Obama Sticking to his Guns….. or Sticking it to Guns

I was minding my own business this morning when I received an email from my Senator—- who is Rand Paul.  In just about his first act in office as a newly minted Senator he decided to rant and rave because President Obama has banned the re-importing of about a million antique  M1 rifles.   It appears that South Korea would like to give us back these antiques— so gun collectors at gun shows can sell them all over the U.S. and make a profit.   Just what America needs— more guns sold cheaply.

One wonders if Rand Paul bothered to ask whether the gun manufacturers in America really want the market flooded with a million of these old guns?  Is that really good for new gun sales?  Probably not.   In any case,  Rand Paul had the gall in this email message to suggest that somehow someway what our President did was a violation of our right to bear arms.  Really?   Really?

President Obama hasn’t banned gun sales in America has he?   He hasn’t had any Democrats sponsor a bill to make it impossible for private citizens to buy arms has he?    No, he hasn’t.    He has just prevented the importing of old used guns.    Hooray for common sense.   We don’t need any more guns in this country and we certainly don’t need to import them.  We have plenty of new and used guns EVERYWHERE  in this country.

And here is where I say, I am not happy with my Senator, who claims to be a Christian, suggesting that our President is being unpatriotic in what he did.   I don’t really think it is ethical to gin up the gun lobby people and gun toting Americans because of this single act.   Frankly, America doesn’t need any more mementos of war.    What it needs is more reminders that ‘blessed are the peacemakers’  (and no,  Jesus was not making a euphemistic reference to a really large gun).     What it needs is less guns and more strict gun control laws so the Gabrielle Giffords of this world don’t get shot in the line of duty, as public servants,  by crazy people toting guns that they can too easily buy at all sorts of stores in America. Frankly I am on the side of the police on this issue.  We need much more strict gun control laws in this country, so our police actually have a fighting chance against drug barons and all sorts of other people who wish to do us harm.

I think  Rand Paul needs to spend less of my Kentucky tax dollars on such issues, trying to raise money for the NRA, and more on figuring out what makes for peace in our country, and less violence.   I think he needs to spend a little more time reading the Sermon on the Mount and perhaps watching the movie  Witness.   Then he can get back to me about his moral outrage at the Presidential decision to not allow the importing of a million old guns.   Frankly, Rand has no right or rights to be outraged about this decision, and as a Christian, he should have applauded it.    It’s time to start beating some of those swords of ours into plowshares anyway.

  • http://saintsandsceptics@blogspot.com graham veale

    Well said, Dr Witherington.

    I’ll try to say this a humbly as I possibly can. I think that American Evangelicals should take a good read of Carl Trueman’s “Republocrat”.

    Evangelicals in the rest of the world look to the publications of US evangelicals for ideas and leadership. But when it comes to politics US evangelicals leave us with little guidance; in fact they can leave us a little dumbfounded at times.

    We detect a tendency to view politics in Manichean terms (GOP good, Democrat bad) rather than a realisation that politics is the “art of the possible”.

    Graham Veale

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben witherington

    Well I certainly agree with you Graham. If you read my previous post on gun control over on Beliefnet a couple of months ago, your conclusions about American Evangelicals will only be verified in spades.

    BW3

  • http://www.theamplifiedlife.blogspot.com Chris

    Amen!

    I live in a rural area and I recently found out a local pastor “packs heat” even while in the pulpit. My thoughts were similar to yours, Dr. Witherington, I wondered if he had read the Sermon on the Mount. I don’t know when Christianity became equated with guns and war but I do not see that lining up with Scripture. It saddens me when my fellow brothers act in such a way.

  • Scott

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2011/02/03/the-president-at-the-prayer-breakfast
    In this post you said we should be charitable to President Obama when it comes to evaluating his Christian faith. I question Obama’s faith based on his support for abortion, and his lack of support for traditional marriage. Where is the charity in this post to Rand Paul’s Christian faith?

  • http://www.oscarsflickpicks.com Oscar

    No link to Rand’s “rant”? It would be nice to read it ourselves.

