CCD students aks tough questions about war

My 5th grade CCD class is located in an area where many of their parents our currently deployed in the millitary. I have ben asked if their parents are commiting mortal sin by killing people over seas. Please keep political views out of this as much as possible. The answer I have been giving is that killing in the protection of innocents is ok. Would the Iraq war fall into this catagory. Just a note: I personally feel Terrorists are a threat.

From the Catechism:

2310 Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.

Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations.** If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace**.

(My emphasis)

Read from the Catechism on war and self defense. It’s under the Fifth Commandment. “Thou shall not kill” must be properly understood. Fifth graders can understand the difference between murder and self-defense.

Thanks thats all I needed on this and that is the route I have taken

Tell them the truth:

Their parents are heroes, who helped unseat a terrible dictator and are now trying to bring peace, stability, and democracy to the middle east.

People can argue the practicality or sacrifice required, but not the noble intentions.


My understanding is that “you shall not kill” is actually more properly rendered as “you shall not murder” or “you shall not kill unjustly”. Just as legally repossessing an automobile is not stealing, so killing under the law* (police, military) is not murder.

*But if the laws clearly go against the natural law then the natural law (God’s law) must prevail. So the camp guards who ran Auschwitz aren’t off the hook.

I agree and have voiced this opinion to them but as a CCD teacher I must always make sure my teaching falls in line with that of the church. Thanks :slight_smile:

There is nothing in the Catechism that prevents you from praising their parents from doing their duty – doing far more than the average citizen – under difficult and hazardous conditions. Their parents are heroes, and the Church doesn’t say different.

War in and of it self is not imoral. If innocent people are inadvertantly killed while fighting it is not immoral. If our soldiers have to clear a building and the terrorists decide to hide behind women and children the women and children may die.

This is a fact of war and niether our soldiers or their children should be made to feel guilty for their scrifice for God and country.

Noble intentions?? From the Day Bush first became president he was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq and get the guy (Saddam) who tried to assassinate his father. There were no noble intentions.
The excuse for finally invading was weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Queda. There were no WMD and it has been proven in more than one report including the latest one from the Pentagon this week that Saddam had NO links to Al Queda.

Also neither the US nor the Europeans have any clue how to bring peace, stability and democracy to the Middle East.

In case you are wondering I supported going in because I was stupid enough to believe they had weapons of mass destruction until we all later found out the US and British Intelligence either lied or were totally incompetent.

However, we are all there now and we should pray for the brave soldiers fighting there through no fault of their own.

Please stick to the thread. It was not my intention to get your political view on the Iraq war. There are many threads with many more responses that cover this.

After reading back through the thread I found I did the same thing for the other side
Sorry Dprewett

Fighting the War and the Peace: Battlefield Ethics, Peace Talks, Treaties, and Pacifism in the Jewish Tradition
Michael J. Broyde

print out this article, have your students read it and discuss it. It is one of the best articles on this topic I have seen.

St. John the Baptist, not a softsoap kind of guy, told soldiers just to act fairly towards others. He didn’t tell them to lay down their arms and quit their jobs – and they were the oppressors of Israel!

Our Lord, also no mealymouth, didn’t tell the centurion to quit being a Roman soldier. He told him that he’d seen no such faith in all of Israel, and later sent Peter a dream at his house.

There is no shortage of military men in the catacombs of the early Christians. One of the earliest great miracles cited by the Christians as proof to Romans that their God was powerful, was the miracle which saved a Roman army, and which took place because a Christian group of legionaries prayed for it.

Pacifism has always been part of the Christian and Jewish tradition, but so has military service. There’s a reason that our God is called the Lord of Hosts (troops), and that the Bride can be described as “terrible as an army in battle”.

You’re more correct than you realize. The original Hebrew does indeed say, “Thou shall not murder”. There are other Hebrew words that refer to other types of killing, but this passage clearly translates to murder. I’m glad you brought this up because it’s amazing how so very few people, Christian and otherwise, know this. I also find it equally surprising that none of the major bible translations have rendered it as “murder” even though it’s been known since the beginning.

Putting your life on the line to fight the wicked and defend the innocent is about as heroic as you can get. God bless our brave troops.

God bless them, indeed. They suffer and sacrifice themselves for us.

Wow. Yet another person blessed with the ability to read people’s souls via the Internet and news media.


– Mark L. Chance.

When I read the post to which you refer, I think he was speaking of the noble intentions of those who choose to serve. Shame on you for saying “There were no noble intentions.”

Regardless of how you feel, you are in no position to judge the intentions of our service men OR of those who are in charge. You cannot read their hearts or intents.

Hatred is an area weapon. Its bursting radius encompasses the people who serve and sacrifice.

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