A man of God with a gun?

The Anchoress had a scare the other night—and it turns out, there are many out there who believe the best weapon against Satan may not be prayer, but a pistol.

Check this out, from Huffington Post: 

Every email Carl Chinn sends features the same signature: his name, followed by Chapter 4, Verse 9 from the Book of Nehemiah.

“We prayed to our God and posted a guard.”

On Sept. 10, Chinn will lead a seminar for several local, faith-based organizations in Oak Creek, Wis., the same community where a year ago this week, a gunman opened fire in a Sikh temple, killing six people and wounding four others. Chinn, a church security consultant, will suggest arming designating church-goers during services.

“I do believe if an active shooter comes in — and I’ve earned the right to have this opinion — I do believe there is nothing like a firearm that can stop another firearm,” he said. “I advise them that it’s a good thing to do with trained responders, not just good guys with guns, but people who have some level of training.”

The longstanding debate over whether weapons belong in church has been renewed in recent months. In February, Arkansas approved legislation to permit the concealed carry of weapons in churches. In July, both North Dakota and Illinois did the same.

At the heart of the debate is a difference in theological opinion; those for and against both say they’ve got God on their side. For some, guns and faith are at odds. They believe in praying for safety and in turning the other cheek. But others cite increasing violence on church properties and say that faith alone is not always enough.

Chinn’s opinions on church security were shaped by two formative events. In 1996, he was held hostage by a gunman while working at Focus on the Family and nine years later, he was at New Life Church shooting in Colorado when a shooting there left two young sisters dead and their father wounded. In the Colorado incident, an armed church guard fired her weapon and wounded the perpetrator before he killed himself.

People’s lives were saved because the security guard had a gun, said Chinn, who will speak at eight other seminars scheduled at religious institutions around the country in coming months.

At the National Organization of Church Safety and Security in Texas, clergymen are ascribing to the same mentality. Chuck Chadwick, the organization’s president, said he had only trained 24 pastors as of 2010. But now, there are 30 chipping away at the 55 hours of weapons training and coursework required to become a security guard.

“It’s on a rapid increase,” said Chadwick. “They get all the training necessary to become armed private security officers.”

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