had the same opinion in Romans 6:23 which states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NRSV).  However, the second person of the blessed Trinity, Jesus himself became incarnate to atone and redeem us from our sin.

The incarnation was needed because we could not atone for our sin on our own.  Only someone who was perfect, and without sin could do that.  This perfect sacrifice, Jesus, would also show us the new law of grace.  A way of living, or new law of grace, shows us a deeper understanding of the law.  It shows us how it was supposed to be lived from the beginning, and the divine Son of God, showed us how to live it.  The new law is an interior, infused reality consisting in the grace of the Holy Spirit, received through faith in Jesus Christ and operating through charity.  These virtues, which are also taught in 1 Corinthians 13, are faith, hope, and charity.

Since becoming a catholic these three virtues have been instrumental in my life.  Faith is at the forefront, and the will of Christ is sought in everything that I do.  Faith is the starting point for the New Law, and “the starting point for Christian morality” (Pinckaers 85).  As a father of four, a husband, and one income life throws many curve balls.  Things have not been easy, but my wife and I maintain our hope in Christ.  It is this hope, through faith, that help us persevere and see the good even in the roughest circumstance.  No matter how tight things are we see that there are those who are having much larger problems than ourselves.  We strive to be good disciples, by not only having faith in Christ, but by also having charity.  We trust God for our needs but realize that we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and strive to help whenever possible.  We have found that the practice of the infused virtues has deepened our faith and love for our fellow man.

Image result for incarnation

Works Cited

Pinckaers, Servais.  Morality:  The Catholic View.  St. Augustine’s Press.  South Bend, IN:  2001.  Print.

A Matter of Intent: Abortion and Moral Theology

It happens every day in our communities.  Every day women make a very difficult decision about whether to keep their babies or not.  However, instead of adoption many are choosing abortion.  According to data from the Centers of Disease Control, every day approximately 1,788 pregnancies are ended by abortion (www.cdc.gov).  What is abortion?  What is the official Catholic Church teaching on abortion?  Are there any circumstances where an abortion may be needed to save the life of the mother?  These questions will be explored over the course of this paper, but one thing is certain.  Life is precious, and it is something that must be protected from the beginning of life to natural death (Ostrowski 123).

In layman’s terms an abortion is the termination of a pregnancy before the time of gestation is complete.  The medical definition varies little and is states an “An abortion is a procedure to end a pregnancy. It uses medicine or surgery to remove the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterus. The procedure is done by a licensed health care professional” (www.medline.gov).  The question of life is one that is central to the topic.  When does life begin?  If life begins at conception, then life is there and must be protected.  If life begins at some further point, then it stands to reason that terminating the pregnancy before that stated period is morally permissible.  Then there are those who are just unsure when the fetus becomes a living being (Kreeft 329).

With abortion defined, that leads to the next question.  What does the Catholic Church have to say about abortion?  It may come as a surprise to some to learn that church has a lot to say about the topic.  The church has defended life from its infancy.  Regarding this the Didache states, “you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten” (newadvent.org).  The Didache is an ancient catechism in the church that dates back to the first century.  The issue of abortion is nothing new, but an ongoing battle for the unborn.  Also regarding abortion, the catechism states “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (CCC para 2271).

The church gets its teaching on the subject from sacred scripture as well as sacred tradition.  Many places in scripture speak of God molding and creating life in the womb.  What is conspicuous by its absence is any mention as to at how many weeks of gestation life begins.  Sacred scripture makes it clear that it begins immediately.  Life begins upon conception.  One such verse is Jeremiah 1:5 which states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (NRSV).  If God knew us before the womb, it makes sense that he knew us when we were immediately placed into the womb.  To know is to imply a relationship, and one cannot have a relationship with something that is not alive.  Since the embryo is a person upon conception it must be defended as any person should be (CCC para 2274)

Church teaching holds that abortion is intrinsically evil, and as such is never justified.  The same can be said for many other things such as rape, torture, euthanasia, and kidnapping (Gaudiem et Spes para 27).  Though an individual may have the best intentions, it does not justify an act that moral law and revelation have deemed evil.  That is because absolute truth and morality are incapable of being changed.  Regarding this Saint Pope John Paul II writes, “If acts are intrinsically evil, a good intention or particular circumstances can diminish their evil, but they cannot remove it. They remain “irremediably” evil acts; per se and in themselves they are not capable of being ordered to God and to the good of the person” (Veritatis Splendor para 81).

