The Violent Power of Words: A Franciscan’s Response

This reflection is now available in Daniel P. Horan, OFM’s book Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century: Selected Reflections from the Dating God Blog and Other Essays, Volume One (Koinonia Press, 2013).

16 Responses to “The Violent Power of Words: A Franciscan’s Response”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bill Wendel, Daniel P. Horan, OFM. Daniel P. Horan, OFM said: The Violent Power of Words: A Franciscan's Response: http://t.co/bq9CEkX […]

  2. Excellent post, and completely agree. However, I think just a little slanted with only calling out the hard-right Rebublicans or “Tea-Party”. I seem to recall vicous name-calling from both sides of the isle. (e.g. Pelosi). Let’s face facts, neither of the parties are in complete keeping with the doctrine of the Holy Mother Church. We can only pray for everyone’s enlightenment by the Holy Spirit for their fulfillment as authentic person Imago Dei. PAX et vivat Iesus!

  3. Br Dan, I did not make all of these connections… Thanks for sharing!

    I also find it offensive that Glenn Beck and similar TV personalities (on both sides of the political fence) don’t always believe what they say, but rely on the caustic effect of their words to improve their ratings….all the while tearing people, families, relationships apart. If that isn’t sinful– what is?

  4. In fairness, both sides have to come to some place of wanting to find unity. That said, the left for all of its snarky humor, lacks the stunning vitriol of the right… unless I am missing something.

  5. I agree with Matthew. After talking about recent events with a very smart woman (my mother), she brought to my attention this democrat “Targeting Strategy” map (http://goo.gl/st9PQ) that bears a striking resemblance to the Palin map you’ve referenced.

    Sadly, both parties appear to be equally guilty of using violent words and images.

  6. Both sides guilty, yes. Equally guilty, no.

    • Equally, YES! (But, on this point we can agree to disagree). This I don’t want to do what the media and parties are doing, taking advantage of a tragic situation.

  7. angelus gambatese Says:

    I agree with Fran Rossi and do not think Rebecca can substantiate her statements (equally guilty). While a liberal or democrat may speak in violent terms, it is clearly an aberration. Vitriol and violence and killing are part of the logic of the exteme right. It is the same logic used by Islamic terrorists. If evil exists we have the obligation to eliminate it or those who espouse it. Whether the world trade center or the doctor who performs abortions; their destruction is God’s work. There is nothing like this in the liberal and left wing attitude or logic. In fact, its logic is one of tolerance (which is a dangerous doctrine to the right wing and is rightly targeted for elimination.

  8. Angelus, I do believe you are slightly mistaken with your concept of extremism. Your implication that only the right is concern with “death and destuction is completely false. The last time I checked, NEITHER of the parties is in complete union with the Holy Mother Church. Democrats generally speaking are pro-choice, ergo the killing of completely innocent life, and the prevention of life. Also, Democrats support gay-marriage, ergo destroying the God-create, natural family “unit”. (I do recognize there are conservative democrats, who support traditional family values, and Catholic Social teaching). Republicans traditionally support a strong defense, the death penalty, (hence the killing aspect, but one could include the arguement using the “innocent” part); traditional family values and pro-life: all of which goes against “progressive” secularly influenced agenda.
    There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance. Just because someone tolerates something, does not mean that it acceptable. We still must maintain a set of ideals: That is each of our calls to Holiness and communion with God. We as Catholics need to accept the human dignity of a person, and accept that we are ALL a “work-in-progress”. But by no means does this acceptance of the dignity of the human person, make acceptable certain egregious sins, counter to the secular world’s influence. Because we do co-exist with other people, we have to tolerate others, but unfortunately, the secular world (especially the progressives), have forced to “accept” their agenda, which other than the social justice issues, is completely counter to God given and authenically ordered, natural law.
    In the end, as God has given us all free-will and intellect, we have to make the “choice” between the lesser of two evils especially with the election process.

  9. James 3:7-10

    7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

    Sticks and stones for sure, but I agree it is from the tounge that so much violence and strife is birthed.

    Regards,

    Tony

  10. […] One thing that has become clear to me in recent months is that I feel more and more compelled to highlight the nonviolent tradition that stands at the core of Christian living, particularly from the vantage point of the Franciscan movement’s prophetic reminder of this truth. While talking with a friend recently, it occurred to me that this increasing passion for raising questions about violence, war and peace in our world really began to ratchet up in January after the Tucson shooting that left Rep. Giffords injured. I started to write more explicitly about violence and Christian discipleship in places like this blog (For example, see: “On Baptism and Violence: A Sad Reflection,” “Our Call Amid Violence: Be A Light to the Nations,” and “The Violent Power of Words: A Franciscan Response.“). […]

  11. […] incredibly powerful (see my comments after January’s horrible attack on Rep. Giffords: “The Violent Power of Words: A Franciscan’s Response“). There is sound reason to correlate the tone and tenor of public discourse about a minority […]

  12. See Floreto de Sant Francisco, anonimus 1492, ed. Juana Maria Arcelus Ulibarrena, Fundaciòn Universitaria Espanola/Universidad Pontificia Salamanca, Madrid 1998.

  13. See José Maria Pou y Martì, Visionarios, beguinos y fraticelos catalanes, ed. Cisneros, Madrid 1991.

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