Death Penalty and the Fifth Commandment
Life Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal for this Life Night is to help the teens understand the Fifth Commandment as it relates to the death penalty and self-defense. This night will also challenge the teens to see that every life, no matter what someone did, has dignity because every person is created in God’s image and likeness.
About this night
Although pretty well understood, the Fifth Commandment encompasses issues like the death penalty that can be very tough to navigate. This night will require many hours of preparation and prayer. This night will not only challenge your teens’ perspectives, but also challenge Core Members and parents. Be ready to have a follow-up discussion after the night concludes. This Life Night begins with a light-hearted small group game to help get the teens talking to one another. After the game, the teaching will discuss the issues of self-defense, the death penalty, and the limits of science and health on human body testing. From the teaching, the whole group will discuss these issues together in a large group setting. The night will close by praying for those who are imprisoned, on death row, and victims of crimes, as well as for the protection of all human life.
The topic of the death penalty is a controversial topic. When planning and preparing for this Life Night, it is imperative that everyone involved is well educated and prepared to present the topic to teens. Spend time as a Core Team learning the Church’s teaching on this topic. If necessary, bring in a theologian who can help teach and shed light before any planning begins. This will help you dictate the direction of the Life Night for your teens.
Tonight’s Life Night is focused on the Fifth Commandment – “Thou Shall Not Kill.” Using a different approach than usual, we will be discussing the topics of self-defense and the death penalty. Understanding that these topics can stir up different emotions, please take a few minutes this week to pray for our Life Night. For your own reference, we will be drawling our materials from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2263-2267 and 2302-2306. Spend some time in discussion with your teen about this topic using these references as a guide.
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