What Would Jesus Say to the NRA?

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What does the birth of the baby Jesus 2000 years ago have to offer the violent, troubled world we live in?    Or what would Jesus say to the NRA?

I want to suggest — A lot.  A whole lot.

Jesus entered the world from a posture of absolute vulnerability — as an unarmed, innocent child during a time of tremendous violence.  The Bible speaks of a terrible massacre as Jesus was born, an unspeakable act of violence as King Herod slaughters children throughout the land hoping to kill Jesus (which the church remembers annually as the massacre of the Holy Innocents).

Perhaps the original Christmas was marked more with agony and grief like that in Connecticut than with the glitz and glamour of the shopping malls and Christmas parades.  For just as Mary and Joseph celebrated their newborn baby, there were plenty of other moms and dads in utter agony because their kids had just been killed.

From his birth in the manger as a homeless refugee until his brutal execution on the Roman cross, Jesus was very familiar with violence.  Emmanuel means “God with us.”  Jesus’s coming to earth is all about a God who leaves the comfort of heaven to join the suffering on earth.  The fact that Christians throughout the world regularly identify with a victim of violence  – and a nonviolent, grace-filled, forgiving victim —  is perhaps one of the most fundamentally life-altering and world-changing assumptions of the Christian faith.  Or it should be.

Related: The God who Cries when Children Die by Kurt Willems

So what does that have to do with the NRA?  Underneath the rhetoric of the gun-control debate this Christmas is a nagging question:  are more guns the solution to our gun problem?

Everything in Jesus’s world, just as in ours, contends that we must use violence to protect the innocent from violence – which is the very thing Jesus came to help us un-learn through his nonviolent life and death on the cross.  Surely, we think — if God were to come to earth, he should at least come with a bodyguard… if not an entire entourage of armed soldiers and secret service folk.  But Jesus comes unarmed.  Surely, we think – if God were about to be killed he would bust out a can of butt-kicking wrath, but Jesus looks into the eyes of those about to kill him and says, “Father forgive them.”  The Bible goes so far to say that the wisdom of God makes no sense to the logic of this world, in fact it may even seem like “foolishness”  (or at least utopian idealism).

When soldiers come to arrest and execute Jesus, one of his closest friends defensively picks up a sword to protect him.  Jesus’s response is stunning – he scolds his own disciple and heals the wounded persecutor.  It was a tough, and very counter-intuitive lesson:  “The one who picks up the sword dies by the sword… there is another way.”

That lesson that Jesus taught his disciple is as relevant to us, and the NRA, as it was to the early movement of Christians in the first century.  Violence will not rid the world of violence.  You do not use swords to get rid of swords or guns to get rid of guns.  There is another way.

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Many Christians have begun to speak of Jesus as an interruption to the “myth of redemptive violence,” the assumption that we can use violence to get rid of violence or that we can destroy a life to save a life.  The myth of redemptive violence has many ugly faces.  It teaches us that we can kill those who kill to show that killing is wrong.  It teaches us to live by the law of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” a law that Jesus firmly spun on its head, saying, “You’ve heard it said ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth… but I tell you…”    There is another way.  Killing to show that killing is wrong is like trying to teach holiness by fornication.  The cure is as bad as the disease.

Also by Shane: I Found Peace in Kabul

At one point Jesus even weeps over the violent world he lived in, lamenting that “they did not know the things that would lead to peace.” The fact that Jesus carried a cross rather than a sword has something relevant and redemptive to offer our violent-possessed world. After all, the Bible has a lot to say about loving enemies, and “Thou shalt not kill,” but doesn’t even mention the right to bear arms.

So let’s imagine.  What would Jesus say to our nation, where these are things are true:

  • 10,000 people die from gun-related homicides each year, that’s one Sandy Hook massacre a day, every day
  • There are nearly 90 guns for every 100 people
  • There are over 51,000 licensed gunshops (and 30,000 supermarkets)
  • Guns that can shoot 100 rounds a minute, and are only designed to kill, are still legal
  • Other than auto accidents, gun violence is the leading cause of death of young people (under 20)
  • 20,000 dollars a second is spent on war

There is a reason we talk about “Peace on Earth” so much around Christmas.  There is a reason why we talk about Jesus as the “Prince of Peace”.  He consistently taught that we can disarm violence without mirroring it, and that we can rid the world of evil without becoming the evil we abhor.  So let us recommit ourselves to Peace this Christmas season and New Year — in honor of Jesus, and in honor of the holy innocents.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images








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About the Author

Shane Claiborne

Shane ClaiborneShane Claiborne is a prominent author, speaker, activist, and founding member of the Simple Way. He is one of the compilers of Common Prayer, a new resource to unite people in prayer and action. Shane is also helping develop a network called Friends Without Borders which creates opportunities for folks to come together and work together for justice from around the world. His most recent book is Red Letter Revolution, which he co-authored with Tony Campolo.View all posts by Shane Claiborne →

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickmcopy Rick Middleton

    Jesus would say, “Come on, you guys are no militia, and you aren’t well-regulated. Stop twisting the 2nd Amendment just so you can buy Commie Killers at your hillbilly gun shows. Those 26 people had a right to not get shot in the head, which is a greater right than your selfish desire to buy your seventh insanely powerful gun. And stop being a hypocrite about it; I’ve got a 2,000-year track record of really hating hypocrisy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to a safer country before I get shot here.”

    • Ryan

      It’s hard to take you seriously when you show such lack of knowledge about the founding of our country and the bill of rights.

      • Don J

        Most Americans actually have no idea what Thomas Jefferson really wanted when he drafted the 2nd Amendment. He wasn’t planning on citizens having large stockpiles of semi-automatic weapons in their homes, that’s for certain. Often quoted by Jefferson is “For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security”. But that has to be taken in the context of the times. At that point in history, even rifling the barrel was a brand new technology.

        If you read his letters, and look into the life and thoughts of the man, what he was after was a militia that had a) been educated in the basic RRR’s. b) be lead by officers that were not of the social elite, rather by men that had experience in war. Citizen soldiers that could be called to arms in case of a foreign invasion. We didn’t really have the kind of standing defense then that we have today.

        Another Jefferson quote,from a letter to James Madison in 1787: “Happy for us, that when we find our constitutions defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble with all the coolness of philosophers and set it to rights, while every other nation on earth must have recourse to arms to amend or to restore their constitutions.”

        I doubt very much that any of the founders intent was to have hundreds of millions of weapons, built with the express purpose of super effectively and accurately killing fellow citizens in the hands of every American.

        I’m not for repealing the 2nd Amendment on the whole, however, taking a hard look at the current gun laws, what’s available to the public and how they get them is way overdue.

        And I write this as a gun owner, and former member of the military.

        • Doug

          Don J., You’ve written one of the most sane piece I’ve seen on the issue yet. Why is it that a moderate view is eschewed by so many?

          Eliminating guns is not the answer and making fun of people who like to shoot guns is just as nuts as making fun of any other hobby.

          FYI, I do not own a gun, but have gone target shooting with friends, and I completely understand the hobby. I could get there if I let myself. Target shooting on a range is a lot safer than many other things, including driving a car, which, by the way, is often not a necessity.

  • I. E.

    And this is why I am a Red Letter Christian! Thanks Shane for this article.

  • Art Haywood

    Any other Christians willing to stand up for Christ even if against 2nd amendment to Constitution.

  • machoMan

    Appreciate the thoughts. Agree completely. What I’m really struggling with is how to respond to people who come with the same argument as the NRA. I feel like they are blind to certain truths (many which are mentioned in this article) I want to meet them where they are at and explain my position, and understand why they believe what they do but I find it nearly impossible.

    Along with all the cause for hope and peace, there is the ugly reality of sin. But combating sin can be done in many ways. It doesn’t have to be done with more sin (ie violence) but while I align with many (most) Red Letter Christian morals, I am not a pacifist. We should have a police force, military to protect the innocent, etc but these jobs are regulated, not everyone can be a police officer. teachers shouldn’t have to be both educators and police officers.

    This whole issue is very depressing. I realize we can’t turn our back on a broken world, but it is often very hard to hear and discuss heavy things like this at length, without taking a sabbath every now and again.

  • ivory tower

    If only Israel would lay that their weapons then peace will come to the middle east.

    • F Bryan

      No there would not be peace! There would be homicidal genocide. You show a woeful attitude and lack of knowledge towards the Middle East.

      • ivory tower

        F. Bryan I was being sarcastic. Shane wants individuals to disarm. So, why not nations? To quote Shane ” Violence will not rid the world of violence”. What Shane doesn’t understand is violence can be used to protect yourself. Only leftist Christians believe that all violence is evil. Non violent protest would never had stopped Hitler or Stalin. Also, none of these bloggers have said anything about the violent, empty, crass, or the culture rot that Hollywood has promoted over the years. Could it be that Hollywood leans to the left?

        • bluecenterlight

          Christianity is not an answer for Hitler or Stalin, just as it was not an answer for the horrible atrocities of the Roman emperors. The first 300 years of the church was defined by Christians living out the sermon on the mount. They paid their taxes, did what they were told by horrible leaders, and died for the gospel. This is our example. If you don’t want to follow Christ’s example, you don’t have to, just don’t redefine it to fit your world view.

          • ivory tower

            I said non violent. I never mention Christianity, only leftist Christians. Please read carefully before you judge another person salvation also you do not get to define Christianity for your leftist or right leaning worldview. If the early christians are our example than please stay out of politics. According to your post the early Christians were not into politics. What would give you an idea that I did not want to follow Christ example? Where is you passion about our violent entertainment industry? After all it was the early Christians that helped stop the violent gladiator games in ancient Rome.

          • bluecenterlight

            I did not mean to call into question yours or anyone’s salvation. I that is what you concluded from my post, I apologize. To your point, I do not have any concern for politic right or left. I just want to follow Christ and his example. My gauge for authentic Christianity is the 300 years post Christ. They were pacifists who chose martyrdom, just like Christ taught. I want to be like MLK, Ghandi. They read the words of Jesus, believed them and shook the world, just like the early Christians. And they did it only armed with love.If a half naked hindu man can read the words of Jesus, and armed with only love and a steel backbone, run the British empire out of his country, then I am without excuse. You, however, can be who ever you chose to be.

          • Drew

            I am thankful that most Christians do not stand by and eat popcorn while millions of people are annihilated. Pacifism is a false belief, generally propagated by liberal elitists who are in no danger of being harmed and live in safe, 1st world countries.

          • bluecenterlight

            Most Christians do a lot of things that are the opposite of what Christ taught. The crusades were rather popular, so was the Inquisition. I don’t see Jesus, MLK, or Gandhi as popcorn eating do nothings, so I fail to see your point. You have said a lot, but you have not convinced me to turn from loving people, especially my enemies. I’ve spent a lot of my life hating people. I don’t want to anymore. I want to live out what Jesus taught and am will to die for it. If you believe that to be silly or naive you have every right to believe what you want. You can choose to do whatever it takes to preserve your life, that is your choice. But at least have the courage label those who changed the world using only love as fools as well, starting with Jesus.

          • Marc Kivel

            I note, Drew, that Quakers, Shakers, Brethren, Amish, Mennonites around the world among others have died rather than engage in violence…and I do not believe the Brethren, Amish or Mennonites would qualify as liberal elitists, not would many Quakers….

          • Mick

            The early Christians did not always do what the Romans told them to do . In fact they were sent to prison because sometimes they did disobey . No where in the Gospel does Christ say to allow your children to be murdered . No where . Today we live in a world where out of wedlock births approach levels where it is more common to find a child growing up without a dad then with one . Yey the world view of many is to promote a government answer for stopping poverty or in this case using government to control arms . I choose not to own a gun , has much to do with my culture and how I was raised I would think , not for my love or lack of love for the Gospel. But telling some one else they have to have their children give up their lives at the roman coliseum is something Jesus never said in the Sermon on the Mt. .

          • bluecenterlight

            Choosing to follow Christ was direct disobedience to the Roman empire. The Roman emperors did not care what “Gods” you worshiped, they just wanted to be included. The problem with following Christ is that you are not allowed to “add” Christ to whatever you believe, therefore Christians were heretics to the Romans and as a result slaughtered. I agree nowhere in scripture does say that we should put our children in danger to follow Christ, and yet many did. To be honest, I don’t have children, and feel that I am not antiquate to speak on this subject. I can’t imagine the horror of seeing my children harmed by evil men. But the question is do we become like evil men in order to stop them? If we do, if we choose to lay Christ aside for a season in order to fight fire with fire, what kind of world do we leave for them? These things are happening now though, and I think it is important for us to ponder. What lengths am I willing to go to in order to follow Christ? Are there things that God asks that would be too much for me? I still don’t like the Abraham/ Issac story, it makes me really uncomfortable. It’s like giving your child a puppy for Christmas, and a knife, and saying to your child “if you love me take it outside and slit it’s throat”. You would be considered a monster, and have your children taken from you, rightfully so. And yet, that’s what God did. I just read a story about a Christian man in Syria who was beheaded, cut up into chunks, and fed to dogs. Being Christian in a Muslim country makes you, and your family a target. It would be easy to just be “quiet” about your Christianity. Are we the type of people who will be “quiet”, and live long ineffectual lives? Or are we willing to stand up and be targets? Food for thought. The truth is God loves us either way.

  • 21st C. Episcopalian

    Both left AND right are blinded by idolatry of personal individual “rights”. The political and religious buy-in to this missing-the-point can be seen in the left’s scripturally blind adoration and devotion to sexual rights (across the board from promiscuity, homosexuality, adultery, and abortion) as well as to the rights’ scripturally blind adoration and devotion to financial and civil rights (guns, greed, self over community).

    Both left and right miss the words of Jesus to deny to SELF (Mt 16, Mk 8) and “carry our cross” (Lk 14), instead opting to elevate self to the place of distinction and centrality. Also relevant are Paul’s words to “weaker brothers” (Rom 14) where we let go of those things that are offensive to other believers, as well as his self-identification as one who’s been “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2).

    But I digress. This article relates more to the “right” and their incessant need for gun rights.

    So to the political (and religious) right who push to self-justify the need for “unnecessary” gun types (semi-automatic, multiple-cartridge, etc), I believe Jesus would say they are off track, missing the other-centeredness and community/unity-orientation of the gospel, and might add that those who PUSH for this 2nd amendment right are more focused on self (and what government says is right) than on others (and what the gospel says is right).

    I’m not anti-gun, but I’m definitely anti-idolatry which, in this NRA instance, is definitely flowing towards that direction.

    • Drew

      I agree with your view – as a hunter and gun-owner, I’m not a NRA member, because I think they are too extreme. However, you are coming from a different viewpoint than Shane; he is coming from a non-Biblical viewpoint of absolute pacifism.

    • Dan T.

      Exactly. I appreciate Shane’s article, and I appreciate his focus on the words & spirit of Jesus’ ministry, which are lost in many churches, but it is sad how abortion will never get mentioned, even in a context where it would be so relevant here. 10,000 a year to homicides is certainly worth talking about, but what about the 3-4,000 a day that are aborted? Would Jesus really say nothing about that?

  • j.p.w

    thats funny i remember jesus telling peter to selll his cloak for a sword to protect himself…

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      If you read the article, Shane points out exactly what Jesus said and did when Peter used his sword – Jesus rebuked Peter, and healed the wound delivered.

    • http://www.ravenfoundation.org/category/blogs/ Adam Ericksen

      Where does it say to protect himself? If that’s what Jesus had in mind then Peter utterly failed. Peter never defended himself with violence, neither did Paul, or James, John, Thomas, etc. They had many opportunities to use the sword. They were all persecuted and many disciples even killed. Whatever Jesus meant by carry a sword the disciples didn’t think it meant to defend yourself by killing your persecutors. They decided to live by Jesus’ teaching to love and pray for them instead, which for them meant to not kill.

    • Dan T.

      Right after that verse, Jesus explained the reason for this was to fulfill the scripture that said He would be reckoned among sinners (Lk 22:37). I believe this is also fulfilled in his being crucified with 2 criminals. It is not a prophecy that followers of Jesus should be trying to fulfill now.

      Jesus also told them that 2 swords was enough, showing that the intent was not really to do battle with anyone. And when one of them (Peter – Jn 18:10-11) went & actually used the sword, Jesus said “No more of this” and healed the man (Lk 22:51). In Matthew’s account (26:52), Jesus also said, “Put your sword back in it’s place, for all who live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

      Why do people continue to refer to this as if Jesus were approving the use of the sword? It was only to fulfill a prophecy … and not one that we should want to fulfill (“numbered among transgressors”).

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.bellemey Todd Allen Bellemey

    Once again we talk about gun control when that is not the problem. The problem first lies with helping and taking care of the people who have mental disability. We must help those in gangs get out and have better lives. We must stop drug addiction and smother them with love. Adding more gun laws or getting rid of guns will not stop the violence and death of guns in our culture. We true must be Christians in this time and start healing the world. Healing the world is not simply taking away the weapons and saying everything will be okay. Healing the world is finding the source of the problem and facing it head on with love and fully encompassing it with it.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    Someone should write an article called, “The myth of redemptive violence vs. the mystery of creative suffering.”
    —-

    • Jonathan Starkey

      John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    Progressive Revelation:
    Lamech – Gen 4:24 – If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” (ie. Pashtun proverb, ‘He is not a Pashtun who does not give a blow for a pinch.’)

    To Moses – Ex. 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

    To Jesus – 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    Is solidarity with Christ the underpinnings of Non-Violence? Is a disbelief in the the mysteries of God the force behind redemptive violence?

    Is this below what lies underneath Shanes zeal for non-violence?

    What is a martyr? What is it that changes suffering from a destructive into a CREATIVE force, that transforms violent death into an act of martyrdom, a miscarriage of justice into an atoning sacrifice?
    —-
    The Seed of the Church: Martyrdom as a Universal Vocation
    By Kallistos Ware, “The Inner Kingdom”

    Times of peace are favorable to Satan, for they rob Christ of His martyrs and the Church of it’s glory. – Paul Evdokimov

    The ONLY TRIUMPH that the Church on earth can or should expect is that of martyrdom.

    With the blood of Thy martyrs, O Christ our God,
    Thy Church is adorned throughout the world,
    As with purple and fine linen…

    As the first fruits of nature the Gardener of the creation
    The inhabited earth offers to Thee, O Lord,
    The God-bearing martyrs…
    —–
    What is a martyr? What is it that changes suffering from a destructive into a CREATIVE force, that transforms violent death into an act of martyrdom, a miscarriage of justice into an atoning sacrifice?

    1) The value attached to voluntary acceptance, 2) an the insistence upon participation and solidarity

    Innocent suffering does not by itself make someone into a martyr. It is also required that we on our side should voluntarily ACCEPT that suffering, even though we may not have originally chosen it. Self dedication is needed ; and it is this that changes the martyr from someone who suffers and dies into someone who bears witness.
    ——
    See also: “Creative Suffering” by Iulia De Beausobre

    How do we take non-violence from a reactionary movement and present it as deep and rich theology?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tara.dively Tara Hostetter Dively

    Amazing. Well-done. Thank you for your insight.

  • Dot

    I think the founding fathers never envisioned people not owning guns. They also never ever considered the lack of judgment in mankind. Such lack of love for. Each other

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    In our preoccupation with self: self-fulfillment, self-actualization, self-realization, self-deception, and self-destruction, we’ve ceded the nation to others and their differences: different beliefs (or none at all), different principles, different morals, different values, and different gods: women, minorities, homosexuals, and the gods of welfare, entitlement, Filicide (a descendant of Moloch), and Bacchanal.

    While we were masturbating, fornicating, hallucinating, and self-indulging immoral and amoral foreigners, invaders, usurpers and tyrants de-educated and re-programmed each other and positioned one another in positions of power. And so began the deconstructing and destruction of the remnant’s cherished America: principally founded upon ancient and time-tested Judeo-Christian values, virtues and morals.

    The examples are myriad. Here’s another. A foreign woman appointed to the highest court in the land by a non-natural born citizen usurper President has ruled against our cherished 1st-amendment in favor of filicide by pill, in direct violation of the cherished religious beliefs and morals of an upstanding family whose company supplies goods demanded by a large enough swatch of Americana to sustain and profitably grow that business, employing many, and providing a reasonable return to its investors.

    Atop our totem poles now sit strange and foreign appearing men and women from an alternate universe where death, destruction, deprivation, and denial reign.

    Good and decent American men and women are being forced to surrender not only their guns but their religion, morals, values, virtues and 1st principles.

    Should this continue unabated without a religious and moral revival at the ballot box only two outcomes are possible barring the Parousia:

    1) A collectivized Godless tyranny where the religious and moral are stripped of every Liberty and Gulaged, or

    2) A second Civil War — I hope the military joins the remnant Americans.

    I hope and pray both can be avoided by either the Parousia or a moral and religious revival at the ballot box. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200322780451767&set=a.1247528587965.2038630.1221949455&type=1&theater

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOBBY_LOBBY_BIRTH_CONTROL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-12-27-07-36-47

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    Barack Hussein Obama told Barbara Walters now that Malia’s getting telephone calls from boys he ran for a 2nd term so that he could enjoy “. . . continuing Secret Service protection to have men with guns around at all times…”

    http://www.onenewspage.us/n/US/74rki6w69/Obama-Ran-So-Could-Have-Men.htm

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      The joke
      _____________
      Your head

    • Jonathan Starkey

      When people use Barack’s middle name is it like saying George “W.” Bush, or is it a slur?

      • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

        I have only ever seen it as an attempt to imply that he is somehow connected to Sadam Hussein.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    Why do people “NEED” assault weapons?

    1) Because they CHOOSE to own them; just like Abortionists CHOOSE filicide, which they NEVER NEED!

    2) Because the Constitution protects their right to.

    3) Because bad guys carry assault weapons.

    4) Because a pistol’s accuracy is poor beyond 20-25 yards for most shooters.

    5) Because an assault weapon’s accuracy is high for HUNDREDS OF YARDS.

    6) Because they don’t need to need one; it is enough to just WANT ONE — why does someone “need” a car with 500 HP that goes 200 MPH when the speed limit is 55?

    7) Because when a bad guy or the government “assaults” We The People a 6-shooter snub nose .38 just won’t do.**

    8) Because when a bad guy or the government brings a fully automatic weapon to the fight, without the right to also own one we good guys need at least a FAST semi-automatic rifle to have half a chance.

    ** The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been purchasing masses of assault rifles and enough ammunition to run a 10-year shooting war. DHS has purchased a total of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition to be used domestically, inside the United States.

    It begs the question: Why does the Department of Homeland Security — named after Hitler’s “Office of Fatherland Security” — “NEED” 1.6 billion rounds of ammo?

    Obama’s government stockpiles weapons of mass destruction. The DHS began all this in April of this year, with the purchase of 450 million rounds of hollow point .40 caliber ammunition. This is significant for two reasons:

    1) DHS does not fight wars with foreign nations. It’s entire theater of operations is ON U.S. SOIL, DEALING SOLELY WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    2) Hollow point ammunition is banned by the Geneva convention and is not used by the U.S. military. This ammunition can only be used domestically, in the United States, against U.S. targets or people.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/files/DHS_ammo_buy.pdf

    http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/obama-has-armed-security-personnel-for-self-defense-but-you-cant-have-self-defense/question-3403103/

    THE GREATEST THREAT TO OUR FEDERALIST, STATES’ RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL RULE OF LAW REPUBLIC FRAMED OF, BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE IS A HEAVILY ARMED GOVERNMENT THAT WANTS TO BAN YOUR GUNS AND AMMUNITION — JUST LIKE KING GEORGE III TRIED TO DO DURING THE MID-18TH CENTURY. WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, MADISON, ADAMS, FRANKLIN, HENRY, PAINE, ET AL SAID, “HELL NO!”

    • Bl1nda

      The greatest threat to the republic is actually fear. Only fear can cause the dissolution of the rule of law and the absence of free and open elections. Most Iraqi homes had assault weapons. It did nothing to protect them if Saddam’s henchmen came looking for them. Why did Saddam stay in power so long? Because the Iraqis lived in fear of the Iranians and felt they needed Saddam to protect them. I found your post useful in explaining the appeal of assault weapons, but not the need. Eventually the arguments always seems to circle back to “protection” of some sort. But, as you know, perfect love casts out all fear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    We can debate whether pacifism is normative for all Christians but there is no debate whether pacifism can be legislated and enforced upon the entire U.S. population, Christian or otherwise. It can’t. Other-pacifism is NOT a strong argument that can be made from Scripture.

    As I Christian I may choose to turn the other cheek but there’s a good chance that if I’m being threatened with a gun it is NOT my cheek that is going to be slapped but my center mass or head that is going to be pierced by a projectile travelling in excess of 1,100 feet per second, to which I’ll never get the opportunity to turn the other cheek. I may well be dead before I hit the ground.

    While no serious Christian can dispute that Jesus lived a non-violent and non-retaliatory life He also told his mortal apostles who would to have remain on earth AFTER He ascended,

    “’When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a SWORD, sell your cloak and BUY ONE. 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.’ The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are TWO SWORDS.’ ‘That is enough,’ he replied.” Luke 22:35b-38

    Notice Dr. Luke did not write “Sorry, I was joking,” or “No, NO, NO, I did not mean ‘sword’ literally but spiritually” after Jesus’ apostles produced two REAL SWORDS to which He responded, “That is enough.” Perhaps one sword is NOT enough.

    • Bill Jones

      I was just studying that verse the other day, and I came upon this analysis: http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Arlandson/luke_22_36.htm

      Please check it out. Think about it, were two swords really enough to defend the group that was with Jesus? Enough for them to fight? Or did the swords serve some other purpose…

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      How many times will you spam us with the exact same posts before you finally respond to the people who rightfully question your heterodox interpretation?

    • Mick

      Peter I believe you mean well . But using the scriptures in the manner your using them perhaps is hurting your argument . In my eyes anyway . I be somewhat more prone to some gun control , but based on different reasoning . For one the disciples and almost all those who traveled in Israel 2000 years ago carried a knife , sword , or some method that they could defend themselves from thieves and robbers . Peter had one on him because it was common . Jesus was speaking to personal revenge in turning the other cheek , such as if I call you name or spit in your face because we are having an argument , or hit you because I am ONLY mad at you . He also told the Jews to flee to the mountain tops t escape the violence Rome was bringing . Not to actually stopping defend yourself , family , loved ones , innocent by standers. There is not a magical formula to stopping violence , I suggest our drastic increase in unwed ed Moms have more to do with violence then these crazy weapons . I really think Jesus spoke to family and divorce also . That I believe holds more of the blame then we Christians admit to because we have participated in such a high degree in this culture , following this culture of killing the unborn for convenience and saying it is anti women to speak against it . . Politics can to stop .

