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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:48 PM

Is gun ownership Christian?

According to the startling results of a survey released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute, 57 percent of white evangelicals live in homes where someone owns a gun (compared, for example, with 31 percent of Catholics.) And more startling, even after 20 first-graders were slaughtered in Connecticut at the hands of a madman with an assault rifle, 59 percent of white evangelicals continue to oppose tighter restrictions on gun laws.

An obvious question occurs in light of these results: How do such Christians reconcile their stalwart commitment to the Second Amendment with their belief in a gospel that preaches nonviolence? The Christian Lord allowed himself to be crucified rather than fight the injustice of the death sentence imposed on him. “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” he says, in the Gospel of Matthew. The Bible is mute on the matter of guns, of course, but it is impossible to imagine that Jesus would find anything good to say about them.

With the Newtown tragedy so fresh and its victims so innocent, conservative Christian leaders are not falling over themselves to proclaim in public their pro-gun theologies. Neverthless, such arguments do exist. I will address some of them, moving generally from unpersuasive credos to more-convincing assertions of individual rights and responsibilities.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-25/national/36546593_1_gun-ownership-gun-violence-newtown-tragedy

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is gun ownership Christian? (Original post)
SecularMotion Feb 2013 OP
dimbear Feb 2013 #1
rug Feb 2013 #10
dimbear Feb 2013 #13
WHEN CRABS ROAR Feb 2013 #2
libdem4life Feb 2013 #3
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #6
libdem4life Feb 2013 #8
okasha Feb 2013 #9
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #22
TheCowsCameHome Feb 2013 #4
cbayer Feb 2013 #5
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #7
EvilAL Feb 2013 #11
tama Feb 2013 #14
EvilAL Feb 2013 #17
tama Feb 2013 #18
EvilAL Feb 2013 #19
jberryhill Feb 2013 #20
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #12
tama Feb 2013 #15
LARED Feb 2013 #16
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #23
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #21
Plantaganet Feb 2013 #24
cbayer Feb 2013 #26
ButterflyBlood Feb 2013 #25
cbayer Feb 2013 #27
trotsky Feb 2013 #28

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:53 PM

1. Before admiring the meekness of the Christian Lord's submission, turn to the last

pages of the book, Revelations, and read about the terrible revenge He has planned.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:28 PM

10. I'm sure there's a whole chapter about assault rifles there.

Really, do you seriously think the argument about the Second Amendment has a shred of a connection to the Bible?

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Response to rug (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:46 AM

13. The OP suggests that Yeshua was a passive victim. The tale told in Revelations shows how wrong

that view is for Bible believers. I've seen it called the violence of the Lamb.

That would be the inspiration for rightwing Jesus, I suspect.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 07:59 PM

2. A gun is like a sword but with a hair trigger.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:09 PM

3. I think it's important to put ourselves in the shoes of the rural, self-sufficient, Manifest Destiny

folk...and I mean that with all respect. If not for our ancestors who gave life and limb to settle the West against all odds and lived by their guns as well as their wits, we'd likely still be in the EU.

The population increase, migration to the urban areas and reduction of farm sizes and influence did not automatically decrease the cultural responsibility of protection of the family and the family homestead. Bonanza and The Rifleman and Little House on the Prairie did not come out of nowhere...guns meant survival and even progress in many ways. Some still have that primordial sense of self-preservation that the local Sheriff isn't able to provide.

Newtown and other mass shootings did not happen on the Texas or Oklahoma or Wyoming Prairie. The urban version requires laying down the weapons and depending for protection on local law enforcement. Depending on your situation, this may or may not be reassuring.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:17 PM

6. Off topic.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:24 PM

8. So let me relate it to the topic. The American West and the wagon trains et al were driven by a

cultural and religious belief that represented their ultimate destiny. They weren't meditating in front of the Buddha with prayer scarves for protection. I just assumed that was a given.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 09:08 PM

9. Your, not «our,» ancestors

who risked life and limb to settle the West committed genocide to take the land. TV shows present a very selective and romanticied view of white incursion into what was then Native or Mexican territoty. Racism remains a key aspect among right wing defenders of unrestricted gun ownership. .

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Response to okasha (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:20 PM

22. thank you.

 

that was more powerful coming from you than from me (about as WASP-blooded as one can get). helpful suggestion libdem4life.. whatever you do.. don't mistake 'manifest destiny' for a bright spot in america's history.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:09 PM

4. Well, apparently they are worshipped in some circles. n/t

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:12 PM

5. Evangelicals tend to be very right on social issues, so this should come as no surprise.

There are christian group forming coalitions to work for much tighter gun control, so the answer to the question is clearly no, and the author makes a very strong case for that.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 08:19 PM

7. Not to me.

But then, I'm not a Christian.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:05 PM

11. Jesus never said bad shit about weapons

too much. Like the article said, it is impossible to imagine that Jesus would find anything good to say about them. Anything with "impossible" and "imagine" and "Jesus" is messed up.

