Why Do American Christians Trust the 2nd Amendment More Than the Sermon on the Mount?

Why Do American Christians Trust the 2nd Amendment More Than the Sermon on the Mount? July 9, 2016

peace.001“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, 1964.)

“You have heard that it was said,” Jesus once remarked, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This short imperative is, well, let’s just say it is challenging to our American fascination with violence and guns. This teaching from the Sermon on the Mount is routinely dismissed and ignored by Christians, especially by evangelicals who seem more intent on clinging to the 2nd amendment than the Sermon on the Mount. I often wonder why that is.

American Christianity has never included any widespread adherence to Jesus’s teaching on violence. Why is the Christian peace movement so small? Why are so many Christians willing to ignore the clear command to love your enemies? Could it be that there was no other way to drive Native Americans off their land but through superior firepower? Or perhaps it is because there was no other way to control millions of black slaves without guns and whips? Maybe it is because our Christian identity is not nearly as powerful as our American identity?

In fact, the problem predates any of that. The Constantinian Shift, a term popularized by John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas, is meant to describe the impact of Constantine’s legalization of Christianity via the Edict of Milan, 313. (Theodosius made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380). The term names the fundamental shift that occurred within Christianity when it was officially sanctioned by the Roman Empire. Christianity very quickly moved from being a fringe Jewish sect, persecuted by Rome and by the Jews, to being a protected and even favored religion.

The Constantinian Shift meant that Christian identity would no longer be established, narrated, shaped, supported, passed on, and protected by the church, but by the state and the surrounding culture. Evidence for how thoroughly this shift has impacted American culture can be seen every time Christians insist that America is a “Christian nation.” Christians only do this when they don’t believe the church can instill Christian identity in its members. They need the state to do the work.

This conflation of church and state fundamentally changed in the nature of Christianity and the church. Christianity vanished into the realm of the invisible, the private, and the personal. For all intents and purposes the Constantinian Shift meant that Christianity had become co-opted by the state. Give your heart to Jesus, but your body belongs to Rome. Apart from the Anabaptists, the church ended up looking more like the Roman Empire than like Jesus and his first followers. Christianity became a civil religion, an apologetic for the state and the prevailing norms of culture.

Today most Christians are oblivious to the fact that the entire early church had a strict ethic of nonviolence. With The Constantinian Shift so far in the past, Christians today can cling to their guns with blatant pragmatism. And the need for violence does seem self-evident, that is, if you are not willing to take up your cross and die at the hands of other violent people.

Despite Jesus’s rejection of violence, despite the fact that he allowed the violence of others to become displayed on his body, despite his teaching that his followers do the same, most American Christians have no imagination for how nonviolence can change the world in powerful ways. Most Christians in our society cannot imagine living non-violently in such a violent world. We have no imagination for what it might mean to turn the other cheek, offer our cloak to those who demand our tunic, or go the extra mile in order to allow injustice and violence to be displayed on our own bodies.

Why Do Many Christians Trust the 2nd Amendment More Than the Sermon on the Mount? Because they simply don’t think that Jesus’s way will work.

Hauerwas has honed the perfect answer to this blatant pragmatism. He says that Christians are not committed to non-violence because they think it will be an effective strategy to rid the world of war or violence. Christians are (or should be) committed to non-violence because they follow Jesus, and thus they cannot imagine ignoring his example and instruction. Go ahead and take that sword out of Peter’s hand, Jesus, but keep your paws off my guns.

I do not think there is only one obedience. I’m sympathetic to the fact that this is a complicated issue, especially given the fact that we live in such a violent culture. Espousing nonviolence is a difficult stance to take in the face of so much fear. But Christians take many difficult stances against powerful cultural forces. We’re good at it. Why do we ignore Jesus’s call to nonviolence? Why let this pitch pass us by? Is it fear? Is it a lack of discipleship? Is it a lack of leadership?

I do pray for the imagination to try to live in the world non-violently, and it takes great imagination. I pray for courage to use my voice to speak out for those who live on the margins of our world, for this takes much courage. I pray for the strength to submit my body to injustice, as Christ did, in order to allow evil to show it’s true colors on me, and it will take so much strength.

A wholesale renewal of the Christian imagination in regard to violence is an essential step in our discipleship if we are ever going to make a real impact on the world around us, if we are ever going to bear witness to a better way. I find it impossible, after the cross, to believe Christian non-violence is an ancillary teaching of the church. If Christ was God in the flesh, and he didn’t take up arms to inaugurate the kingdom, then the only way we as Christians will ever participate in this kingdom is to live a life that is in step with this Messiah and his kingdom. We must heed Jesus’s call to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. We must live nonviolently.

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  • Arlene Adamo

    Yesterday I saw an American upset because the Dallas shooter was being described as a sniper. He was insisting that snipers were good guys who are there to “protect us” having never thought about what a sniper actually is…a trained killer who shoots the unsuspecting, (often civilians), from a safe hideaway. He had a childlike understanding of the concept that, I suppose, came from that movie. The movie itself was military propaganda because any movie made today containing US army uniforms or equipment must be “approved” by the Pentagon. These movies also get added funding which is why every two minutes a lame war movie is made in America. The glorification of violence in American society is promoted by both the military and the weapons industry for the benefit, (money and power), of their systems. The fact that in recent years Jesus has been identified with this worship of violence is absolutely disgusting. The entire thing is about as anti-Jesus as you can get.

  • “i have met The Enemy and it is ‘I(ego, id, self, pride)'”!

    So it is the “I(ego,id,self,pride)” Must Die for The Life to be!

    And in as much as i can ‘see’,
    That which is of the “I(ego,id,self,pride)” in me,

    So it is i seek, desire, and to Our FATHER cry,
    For deliverance from all that is of the “I”.

    The “I”, born of “imag”ination and selfish desire,
    As lust, greed, and pride, stoked a consuming fire!

    A fire burning out of control, as “I” leads the way,
    It’s smoke concealing the fleshly mind that leads one astray.

    Yet even in the smoke, searing heat, and blindness of ‘sight’,
    TRUTH can pierce that blackness of darkness, revealing “The Light”!

    And nothing can hide from “The Light”, so “Light” reveals the “I”,
    Allowing one to “see” clearly, and clearly the “I” must die.

    But to live, yet die, seems an impossible task,
    And so we need of “Our FATHER”, the impossible to ask.

    Help me to “deny (die to ‘I’, ego, id, self, pride) myself” FATHER!

    And as HE Helps, HE reveals evermore of “The Selfless One”…….

    The One Who leads His brethren on “The Narrow Way” that IS “The Way to The TRUTH of The Life”……. (Matthew 7:14, John 14:6)

    The One Who IS The Messiah, The Only Begotten Son of The ONE and ONLY TRUE LIVING GOD and FATHER(TRUTH/SPIRIT/CREATOR,,,,,,, ALL IN ALL that which IS Truly GOOD) of ALL, both Spiritually(The Son of GOD) and naturally(The Son of man)! (Matthew 16:16, John 3:16; 20:17)

    The One who testified, “i can do nothing of my own self”! (John 5:19,30; 8:28-29; 7:16; 12:49-50; 14:10,23-24; 17:8,14)

    Can the brethren of The Messiah do anything more?

    The very breath(Spirit, air) one receives to sustain this natural life, causes one who has received “a love of The TRUTH (so that they might be saved)” to REALize! “You who are unable to do the least, why do you take thought for the rest”? (II Thessalonians 2:10-13, Luke 12:26)

    TRUTH IS! Simply, “I(ego, id, self, pride)” can’t…….

    Thankfully Our FATHER and GOD, HE CAN!

    So it is the brethren of The Messiah evermore sound and resound a Declaration of Dependence:

    FATHER Help!

    HE DID! and HE does…….

    So Thankfully, “The Peace that surpasses ALL understanding” IS! in spite of the dis-ease (no-peace) that is of this evil world and/or religion’s way(except the Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27)……. (Philippians 4:7, John 14:27; 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 1:27; 4:4)

    ALL Thanks and Praise Be Unto Our FATHER(TRUTH, SPIRIT, CREATOR, GOD, LORD, MASTER, LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE,,,,,,, ALL IN ALL that which IS Truly GOOD)! (John 20:17; 14:28, Mark 10:18)

  • jqanderson1

    There are very few true Christians left. They are all crazed, cowards who couldn’t quote Jesus if they tried. They hate for no reason. They violate the Ninth Commandment hourly by lying. They steal, they covet everything their neighbor owns. They will also kill you in a blink of an eye.

    • Sadly, except for the amish and other religious souls liken unto them, such is religion’s way in this day and age!

      Yet ALL religion, except it be The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27, IS anti-messiah!

      “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

      • Dani Koski

        The Amish can have their own issues. They may not be our society’s issues, but they still have problems. Every organized religion does because at the end of the day, they are led by fallible humans.

        • And so it was i testified, “ALL religion, except it be The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27, IS anti-messiah”!

          “Come out of her(babel/confusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

    • MarcNBarrett

      I used to admire a person by the name of Doctor James Dobson, who founded the very commendable organization called Focus on the Family. Then he decided to blatantly violate Jesus’s commandment for his people not to wallow in worldly matters by founding the Family Research Council, an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group. Just imagine what Jesus must think of one of his followers creating a HATE GROUP. Then, to top all of this off, Dobson helps Donald Trump (who by his own admission had never opened a Bible in his life and never had religious concerns except to worship himself) create an “Evangelical Advisory Council” and calls Trump a “Baby Christian”.

      (BTW, the Family Research Council is also the organization that had the child molester Josh Duggar on its Board of Directors)

  • liturgy

    The 2nd amendment is the one that is positive about a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state isn’t it? I cannot see any reference to that in the post… Blessings.

    • RustbeltRick

      How can gun owners, most of whom belong to nothing resembling a well-regulated militia, claim to be following the 2nd Amendment? The Amendment never says you can own a gun for the hell of it; it describes an actual role that you would play (as a militia member defending yourself against a Redcoat). If you don’t play that role, we can question your authority or purpose in owning the gun.

  • Arlene Adamo

    This is a good example of one of the ways the system works. The money Hollywood gets from gun manufacturers to promote guns is substantial. Matt Damon is an actor who, in order to continue his career, must function within the constricts of Hollywood business practices. He personally does not believe in the promotion of gun violence but relies on a industry that cashes in on it. Should Matt Damon refuse to do Bourne movies if he doesn’t believe in the product placement and idolization of guns? Maybe. Certainly he took a risk speaking out about his true feelings in that Australian interview. He would have been well aware that the industry would respond by riling up its well-programed paranoid base through emails and write-ups in its various sponsored publications for gun enthusiasts, resulting in a barrage of outrageous violent threats against him by unstable strangers. So even if you decide he’s a sellout for doing the movies, you couldn’t really call him a coward as he could have stayed quiet and avoided all that.

    • scott stone

      I wouldn’t call him a coward, I’m glad he is speaking out on this issue. Although a call for an immediate ban on all guns seems to be a bit extreme. He’d have a hard time making movies without guns.
      I’m wondering if film is a reflection of our society or if society is influenced by film. It’s probably a little of both. As we become more violent it’s reflected in film, which seems to have this need to push boundaries and create ever more violent work. I’m at a loss when it comes to answering why we have become such a violent society. And the strange thing is that it doesn’t get much attention on a daily basis.
      To answer Tim’s question do we trust the 2nd amendment more, I’d say yes and that really is heart breaking.

      • Arlene Adamo

        Then you can’t be a Christian if you accept the words written by flawed men in 1791 above the Words of Jesus Christ. He made it clear. Following Him was not for the faint of heart.

        • scott stone

          I was speaking about society, not myself.

      • TRUTH IS! “The WHOLE world, not just a portion, IS under the control of the evil one(aka: devil, lucifer, father of lies, god of this world, angel of light, etc)”! (I John 5:19)

        And ALL religion’s (except The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27) are under the control of the evil one as well!

        TRUTH IS! The Faithful ARE Family! And our “citizenship(Life)” IS !NOW! in Heaven!


    • “…the industry would respond by riling up its well-programed paranoid base through emails and write-ups in its various sponsored publications for gun enthusiasts, resulting in a barrage of outrageous violent threats against him by unstable strangers.”
      Sooo…. Anyone who points out the obvious, laughable hypocrisy of an “anti-gun” actor making millions off of his starring roles in “shoot-em-up” movies is well-programed and paranoid?
      Ok. Got it.

      • Arlene Adamo

        Because this appears to be an emotional issue for you, you did not read my post thoroughly. You haven’t seen the distinction between the system and the individual nor my comment about Damon being open to criticism for as a sell-out. I would suggest it might help you better understand if you first analyze how you learned about the interview, what you’ve read about it in the publications you read and why what an American entertainer said in Australia makes you so upset.

  • George Edward Booker

    One of these things is not like the other, but thanks for the false analogy.

    • scott stone

      In what way? And no need to be snarky if you disagree.

  • MarcNBarrett

    You cannot be a Christian and loves guns. Period.

    Most Christians would agree that you cannot be a Christian and love money. But guns are far more incompatible with everything Jesus stood for than money. Jesus said “Give to Cesar what is Cesar’s, and give to God what is God’s”, after being shown a Roman coin; by saying this, Jesus was basically admitting that money was a neutral thing, capable of good or ill. But guns are completely against all of the non-violence that he stood for in his short life on earth.

    • “Love not the world”! and “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of Our FATHER and GOD”! (I John 2:15-17, James 4:4)

      You can not be a brother of The Messiah and a son(adopted yet nonetheless a son) of Our FATHER and GOD if you love the usa or any other nation that is of this evil world!(John 7:7)

      And there is Only One “Pure Religion and Undefiled”, and James 1:27 reveals an Active Faith not a dead letter religion!

      “Come out of her(babel/con-fusion/babylonworldreligion), MY people”! (Revelations 18:4)

  • BrotherRog

    Indeed. Too many American Christians put their faith in guns instead of in God. It’s idolatry. They effectively render Jesus as an unwanted Christmas present. See: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogerwolsey/2012/12/jesus-an-unwanted-christmas-present/

    Roger Wolsey, author, Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

  • It’s far more difficult to find support for being armed in the N.T. The O.T. has a fair amount. Of course, none of this is argument against the Second Amendment.

    • Ben West

      Luke 22:36

      • Yep. Although some will argue that it was a very specific instance.

        • John

          Even if a specific instance, it establishes a precedent: that carrying a weapon for self-defense is not inherently wrong. Jesus would never command his followers to sin.

  • benEzra

    The Sermon on the Mount and self-defense are not mutually exclusive. Jesus said turn the other cheek when someone slaps you, give your cloak and tunic to those who sue for your tunic, and go another mile beyond the legal requirement when demanded by Roman law enforcement.

    He did not say lay down your family’s lives too if someone comes to take yours; to give away your house, food, and entire livelihood to anyone who demands it; or to keep carrying the soldier’s gear indefinitely. Jesus did not teach to abolish boundaries; he asked us to sometimes volunteer to bend our boundaries in the service of others.

    The problem with implementing the no-boundaries position—taking the second-mile principle and stretching it to miles without limit, that we have no right to refuse—is that it will be abused by ruthless and abusive people. Boundaries are still necessary; at some point, we have the authority to say “this far, and no further.” That was a hard lesson for me as a third/fourth/fifth-mile type to learn, after living for years under abusive authoritarian Christianity, but it is one I will not let go of. The Sermon on the Mount is not a blank check for abusive people to violate you.

    Tell me this: If a ruthless, violent person broke into your house, would you pick up the phone and call for men and women with guns to come intervene, or would you turn the other cheek, hand over your phone, and forego calling 911? Because calling someone else to exercise violence on your behalf is still “resisting an evildoer”, and if it’s wrong for you to do it yourself, it’s wrong to call others to do it for you, is it not? To me, a true pacifist position would eschew self-defense by proxy as readily as it eschews personal self-defense.

    To my knowledge, neither Jesus nor the epistles ever spoke generally against self-defense against a lethal threat to oneself or family; he only told Peter to put the sword back on his hip and not to try to defend *Him* with it, and if Peter disobeyed then Roman law enforcement on the scene would have cut him down. But Jesus never told Peter, or the unnamed other disciple who was carrying that day, to get rid of their swords, or that there is never a time and place for them. Swords are never to be used to propagate the gospel or to impose beliefs on others, but ultimately they can shield those whom we have a responsibility to protect, primarily our children and families but also ourselves, if we so choose. And taking that responsibility personally, whether via door locks, security systems, martial arts, pepper sprays/stun guns, or firearms, is no less trusting in God than is working for money in order to feed, house, and clothe them, in my view.

    As to the Second Amendment, it protects the right to choose, with regard to owning/carrying a gun; that’s it. Like Mr. Castile, I do choose to own them, and I take the responsibility seriously. I store them in a safe, I train with them, I have studied the law and met the legal requirements to obtain a license, and most importantly I go out of my way to ensure as much as possible that I’ll never have to actually use them defensively. But it is my personal choice to make.

    Finally, I think that there is a great deal of cognitive dissonance in the position that using force to protect one’s children/partner/self from an actual ruthless attack is evil, but using force to compel one’s nonviolent neighbor into living by one’s beliefs is righteous. To me, a consistent pacifist position would eschew all forcible coercion, whether personal, or by proxy against a home intruder, or by proxy against one’s neighbor.

    • Is not a Pacifist a lover of The TRUTH, Yes! more than their own natural life?

      And apart from TRUTH, what is?

      Your testimony reminds me of a time when i did not want to be a disciple of The Messiah, i just wanted to be a “christian” so that i could enter into Heaven, yet continue doing my own (“I”,ego,id,pride,self) thing, which was the pursuit of self gratification, money and stuff!

      Thankfully i had experienced The Miracle that is “receiving a love of The TRUTH so that i might be saved”, for The TRUTH ultimately had IT’S Way with me, in spite of me! (II Thessalonians 2:10-12)

      So it is i began to receive of the treasures REALized in a simple and Spiritual Life as revealed in both The Life and The Teachings of The Messiah!

      And it is needful to REALize that The Messiah received both HIS Life and His Teachings from “Our FATHER and GOD”, and that The Messiah testified,”I can do nothing of My own self”! (John 5:19,30; 8:28-29; 7:16; 9:4; 12:49-50; 14:10,23-24; 17:8,14)

      And His brethren, can we do anything more?

      FATHER Help!

      HE DID! and HE does…….


    • You opened with the “turn the other cheek” and “give your cloak” verses. We don’t hear this as scandalous anymore because it’s become so rote. To put that verse in modern terms, to help you feel it the way Jesus’s hearers did:
      If someone breaks into your house and kills your firstborn, offer them your secondborn also.
      If someone breaks into your house to steal your playstation, also offer them your television and audio equipment.

      • Durin

        I submit that being slapped and having your first born killed are not just different in degree but in kind.

        Even a slap and a mere punch are different in kind. I’ve been slapped and I’ve been punched, and they were not the same. The slap was an insult, the punch an assault.

        I propose that a closer modern analogy would be something like “when flamed on a thread do not flame back but let your response be vulnerable to being flamed again”.

    • John

      Thank you for your reply. It’s nice to finally see someone look at the entirety of scripture instead of trying to base their theology after the very few verses that agree with them.

    • Jose R. Ruiz

      Thank you ben Ezra,
      Well said! You saved me from spending yet again time writing a lengthy treatise on this subject. The interpretation of the Scripture text referred to in the above blog misses the point entirely, not to mention bad exegesis. Jesus’ mission on earth was geared to introduce us to the Father and His kingdom, not a standard of non-violence, or social justice. I would like to see Mr. Suttle remain neutral if his wife or children were being unrighteously and viciously attacked (with the exception of being attacked while sharing the Gospel). Even the non-violent Chinese Buddhists do not allow you to beat them unrighteously. It’s easy to speak to an issue in a vacuum. But it doesn’t work so well in real life, under real threat or mistreatment.

  • violetteal

    First, this is a straw man argument with some false dilemma thrown in. The constitution was written by men who we wholly familiar with the bible and it’s presepts; more so than many today. The second amendment is a biblical precept that we have a right to protect ourselves and family from evil. I am offended by the assertion that because I believe that government is answerable to God and the people and that the contract forged over 200 years ago must be maintained, that I’m a hypocrite. No I’m not a hypocrite not am I un Christian. Jesus said that those who live by the sword shall die by it. I don’t live by violence.

    • Calvin Lewis

      You claim that the men who wrote the Constitution were wholly familiar with the Bible and its precepts. If this is the case, how do you justify that they wrote the Constitution for the rights of white men only? The writers of the Constitution seemed to be entirely ignorant of the biblical values and dignity given to women, Africans, and most certainly Native Americans. And when you say the 2nd Amendment is a biblical principle, what specific Bible verses are you referring to?

      • violetteal

        If you read the letters and speeches that these man made, you get the impression that it was a compromise. Having a Bill of Rights was a compromise to insure a stable government. The initial idea was that all rights were guaranteed in the constitution but for fear that they might be taken, they agreed upon 10 core rights that could not be infringed: speech, religion, press and the like. These were institutional rights that limited government and acknowledged the fact that men were free. Read what the founders read and you’ll get an idea of what they believed. John Adams, John Lock, Adam Smith and the like all talked about the sovereignty of Man, rights given to him by God. Those who didn’t believe in God talked of natural rights. A majority of the men who were at the start, didn’t approve of slavery and some wondered if it were possible to extend rights to women. In order to form a union to resist the Brits, compromises needed to be made; it’s a tradition that is as American as it gets. As for a biblical principles, name a chapter and verse won’t happen. Read the bible for all of its worth. You can go to the book of Judges and see where Israel took up arms to defend themselves from foreign invaders and robbers.

        • nuwah

          You write very clearly about compromise and the variety of of belief contributors to the document. Although its clear, it seems to me like a way not to answer a very specific question.

          The question of course is, are american founders and current self-described “christians” faithfully representing christian belief?

          The founders seeming familiairity with the bible could be true, but does not get us all the way to them being good representatives of christian thought or behavior. They could be familiar with concepts, but unwilling to act accordingly.

          We generally call this hypocrisy.

          We can say these things about the founders;

          They were familiar with the Bible.
          They held a variety of beliefs and emphases.
          They compromised to achieve practical unity.

          but also…

          They instituted nationwide practices of oppression, including slavery of africans and genocide of native americans.

          They protected select groups, namely white men.

          It seems to me that the specific question Calvin Lewis (and myself) are asking is…

          If their actions were evil, and thier solutions simply pragmatic, and the document is admittedly tough to defend chapter and verse, how can we safely call them Christians?

          And isn’t that the exact same issue we are facing today? There is a section of the society that is vociferously christian in title, but also subscribes to policies, attitudes and courses of action that are not discernibly Christian.

          There are obviously things people who claim to be Christians could do that would be in harmony with Jesus’ teaching. Like accepting immigrants, caring for the poor, resisting warmongering, advocating for peace, defending racially marginalized groups and more.

          The defense that these teachings turn out to be impractical or self-injurious seems like a completely insufficient defense when our role model (Jesus) famously sacrificed himself to uplift others.

          How do you reconcile this? Pointing out that in the book of Judges ” the people of Israel defended themselves” feels like a particularly feeble argument. Jesus explicitly teaches about what to do when attacked. “Do not resist an evil person” and famously, “turn the other cheek” when attacked.

          What gives?

          • violetteal

            The natives were hostile and slavery was a beast that was hard to kill. Jesus spoke of the individual and not of nations or governments. Paul said that government has a right and a responsibility to make laws and enforce them, that a nation must defend its people or be judged by God. We as human beings are not given that right as individual but in groups, we are. The idea of a well regulated militia falls into a clean category of defenders of the people. The 22nd amendment was design to place the responsibility of national defense to the people and not to a standing army. After the war of 1812, that changed. I believe that a standing army is courting disaster and constant war. The founders studies the bible and used it extensively in their design. In Judges, every man who had property was well equipped to defend it and his family. When danger came, he and his comrades banded together to repel the enemy and then went back to their homes. This is the model of America as written by Madison and Jefferson.

    • Violet, I think of Tim’s post topic as an hyperbole, that is an overstatement to make a point or bring forth a certain truth. My post above on gun ownership being a white xenophobic reaction to our society is also an example of this. The direction that the following argument takes about the Christianity of the founding Fathers gets a bit off-track as it doesn’t take into consideration cultural biases 200 years ago. We’re the founding fathers less “Christian” because they didn’t realize slavery was evil? Neither did Paul. Do we know slavery is evil, multiple wives denigrates women, beating children is harmful (sorry James Dobson), killing women and children in war is wrong or that killing heretics is ungodly from reading the Bible? Not exactly. We have to look to the trajectory of Scripture and Christ’s teachings to arrive at these conclusions.

      Calvin and nawah, you are on the right track, but again, if you take a “show me the Bible verses” only approach we would still have polygamy and slavery. The Bible doesn’t answer all of life’s questions directly. Being aware of the “direction” the Holy Spirit was leading the church is more important than tallying up a bunch of Bible verses. The Bible was written 2000+ years ago by men who dealt with issues at times much different than today. If you are going to use an absolute Christ-like standard as admission into the body of Christ the church is going to be a pretty vacant organization.

      Violet, you are correct there is a definite difference between personal circumstances that result in violence and how the state uses violence. Nuwah, seems to have confused a secular state (America) with a Christian theocracy and how America as a nation “turning the other cheek” in times of war, just exactly would that work out?

      However this whole discussion between you three raises some interesting questions. What general Christian principals can be brought to practice in a pluralistic society? Gun control affects individual rights, but what of the violent practices of a secular government? Drone strikes that kill women and children? The use of nuclear devices in self defense? The death penalty (“eye for an eye”), excessive police use of deadly force?

      It seems to me that a great deal of Jesus’ teachings can be applied to secular government without bending the safeguards of separation of church and state.

      • violetteal

        I think we can agree on many points. The wall of separation made it possible for believers to act upon their faith, without fear. I think of the Inquisition or the Islamic republic of Iran as examples of the state utilizing religion to suppress religious freedom.
        You articulated your opinion in ways that I couldn’t and I appreciate that. Thank you.

  • Marks Smith

    What a bunch of judgmental jerks. A right to bear arms and a command to love your neighbor are not exclusive of each other. Jesus also said to love what is good and hate what is evil. The Bible says to love justice, but it doesn’t say to sheepishly accept or withstand injustice.

    • Joe

      Does it say to fight or kill for justice, too?

  • Ben West

    You’re dealing with a false premise, here. The Sermon on the Mount is not opposed to the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is unopposed to peace. Being armed does not lead to violence. I do not need to disarm myself, in order to love and pray for my enemies. Love your enemy, pray for him, shower him with kindness. The place where American Christians deviate, if you want to argue that this is a deviation, is when someone attempts to physically harm us or our family, or anyone who is weaker than he is. We will step up and protect life from harm. If someone tries to kill us, we will do our best to kill him first. Will you argue that we should go, as sheep, to the slaughter? If so, good luck. I don’t expect much success for you.

    • LiteralStrawMan

      … Yes? Because that’s what Jesus did. “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter”
      It’s kind of amazing how your message that we can do violence requires us to go against Jesus’ example, you say sheep like it’s a bad thing but that’s what Jesus referred to us as.
      Even that bravery to protect our families is in opposition to the witness of the power and relevance of the early Church.
      Those early Christians were allowing themselves and their families to be killed, they did not fight back, they did not resist, they went to death and their message was more powerful than ours today, their message caused Christianity to explode because they didn’t look like the culture, this defend yourself Christianity just looks like the world to me.

      • OrthoAnabaptist

        “this defend yourself Christianity just looks like the world to me.” Exactly and that’s why a lot of people don’t want it anymore because it doesn’t offer anything different… it’s not Good News anymore… it’s just worldly pragatism…in fact it’s no different than what paganism offers… For the love of Christ why is this so difficult for so many in our “churches” today? The trinity, the gospel, the coming of Christ, everything, even the incrementally slow progress of the OT was for a much bigger reason than just a get-out-of-hell card… It is to redeem/remake the cosmos and to show us humans BETTER WAYS TO LIVE! Yet, people like our bro Ben… here essentially says none of that matters…our human nature bent after violence and selfish self-preservation is the “good” way… God’s ok with it…nothing to address or change… such a message is so sad, shortsighted and depressing…

        • John Williams

          There are many good posts in this thread but this one strikes me the most as someone who is viewing Christianity from the outside. There is absolutely no difference between the evangelical positions and worldly ones. Greed, violence, anger, and hatred fill the most religious part of this country and the political party that considers itself the most Christian.

      • John

        Jesus did that as a fulfilling of prophecy and to finish his work in the world. He clearly had no problem using violence when getting the money changers out of the temple.

        You can’t take one thing from the Bible totally out of context and pretend like it establishes unquestionable doctrine.

        • LiteralStrawMan

          Difference between driving people from the Temple and killing them.
          Friend, you might want to check on that log because you are doing the same exact thing, you too are taking a verse you like or dislike and playing with it to get it to say or not say what you want.

          • John

            You’re the one who referred to violence generally, not me.

          • LiteralStrawMan

            So are you suggesting Christians use violence?
            To what end?

          • John

            I’m suggesting that Christians are not commanded to never use violence. Jesus commanded the carrying of swords after his having been killed and unless you have VERY good reason to think that it was for some other reason, then the normal conclusion would be that they were to use it for self-defense.

          • LiteralStrawMan

            So when Jesus said not to resist someone doing you evil he didn’t actually mean it?

          • John

            I think you’re taking a 4 word phrase out of context. There’s a reason Jesus doesn’t use the example of allowing someone to kill you or your family.

            I would also note that the Bible differentiates normal suffering and suffering in the name of Jesus. We are not to use the sword in defense of the Gospel or in Jesus’ name, but it says nothing against using the sword as a defense of our life or family.

          • Ok, I think I can agree with you on this one.

        • “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” used the whip on the livestock, John, not the money-changers.

          • John

            Is scattering a person’s coins and overturning their tables not violence? I assume the people standing behind those tables didn’t quietly stand by as Jesus ruined their livelihood.

          • I don’t understand why you are so intent on making Jesus a violent person. Is it to excuse our own violent tendencies?

          • John

            I’m intent on looking at the fullness of scripture. If there is even one example of Jesus acting violently, then we shouldn’t make claims that Jesus never used violence or that violence is never justified.

            It seems you’re interested in insulting people.

          • manuel hernandez

            Poor cows and sheep.

      • L34

        Jesus example of going to the cross was not an example for us to do nothing to protect,he went to save us..or do you not understand ,law and grace

        • LiteralStrawMan

          I’m not talking about doing nothing.
          I’m talking about finding another way.
          I’m talking about a way if life that’s against the way of society that no one agrees with you.
          Our message doesn’t sound one bit different than the world’s message if we’re just willing to blow our enemies away.
          “You have heard it said” Jesus said on the mount, Jesus challenged us to a new life, if we’re unwilling to do it and instead offer excuses for why we should be violent then we’re really just adding a “but” to Jesus’ message.

          • L34

            its not violence to protect yourself or family…what do you suggest.ringing the pastor

          • LiteralStrawMan

            What is it then?

    • OrthoAnabaptist

      Why not? Isn’t that what Jesus did? Why do you sully and detest His (the Almighty of the universe) way?

  • A3Kr0n
    • RustbeltRick

      Did you miss last week? You can google it if so.

      • Durin

        Sorry, you’ll need to walk me thru the math – how does your statement show that “Violent Crime Drops to Lowest Level Since 1978” is false?

        • RustbeltRick

          How does “Violent Crime Drops to Lowest Level Since 1978” make last week any better? Do you plan to attend funerals in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas and remind everyone that “we’re doing really good on violence right now”?

          Society is violent right now. People are concerned about it. People died last week. If posting “this problem isn’t a problem” links works for you, wonderful. Somehow people in cities are seeing something different.

          • Durin

            You’ll notice that you did not actually answer the question. Consider – a very cold week does not show that there is no global warming.

            As for your comments, there is a time and place to emotionally step back and consider just how bad a situation is. A funeral is not that time or place. A comment thread for an article on the internet might be.

            The emotional stepping back can be useful b/c there is more to seeing a situation than just “is a problem” or “is not a problem”. Context to assess the degree of the problem is useful for avoiding overreacting in fear. (Banning all Muslims from the country might be an overreaction from fear after one Muslim does a profoundly evil act of mass murder in a bar. Does using statistics to show that most Muslims in the US are not violent mean that murdering 50 people was “not a problem”?)

  • LogicusPrime

    “Today most Christians are oblivious to the fact that the entire early church had a strict ethic of nonviolence.”

    So what? The early church is not authoritative.

    • LiteralStrawMan

      You should back off that line of reasoning real quick because that opens up a whole can of worms. Those “non authoritative” church founders are the ones who established a lot of what we believe today.
      I guess we can just drop the Trinity then, after all if we can’t trust their judgment abut violence then we can’t trust their understanding of the Trinity.

      • John

        There’s a difference between saying that the early church fathers made the first Biblical arguments for something and the early church fathers were the first to do something.

        We can recreate their arguments for the Trinity from the Bible. We can’t recreate their arguments about total non-violence from the Bible (Jesus commanded his disciples to have swords, for example).

        • LiteralStrawMan

          And Jesus told his disciples to drop the swords in every Gospel. Only one Gospel has Jesus telling them to carry swords.
          And he was saying that he would be counted among criminals right before telling his disciples to carry swords, he was telling his disciples to present themselves as criminals by carrying swords.

          • John

            He told one disciple to put it back in his sheath, not to drop it.

            Also, your interpretation doesn’t really make sense. Are you saying he commanded them to sin?

          • LiteralStrawMan

            To, as you put it, fulfill prophecy he commanded them to take on the appearance of sinners, or at least insurrections.
            If I recall his followers appeared to be sinning a lot, even under his command.

          • John

            Which prophecy were they fulfilling?

          • LiteralStrawMan

            Don’t try to debate it if you don’t know the Scripture you’re working with man,
            Luke 22:37 “I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in relation to me: And he was counted among criminals.” (CEB)
            “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” (NIV)

          • John

            Yes, I get that that was a prophecy about Jesus, but you’re saying it was a prophecy about his followers. I’m not seeing that connection.

          • LiteralStrawMan

            No, I’m saying he was orchestrating his disciples appearance just as he’d orchestrated the entry into Jerusalem.

          • John

            … But his entry into Jerusalem was explicitly to fulfill prophecy about Jesus from the OT. How does this command to carry swords fulfill anything?

          • LiteralStrawMan

            Because what would a band of Jews sneaking around Jerusalem at night look like?
            They would look like Zealots, insurrectionists, criminals in other words.
            Jesus would be arrested with a group of people who appeared to those authorities as criminals.

          • John

            So… what’s the connection with carrying your money pouch?

      • LogicusPrime

        Nope. I’ll stick with the words of Jesus. I’ve done enough study on the original text and read enough commentary on Luke 22:36 to be confident that Jesus wasn’t speaking metaphorically. This tells me that he wasn’t opposed to the concept of self-defense. YMMV.

        There’s a far larger gap between initiation of violence and non-aggression than there is between non-aggression and nonviolence. Both non-aggression and nonviolence oppose initiation of force against others.

  • RustbeltRick

    Conservative Christians are heavy on the conservatism, and light on the Christianity. Basically, it is a faux-Christian cultural movement fully committed to the political, economic, and militaristic status quo, inevitably favoring the powerful over the weak, and thus bearing no resemblance to the biblical Jesus.

    • nuwah

      I have to say that is a remarkably efficient summary that jives with reality. Good job.

    • Mickey Ableman

      Whoa, judge not there bud. If you’ve experienced something that’s fine but put away the broad brush and look in the mirror. I believe Jesus did teach that too!

      • RustbeltRick

        I don’t understand your comment. People can’t make generalized statements about large groups? For example, “the media does an awful job covering our elections.” Or here’s another: “this country is far too obsessed with sports, and it indicates a problem with our values.” Of course those statements don’t describe everyone (there are plenty of Americans who hate sports). But we make general statements about the current state of things, and sometimes they aren’t positive. Jesus did that, the prophets did it, writers and pastors and leaders do it.

    • Just another “pot calling the kettle black”!

      Simply pagan catholicism and her harlot christian daughters are anti-messiah!

      “Come out from among them and be separate”!

  • Tim, I think you have correctly described the historical path of violence in the church, but I believe violence as a pattern in religion goes back much further. The OT is full of disturbing accounts of an angry, violent God, who’s preferred method of dealing with apostasy or enemies of Israel was annihilation.

    I am assuming Phil’s comment below is that of a white conservative male. Most of the people I’ve seen passionately defending assault weapons, resistance against gun regulations, etc., have been white. The constitutional right to bear arms is not the issue here, nor do I believe it is a Christian misunderstanding Scripture. The relation of conservative Christianity and gun control is a bit more nuanced.

    When you break down concern about the government restricting our gun ownership some clear statistics come to light:

    “The new research also suggests a paradox: While blacks are significantly more likely than whites to be gun homicide victims, blacks are only about half as likely as whites to have a firearm in their home (41% vs. 19%). Hispanics are less likely than blacks to be gun homicide victims and half as likely as whites to have a gun at home (20%).” *

    Resistance to gun control is largely a conservative white issue. The reason: white xenophobia. The reason so many conservative Christians seem to support the proliferation of guns is that evangelicalism and fundamentalism are ruled by white, conservative Christians (emphasis on the first two words). In Europe, where conservative Christianity died years ago, it’s not an issue. Fear is the primary motivating factor among white conservatives, fear of aliens, fear of undocumented workers, fear of blacks, Hispanics, transsexuals, Gays, Catholics, Democrats, the government. let’s face it conservatives just feel a lot safer with a gun in their hand! America is not the same country it was 70 years ago and white males are petrified!

    Confounding the issue further is blind patriotism that equates America with Christianity. Where the lines between church and state are blurred to the point of nonexistance, where the US Constitution is the second most important document in the world, surpassed only by the Bible (KJV). Within this environment of waning white control, both in society and in our churches, guns rather than God become our source of solace and strength.


    • John

      So, your claim is that white Christians are against gun control because of xenophobia. The problem is that literally nothing you posted provides reason or evidence for your claim.

      • No, I was overstating to make the point that there is something other than concern for the 2nd amendment going on here. It is highly suspicious that the resistance to sane gun control is predominantly a “white issue.” One could come to a number of conclusions one being that whites are just really patriotic about the 2nd amendment.

        Of course one could look at the things white evangelicals are most concerned about, the growing number of Hispanics, unsecured borders with Mexico, ISIS, the Federal Government vs State Rights, liberalism, communism, socialism, race riots and protests, feminism, foreigners, refugees, homosexuality…the list goes on and on. The point is, there are a lot of things that were not a “problem” when the US was largely run by conservative white males and this could be a contributing factor to the opinion that whites, more than any other group, feel the need to arm themselves.

        Not everyone who owns a gun is motivated solely by fear of others. Some collect, some hunt, but I am running into an increasing number of people online and at work that feel the government is “up to something,” and they want to be as inconspicuous with their gun ownership as possible. This is paranoid behavior. And yes, they all fear the things above mentioned.

        • John

          Voting is also generally a “white” issue. Does that mean white people vote because they are xenophobic?

          • Actually, taking a straw vote from my experience at work and among conservative family members, yes. But it be fair, it runs both ways. Republicans fear the socialist tendencies of the Dems, and Dems the Facist tendencies of the GOP. Many of my white friends vote GOP because they are afraid of “social reform.” Meaning, Progressivism, social equality, sexual equality, etc.

          • John

            There’s literally no argument to be made about such massive and baseless claims.

          • Ok, John, you got me. Absolutely no merit to my posting. Now that we got that out of the way, how do you interpret the statistics involving white resistance to gun control?

          • John

            I know this is crazy, but I take the arguments that are given at face value. White people seem to value the basic human right of self-defense more than black or hispanic people.

          • Your right, that is crazy!

          • Bingo! White xenophobia! White is right, anything other is wrong. Do you understand how paranoid and demeaning to non-whites you are sounding? Now, I do understand how non-whites can feel they are not fairly represented in our government, both historically and today. Those who fail to understand the past are doomed to repeat it.

          • John

            How is it demeaning to just say the arguments that are given? White people say they want guns because of the human right of self-defense and black people generally don’t make that argument.

          • manuel hernandez

            After invading many countries through the years, I don’t see how you make this claim.

          • John

            I’m not getting the relevance of your statement.

  • John

    It’s funny, you mention the time when Jesus stopped Peter from attacking the soldiers, but you don’t mention when Jesus told his disciples to bring a sword with them. The problem wasn’t that Peter had a sword. The problem was that Peter was using his sword for the wrong reason.

    • Raymond

      And what was the right reason?

      • John

        Seemingly, to provide for their safety after Jesus was killed on the cross. Luke 22:35-38 says:

        “35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his [g]coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.””
        Notice how he says that the reason he’s telling them those things is because he will be “numbered with transgressors,” or, in other words, take on the sins of the world through his death. Previously he told them to not worry about money, protection, etc., but now he is telling them to worry about those things. They are now supposed to bring their money and weapons with them.

        • John there are a couple of various views concerning the sword comment by Jesus. There is your view that he wanted them to have a means of protecting themselves, although since all but John were martyred without physically resisting and the fact that Jesus urged other means of dealing with oppressors than violence, this interpretation seems rather unlikely.

          “And He was numbered among the transgressors…” Has been cited by a number of commentators to show that Jesus was symbolically arming a couple of disciples to fulfill prophecy that he was counted a criminal among criminals (which Peter gave credence to). Transgressors having the simple meaning of lawless or brigand rather than “sinner.” This would fit better with Christ’s teachings and the rest of NT documentation.

          Still other commentators take it to mean something more symbolic referring to the coming spiritual battle Christians would face after his death and resurrection. “It is enough” being translated as Christ’s frustration that they take it literally…”enough already!” Personally, I don’t find this particularly compelling.

          • John

            So how does them carrying their money pouches, which is in the same context as the command to carry a sword, fit into the interpretation of being counted as transgressors?

          • Unrelated.

          • John

            It’s in the exact same context in the same sentence. You can’t just say it’s unrelated. It’s OBVIOUSLY related.

          • I’m hungry and I want to go to Disneyland. Same context, but unrelated.

          • John

            That’s not how the Bible is written. Using context is the one of the most important ways to figure out what the author means.

            Even with that said, this specific verse is not written with that kind of grammar. It’s a list of things Jesus wants them to do, and getting a sword is just the last thing on the list.

          • Yes, I am using context. A sword for self defense does not seem to fit the context. Just a few verses later Peter is being rebuked for using the sword. Now if Jesus meant get some swords to defend yourselves later on after I am gone, he could have avoided the whole cut off ear situation by clarifying things.

            And tell me, how is the Bible written?

          • John

            Yes, Peter used the sword in the wrong way. Jesus had told them that he had to die and be numbered among the transgressors. He used it to prevent what Jesus had to do to fulfill his mission on earth. Jesus was clearly, but Peter misses the point throughout scripture. (like when Jesus told Peter “get behind me Satan”)

          • And you are missing the point of Scripture. If Jesus had meant for Christians to arm themselves and fight their persecuters, the entire early church seems to have missed the point. Fast forward 300 years when the church becomes the state religion and suddenly force enters into the church’s toolbox for evangelism. Now we have, as Tim has stated, a church that begins to look more like Rome than Jesus.

            As I have stated elsewhere, America has a unique fascination with guns. Whether it is related to our frontier past, where the bad guys were clearly defined as Injuns and the good guys were the Cowboys, or a yearning for a return to white supremacy, or just simply a bunch of people who don’t trust our government to protect us, I don’t know. I do know that using the Bible to support violent actions is a bit of a stretch, unless one denies the trajectory of the NT.

          • John

            I’ve already said that using the sword for evangelism is clearly wrong. You’re just creating a strawman.

  • Christians who are Republican forget about Jesus in order to become a good Republican.

    • Those souls who “love this world and their own life in and of it” have nothing to forget, for they have never known “The Only Begotten Son of Our FATHER and GOD”!

    • Redboyds

      “Anyone who thinks differently from me is not a REAL Christian.”

      • Translation:
        Republicans lied us into two illegal wars where our young, brave soldiers died for nothing. The expense crashed our economy and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and also created ISIS. Republican leaders speak out on Fox against women, minorities spreading hate and inciting violence and Republicans do not correct them. They cut money from veterans, schools, elderly, sick, health centers and the poor to give tax breaks to the rich. They promote sending our jobs to other countries passing legislation that gives tax breaks to corporations that send jobs overseas even Trump employs Chinese to do his work. They taunted Obama with hate speech and racist remarks, Trump is a famous birther telling lies to undercut our government and president. The mind of a Republican with its hate and fear is far from the mind a Jesus.

  • BobS

    Just because I believe in the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean I trust in force of arms for protection. I happen to enjoy long range target shooting and hunting. And no, I don’t see any prohibition in the Bible for either of these activities. I would also worry about which other rights might be tossed in the name of safety once we start down the slippery slope. Do large crowds encourage violence, many people are hurt celebrating victories, how about freedom of the press when the press encourages views which the government thinks could lead to violence and terrorism. Who makes the call? That said, I think that a good point has been raised about what or rather whom a Christian should trust for protection. To give up one’s life, which is already forfeit, is not a bad thing when we remember God’s kingdom is an eternal one, and is not of this world. And He has promised to raise us up at the end. What better witness to one’s faith?

  • Broilerroom

    I have turned the other cheek and won a friend as a result of that. The sermon on the mount as far as it relates to authorities is the issue. We the people are the government in America. Our elected officials are our servants. It is our duty to protect and defend our friends and family as a citizen government we all take an oath to up hold our constitution. If we had a king it would be our duty to obey the king unless the kings commands are contrary to Gods commands. I must admit I have wrestled with the whole thing.

  • Theo

    Strange. I know liberal Christians who claim that they are pro-choice and pro-gay because they don’t feel they should impose their Christian morality on society at large.

    But then they have no qualms about bringing their Christian morality into the gun debate.

    Hypocrisy, maybe?

    • Teddy, I think you are misunderstanding (misrepresenting?) your friends. Progressive Christians support various causes because of their Christian faith and their particular understanding of Scripture, not in spite of it. You simply disagree with their particular take on Christian ethics. I would add, there are many conservative Christians who do support better legislation against gun violence, bringing Christian infused morality into the gun debate is not simply a Progressive concern.

  • Denny

    Some guy is looking down at the corpses of his wife and kids and says, “Whew, I was true to my Christian principles, I did not respond with violence, I did the right thing, my conscience is clear. When I told those home invaders that I was a Christian and wouldn’t interfere, I know I made a really deep impression on them. I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

  • Latest Pew research poll as posted today on Christianity Today’s website shows 78% of White Evangelicals will vote for Trump this fall. At the top of the list of reasons they prefer him over Hillary: gun policy, where 79% of White evangelicals feel Trump has their back. Among Black Protestants 2/3 of which are Evangelical, the majority 79% will be voting for Hillary. How anyone can say race does not figure into the resistance among Whites for sane gun laws is beyond me.


    • BoyPinoy

      No one’s forcing you to own a gun, chicken. What other people own is not your business. Typical lefty, you enjoy coercing others to give up something they value.

      Stick a sign in your yard that says NO-GUN ZONE, see what that gets you.

      • And if I see you in your back yard testing explosives like the veteran who shot up the Dallas Black lives Matter parade and killed the cops you betcha it’s my business. If I find you’ve been “prepping,” stockpiling massive amounts of ammo for the coming race-war or whatever white folk wring their hands over, and I live next door I am not going to feel any safer either. Stick a sign in your…front yard that says PARANOID GUN OWNER!

  • It is amazing how many people justify violent self-defense, and then in fact violently offend legions of good people.

    • I was watching the news yesterday. There was a report on road rage. 4 out of 5 drivers say they have experienced it. I’ve had people try to hit me with their car. Once a lady driver sped up when I tried to pass to keep me from getting ahead, even though there was oncoming traffic! Americans are very tightly wound. People are very excitable about guns, very easily agitated. At work, just after the recent Dallas sniper attack on police I tried to engage a fellow employee about the march and what it could have been like if half the marchers were armed. The scenario with an active shooter and dozens of armed civilians seeking to defend themselves. Picture yourself as a cop in a wild situation like that! She got very upset with me! Had to change the subject as it was a highly emotional issue for her.

    • Gary Whiteman

      What a shame, people have a sacred right never to be offended.

      • Violently offending people is wide-spread, always ugly.

  • Kaz

    I see a great deal of hypocrisy among liberals. They are fanatical about the First Amendment (“separation of church and state!”) but would glady scrap the Second. They are Constitutional Cherrypickers.

    • MarcNBarrett

      The Second Amendment was written at a time when the end-loaded musket was the most advanced firearm. Do you really think that these religiously devout men would advocate the open distribution of weapons that could end the lives of 20 first graders in 5 minutes, if they would see into the future to our time? I think they would urinate their pants and fall to their knees in fervent prayer if they were given a vision of the wholesale weapons of mass destruction that are freely available today with few restrictions — IN THEIR NAMES no less!

      Anyway, all that said, we liberals just want to hold to the ENTIRETY of the Second Amendment, especially the portion that the NRA eliminates from their headquarters: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”. That is not extra verbage, as the NRA would have you believe, it was included on purpose and for definite reasons.

  • Deborah Kukal

    I was worried when it appeared you were not writing, back in June. But this and more came from that time. Thank you. Excellent. Your voice matters.

  • craigstace

    I have not been abused nor lived under ‘authoritarian’ christianity (small ‘c’) as benEzra, yet I, too, challenge the article’s premise. Turn the other cheek, and stand quietly without reaction WHEN, and ONLY WHEN we are challenged for Christ Jesus’ sake, or on account of our faith. Even Jesus took up the whip in the temple. Even God commanded the Israelites to annihilate whole populations to take possession of the promised land. He commanded us to go an extra mile, not six extra. Further, gun control is not ALWAYS about self-defense, sometimes about sport and hunting. But if Naziism is any lesson, the Jews were unarmed and we saw the results. I am a Christian; I love my enemy (ies); I love myself and my family also (a whole other sermon: love others AS, to the same extent as, you love yourself; a healthy self-love) but because I love myself and family I do not intend to be careless with our lives. Even George Washington and our patriots took up arms. I suppose those espousing this article would rather still be British.