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. Christian acceptance of execution is shameful and an abomination. The cock crows at every blood sacrifice and the execution of Troy Davis is no exception. Those morally troubled by these sacrificial spectacles should view their unease as the voice of conscience informing them/us of profound wrongdoing and a betrayal of Jesus Christ.

    Gil Bailie’ in Violence Unveiled: writes:

    ” even when proven evil doers are publicly scorned or punished by persons or institutions representing righteousness indignation of the whole community, not even their glaring moral failures and criminal behavior will be enough to entirely cancel out empathy for victims that the gospel inspires.”

    Coventry Patmore ” A London Fete”

    ” They brought the man out to be hanged.

    Then came from all the people there

    A single cry, that shook the air;

    Mothers held up their babies to see,

    Who spread their hands and crowed for glee;

    Here a girl from her vesture tore

    A rag to wave with and joined the roar…

    ” That single cry is precisely what such rituals are all about. It is the verbal equivalent of the stones rained on the victim of a maddened mob…..”

  2. Troy Davis & The Innocent Frauds of the anti death penalty lobby
    Dudley Sharp,

    The Troy Davis campaign, like many before it (1), is a simple, blatant fraud, easily uncovered by the most basic of fact checking (1).

    The 2010 federal court innocence hearing found:

    ” . . . Mr. Davis is not innocent: the evidence produced at the hearing on the merits of Mr. Davis’s claim of actual innocence and a complete review of the record in this case does not require the reversal of the jury’s judgment that Troy Anthony Davis murdered City of Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail on August 19, 1989.” (2)

    “Ultimately, while Mr. Davis’s new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors.” (2)

    “As a body, this evidence does not change the balance of proof that was presented at Mr.
    Davis’s trial.”(2)

    “The vast majority of the evidence at trial remains intact, and the new evidence is largely not credible or lacking in probative value.” (2)

    None of this came as a surprise to anyone who actually followed the case, in contrast to the Save Troy Davis folks who were, willingly, duped.

    1) a) “Troy Davis: Worldwide anti death penalty deceptions, rightly, failed”,

    b) “Troy Davis fairly convicted, not ‘railroaded’ ”

    2) “Innocence Hearing”, ordered by the US Supreme Court, US DISTRICT COURT, in the SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA, SAVANNAH DIV.,RE TROY ANTHONY DAVIS, CASE NO. CV409-130

  3. Bernardin missed the nail, altogether.

    For 2000 years the Catholic Church taught that the death penalty respects human life and dignity and is a just, appropriate­e and, sometimes, mandatory sanction for murder. The Church’s recent change is based upon an inaccurate­, secular prudential judgement, finding prison security a sufficient “defense of society” that use of the death penalty is all but unnecessary­ay. Forgiveness­ and love incorporate­e justice, inclusive of the death penalty, as detailed by Church teaching and reason

    a) “Death Penalty Support: Christian and secular Scholars”

    b) Christianity and the death penalty

    c) Catholic and other Christian References: Support for the Death Penalty,

    much more . . .

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