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben witherington

    Scott I do not question Rand Paul’s Christian faith a bit. What I do question is the disconnect between his faith and various of his political views, and you are right, the same can be said of other Christian politicians like Obama. However, he has numerous times said that his view of marriage was the traditional heterosexual monogamy view. I have heard him say this, so I don’t think there is much reason to question that. His stance on abortion I don’t agree with.

    BW3

  • http://saintsandsceptics@blogspot.com graham veale

    I think that the problem with the abortion “litmus test” is that it makes Christian reasoning on other political issues redundant.

    It also leaves Christians in countries in which all the electable parties are uniformly pro-choice and pro-homosexual marriage (England&Wales; Scotland) bereft of advice and guidance.

    Trueman argues that Republican and Democrat are locked into particular political narratives about freedom and oppression. For Republicans we need freedom from bureaucracy and moral chaos; for Democrats we need freedom from big business and moral totalitarianism. (I think that this makes better sense that Sowell’s “annointed” vs “tragic” visions.) A Christian should see some merit in both narrative, but remember that their narrative does not begin with the landing on Plymouth Rock (or the Glorious Revolution for that matter).

    Graham

  • http://saintsandsceptics@blogspot.com graham veale

    (That said, I would find it very difficult to vote for a “pro-choice” candidate, if not impossible. But that does not mean that I am under an obligation to vote for a pro-life candidate if that candidate holds dangerous and irresponsible views, or if that candidate is incompetent)

  • Scott

    Thanks for the reply. I think in the last week, the Obama administration is no longer going to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. DOMA is the law of the land.”Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/obama-doma-unconstitutional_n_827134.html. I know this is not a gay marriage post, but it seems to me the President is legitimizing it by bypassing the courts. It does not seem to me he is willing to defend traditional marriage. You do make me think though, and i appreciate your posts.

  • Dan

    Graham,
    The problem with abortion being a major issue is that it’s not going to change in the near future. There were more abortions under Bush than there were under Clinton. I’m very much against abortion, but I just don’t see Roe v. Wade getting overturned.

    I also don’t understand our obsession with traditional marriage. While I see homosexuality as being against God’s design, what good does a law do? Will homosexuals stop sinning against God in that way simply because a law prohibits them from getting married. Even if a law were passed tomorrow to ban homosexuals from getting married, zero hearts would be changed. People would still be engaging in homosexual acts. and nobody would be closer to the Kingdom because of that law. Why put so much effort into fighting over a law that doesn’t change hearts? Why not spend our time thinking about ways to actually make an impact?

  • http://saintsandsceptics@blogspot.com graham veale

    Dan
    Amen on abortion. I didn’t want to say too much as an “outsider”. But I sympathise with your concerns. I suppose it might be more polite for me to pose a question.
    “What have the pro-life Presidents achieved?”

    Graham

  • Wiglaf

    Hi Ben,

    Seems to me, if the United States is going to present itself as a free market, capitalist society, then the administration should not be deciding what can and cannot be sold; especially regarding an antique 8 round semi-auto rifle. A weapon that actually does use a “clip” and not a magazine, by the way.

    Regarding Rand Paul, I commend him for making this known to his constituents. I think that is part of his job; informing the voters what congress and the administration is doing.

    Regarding Christians and guns, the bible supports defending your life. It is your responsibility to protect your life and, one could argue, to show the same effort to protect others lives. Someone who is violating the sanctity of life does not have the right to the same protection. The true peacemaker is one who spreads the gospel so that the Holy Spirit can bring peace between man and God through the mediation of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He brings peace between man and God. None of this goes against man’s right to defend his life using the most efficient means available.

    As a reminder of the danger of taking a one sided, simplistic view of scripture, please remember Jesus also said, “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword” and “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.” Would you also take a literal simplistic interpretation of these passages?

  • Wiglaf

    @ 3 Chris,

    I’m guessing Rand Paul would be against most if not all our foreign incursions. If he takes the same position as his father, then he’s a non-interventionist.

  • Wiglaf

    Ben,
    I know some police officers who are very quick to point out that the courts determined it is not the responsibility of law enforcement to protect us. It is the citizen’s responsibility to provide for his own protection. The police are not all on the side of strict gun control. Also, Loughner only needed a one round gun to put a bullet through Gifford’s head.

