Speaking Out Against Immorality And Sacrificing One's Life

Salvete, omnes!

I ask you to consider the following scenario:

A man lives in a country wherein a ruler in that country is performing acts of immorality, whether that be personal or political or against his people, whether that be as serious as putting people to death tyrannically or something more minor.

Is it that man’s (“everyman’s”) obligation to speak out against that ruler’s immorality even if there is the possibility that he may be killed for it, either by the leader himself or by his minions or by those who support that leader?

I have heard some moral theologians argue that, under pain of death, it is all right not to speak out, say, if you are being held captive. Would the same apply in the case I mentioned above?

Indeed, it seems that it was incumbent on early Christian martyrs not to deny Christ on pain of death. So, then, why wouldn’t it be incumbent on any Christian who sees immorality in a leader to speak out about it, even if his life is at risk?

For those who believe that it is not incumbent on this man to do this, please state why you think this is the case and why this man dying for the cause is not God’s required option. Also, for those who agree that speaking out even on pain of death is the what God requires, please also state your reasons and why you think the other alternative is not true.

Gratias vobis.

I believe we ARE called to speak out against injustice in ALL situations. I think many Catholic theologians fail to speak out about injustices and abuses within the Catholic Church and therefore they rationalize their own avoidant behaviors as being just.

Some are called to heroic virtue. And if you’re are called to heroic virtue then you will be given the courage for that.

Some are called to work for justice in other ways. we should always use prudential judgment as to when it is best to speak up and when it is best to be circumspect and use diplomacy. Sometimes “speaking out” can get other people killed and is therefore imprudent.

There is no black and white answer. It is very much dependent upon the circumstances.

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