Unfortunately, in today’s society, abortion is looked at like a basic human right.  Opponents of church teaching give a variety of scenarios to support the need for an abortion.  What if an abortion is needed to save the life of a mother?  What if the mother had uterine cancer and the only treatment was to remove the uterus, and thus, killing the child in the process?  These two examples may seem extreme, but they are ones often given by the pro-choice movement.  There are others, but these two questions will be the focus.  When it comes to the life of the mother there are many cases written about by world renowned doctors who say the opposite.  Dr. Collen Malloy wrote a letter to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times stating, “Abortion performed to “save” a mother’s life almost never — if ever — is necessary” (Malloy 2009).  This same article cites a statement by Ireland’s board of Obstetricians which states, “there are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion, that is, no circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child” (Malloy 2009).

 

 

            The word that sticks out very prominently in the last quotation cited is the word “directly’.  This word is given in many church documents when they discuss abortion.  It comes down to a matter of intent.  Was it the intent to destroy the child in the womb, or was it the cause of something else?  In their book Life Issues, Medical Choices the writers state, “It is never moral to intentionally kill an innocent human being in order to lower the likelihood of adverse effects for someone else” (Smith & Kaczor 37).

This begs the question asked earlier.  What if a woman has uterine cancer and the only way to save her life is to remove the uterus?  To further complicate things imagine she has a husband and four other children at home.  This is truly a heart wrenching decision that must be made.  She can forgo treatment and die, and the child in the womb may possibly live.  Or she can have the treatment and live to take care of her four other children.  If she chooses to have the procedure it is not a direct attack on the child because it lacks intent.  In situations such as this the principle of double effect becomes relevant.  The reasoning for double effect requires the following four factors: “1.  The act itself is not evil.  2.  The evil is not a means to a good.  3.  The evil is not intended as an end.  4.  There is a proportionate reason for allowing the evil effect” (Smith & Kaczor 50).  The first step is satisfied because having a hysterectomy is not evil.  The second step is satisfied because the intent is not there.  The mother would much rather give birth to her child.  The third step is satisfied as the surgery is not intended to end the life of the child.  The forth step is satisfied because if she does not have the surgery she will die and leave her other four children without a mother.  The intent is not to have an abortion to live, but her uterus must be removed to destroy the cancer that will inevitably kill her if she does nothing.  There is an enormous difference between the two.  It is the intent that is intrinsically evil according to Humana Vitae (Pinckaers 53).

The above scenario is heartbreaking and does happen, but the moral teaching of the church deals with intent.  One should consult their physician and spiritual director or priest to get the best well rounded advice for the situation.  It is important to remember that these situations are highly emotional, and there is much pain and distress taking place.  The same goes for those who may have had an abortion in the past and they realize the mistake they made.

We live in a fallen world, and we have all sinned.  We all have some mortal sin that we have committed in the past.  It is vital to not judge and to show mercy.  In Matthew 5:7 our Lord says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (NRSV).  We have been forgiven much and have been shown limitless mercy.  It is important to reciprocate it to those who are hurting because of their past mistakes.  In the very beginning of sacred scripture we read, “So God created humankind  in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (NRSV).  Each person, no matter their past, was created in the image of God.  As such, we are called to show everyone the dignity and respect that being made in his image calls for.  To summarize we must do what the Lord says in the beatitudes.  We must show mercy.  In Hebrew, showing mercy is being compassionate (especially expressed by רחום): showing pity at another person’s sorrow or misfortune, with the desire to alleviate, or, on occasion, even to suffer in the other’s place.  This is exactly what the Lord did for us when he suffered on the cross.

