There is no cartoon, drawing, artistic statement or other work of art that could ever justify murder, under any circumstances. Radical Islamic terrorists killed 12 people at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in response to that paper’s publishing cartoons insulting the prophet Mohammed. Four more people were killed in a Jewish grocery store as Paris endured two more days of violence. Al Qaida has taken responsibiliy for the attacks, and threatens more in the future. A week after the attacks, Charlie Hebdo published as scheduled, featuring another cartoon on Mohammad on the cover. Thousands of people from France and all over the world came together to march in protest of these evil actions, and in support of freedom of speech.
This Teaching the Faith with Current Events elesson uses these terrible events as a way to explore the Fifth Commandment and the importance of a well-formed conscience. As Catholics, we have a responsibility to obey just laws, but our duty does not end there. We also have a responsibility to discern whether actions are virtuous. A well-formed conscience, enlightened by the Word of God, helps us to know how to do good and avoid evil.