How Much Security Do Churches Need?

In 2011, there were several news stories about people who wanted guns to be allowed in churches. In Georgia, where guns are banned from religious establishments, one group filed a case with the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in order to overturn the ban.

Which makes this email I received from Peter all the more interesting:

I am a physician and had a patient come see me. He is a retired police office but works for a “Church Security” company.

“What is that?” I asked.

He replied, “Most people don’t know that about 90% of churches have at least one person inside with a concealed weapon.” So there are now security people who specialize in churches. Mostly they are there for petty theft, etc. but there is more concern these days with potentially violent individuals.

Say what you will about churches, but they’ve always seemed to me like safe places, at least as far as physical violence goes. Yes, there are occasional tragedies, but it doesn’t justify the need for crazy amounts of security. As Peter suggested, it’s a bit ironic that concealed weapons would be needed in a church in the first place — “if He can’t protect you there, is there any hope?”

This has nothing to do with the merits of the gun-in-church argument — I could care less how that turns out. But even if it’s legal to bring weapons to church, I’m curious about the mindset that goes, “It’s Sunday. Time for church. I’m gonna put on my suit and make sure the gun is loaded. You know, just in case.”



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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