    Another biblical point: It’s interesting that Israel, under the Philistines, had no armor, swords, or blacksmiths among them. While presented descriptively, it certainly does not present Israel in a good light for being unable to fight with the most efficient weapons of the time.

  • Craig

    Wiglaf,
    See Ben’s comments here:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2011/01/20/enough-of-the-sword-play-luke-22-38/

    Also, the comment, “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword,” has absolutely nothing to do with Christians violently defending their lives. Context is vital.

    Craig

  • Wiglaf

    @ 15 Craig,

    Um, yes, context is vital, as you say. Which means, you should practice what you preach and read what I commented again. The link you gave shows an interpretation of the passage by Ben that bolsters my point. I implicitly gave Ben the benefit of the doubt by assuming that his answer to the last question in comment 12 would be a resounding “no.”

    It’s interesting that we understand, through the linked article, that the disciples were entirely missing the point. This means Jesus was not arguing for weapons for self-defense. He was not arguing for an armed takeover of Israel against the Romans. Why? Because His kingdom is not of this world! This has nothing whatsoever to do with the morality of defending your person with the most efficient means of self defense. The first comment on that link again ignores that “context is vital.” How does one, in a right handed society, slap a person they are facing on the right cheek? That would be a back handed slap; even today, understood as an insult and not a threat to your life.

  • Craig

    Wiglaf,

    Perhaps I misunderstood your intent here:
    Comment 12: “Regarding Christians and guns, the bible supports defending your life…”

    Please provide some examples. Specifically in the New Testament, I see no such support.

  • Wiglaf

    BTW,

    I am all for personal behavior as is stated here:

    “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

    Avoiding violence where possible is wisdom. Avoiding taking a life where possible is wisdom if the only thing you fear losing is some property. Perhaps martial arts like Aikido could teach Christians a lot in regards to “winning the fight” with a “soft answer.”

    Regardless, there may come a time where you are faced with a situation where only bullets flying at 1,000 fps are the appropriate response, either from you, a fellow citizen, or the police officer charged with enforcing the law.

  • Wiglaf

    @ 17 Craig,

    Exodus 22:2-3
    1 Samuel 25:13 (who’s swords?)
    Judges 5:6-8
    Nehemiah 4:17-18
    Psalm 144:1
    Matthew 26:52-54 (tell me, did Jesus rebuke Peter for HAVING a sword?)

    This goes for the use of the sword language period. No where in scripture is there a general prescription AGAINST self defense through the most efficient means possible. Craig, I think the onus is on you to demonstrate that the new testament somehow abrogates one’s personal responsibility to defend his life and protect the life of his neighbor against those who would take it.

  • Wiglaf

    Ben,
    Just to add another thought, what are your thought’s on the weaker brother? Hypothetically, supposing your pacifist argument is correct, is it right for you to demand that the government enforce your view of pacifism on others through strict gun control? I don’t demand that you carry a gun or protect yourself if attacked. Why do you demand that my right to defend myself with the most efficient technological means be restricted through government coercion?

  • graham veale

    @Wiglaf

    Should a free market economy regulate the sale of heroin?

    Graham

  • Wiglaf

    @Graham,

    As far as I know, there is no biblical warrant for the government regulation of the sale of heroin.

    As we all know, if there was no regulation of drugs, people would run the streets naked with machetes chopping off limbs and heads of babies and eating them. Just as when guns are more freely available in states that have relaxed carry laws, shootouts occur everywhere and society descends into chaos.

    Perhaps, Graham, I should answer your question this way: Do you believe that polls, statistics, and the politics of pragmatism should guide your beliefs on right and wrong or scripture? “Lord, who shall dwell in thy holy hill?…He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” If you live in the U.S., you live in a country whose constitution recognizes the responsibility of its citizens/people (not government) to have and bear arms. Scripture presents self defense positively. Will you go with scripture and the U.S. Constitution or violate both in favor of what you believe is the pragmatic choice; what politicians tell you that the statistics “prove?”

