Friday, April 18, 2008



Here is a copy of a letter I sent to the Chicago Sun-Times today. It speaks for itself. Please remember the Penleys in your prayers:

Letters to the Editor
Chicago Sun-Times
350 N. Orleans
Chicago, IL 60654


Page 21 of your Friday, April 18 edition featured a picture of Dena and David Penley at the funeral of their son, PFC Shane Penley, who was killed by sniper fire in Iraq. Included in the caption under the picture was a quote from Lt. Governor Pat Quinn who addressed the funeral: “The hardest thing to do is lose a child, but that is God’s will.”

Pat Quinn (no relation) is a good and honorable man and doubtless was doing his best to do the impossible: comfort Mr. and Mrs. Penley at the most horrific time one can imagine. Perhaps he wasn’t thinking, but surely Mr. Quinn cannot think that it is God’s will that Shane Penley, or anyone, should die in war. People don’t die in combat in compliance with God’s will. People die in war because other people defy God’s will. It was not God’s will that young Shane Penley, or anyone else, die in combat. People like Shane die in combat because national leaders on one side or the other decide to directly defy God’s will by starting armed conflicts for reasons that, in comparison to the human costs involved, always turn out to be frivolous.

God didn’t will Shane Penley to die before he had even begun to live. God does not wish us death; He wishes us life, and life eternal. It is when people decide to defy God’s will for us that other people, like young Shane Penley, and his parents, have to suffer the horrendous consequences.

Mark Quinn

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