 

WORKS CITED

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Doubleday Books.  New York, NY:  1995.  Print.

Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/abortion.htm.  Accessed March 23, 2018.

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version

Kreeft, Peter & Tacelli, Ronald K.  Handbook of Christian Apologetics.  IVP Academic.  Downers Grove, Il: 1994.  Print.

M.B. Riddle. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm&gt;.

Ostrowski, Thaddeus ed., Primary Source Readings in Christian Morality.  Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press, 2008, Print.

Pinckaers, Servais.  Morality:  The Catholic View.  St. Augustine’s Press.  South Bend, IN:  2001.  Print.

Pope John Paul II.  Veritatis Splendorhttp://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html.  Accessed March 24, 2018.

Smith, Janet E. & Kaczor, Christopher.  Life Issues, Medical Choices:  Questions and Answers for Catholics.  Servant.  Cincinatti, OH: 2016.  Print

Tanner, Norman ed.  Vatican II:  The Essential Texts.  New York:  Image Books, 2012.  Print.

The Dangers of Porn

There is a great enemy among us that many welcome with open arms.  It is seductive, welcoming, and before you know it the claws of this demon extend into every area of your life.  Many think its harmless, but the statistics say otherwise.  Pornography is a medium of media consumption that destroys marriages, families, and chastity.

Pornography, or porn as it is known, is sexually explicit material that only has one purpose.  That purpose is to sexually arouse the person consuming it.  It violates chastity as it turns the opposite sex into sexual objects, a commodity, causes one to lust, and makes one long for someone other than their spouse.  Christ strongly prohibits this himself in sacred scripture.  Regarding lust Matthew 5:28 states, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (NRSV).  It does grave harm to the participants.  Though they may be paid well (Even that is debatable), many studies show that many participants are depressed and must be under the influence to participate.  It violates the act of loving spouses giving of themselves and displaying it for millions to see.  Regarding this the catechism states, “It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other(CCC para 2354).

I have seen first hand how pornography can ruin a marriage.  I had a friend who was married to a great woman.  They perceived that they had problems in the bedroom and brought porn in a as way to “spice” things up.  Things seemed okay for a while, but slowly both had to view more erotic content to get the same level of euphoria.  This eventually led to both going to strip clubs, and eventually visiting prostitutes.  They did not see each other in the same light.  It was heartbreaking to witness.

 

Works Cited

Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Doubleday Books.  New York, NY:  1995.  Print.

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version

Aquinas and the Principle of Double Effect

Over the course of our lives we will be faced with many difficult decisions.  These decisions may be life altering and may change us forever.  In the encyclical Veritatis Splendor, Saint Pope John Paul II writes, “Acting is morally good when the choices of freedom are in conformity with man’s true good and thus express the voluntary ordering of the person towards his ultimate end: God himself, the supreme good in whom man finds his full and perfect happiness” (Veritatis Splendor para 72).  In these circumstances there are right and wrong moral decisions, and the principles of double effect and material cooperation assist us in making the right decision.

The principle of double effect, or PDE, has its origins with St. Thomas Aquinas and is one of the best strategies in solving complex morality issues.  This principle states that it is possible to make a decision that has both good and bad effects.  Just because it has both effects does not mean that it is not morally permitted.  There are conditions that must be met for a decision to fall under this principle.  The act itself must be good or morally indifferent.  The good effect must not come from evil.  Evil is not the intended result.  If evil is the effect it should be a last resort and the good effect should be equal or greater.  This principle, along with material cooperation, help to make the best moral decision out of possibly the worst of circumstances.

