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. Ron Paul–a member of that same debate who has done very well in the polls–has expressed a very pro-life position. He is opposed to war and abortion. Could you recommend a more pro-life candidate?

    1. The Tuscon killer, Jared Lee Loughner is a diagnosed schizophrenic. To continue (by re-linking your 2011 post) to tie his killing spree to talk show hosts, by name, with whom you disagree politically, is not only unreasonable, it is unjust.

      It is equally unreasonable to justify a pacifist philosophy with these killings. Loughner’s demented spree had no relationship to wars, just or unjust.

      It is also unjust to insert an anti-gun/anti Perry message. I don’t own a gun and I don’t support Governor Perry for president, but the idea that it is unreasonable to have skill with firearms is most recently contradicted by the experience last week of Sarah Dawn McKinley.

      She is a young mother with a 3-month old infant who lives in a trailer in a remote area of Oklahoma. Two men attempted to force entry into her home. It was later learned that they were high on drugs and thought there might be some painkillers in McKinley’s home. Her husband died of cancer on Christmas Day.

      She called 911, but she lives 25 miles outside of Oklahoma City and no law officers could arrive in time. She put a bottle in the baby’s mouth, and pushed a sofa against the door. 24 year-old Justin Martin broke down the door and entered her home. She shot him.

      This kind of real-life problem must be understood by those of us who are privileged to live in ultra-safe communities and have the luxury of avoiding the decision about gun ownership. Some people do not.

      1. I offer a response and a warning.

        My response is that violence is never justified, period. It’s not a political statement, it’s a Gospel statement. Your story is indeed tragic because someone was killed and others indeed live in fear.

        The warning is that you must stay on topic in your comments here. I generally permit wide ranging comments, but I at times tire of the three or four commenters that take umbrage with a view that does not support their own and then offer replies that time and again return to their own agendas. You may respond to what is posted here, but respond to what is posted and avoid your own conjecture about my (that is the author’s) unwritten intentions or that of other commenters. I have been forced to delete a comment below because it veered too far off topic (speculating political agendas) and accusing the author of malevolent intent.

        Post enthusiastically, but do so on topic and respectfully. Thank you.

    2. I agree that I like Ron Paul’s anti-defense budget statements, although I do not personally support him as a candidate. He is correct to say we spend too much on war and military.

  2. With respect, I maintain that my comment WAS on topic — the topic presented in TWO principal posts. To maintain that young Widow McKinley was obligated by some Gospel mandate to allow two drugged intruders to enter her home is simply not reasonable. I made that case in a respectful manner.

    If controversial positions are presented, oppositional feedback should be expected and accepted.

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