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben witherington

    Yes indeed, Jesus did rebuke Peter for having a sword. He said— ‘enough of this’ when they mentioned they had them. And Mr. Wiglaf you are entirely missing the Sermon on the Mount which is clear enough about non-violence, and even non-resistance to violence. Remember ‘turn the other cheek’? The NT frankly does not affirm self-protection. It affirms, self sacrifice, a very different notion indeed. I would encourage you to go and read my lengthy post on Beliefnet on guns, from December, and then get back to me.

    BW3

  • Craig

    Wiglaf,

    Comment 18: “there may come a time where you are faced with a situation where only bullets flying at 1,000 fps are the appropriate response…”

    Really? I think Jesus shows us a better way! Do you really think Jesus would shoot guns at other people? If not, then why would his followers?

    Comment 19:
    Only one quote from the New Testament?

    As for Matthew 26:52-54, “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” certainly sounds like a rebuke to me. What then is the point of HAVING a sword?

    You were correct in comment 16 when you mentioned that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. Why then do you insist upon utilizing the violence of the kingdoms of this world? While the State does have the right to bear the sword (Romans 13), as citizens of God’s kingdom we live by a different set of laws – i.e. the Law of Christ, where we love our enemies, and overcome evil with good.

    And no, the onus is on you to demonstrate that Jesus taught his followers to violently defend themselves when “appropriate.”

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben witherington

    I think it most certainly is the duty of the government to protect its citizens from harm, and its no accident that the motto of the police since time immemorial is ‘to serve and to protection’, so honestly I don’t care what some singular quirky court said about the matter. It is also equally clear to me that Rom. 13 and 1 Peter both affirm the importance and need for a strong central government which has every right to ask for taxes to perform its tasks, and has responsibility for peace and justice issues. The personal ethics of Christians is another matter. They are called to a higher ethical standard than non-Christian governments, particularly when it comes to the issues of violence. They are as Rom. 12.18ff says to live peaceably with one another, never avenge themselves, leaving such matters in the hands of God, and instead are to love and feed and cloth their enemies and those who persecute them, overcoming evil with good, not with guns.

    BW3

  • Wiglaf

    Ben,
    Did you read all my comments including this?
    “The first comment on that link again ignores that “context is vital.” How does one, in a right handed society, slap a person they are facing on the right cheek? That would be a back handed slap; even today, understood as an insult and not a threat to your life.”

    Saying Jesus was rebuking Peter for having a sword by saying “enough of this” is a bit of an inference on your part, don’t you think? I don’t see that in the text. Even if it were, it may be descriptive of the life Jesus knew Peter was to live, but that doesn’t make it a general prescription.

    In any case, I’d say scripture affirms that we love one another and not allow ourselves to get embattled and embittered in petty arguments and perceived insults. “Thou shalt not kill” does indeed affirm self protection. The negative implies a positive regarding protecting life.

  • graham veale

    Wiglaf

    This is entirely my point. I am not a citizen of the United States. When Americans cite their Constitution as if it was Holy Writ I scent a whiff of idolatry. Our neighbours in Eire do not cite their constitition in this manner. It’s odd, to be frank. And it leaves American Evangelicals with very little to say to their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

    Graham

  • Wiglaf

    Ben, I find it interesting that you left off the first part of Romans 12:18 – “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” And no, it was not a singular quirky court. It was multiple court cases. Precedence was established and I’m sure judges would likely throw such lawsuits out because of precedence.

    Defending your life in an attack is not vengeance. It’s clear in Romans that Paul is not talking about an attempt on your life. That goes with the sermon on the mount as well. Please, let’s see some context. And Ben, I’d still like to hear why you see the slap on the right cheek as an attempt on one’s life and not an insult. If someone “slaps” you by putting a bullet in your head, how are you supposed to have the capacity give him the other side of your head?

  • Wiglaf

    @ graham,
    I think you missed my point because I wasn’t clear. Our politicians swear by the constitution and then find ways to supplant it based on their own supposedly pragmatic view. See, again, Psalm 15. Every politician swears to uphold the constitution.

  • graham veale

    Out of curiosity – how many innocent bystanders got killed by swords in the ancient world?

    And was there a difference between a sports sword and a fully automatic?

    What did law enforcement officers believe about concealed swords?

    Could kids smuggle them into synagogue?

  • Wiglaf

    @ Craig,
    You say, “Really? I think Jesus shows us a better way! Do you really think Jesus would shoot guns at other people? If not, then why would his followers? ”

    Did Jesus need to? How did he just walk through and angry mob ready to stone him because it wasn’t his time?

    Did Jesus defend himself from the vicious verbal attacks of the Pharisees and teachers of the law?

  • Wiglaf

    @ 30 graham,

    Sorry. I fail to see your point. Are you saying that the apostles could carry spears because then they might have a legitimate sporting purpose by chucking them at animals for food?

  • graham veale

    wiglaf

    So an American Christian cannot critique the American Constitution, without failing to be a good citizen? And an American politician certainly cannot, once they have taken an oath to uphold it?

    Surely you can’t mean this?

    Graham

  • graham veale

    My point is that you cannot read Jesus’ (apparent) approval of the possession of swords as approval of the possession of guns. It’s anachronistic nonsense.

  • graham veale

    And, obviously, the availability of firearms creates social problems that the availability of swords did not.

  • Phillip

    Wiglaf,

    Your points are tortured beyond reason. You argue, for instance, that somehow Jesus only saying “Put away your sword, for if you live by the sword, you die by the sword” is somehow still an endorsement for having a sword and using it in certain instances. This isn’t anywhere in the text, yet that’s how you interpret it. Then, you criticize Dr. Witherington for making an inference that certainly seems to be the point of the text to me. I mean, Jesus was certainly about to lose his life, and if there was ever a human being that deserved to defend his own life, even to the point of violence, it was Jesus. BUT, he doesn’t do that, and he does scold Peter for attempting to do it.

    If you’re going to assume that the slapping on the cheek thing wasn’t a call for non-violence (which is frankly just special pleading) then how about the beatitude blessing the peacemaker, or the part a few verses later about not resisting an evil-doer? Are you now going to argue that these were all not really saying what they appear to be saying? If you’re looking for an exact equivalent to protecting your life, the closest you’re going to get is Jesus (and see above). Paul also rejects a violent protection of his life, as do (according to church tradition) the other apostles.

    Face it, the unanimous confession of the NT is that violence is incompatible with proclaiming the gospel. If you live according to the Kingdom, you have to be ready to lose your life. Imagine if Jesus, Paul, and others had commended others to follow the way of the cross, even to the point of death, but then also expected or encouraged them to protect their lives with violence. What kind of sense does that make?

  • Wiglaf

    @ 35 Philip,

    I think you make a mistake of interpreting something that is descriptive as generally prescriptive for everyone. People used to wear the WWJD bracelets. Well, Jesus would die on the cross and save us from our sins. Are you saying that that is prescriptive for you as well? Surely not.

    Regarding your first point, Matthew 26 demonstrates that Jesus had the capability of defending himself with legions, but he didn’t because he knew what he had to do; and that was not to rule an earthly kingdom.

    Pray tell me Philip, try facing someone and slapping them on the right cheek. Have you NEVER heard of a backhanded slap as representing an insult? Sure, it’s a call for a soft answer, not wrath or vengeance, but you can do none of those if you are dead.

    I would agree that the gospel is not proclaimed or established through violence, but the work of the Spirit. I also believe the gospel affirms the value of life and the defense of it against those who do not respect that value through their attempt to take it. I think many, by taking scripture to require pacifism, miss the point of the gospel.

  • Wiglaf

    @ graham 34 – Swords were the most efficient means of self defense back then. Even today, in certain scenarios, they’d probably more efficient. Today, guns are considered the most efficient.

    @ graham 35 – I’d say cite your sources, but I don’t think it’s important. Why? Because I think it’s more important to respect the freedom of the individual to defend herself than to be persuaded that based on statistic, polls, and some political argument for pragmatism, we need to take away that freedom for the sake of safety. I’ll take freedom over safety any day.

    I think allowing people to defend themselves is the compassionate choice; the woman against the rapist, the oppressed masses against the totalitarian, communist dictator, the family against a brutal home invasion, etc. To tell people that they just need to take it and sacrifice their lives and their families lives seems to me to be a violation of the commandment “thou shalt not kill.” It’s harsh too. Each person should have the freedom to decide for him or herself what level of sacrifice he/she needs to give for the sake of Christ. Who are you to tell them, through coercive force of the government, what they must give?

  • Wiglaf

    Ben,

    You say, “I think it most certainly is the duty of the government to protect its citizens from harm.”

    Please cite scripture to support this. Government is to enforce the laws and mete out justice. The government cannot protect you. It’s logistically impossible, and only ends in turning government into a “god” that will eventually turn against you.

  • Wiglaf

    Ben,
    How do you interpret “turning swords into ploughshares?” Do you take that literally? Or…perhaps it represents something more important: our spiritual relationship with God?

    We have peace with God through our Saviour Jesus Christ, right? And yet Paul says we battle against principalities. He uses armor and swords to describe our implements of this spiritual battle.

    This says nothing about the kingdom’s of the earth, but does speak to the importance of not taking scripture and using it as a broad brush to prescribe some inferred belief to every aspect of life. We are peacemakers and yet we battle. Christ did come as the Prince of Peace and yet he brought the sword.

    Please, do not be so quick to claim some sort of self-righteous position that your pacifism makes you more godly than someone who wants to defend his life against attack. You do yourself and God a disservice. I’m out for the day. It was an interesting discussion, I must say.

    Wiglaf

  • http://www.benwitherington.com ben witherington

    Wiglaf, I interpret the Isaianic prophecy literally about swords and plowshares and studying war no more. This is a prophecy about the way things are to be at the envisioned messianic age.

    And here is a helpful Facebook comment from David Beasley on this post.

    David Beasley
    Your article sent me on an anguishing research about assassins of Martin Luther King Jr and Ghandi… John and Robert Kennedy… school yard slaughters. I remember seeing in a Montgomery Alabama Army Navy Surplus Store a wooden barrel… literally a wooden barrel… full of the surplus Italian carbines that Lee Harvey Oswald bought mail order. A friend of mine got his older brother to buy him one. We were 14 yo. Those sold like hot cakes after the murder. The iron sword built King David’s Kingdom and the firearm built America. Sad, more than sad, on both accounts to me.

    Enough said.

    BW3

  • http://cramercomments.blogspot.com D C Cramer

    Well said, BW3!

  • Ian

    Ben Witherinton, I have a question for you. Would you support the removal of U.S. troops from all the bases throughout the world?

  • James Lung

    Well, Dr. W., I see you are still under the spell of Barack Obama. He lied about his true view of gay marriage in order to be elected President, and now his Justice Department takes the position that there is no rational basis for limiting marriage to one man/one woman couples. I understand you may not be on top of every issue, but this is the case. The District Court rulings that Obama is adopting as the correct Constitutional view of this issue are themselves a far worse abomination than the behaviors they purport to legitimize.

    The M-1 is a great weapon, and even one million of them would not be bought up on the cheap if availiable in the U.S. If imported under the watchful eye of the Federal Gov’t, they would have been eventually sold mostly to collectors and gun sportsmen and women, who would have used them, for the most part, lawfully.

    What will happen is that they will end up in an international black market, and probably sold in Africa or South America or some other place where there are no effective controls on the distribution of these weapons, and they will be used by evil men and women to kill other men and women, boys and girls, courtesy of Barack H. Obama and the silly political culture of the U.S. left. Well done!!!

  • Luken

    This is a repost of a comment I made on BW ‘s last blog post he made about gun control over at beliefnet. I think it bears repeating.

    Ben, You really should just avoid the gun topic.
    Once again your arrogance and ignorance on this topic is profound. I feel sorry for your son who must know his own father would not defend his life for him. Do you routinely spit upon God’s gifts? Is your life so worthless to you that you would not end one life to save one or more lives? Have you so readily forsaken your duties of headship and protection over your family?
    For you to claim that there is no need for private ownership of guns because the police and military have them for our protection is one of the silliest comments I have ever heard you spew. Are police not men? Are military personnel not men? Are they some how exempt from the evils that plague mens souls? Are they more virtuous than other men that they would never abuse the power they would be given over an utterly defenseless populace? (History speaks otherwise) Anti-gun rhetoric such as what you are proclaiming is totalitarian nonsense and you should be ashamed for such bold faced ignorance in the promotion of such authoritarian evil.
    Educate yourself on these matters you self righteous twit.

    FYI I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat and care little for their silly play acting at godhood that you obviously so readily endorse in your on going worship of the omni-benevolent state.

    Further more in reply to this most recent inane post, Rand Paul is one of the few senators that isn’t a warmonger like may of the folks I’m sure BW has voted for. How about we talk about Mr. Obama’s murder record instead? hmmm… It’s interesting that Ben so blindly supports an organization (the government) that has killed more innocent people in the last 10+ years than have been killed by any “lone gunmen” in the last 100 years.

    Try logical and moral consistency Ben it will bring you far.

    Your adherence to a long defunct and decedent political bias is greatly diminishing your otherwise positive influence and dragging it into the proverbial gutter. Your political leaning would have fit in at any one of the past century’s fascist regime’s political rallies. Time to re-examine.

    Focus on what you actual know and leave the political musings to those that can at least rub two brain cells together on the topic.

    Sheep should only have one shepherd Ben. Whose your shepherd? God or the State?

    Luken

    P.S. Ask the woman who was rapped if she wishes that she had been armed on that night. Ask a mother if she wishes she had been armed when her 2 children were slaughtered by masked gun men. Ask a father if he wishes he had been armed when men broke into his house and rapped his wife and daughter and then strangled them with their undergarments while he lay helpless, watching.
    Anyone who advocates citizen disarmament is an accessory to murder, rape and genocide. Shame on you Ben, shame!!!

  • Your friend

    Hello All, most of you need to get a grip on reality. Let me put it this way, in the end on one cares about you except you. You will always have “bad guys” who will hurt people no matter how much you (try to) “control guns”. They will always get the guns from somewhere. Just look at drugs…..
    BTW, guns aren’t the only things that are used to kill people, there are so many weapons that can be used.

    Thanks
    Your Friend

  • Jeffrey

    Folks
    Again I’m going to say this as politely and professionally as possible………… with Grace, Dr Witherington is again using his position and education to distort the Word of God and deny the US Constitution and the rule of law. He continuously turns the topic of self defense into an issue of sin and he very cleverly continues to divorce the Old Testament from his arguments. He also has taken the Book of Luke and given interpretations that I’ve NEVER heard. Sir frankly I’d LOVE the opportunity to have this debate with you……… I applaud your position of eliminating violence; however once again you are dis-acknowledging the fact that there is a universal battle of “good vs evil”. Pacifists have yet to truly explain the Holocaust and acknowledge that things like this have happened some 9 times again since the end of WWII.

  • Jeffrey

    Since your website will not allow multiple links I’ll have to do it this way

    So without going thru this whole argument again I divert here
    http://davekopel.org/Religion/Pacifism-Kopel.pdf

    http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m2/movieplay-nogunsforjews-flv.php

  • Jeffrey
  • http://saintsandsceptics@blogspot.com graham veale

    A few thoughts on some of the hysterical responses to BW’s post… in no particular order

    1) Politics is “the art of the possible”. Every political leader ought to be considering what is pragmatic!
    2) I know very few conservatives who want a Free Market (as Wiglaf describes it). Immigration controls restrict the supply of labour, which controls the cost of labour. It also has an effect on the amount of demand in a market.
    If you believe in controlling immigration, you do not believe in a Free Market. Of course, it is possible that Wiglaf and co. believe in opening your borders to all comers. But somehow, I doubt it…
    3) There is a clear difference between the proliferation of firearms in American culture, and the possession of swords in the ancient world. Using a sword effectively requires training. The relative lack of training required to use firearms effectively changed warfare. It removed the need for a warrior class. A gun gives its owner a lethal force that a sword did not give its owner.
    4) As to the effectiveness of the sword compared to other weapons, it depended on the soldier! Famously, the Roman sword could not deal with Parthian bows and arrows. In contrast, the number of arrow heads found in Israel dating to the time of the Jewish war suggests that it was the Jewish weapon of choice. Yet the Romans had little difficulty in seeing off that army.
    Which is a long way of saying that we cannot draw a one to one correspondence between modern and ancient weapons.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X