Newsweek & the 8th Commandment

Maybe we should extradite Newsweek editors to this town in Colombia --where gossip that causes death is punishable by jail. Curtsy to The Daily Eudemon for this story.

"Fed up with people targeted by false rumors turning up dead or wrongfully arrested, the mayor of a small Colombian town has made gossip a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.
"Human beings must be aware and recognize that having a tongue and using it to do bad is the same as having dynamite in their mouths," says an official municipal decree issued last year in Icononzo, 40 miles southwest of the capital, Bogota."

RC2 is reminded of the wisdom of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2477. In the section on offenses against truth, it reads:
"Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
  • of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor.
  • of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them.
  • of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

#2479 reveals the pro-life reason these things are wrong: "Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity."

And for the "Entertainment" pages of the papers, we have this from "#2480: "Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct."

What does justice require in Korangate? Again, the CCC: "Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation. . . .This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience."