Jesus Didn’t Give You The Right To Bear Arms: Why Christians Should Walk Out Today

Jesus Didn’t Give You The Right To Bear Arms: Why Christians Should Walk Out Today March 14, 2018

The Founding Fathers operated on the idea of Manifest Destiny — that God predestined white Europeans to own and colonize North America, no matter who they had to kill, displace or steal from. Manifest Destiny morphed into a theologized concept that many conservative Christians still hold: that the U.S. is uniquely blessed by God.

“In God We Trust” is emblazoned on our currency, and posted in many government buildings.  So are the Ten Commandments.

But there’s a glaring discrepancy between the God we claim to follow and the appetite we’ve developed for guns and violence.

The U.S. is one of only three countries in the world to have a constitutional right to own a gun. (The other two countries are Mexico and Guatemala.)  The U.S. is the only country to have no constitutional restrictions on gun ownership.

Let me say that again.  We’re the only country in the world with no constitutional restrictions on gun ownership.  Though the U.S. has 4.4 % of the world’s population, we own nearly 50% of  the world’s citizen-owned guns.

Evangelical, Republican-voting, pro-life Christians vote for liberal gun laws, when those guns account for more than 30,000 deaths each year.

Our love of guns is out of control.

We have a problem.  It is our problem to solve, and the sooner the better.

The highest casualty mass shootings have happened in the last decade.  Sandy Hook.  Pulse Night Club in Orlando.  The Las Vegas country music festival.  And, one month ago today, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

We’ve had 1600 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, where 20 elementary school children were shot and killed.

Christians are some of the fiercest gun-lovers.  Popular bumper stickers say, “God And Guns Are Why We’re Free.”  And, “We Believe In God and Guns.  If You Trespass, You’ll Meet ‘Em Both.”  Some churches even host a gun-themed men’s retreat.

We claim to follow a pacifist Christ who told us to love our enemies.  A Christ who said “blessed are the peacemakers.”  A Christ who, even when he was about to be taken away and crucified, told Peter to put his sword away.  And then Jesus went so far as to heal his enemy’s sword-severed ear.

“Yes, but–” Christians say.

Yes, but.  We live in the real world.

Yes, but.  We have a constitutional right.

Yes, but. We even have a God-given right.

And the classic, nonsensical, “Guns don’t kill people.  People kill people.”

Whenever there’s a mass shooting, we start arguing again.  It’s the same thing over and over and over again.

Gun-lovers: Guns don’t kill people.

Gun-control advocates: We need stricter gun laws.

Gun-lovers: It’s too soon to talk about that. We’re in the midst of a tragedy.

Gun-control advocates: What do you think is killing all these bullet-ridden people if it’s not the gun?

Gun-lovers: Mental illness.

But what have gun-lovers done to advocate for more mental illness care?  The NRA spends $3 million each year lobbying for gun rights.  What percentage of that money has been spent on mental illness care that keeps homicidal maniacs away from society?

How can people continue to persist in saying that guns don’t kill people when the autopsies show death by bullets?  If it weren’t for a gun, those people would not be dead.

How can we continue to ignore the facts?  States with high gun ownership have up to a 114% increased rate of gun-related deaths.  States with fewer guns have lower rates of gun violence.

Even well-trained gun owners who keep a gun for personal protection are 4.5 times higher to die from a gunshot wound.

Here’s the bottom line.

Jesus didn’t give you the right to own a gun.  Three hundred years ago, some men with rifles that fired one round a minute wrote that down.  Today’s rifles can fire 600+ rounds a minute.

We are sick with an illness that makes us crave our “rights” over the right of kids to survive their childhoods.  That makes us crave our “rights” over the right of people to attend church, or music festivals or college without the fear of becoming a victim of gun violence.  That makes us crave our “rights” to a weapon over the right of tens of thousands of innocent people to survive 2018.

It’s time for Christians to pick a side.

We can either continue to advocate for weapons that are killing ourselves, our neighbors and our kids.

Or we can oppose these lethal weapons.  We can walk out of the violence we’ve been party to, and begin to walk in the footsteps of Christ, who blesses peacemakers.  Who tells us to love others as we love ourselves.  Who calls us to live in peace with everyone.

If you don’t support the Walk Out today, if you continue to advocate for gun rights, you have no right to mourn the victims of the next shooting.  You have no place sending their grieving parents “thoughts and prayers” when you did nothing to fix the glaring gun problem we have in this country.

If you do support the Walk Out today, keep walking.  Keep walking to protect the rights of the innocent. Keep walking to promote peace.  Keep walking with the data we know: that guns do kill people, with alarmingly efficient speed.  That less guns equals less deaths.  That Jesus told us to lay our rights down for the sake of our neighbors, our friends — and even our enemies.  That the very thing we think is keeping us safe will actually be the death of us.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Timothy Weston

    The notion of the “God-given right” is one of the most popular heresies in the church.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Like almost everything claimed about what the Bible says, that is open to interpretation ( maybe god mumbles).

    Romans13:1-4 & 1 Peter 2:13-14 Tell us to be subject to every human institution. All authorities (laws and governments) are from God.

    That could imply that the right to bear arms ( in the US at least) is the will of god.

    This also means that if abortion & same sex marriage are allowed by the government, it is the will of god.

  • Fartrell Cluggins

    These “christians” worship guns and 2nd Amendment Jesus. They’re brainwashed, hateful idiots.

  • John Whitmore

    There is a Commandment (one of those famous Ten) that says “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.” followed by another:”You are not to make use of the name of the Lord your God for an evil purpose; whoever takes the Lord’s name on his lips for an evil purpose will be judged a sinner by the Lord” and, later, another “Do not give false witness against your neighbor.”
    Idol? Check, if you are worshiping guns, or even the right to own guns. Oh, yeah, you do not have the right to murder, either, just by the way.
    Taking the Lord’s Name in vain? Check. The Lord and Jesus, His Son, say things like “Put up your sword. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” Guess the Americans have that one right: they kill each other while taking the Lord’s Name in vain.
    Lying? Check. The good church people elected a guy who has no clue what is true, and they claim that he is a good role model, (unlike the previous President, who had NO scandals around him, and who invoked Biblical values – but he was black, so he wasn’t really human at all, I guess) And the good church people lie about their desire to kill and to allow others to kill.

    Not much of an advert for Christianity, is it? When the followers take all the worst impulses of humans as their guiding principles, it is no wonder that the church is dying. With any luck the church will take the US down with it – a nation of bullies, liars and chaotic thinkers.

  • Watosh

    Sarah Thebarge is absolutely right. It is good to read someone who realizes how far many Catholics have drifted from the message of Christ. Being a follower of Christ means heeding all of Christs teachings, even those that go against the secular world’s gospel that peace and security can be obtained by the sword.

  • xnlover

    I wonder why so many “Bible-believing Christians” don’t take Jesus at his word, when he said, “All who take the sword will perish by the sword”? (Matt. 26.52)

  • Ivlia Vespasia

    Please don’t tarnish all Christians with the same brush. You have 4.4% of the world population so you have an equally small percentage of the world’s Christian population, thus it stands to reason that those Christians outside the US who don’t believe that they have the right to be a gun owner are probably more accurate in their beliefs than the small number inside the US who think they do. Maybe you should stop tarnishing all Christians with the same brush and admit that those in the US have a warped theology that no longer gives them the right to be associated with those outside the country who set seem to have different ways. Majority rules, not a minority in one area who have delusions of grandeur and believe that they are the chosen ones.

  • Malcolm

    “NO scandals around him”? None that you are willing to see I guess. This is the type of blindness that has lead to the “liberal christian church” to slip and slide into their own heresies relating to God’s Covenants. Lord help us all to be more like you. That is my prayer everyday. I see how blind we all seem to be, but God in His wisdom is working ALL THINGS together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His Purpose”. Let’s work to keep his purpose 1st in our lives.

  • John Whitmore

    It would take your kind of judgmental Christian to find scandals around Obama. Or are you so biased over skin colour that you don’t understand what actual scandal might be? Were you one of those evangelicals who voted for a serial adulterer, claiming that a man who cheated thousands of people out of millions of dollars was a “Christian” role model?

    Sent from my Bell Samsung device over Canada’s largest network. ——– Original message ——–From: Disqus Date: 2018-03-16 4:42 PM (GMT-04:00) To: whitmorej@rogers.com Subject: Re: Comment on Jesus Didn’ t Give You The Right To Bear Arms: Why Christians Should Walk Out Today
    “”NO scandals around him”? None that you are willing to see I guess. This is the type of blindness that has lead to the “liberal christian church” to slip and slide into their own heresies relating to God’s Covenants. Lord help us all to be more like you. That is my prayer everyday. I see how blind we all seem to be, but God in His wisdom is working ALL THINGS together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His Purpose”. Let’s work to keep his purpose 1st in our lives.”

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    Malcolm

    “NO scandals around him”? None that you are willing to see I guess. This is the type of blindness that has lead to the “liberal christian church” to slip and slide into their own heresies relating to God’s Covenants. Lord help us all to be more like you. That is my prayer everyday. I see how blind we all seem to be, but God in His wisdom is working ALL THINGS together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His Purpose”. Let’s work to keep his purpose 1st in our lives.