Image result for priciple of double effect

            When an individual assists in some way in wrongdoing this is called material cooperation, and there are two categories.  The first is known as immediate material cooperation an individual, though they may disapproval, assists in the act.  They may tolerate it, but do not approve.  The second in Mediate material cooperation, and consists of proximate mediate and remote mediate material cooperation.  Proximate mediate is immoral in all cases, and may consists in the manufacturing of a device, such as Sarin gas, that is only meant for evil.  Remote mediate may be permitted based on the circumstance, such as not being able to find viable employment elsewhere and having to feed your children.  In this circumstance someone may be the janitor at the factory that produces Sarin gas because employment may not be had elsewhere.  This is why moral decisions should be looked at to get all the factors.  Regarding this Pope John Paul II writes, “In this view, deliberate consent to certain kinds of behaviour declared illicit by traditional moral theology would not imply an objective moral evil” (Veritatis Splendor para 75).

A hard case when it comes to PDE is the subject of abortion.  Abortion is the termination of a human life while it is still in the womb.  Abortion being wrong is not a matter of just the church saying so.  This can be deduced by the use of reason without the aid of faith (Smith & Kaczor 29).  Imagine if a couple had six kids at home, and while pregnant with the seventh the mother is diagnosed with uterine cancer.  Removing the cancer would end the pregnancy, but not removing it the mother will perish while the child lives.  After much prayer and anguish the parents opt to remove the cancer for the benefit of the six children they have to raise.  This is an effective use of PDE since the intent was not to terminate the pregnancy, but to remove the cancer.  Conversely a woman who chooses to terminate the pregnancy because she just does not want another child does not meet the conditions of PDE.

Proponents of proportionalism reject PDE because the moral actions of the individual should be judged by the consequences that ensue.  In short, the outcome that brings the greatest good or the least bit of evil is the appropriate action.  Proportionalism does not have a set definition of what is morally upright, and it can change based on the individual.  It is because of these reasons that proportionalism is condemned by Veritatis Splendor.

 

Works Cited

Pope John Paul II.  Veritatis Splendor.  http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html.  Accessed February 27, 2018.

Smith, Janet E and Kaczor, Christopher.  Life Issues, Medical Choices:  Questions and Answers For Catholics.  Servant.  Cincinatti, OH:  2016.  Print

The Ten Commandments, Part Two

6.  You shall not commit adultery

This command prohibits sexual activity with any person other than one’s spouse, and also any emotional connection as well.  This command also extends to masturbation as it turns the sexual gift into a selfish act. It protects the dignity of the sacramental marriage, prohibits divorce, and encourages a chaste life.  Regarding this command the catechism states, “They are contrary to the moral law. the sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion” (CCC para 2390).  This command helps us remember that our bodies, though a gift from God, are also a gift to our spouses.  Our spouse may be going through a situation, such as a medical condition, that would not allow sexual activity.  This reminds us that marriage is much more than sex, but a union with that one person.  It reminds us that our sexuality is gift to be given freely to our spouse.

7.  You shall not steal.

This command prohibits the unlawful taking of one’s property.  Two examples are stealing physical property and intellectual property.  This command tells us to treat others how we want to be treated and promotes the fair treatment of all.  It also helps us to treat the poor virtuously as not to take advantage of their situation and steal the time that they have with their families.  The command tells us to treat every person with dignity, and the catechism echoes this when it states, “respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world’s goods” (CCC para 2407).  One situation that is dealt with daily is in regard to social media.  Someone may post something that is insightful, but when it is posted it is now intellectual property.  It is ok to share the quotation, but not ok to post it without citing who said it.

8.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

This command tells us to not be dishonest in any way.  Two examples are not to lie and not to gossip.  The command encourages us to be fruitful witnesses to Christ and the gospel.  It also tells us to denounce hypocrisy.  Regarding this the catechism states, “Since God is “true,” the members of his people are called to live in the truth” (CCC para 2465).  An example of how this command can be applied happens at places of employment throughout the world.  When someone has a juicy piece of gossip to tell we must resist the temptation.  To listen is to encourage, and the character of the person may never recover.