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Response to EvilAL (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:09 AM

14. Couple things come to mind

 

"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
http://bible.cc/matthew/26-52.htm

And as for money&guns Christians, I'm reminded of the parable of Prodigal Son.

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Response to tama (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:13 AM

17. Doesn't he say

he brings not peace, but a sword.. although it's left to interpretation and context. I don't understand the reason you posted the prodigal son parable. I was not very familiar with it so I read the wiki article and it seems more about waste and loss than guns.

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Response to EvilAL (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:31 AM

18. I'm not Christian

 

and certainly not Christian Authority, but I can imagine and speculate, that the "prodigal son" in this case could be interpreted as Christians that turn the teaching of Jesus to authoritarian power trips, control mania and Mammon worship and in that way waste it. And the teaching of that parable would be patience and forgiveness to all "prodigal sons" etc. lost sheep, or rather "greater" love as those lost from the flock have greater need for love and care than the "peace and love" types.

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Response to tama (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:51 AM

19. Ahhh, I get it.. nt

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Response to tama (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 07:42 PM

20. Jesus never complained about him having the sword in the first place


He'd been hanging out with Jesus the whole time, with a sword, and not a peep from Jesus.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:03 PM

12. I grew up in a household where guns were used strictly for hunting and plinking.

However, my dad's job as a firefighter with the Division of Forestry kept him away from home for extended periods during the summer/fire season months. During those times my mom also kept a .22 pistol in a drawer at bedside.

I don't believe gun ownership is either Christian or unChristian; in my mind, what a person does, or is willing to do, with a gun is what is open to characterization, and probably points to larger issues of Christian teaching. My mom was willing to use her .22 in self-defense (probably not the best weapon for that) so I suppose that would be subject to interpretation.

Thinking about it as I write this...I guess the simple ownership of a gun could represent a willingness to use it against another human, but I'm not sure that's a given.

Asking a Mennonite or Quaker gun owner might be interesting, if such a person exists.

Edit: ...always get another thought after posting...

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:13 AM

15. Many Amish hunt

 

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:12 AM

16. Is car ownership Christian?

 

Is knife ownership Christian?

Is hammer ownership Christian?

Is conflating two completely different things non-christian. Not likely

According to the startling results of a survey released last week by the Public Religion Research Institute, 57 percent of white evangelicals live in homes where someone owns a gun (compared, for example, with 31 percent of Catholics.) And more startling, even after 20 first-graders were slaughtered in Connecticut at the hands of a madman with an assault rifle, 59 percent of white evangelicals continue to oppose tighter restrictions on gun laws.

An obvious question occurs in light of these results: How do such Christians reconcile their stalwart commitment to the Second Amendment with their belief in a gospel that preaches nonviolence?


Actually the obvious question is why is there a difference between evangelical Christians and Catholics. Not why do evangelicals hold a set of beliefs that the authors defined as in conflict but are not. When did a commitment to the second amendment become inconsistent with a commitment to nonviolence? It never was and never will be. Not to mention the scriptural cherry picking by the author used in error regarding why Jesus allowed himself to be crucified.

The Christian Lord allowed himself to be crucified rather than fight the injustice of the death sentence imposed on him.


I used to teach eighth grade Sunday school and I am pretty sure most of my students over the years would recognize the sophistry, false dichotomy of that statement.



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Response to LARED (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:26 PM

23. really sunday school students would recognize sophistry?

 

what about weasel words and blurred distinctions? would they recognize those? because my students would, though not on sunday.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 08:17 PM

21. hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111!!!1

 

oh my. oh goodness. -> wiping tears off my cheeks <-

that's a good one.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:18 PM

24. It's funny...

...theists refuse to acknowledge any link between religion and homophobia, even though it's patently obvious. Those people meddling about in Uganda? They're just assholes who "use" religion to hurt others.

Seems to me we can make the same argument here. After all, guns don't kill people - people kill people.

Don't get me wrong, I despise guns. But the double standard is rather glaring.

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Response to Plantaganet (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:05 AM

26. The religious right has made built their political platform on homophobia., and the

religious left has formed many organized groups within the various denominations and sects to fight back and for GLBT rights. So I am not sure where you get the idea that "theists" refuse to acknowledge the link.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:58 AM

25. Jesus didn't disapprove

Luke 22:36

"He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:12 AM

27. Only if you want to read this literally and take it entirely out of context.

Try this one:

Matthew 26:52

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:51 AM

28. Did you just criticize someone for reading a verse literally and out of context

by quoting another verse, taking it literally and out of context?

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