    3:42 p.m., Friday March 16

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  • st

    I would say that Obama didn’t have the personal, moral, and financial scandals Trump has. And Obama didn’t disparage minorities, immigrants, women….and other people who are clearly close to God’s heart. Obama has been happily and faithfully married to one woman for 25+ years, and is a present father to his two girls. Obama didn’t advocate for creating more borders and more walls, and he inspired people with hope instead of driving them with fear. He didn’t disparage people or taunt them on Twitter with mean nicknames.

    Love and hope are not liberal agendas. They’re Jesus-guided principles. Every political party has its failings — any human-made structures do. But it is possible to act more like Jesus, or less – regardless of political affiliation.
    ~sarah

  • Progressive Liberal ideas are hypocritical to the extreme.
    Abortions kill more potential God created beings in two weeks than guns in a year.

    You walk over the dismembered, dead, body parts of aborted babies to point out the dead by guns.
    Scripture talks about this hypocrisy in Matthew 7:5. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine
    own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
    Tell us again about your body and your rights and why the fetus is not a God created being while you
    advocate about another manufactured crisis in the great country.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Re-read Luke 22.

    Or heck, go re-read Nehemiah. God explicitly tells him that half his workers must be armed.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Where else do our rights come from?

  • Timothy Weston

    All rights begin and end with man. It is the most powerful institutions that decide what those rights are.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    And when other men decide you have no rights?

    Even if you do not believe in God, the USA is predicated on the idea that our rights are natural and inherent, and granted by our Creator, whoever you believe that to be.

  • Timothy Weston

    It is strange that you talk about rights being God-given when Jesus was crucified for exercising His “God-given” freedom of speech against the local authorities. It was man who wrote those rights into a document creating an institution that was not made by God. The USA was made by rich men for rich men.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    You assume that everyone in the Bible is supposed to act “biblically?”

  • Thela Ginjeet

    For all the talk about being inclusive, tolerant, and diverse, the progressive left is anything but…They no longer listen, engage, or try to understand opposing viewpoints. If you don’t agree with them, you’re shouted down, censored, fired, wrecked, ruined, and destroyed. Look no further than the nation’s tech companies, or the college campuses where bands of permanently offended student activists constantly boil with rage and seethe with regressive authoritarianism towards anyone with an opposing opinion. They demand hermetically sealed “safe zones” where they can remain completely ignorant in self-imposed bliss without having to exercise the slightest curiosity about a different thought-provoking idea…and you thought the right owned this patent.

    Now we’re exporting this radicalized homogenous group think to our high schools. What was advertised as a 17 minute memorial to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victims, the walk-out was instead a one sided exercise in political protest and indoctrination where no dissent or balanced discussion was allowed or tolerated…from both teachers and students. The left enjoys burning its elaborate straw men with fervid enthusiasm as if the religious right were on the cusp of imposing a theocracy tomorrow but the real danger to American democracy comes from the left…today its getting conservatives fired, banning conservative speakers from university halls, mocking them in media and entertainment, next it will be burning conservative books, and after the 2nd Amendment is repealed, then they can go after the first…and then maybe the fourth, completely justified of course in the name of eradicating “hate,” “racism,” and “bigotry.” Then what? The previous Administration had no qualms about weaponizing the institutional authority of government to lawlessly go after its political opponents…It wasn’t like the media was going to hold them accountable.

    Nicholas Cruz could have been effectively stopped if existing laws had been followed. This much is self-evident. Yet its far easier for the left to blame the NRA, or demonize millions of responsible gun owners than it is to challenge their own ideas or to hold their idols of government accountable for its failure to act. Yes…gun owners, they are the problem. They murdered seventeen high school students. The argument is completely specious and false. Nicholas Cruz murdered seventeen students. He was able to do it because people in positions of authority and responsibility didn’t give a crap about heeding all the warning lights going off on the panel. Their job was to bust the high school to prison pipeline and they did it with oblivious indifference to serious crimes committed by the likes of the shooter.

    One cannot help but wonder if the left’s real interest in gun control is gun elimination so that when their intolerance for opposing viewpoints is fully imposed by government force, there will be no opposing force of resistance. Jesus will have very little to do with it.

    Can you progressives pick yourself out of the crowd?
    https://youtu.be/t4zYlOU7Fpk

  • Somewhere Free

    Sorry. But it’s the people on the Right supporting those marching with torches and chanting “Blood and soil.” Pluck the beam from your own eye.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    “Sorry. But it’s the people on the Right supporting those marching with torches and chanting “Blood and soil.” Pluck the beam from your own eye.”

    Perhaps in the fetid corners of the alt-right. But sorry, you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

  • David Cohen
  • Thela Ginjeet

    I have to hand it to you guys. In addition to straw men, you catch a fine mess of red herring too, and you don’t mind digging them back out of the trash for snacks either.

  • David Cohen

    Triggered much Boris?

  • Thela Ginjeet

    Lol…said the rain calling the puddle wet.

  • David Cohen

    I suppose one can’t expect wit from someone who can only spout right wing cliches and post movie clips.

    Get back to us after you learn some facts.

  • Somewhere Free

    As David Cohen said, your President defends these people.

    You support a President who supports fascists.

    Lay with dogs, rise with fleas.

  • David Cohen

    “And when other men decide you have no rights?”
    – Then you have tyranny. Then you have revolution. Then religious conservatives (who always seem to benefit from the ruling power) will wail inane things like “Gawd says in Romans 13:1 that all authority comes from gawd!”
    Of course, if the revolutionaries win, religious conservatives change their course and insist that the victory was Gawd’s will.

    “Even if you do not believe in God, the USA is predicated on the idea that our rights are natural and inherent, and granted by our Creator, whoever you believe that to be.”
    – Deists do not believe in a personal deity. Said deity might have created the world, but is not actively involved in it. That makes defending and sustaining civil rights a human, not a divine, task.
    The founding fathers were, primarily, deists
    I’ll let you figure out the rest for yourself.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    You do know that the founding fathers believed that rights were bestowed by a “creator,” right?

  • David Cohen

    You do know what deism is, right? Its the understanding that the creator deity is not active and personal.
    You do know that the Founding Fathers were deists right? One would think that would be obvious by the conspicuous absence of any reference to a particular deity when the rights of humanity were listed in the Constitution.

    Of course you don’t know that. You believe that the Founding Fathers were the equivalent of modern day fundamentalists, i.e. ignorant and provincial biblical literalists

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Deism is irrelevant. The same founding fathers, regardless of their own religious views, still wrote that rights come from a creator. They didn’t specify that the creator was the Judeo-Christian God. The point is that our rights are inherent and natural, and do not come from the graces of other people.

  • Somewhere Free

    Go here:
    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

    Learn everything.

    Come back when you understand logical fallacies.

  • David Cohen

    “Deism is irrelevant.”
    – So…the distinction between the denial in a belief in a personal God and the acceptance of a belief in a personal God is now irrelevant. Dang, Christians must really be on the ropes to be that desperate to promote a belief in a deity, any deity.

    “The same founding fathers, regardless of their own
    religious views, still wrote that rights come from a creator.”
    – And the possibility that said creator might be the rule of nature rather than a beneficent deity is a rather important distinction.

    “They
    didn’t specify that the creator was the Judeo-Christian God.”
    – Quite so. It might have been Plato’s deity who is nether aware nor concerned with creation. It might be that the creator is one of many deities. Or maybe the creator was an apprentice deity as some of the Gnostics believed.
    Or maybe, just maybe, the Founding Fathers were a product of their time and did not know that atheism might be a realistic philosophical option.

    “The point
    is that our rights are inherent and natural, and do not come from the
    graces of other people.”
    – Nd you base this assertion on what evidence?

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Reread either the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The former affirms that people are “endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    The Constitution, when discussing rights, always takes the presumption that you as a person already have the whatever right might be in question and that the government cannot take it away. It doesn’t say “you have the right to X and the right to Y” or anything like that.

    Those aren’t religious statements or any sort of affirmation of adherence to any moral doctrine.

  • Thela Ginjeet

    You first.

  • Somewhere Free

    Oh yes!
    The empty Ad Hominem!
    The ultimate admission of not having anything substantive to bring to the table.

    I see you didn’t follow the link I provided.

  • David Cohen

    I have read both documents many times. The Declaration of Independence vaguely asserts that inalienable rights come from “their creator” which does not necessary imply a personal deity (which would imply that rights need to be defined and defended by people). The Constitution declares that its authority comes from “we the people” and not from any define or implied deity.

    What, exactly, do you imagine you are defending here?

  • Somewhere Free

    Funny though… the only mention of abortion in the Bible is how to perform one.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Vaguely asserts? It says that explicitly:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    And the Preamble of the Constitution describes where the government gets its authority. It has nothing to with rights which are natural and inherent. The Bill of Rights was added initially because the anti-Federalist framers did not believe that the Constitution itself was strong enough with regards to individual rights.

    If you believe in God, then you believe that those rights are granted by God. If you don’t believe in God, then you still have to accept that our rights are natural and inherent, and don’t come from any other person.

  • ranger01

    Well, as my teenage daughter says, “whot eva”.
    Nevertheless, from my cold dead hands…….