9.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

This command tells us to not lust after someone else’s spouse or to look for sex outside of marriage.  This command encourages us to live a life of modesty and chastity.  We are to be chaste in the vocation in which we are called.  If we are single then we are chaste, and if married we have sexual relations with our spouse.  As the catechism states, “chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart” (CCC para 2520).  This command helps us make sound moral decisions by reminding us that we are set apart as a Christian people.  Temptation is all around us, and we may be attracted to someone who is married.  It reminds us to respect the marriage sacrament and the dignity of the individual.  They are much more than their looks.

10.  You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

This command tells to not be envious by the material possessions that some one has, and reminds to not be greedy.  The command reminds us that we are to keep God first and be thankful for the blessings that he has given us.  God has given us so much and we must remember that.  The catechism says it best when it states, “The economy of law and grace turns men’s hearts away from avarice and envy” (CCC para 2541).  This command plays out perfectly when looking at those who have been blessed with riches.  Many think that since they have much they won’t miss it if we take a little.  If we see them drop a $100 bill it is not okay to keep it.  This command reminds us to act uprightly with our fellow man, and what is theirs is theirs.  It keeps us from having bad thoughts and keeps us from breaking other commands.

Works Cited

Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Doubleday Books.  New York, NY:  1995.  Print.

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version

The Ten Commandments, Part 1

1.       You shall have no other gods beside me.

The first commandment forbids idolatry and polytheism.  It promotes putting God first in our lives and aligning our lives in such a way that nothing takes the place of God.  Regarding this commandment the catechism says, “The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people” (CCC para 2110).  This commandment is important in moral decision making because it tells us what is important.  We have many things such as cell phones, social media, and television that can take the place of God.  This commandment tells us to make sure He stays in his proper place in our lives.

2.       You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

The second commandment is a prohibition against taking false oaths and debasing the holy name of YHWH.  The catechism states that “Rejection of false oaths is a duty to God” (CCC para 2151).  The second virtue that this commandment promotes is honestly before God and man.  There are many ways in which this commandment comes into play in regard to moral decision making.  One that comes to mind is our faith.  Christianity is under attack in many areas of the world, and it may be tempting deny that we are Christians depending on the situation.  That is a false oath, and this commandment encourages us to make the right choice and stand up for our faith.

3.       Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

This command tells us to keep worship of God as a priority.  It is also a call to rest and remember everything the Lord has done for us.  It prohibits taking advantage of the poor in our employment, and worship of money.  Regarding this commandment the catechism states, “The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money” (CCC para 2172).  Since worship is a priority it stands to reason that we should do everything possible to attend mass and receive the Eucharist if at all possible.  This assists our decision making by reminding us of what is important.  Though we may be exhausted by a hard work week, we must make the right choice and attend mass to worship with the community.

4.      Honor your father and mother.

This commandment implores us to honor our parents, but to also honor those whom God has given that authority to.  This includes teachers, police officers, and government officials. The commandment prohibits abuse of our parents in the latter stages of their lives, and manipulation of authority figures for personal gain.  Regarding this the catechism states, “This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons” (CCC para 2199).  This commandment helps in moral decision making by helping us remember the great gift that has been given to us.  Though we may be experiencing hard financial times, it is never appropriate to take advantage of an elderly person for our own gain.  We must show them the respect that God tells us ins granted to them.

5.      You shall not murder.

Regarding this commandment the catechism states, “God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (CCC para 2258).  This commandment prohibits the taking of an innocent life or deliberately disrespecting those around us.  This commandment also tells us to protect life from the moment of conception to natural death.  Therefore, the commandment helps us virtuously protect life and to preserve peace among fellow humans.  This command assists in moral decision making by helping us remember that everyone is made in the image of God.  Though we may be disrespected by someone, we must show them grace because they are made in that image.  We must only resort to violence only if our own lives are threatened, and only as a last resort.

Works Cited

Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Doubleday Books.  New York, NY:  1995.  Print.

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version

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