Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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New Anti-Gun Argument: Jesus Hates Guns and if You Own One, You Don't Love Jesus


With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, an actual fascist poised to take over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (see Ted Cruz Rips Apart Biden Nominee and Joe Manchin May Just Sweep the Leg, Sen. Kennedy Causes Biden’s Insane ATF Director Nominee to Thoroughly Beclown Himself, and Ted Cruz Gets ATF Nominee to Admit Just How Much He and Biden Want to Take Our Guns) and the most anti-Second Amendment president in our history (Biden Gets Confused and Spreads a Lot of Hogwash in His Gun Remarks), the anti-gun left feels it is on the march.

To get where they need to go, though, they not only require regulations and laws, they require cooperation. Of the 390 million+ firearms owned by private citizens in the United States, over 17 million firearms of those would be classified as a “scary gun” under the various laws proposed by the Democrats. Unless gun owners substantially cooperate in efforts to disarm them, the regulatory scheme will be unenforceable.

How do they think they will get Americans to voluntarily relinquish a right that our Founders viewed as coming from the Almighty? Well, they are going to try to convince you that Jesus hates guns. To do that, they have turned to the pages of the magazine founded by Evangelical icon Billy Graham, Christianity Today.

As a Catholic, I don’t follow the doings of Protestants in any great detail. But Christianity Today gives the appearance of going the route laid out by David Burge, aka Iowahawk, years ago:

1. Target a respected institution
2. Kill & clean it
3. Wear it as a skin suit, while demanding respect

This is the article, Are We Attempting to Serve Two Masters, Jesus and Gun Rights?

The author is someone named Taylor Schumann. Ms. Schumann was one of two administrative staff wounded by shotgun pellets in a shooting at New River Community College in Christiansburg, VA, nearly a decade ago. No one was killed. The perpetrator is serving a 38-year sentence. That gives her the aura of “school shooting survivor.” This is how she describes her journey from her personal blog:

I have always been a writer, but it was a spring day in 2013 that made me an activist. The bullet that tore through my left hand on an otherwise average afternoon at New River Community College in Christiansburg, Virginia, redefined the trajectory of the written word for me, assigning mission to my passion and essential, urgent purpose to my page. In the split-second moment of the shooting, and the long work of healing and trauma recovery that followed, my beliefs about gun reform, thoughts and prayers, and the role of the church in our nation’s historic and future violence were irreversibly altered. Alive in the gratitude of the aftermath, I write the truth of my own story, and the stories of the countless precious lives affected daily by the crisis of gun violence, to implore others to join me in meeting the suffering around us with whole-hearted attention. I write to ask, simply, that we resist the impulse to look away.

As the mother of a young son, Henry, I’m compelled to hold the American Christian church accountable to its pro-life claims. At home in Charleston, South Carolina, and across the nation, I’ve witnessed the entrenchment of church and gun culture, and the apparent moral disconnect wreaking havoc on our ability to effect positive change. It is my hope that story will be the place we join hands and ignite in passionate advocacy to create a better future for Henry and the rest of our children. It is my desire to write our swords into plowshares, our apathy into action, and the distance between us into common ground.

Just some preliminary points. Being shot in a school doesn’t give you any more insight into the use of guns to commit crimes than being shot at any other place. Being shot, in the aggregate, gives you no more insight into the problem than anyone else; in fact, you probably have a lot less insight than most as, in this case, objectivity has been cast to the winds. “Countless” lives are not affected by shootings, and you have never been deputized to speak for them. Feelings don’t trump Constitutional rights. You feeling scared because of guns in society doesn’t render invalid my feeling of safety because my neighbors and I own guns.

Now to the article.

I was somehow labeled unpatriotic and un-American for wanting to reduce gun violence. I was told that I hate my country, that I should be more grateful to be an American, that I was attacking a God-given right. I have frequently been told that what happened to me is simply a price we pay for freedom. I have been called an angry and emotional woman. I have been accused of using my victimhood to become famous.

I have been told that I am selfish. Selfish for wanting to take people’s rights and guns away. Selfish for centering my own story and my own beliefs. And selfish for thinking other people should have to make compromises because something bad happened to me. I have been accused of using my story to manipulate people. I have asked people, “If giving up your guns meant saving a life, would you do it?” And they have replied to me, passionately, “No. It’s my right.” Maybe the worst part of all of these is that when they happen online, and I click over to view their profile, I see a line saying that they believe in God.

None of these criticisms or observations of me are true, except for one. I am angry.

Actually, I think a fair and dispassionate reading of this article and the rest of Ms. Schumann’s work would say she is selfish (her irrational fears take precedence overall). If being opposed to the Constitution and our traditions qualifies one as unpatriotic, then bingo.

She and her experience are the focal point of everything she writes about…like, for instance, the book from which this essay was extracted. She is demanding that others give up something to make her feel better, while she gives up nothing. Her definition of “compromise” seems to be “how much of your stuff am I going to take.”

Her rhetorical question is just stupid. The only way me giving up my guns saves a life is if you are accusing me of being a murderer-in-waiting. One might, with equal justice, demand, “If buying a gun meant saving a life (this is much, much more likely scenario than hers), would you do it?”

Her denigrating the faith of others because they don’t share her unreasoning fears is the action of someone who is actually using God as nothing more than a debate tactic. I’ll leave you to be the judge of the extent to which she has traded on a criminal act to obtain fame.

Then we have this, which seems theologically ignorant as well as manipulative and selfish:

If you know and love Jesus and are going to spend eternity in Heaven with him, why does the idea of not having guns anymore scare you so much?

When we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we say “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” There are no guns in heaven. When I pray this prayer, I ask that God would help me bring some of his kingdom to earth. I pray that, in the same way, there would be no gun violence here on Earth, just as there is no gun violence in heaven.

One hardly knows what to do with this. There is no food in Heaven, so why do you care about it here? And yet, one of the Christian Corporal Works of Mercy is feeding the hungry. There is no marriage in Heaven (Matthew 22:30), but it is a significant religious rite on Earth. From there, we go on a veritable Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of non-sequiturs.

Gun owners are, without explanation, cast in the role of the Levite and priest in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The Parable of the Lost Sheep is tossed in for good measure. Gun owners are accused of idolatry.

For instance:

We are clinging so tightly to this thing that the world gave us, instead of walking in the ways that Jesus offers to us.

and

We can’t keep trying to serve two masters. We can’t keep passing the dying man on the side of the road. We’ve desperately tried for decades to hold a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other and we have no hands left to serve each other, or Jesus. We have to choose. We have to lay one down. So I ask, who will you serve this day?

This is nuts.

What Ms. Schumann loses track of, along with a crap-ton of other things, is that the gun is nothing more than a value-free tool. It is much like a hammer or a wheel, or a screwdriver. What you do with the tool makes the difference. Murder was forbidden long before the invention of gunpowder. In Schumann’s view, owning a gun means that you, by definition, place gun ownership above being a Christian.

I don’t come from whatever religious tradition that spawned Ms. Schumann. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in very strong terms that protecting others from harm is part of the Golden Rule. That extends to the use of deadly force if there is no other way. Some Protestant traditions believe otherwise, but history has shown they only survive as long as there are folks around who do believe in self-defense.

This is not new stuff. In Exodus, we are told we can kill a home invader at night. In Nehemiah, we are told to fight to defend our families. In Esther, Jews take up arms against an unjust ruler (sort of the main purpose of the Second Amendment). Jesus frequently uses the metaphor of a shepherd protecting his flock from thieves and robbers. Because a shepherd killed marauding animals (see David and his sling), one can assume He is not talking about hugging it out.

No matter how you come down on guns, we should be able to agree that murder is wrong, that self-defense is a right, that defending the helpless is an obligation, and that gun regulation is a secular policy argument and not theology.




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