  • The three stooges had something to say about that kind of research….

  • Our situation in this great country came from God. How else do you explain the “shithole” countries around the world.

  • David Cohen

    And what is this “creator” they refer to? Is it a deity or natural law? The issue is deliberately left vague.

    Now, here is where you jump in and say “it doesn’t matter!” That begs the question of how the Founding Fathers knew these alleged rights came from an external source and what they were. Christian Dominionists insist that the rights detailed in the Constitution were taken form the Bible, and they are well schooled in the mental gymnastics to explain this in a way that convinces people within their bubble (if no one else.) If, on the other hand, we are endowed with rights by natural law, then how were these discovered? In a lab? Where they grown in a field? Or is their existence just an assertion by people, for people and to be defended by people with a common understanding?

    And as for the Constitution, you apparently have failed o notice that the pre-amble and the bill of rights are part of the same document.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    Again, the point of referencing a creator means that rights do not come from other men. They are inherent and natural no matter what your religious beliefs might be.

    As for the Constitution and Bill of Righs being the same document I already addressed why this is the case.

  • David Cohen

    And asserting something just makes it true, right?

    And, no, you did not address the fact that the Constitution states that its authority comes from we the people. You introduced a false dichotomy between the structure of government and the purpose of government.

  • 0bsoleteMan

    So without belief in a creator there are no inherent rights?

  • Chari McCauley

    No we created our situation; and use God’s name to do it. He is just calling our bluff by shedding light on all the things we thought were hidden under the rug.

  • Chari McCauley

    You assume that everyone in the Bible is supposed to act “biblically?”

    Very true, because we also have to see, for ourselves, what happens when we ignore Father’s instructions. It took four books to make ten rules confusing.

  • Chari McCauley

    How about Mother Nature or Nature, if you prefer. There are foundational “laws” that lead to either good health and growth, or bad health and death. Chemistry and math are two of those. You have to know what to mix and how much.

  • Chari McCauley

    Is that what you are saying, David?

  • Chari McCauley

    Can only up vote once; what a shame….

  • Megan McKinley

    DISCLAIMER: I am the kind of person you would consider a gun-lover. However, I can also respect that we hold different opinions. As such, I would like to ask that all you in the mood for a fight do the same. I don’t want to bash you or belittle your opinions. If you want to do that to me, that’s your choice, but know that I do not think you are stupid or unintelligent if you disagree with me. I would welcome any civil, thought provoking arguments that you want to make in opposition to mine.

    I am a Christian and I steadfastly believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. I do not support violence and wholeheartedly agree that “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” But I would like you to understand that some of us “gun-lovers” don’t support guns just because we like shooting stuff. I also don’t think that being a gun supporter means you are not a peacemaker. I support guns, because I recognize the inherent depravity of mankind. I’m sure you’ve heard many on my side of this debate say that guns don’t shoot people. People shoot people. i would agree there is a finger that pulls that trigger and a mind that plans those mass shootings. The evil nature of man is written all over Scriptures (Matthew 15:9, Jeremiah 17:9, John 1:8-10, etc.) and it is something we have to recognize. You might recognize it and deal with it by controlling guns, but I would argue that our depravity goes so deep that simply controlling the means of violence will not solve the problem. The real issue here is not that simple. It’s a heart thing.
    Although I see and feel deeply the harm that can be done by a bad man with a gun, I know the effect a good man with a gun can have. Controlling guns might make it harder for a bad man to get his hands on a gun, but it will also make it harder for a good man to have one. And a man bent on creating havoc and taking lives will do whatever it takes to get a weapon capable of murder. The problem is not how do we keep them from getting a gun, but how do we stop them once they do? Because in all likelihood they will find a way.
    I believe we have a right to bear arms, because we have a right to protect ourselves. I believe, and I think you would agree with me, that there is nothing more precious in all of creation that a human life. And that is something worth protecting.
    So here are my questions to you:
    You argue for gun control, but is this across the board? Do you believe that those in law enforcement has the right to use a gun? If not, how else will they be able to effectively stop a gunman?
    I honestly wish we could take away guns from everyone and have one less means of killing in the world, but I don’t see that as realistic. Taking guns away from everyone will never happen, and so the only choice, as I see it, is to use them to protect ourselves. This may seem like messed up logic to some of you, but if you put yourselves in the shoes of a gunman, what is actually going to scare him away?
    If guns are controlled, things are easier for him once he does get one illegally, and it is naive to think he won’t. Gun control would then mean the people he is gunning down have no way to stop him.
    Granted, I do think that gun control might limit the number of shootings. Not everyone who could potentially be a shooter will have the resources to get their hands on a gun. But the greater evil would be that the shootings which do occur would see higher death counts and greater tragedies.
    I believe in peace. But I also believe in the problem of sin so much as to believe that the only way to keep the peace when it comes to shootings is by having a gun yourself.
    Maybe you don’t believe it to be right to use violence to stop violence.
    God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 19 that the only thing that is worth a life is another life. He tells Israel that the murders must be put to death.
    Think things are different in the New Testament? If that wasn’t true, Jesus would not have had to die in order to save our lives.

    My point in this is not to bash your ideas and values. I actually love that we are free in this country to disagree. So please, let me know where you find flaws in my argument or how you see things differently. But I would ask that you don’t use my post to let out your own rants about assumptions you have of people who think like I do. Thank you.

  • Newton Finn

    I think that ObsoleteMan has the better argument here, although I hear and respect what you’re saying, David. Perhaps the most clear and concise statement of Deism was given by Thomas Paine, one of the greatest of America’s founding fathers. His classic statement of Deist faith, found in his immortal “Age of Reason,” reads as follows: “I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe (in) the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.” The difference between Paine’s faith statement and those of more liberal Christians is slight and pertain largely to the nature of revelation. Paine and his fellow Deists saw revelation only in the natural world, while Christians saw revelation also in the history of the Jewish people and Jesus, in particular. Neither Deists nor liberal Christians put much stock in divine tinkering with the general laws of the universe, although both admit God’s capacity to perform miracles if He so desires.

  • David Cohen

    “There are foundational “laws” that lead to either good health and growth, or bad health and death.”

    – Yes, and one can demonstrate them. How would you demonstrate that there are inalienable rights which exist outside of human invention?

  • Somewhere Free
  • We have already been through this bible study several times. The argument that drinking dirty water is the same as biblical abortion doesn’t hold water.

  • Somewhere Free

    You got something substantive to bring – or just your personal, unsupported opinion?

    I provided a source. You do the same.

  • Danny

    It just another case of how joining your religion to politics taints religion.

  • Chari McCauley

    If you go to your doctor, do you expect him to kill you, or help you? Money aside, because money doesn’t insure you won’t die due to an error somewhere.

    Or, is anyone obligated to help you when you need it? Are new parents obligated to keep you fed long enough to feed yourself?

    There do exist species that can feed themselves. We, among others, aren’t one of those.
    There are also human parents that will let their children starve. And then there are those who would do anything, even risk harm to themselves, to keep their children fed.

  • David Cohen

    That’s a whole lot of non-sequiturs for one response

  • Your source is clearly corrupted. No one believes the conclusion, “In fact, God is clearly pro-abortion,” except those who wish to practice abortion.

    More to the point, Numbers 5 is not about medically induce abortion:

    https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/17009/does-numbers-511-22-describe-sanctioned-abortion.
    http://www.catholicstand.com/does-the-bible-condone-abortion/

  • I would suggest that God did all the creating and we are the beneficiaries/recipients of those actions.

  • Chari McCauley

    You think He made us to be destructive, instead of creative?

    You should read Jeremiah; Father has an opinion there about how we treat the gifts He gave us.

    (BTW, John 1:1 says that Father did not make this place without His Son beside Him, learning to be creative. The Lord also volunteered to put Himself in our shoes. The Lord told us that He was raised by His Father; so, Their characters match, but They are not identical, on purpose! Individuals volunteering to enable life and growth are very important to the concepts of freedom and love. It takes two to agree, more is better. It takes two free people to make “love” relevant. Otherwise it’s just an appreciation for the things that help you survive. Which we also fail to see. That’s ok, so did 1/3 of The first children, whom They are still trying to save. Until it’s done.)

  • Chari McCauley

    If there is no god, why are you still here? Do we need a god to teach empathy?

    How did you come to be a fortunate one who’s parents decided you should eat, and not just starve, because we are “overpopulated”? Was it the instinct the animals have? What singled you out?

  • Chari McCauley

    Because, they didn’t hear His Father when He said don’t kill each other.
    (John 8:18-19)

  • David Cohen

    “If there is no god, why are you still here?”
    – Because I am not dead.

    “Do we need a god to teach empathy?”
    – Is empathy taught? On the other hand, if you are talking about ethics, the Greek philosophers did not think that ethics needed to come from deities. They focused on practical plans for helping society function in the long run.

    How did you come to be a fortunate one who’s parents decided you should eat, and not just starve, because we are “overpopulated”?
    – Because if I did not, I would not be here listening to you desperately throw out non-sequitors in a vain effort to make a point

    “Was it the instinct the animals have? What singled you out?”
    – How, exactly, was I singled out?

  • Chari McCauley

    How, exactly, was I singled out? You are here, and not dead.

    Religion or no, plenty of children, today, are not cared for as well as you, why?

  • Chari McCauley

    Did God write ten rules on two blocks of stone?

    Because then it is your right not to be killed, lied to or stolen from; as well as your obligation to acknowledge that He gave those same rights to all other humans.

  • Jay Has

    If that is a serious statement and not sarcastic, that is so arrogant and evil-spirited.

  • You judge with emotion and not fact.
    We who have lived abroad and traveled can attest factually that the third world countries are called “turd” world for a reason as they are in fact a mess in all measures. Why is that?
    Our great country is in fact not a shit hole but a shinning example of freedom and liberty and prosperity. Why is that?
    The solution is not to try and bring our country down ( Obama and the Progressive Liberal movement) but to get it back in balance (Trump and Make American Great Again movement).

  • When God created this place He did it by His Word who was with God and Who was God long before He became flesh. The Lord God was not raised by the Father. He became flesh and dwelt among us to die for our sins so we could be reconciled to God. Of course their characters match. Jesus explained that to Philip. And the fallen angels will not be saved in any sense but rather put outside the known universe in the darkness. They had their chance and now await the judgment.

  • Jay Has

    And you claim it is so because God chose it to be and chose the other places to be shit-holes? And you claim my statements are based on emotion? Good luck proving God is fact.

  • God did not choose it to be; man has free will and made the decisions that led to the current state.
    I don’t have to prove that God is fact. I don’t ask you to prove God is not. Self-delusions are hard to change until the time is right.

  • Jay Has

    Then maybe it is a bad idea to demand “facts” from others. Free will is an illusion.

  • Do you have any input on why countries like Haiti are not shit holes? Think Vodou.
    Talking about shit holes ave you ever been to Nigeria or Sierra Leone? Do you have any idea what Mugabe did to once beautiful Zimbabwe?
    If free will is an illusion then what is controlling us?

  • Gary Fowler

    First of all, guns do not kill people anymore than cars do. I have a small Ruger .380 pistol and I have yet to see it pull its own trigger, loaded or unloaded. Second, the Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Militias (that obviously bear arms) are necessary to maintain a free state, but even so, if a militia should be overwhelmed with superior firepower, the people themselves may come to the aid of the militia with their own arms. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    I live in Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio, and our sheriffs fully support our open-carry and licensed conceal-carry programs, and provide arms training for each. Our local gun shops eagerly sell us AR and AK semi-automatic rifles because we’re a law abiding, church going bunch. The cops here know they have to be on their best behavior, or there’s gonna be trouble. Crime here is prevented most often with the simple showing of a gun, with no shots fired. We certainly have no school shootings, or any other mass shootings.

    In short, our crime rate is among the lowest in the nation simply because we will not allow our guns to be taken from us.

  • Triggerman1976

    Unsourced statistics and arguments from silence.

  • Larry Tate

    At least one disciple had a sword so Jesus was armed or guarded a bit..Everyone carries a knife in middle east…yemen especially..

  • fractal

    Deism is the founding fathers POV on religion.
    Why in the world would you count it as IRRELEVANT?

  • fractal

    Your last paragraph in particular is just plain WRONG.
    I believe in God.
    I don’t believe that “our rights” are natural and inherent.
    Nature is the blueprint for God, and nature abhors equality.

    Now, if WE have inalienable rights, why don’t sentient animals?
    Could it be because we project our notions of ourselves, onto “God”, who just laughs?

  • fractal

    Actually, Paine believed in the equality of WHITE MEN.

  • fractal

    What tortured logic you have, my dear…

  • fractal

    Why not?

  • fractal

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we stole a WHOLE CONTINENT of unspoiled land and raw natural resources.

    DUH.

  • fractal

    IT has zero to do with God, and everything to do with the fact that WHITE MEN hadn’t discovered the Americas until practically the sixteenth century.

  • fractal

    God aborts 60,000 “unborn” daily, world wide.

  • fractal

    You think Christians don’t practice abortion?

    BAAWAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHA….
    One in three women have an abortion.
    Look around your Thanksgiving table.

  • You wouldn’t know would you.

  • We did nothing of the sort. Tell you college professor to wake up.

  • Apparently He missed you.

  • DUH. BAAWAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHA….

  • Newton Finn

    Paine’s funeral, following his evisceration by the clergy and abandonment by the politicians, was attended by only a handful of people, including, tellingly IMHO, two black men. Obviously, racism was in the very air that was breathed in the 19th Century, and racism obviously remains in the very air we breathe today. But for his time, Paine was among the most universal and humanitarian of social thinkers, so I really don’t get your ahistorical comment.

  • fractal

    Such an intelligent response.
    Worthy of a GED graduate.

  • fractal

    That’s right!
    The Native Americans just gave up their land and committed genocide themselves…

  • fractal

    If SHE had, I wouldn’t be here to know, now would I …
    Now, you go pray to Jesus about what you just said to me.

  • fractal

    And did Paine support women having equal rights?

  • fractal

    A bunch of irrelevant nonsense.
    Pretty typical of Cornered Christians.

  • fractal

    If you have something to say, spit it out.

  • You are in the moron class and incapable of serious debate. Someone told you that America was stolen from the Indians and you bought this nonsense. Now you can hate our great country from its beginnings. Better ask the Mexicans though because they believe we stole the Western US from them.

  • fractal

    We did.
    Where in the world did you get an education—home schooled?

    Rewriting history might produce a balm for your inflamed Christian sensibilities; but the truth is, we did steal this land from the Indigenous Peoples who were here for at least 10,000 years before Columbus landed.

    Everybody knows it; your pathetic attempt at denial is quaint, but goofy.

  • fractal

    Puke.

  • fractal

    oooooooh….

    HERESIES!!!!!

    Time for the witch burnings.

  • You are so funny. 10,000 years? You get that number from a science fiction movie?

  • fractal

    The Latin Americans largely are Native American, and yes, we did steal this land from them. One and the same.

    It’s a fact.

  • fractal

    How long ago do you think it was that Asians came to the Americas?

  • Do you believe in the Flood?

  • Your argument which comes from Progressive elites is used to show that our Great Country is bad because the Indians were here first. After that we used slaves to build our country. Then we sent a nuke to Japan. And if all that isn’t bad enough we are using all the energy and causing Global Warming. Therefore we must be brought down to size. It is unfair that we are the only super power in the world. This is simply a superficial crock. If you believe this it is no wonder why you are confused about your country. Please tell us who are alive today what part we played in this scenario and why we should be held accountable for any of it? If you carry out this warped thinking you can accuse Europe who started slavery and the wars and the drug trade and conclude that we all should be destroyed because of the past. But no, the Elites only want to hurt their own country. Why is that? Ask you professor friends.

  • fractal

    We all know in our hearts, as Americans, the guilt we culturally carry concerning the Native American Peoples.

    Our nation was build on the corpses of our Indigenous people—fact.
    To be in denial of this makes you sound ignorant.

    Now, when we have a chance to help the last of our native people, we instead withhold rights and treat them like the enemy.
    They are not our enemy.
    They were an interwoven part of the eco-fabric of this continent before recorded history on this planet.
    We owe them a hand extended in friendship and humility.
    Do you really want the stain of our history with Native Peoples to poison our social fabric, the way Slavery did?
    Our Nation’s saving grace is that we have been a refuge to the oppressed and displaced from around the world—yet we shun our own native people and treat them like criminals when they most need help.

    Whether we PERSONALLY are at fault begs the question; history decrees that descendants always pay for the sins of their ancestors.

    Don’t have to like it; just the way it is since Original Sin.
    We are the ones responsible for cleaning up the mess our forefathers made—someone has to do it, and our nation thrived and grew as their tribes died or were displaced and penned into reservations.

    Stop this whining and open your heart.

    We have a second chance to ask for forgiveness and embrace the inevitable future of America.
    Face it, Amigo.
    Our nation is browning and becoming more robust and healthy because of it.
    Embrace it and work together with the refugees for the safety of us all.
    There is no place to run and hide from this cultural change.
    It is upon us.

  • fractal

    Do you believe in Carbon Dating?

  • Your argument is not sound. Are all the German people carrying the guilt of the Holocaust. Of course not. Our nation was built on the conquest of the continent as were all countries.
    The people coming across the border are not the ” last of our native people.” Who believes that statement?
    “They were an interwoven part of the eco-fabric of this continent before recorded history on this planet.” Professorial speak for “this sounds good doesn’t it?”
    The whole world participated in slavery. The slaves were sold by their own people like cattle because they had no moral compass and their country still exhibits this moral shortcoming.
    What makes you think that everyone who can get here deserves to be here? Liberal guilt is a sad thing. You have it in spades.

  • Yes and I understand it. You don’t.
    Do you believe in the Flood? Simple question.

  • Jay Has

    You exhibit a complete lack of an ability to carry a conversation with comments that are not laced with biased, tainted political insults.

  • fractal

    I know there have been many floods.

  • And your input to the conversation is “please don’t hurt their feelings?” What say you about the premise that our country should be ashamed of itself because Progressives say so.

  • Well that is a start. Good Luck.