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).



  1. Brother Dan,

    As a Protestant ever cognizant of anti-Catholic bias, I think we should be careful (at least on the Protestant end) of critiques of cultural products simply because it’s “Roman.” Jesus’ was a victory through peace, but top-down conceptions of power are not limited to ancient Rome.

  2. Deacon Dan, respectfully, I would submit the counter-question of “Can one be anti-death penalty and pro-abortion?” And, while I agree and have become more aware of the dichotomy of the pro-life “agenda” of many within the GOP, the anti-life agenda (abortion, contrception, same-sex “marriage”) of the “other” party is just as hypocritical. Would the “other” party warrant such scutiny?

    While I also understand that all life is sacred, I obviously still struggle with spending tax dollars to pay for the life-long incareration of convicted criminals, found guily of the most egregious, heinous crimes against society. They are provided three squares a day, and many creature features, as well as an education (if they want), medical care and clothing — more than some middle-class Americans are having a difficulty to attain in today’s economy — and what have these convicted felons done to achieve such success? Seriously? Absolutely nothing! Oh, wait…they did kill someone or more likely multiple persons, rape and pillage, oh my! Then of course, if we were to make the inmates earn their keep, (i.e. chain-gang, public works), then there is the potential “human rights” violations. And, as the “other authors” article points out, the cost of death row inmates is exhorbitant, but I believe that it has become this way because of the bureacratic appeals process.

    Additionally, those who would also support the elimination of capital punishment, also in the same breath, call for more social programs, (which I too support), which could in theory help to prevent the need for crime. (I doubt that Pollyanna approach, but there is always hope). My tax dollars should be going to fund these social programs (excluding of course Planned Parenthood), infrastructure, education, and not keeping these “upstanding” citizens alive. (I would also include policians to this group, but that is another discussion!)

    Lastly, what about the “other” thief. Luke 23:39-43.

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