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    It is absolutely illogical, irrational, inane and ignorant to posit that we send kids to school to LEARN and then EMULATE or REGURGITATE what they’ve been “taught” primarily by sitting at desks and passively listening to lectures, reinforced by book assignments and handouts, occasionally punctuated by a NON-INTERACTIVE movie or multi-media presentation, ** and then to swear that kids DO NOT ALSO LEARN AND SOMETIMES EMULATE what they’re “taught” from INTERACTIVE, MULTI-MEDIA, GRAPHICS & SOUND INTENSIVE VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES that put life-like weapons in their hands that they control, and are challenged to earn rewards (points!) for killing the greatest number of enemy avatars, sometimes “occupied” by their own friends, sometimes by fellow students, and sometimes by complete strangers half-way around the word.

    Sprinkle in a little Obama “Choom,” perhaps a bit of bullying, high intelligence, and some progressive mental illness and you’ve got a recipe for Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora-CO movie theater, and Sandy Hook.

    The same can be said for the movies and TV shows kids watch in Hi-Definition graphics with surround sound.

    EDUCATION AND TRAINING DOES NOT JUST HAPPEN BECAUSE WE NAME IT SO; IT IPSO FACTO OCCURS WHEN PEOPLE SPEND HOURS AND HOURS STUDYING, DOING, EXPERIMENTING AND EVEN PLAYING AT ONE THING! BY THIS DEFINITION, GIVEN HOW MANY YOUNG AND NOT-SO-YOUNG MEN SPEND 10,000 HOURS OR MORE OVER SEVERAL YEARS (the number of hours experts deem necessary to become an expert, master or virtuoso at something) “PLAYING” VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES WE HAVE TRAINED MILLIONS OF WEAPONS GRADE ASSASSINS AND MASS MURDERERS!

    ** Some schools are beginning to use very-expensive interactive teaching tools that permit students to respond via an electronic remote to questions and problems the teacher projects upon a screen.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200292378171729&set=pcb.10200292379251756&type=1&theater

    http://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017930/ref=la_B000APOE98_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356195942&sr=1-1

  • wjgreen314

    Here’s the TOP 11 Annual Causes of Death in the U.S. EVEN SUICIDE tops Homicide by GUNS: 36,900 vs 10,000 – by more than 3:1!

    Number of deaths for leading causes of death

    Filicide via abortion: 1,300,000. For every 3.1 babies born 1 is slaughtered by abortion (32% of pregnancies end in filicide)

    Heart disease: 599,413

    Cancer: 567,628

    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353

    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842

    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021

    Alzheimer’s disease: 79,003

    Diabetes: 68,705

    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692

    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935

    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909

    .
    .
    .

    Homicides by gun shot: 11,493 homicides by firearm in 2009 / 270,000,000 guns in U.S = 0.0043% of guns used in homicide

    There are 113 times more “legal” acts of filicide than there are homicides by gun every year!

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastat

    http://www.top10stop.com/lifes

    • Don J

      Yet, all of the disease processes that you describe above, including accidents, are being researched for cures, and as such, we’ve made huge gains toward eliminating those deaths. There would be thousands of not hundreds of thousands MORE of those if we as a society did nothing but just let it happen. The statistics that you post are nothing more than a straw man argument that adds absolutely nothing to the discussion of how to deal with the proliferation of guns and their role in our culture.

  • wjgreen314

    Kitty Werthmann survived Hitler.

    “What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or read in history books,” she likes to tell audiences.

    “I am a witness to history.

    “I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

    Adolph Hitler

    “We voted him in.”

    If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn’t so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.

    “We elected him by a landslide – 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

    She wasn’t old enough to vote in 1938 – approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.

    “Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.”

    No so.

    Hitler is welcomed to Austria

    “In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.

    Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.

    “My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.’

    “We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.” she recalls. “We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

    Austrian girls welcome Hitler

    “Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group – Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

    “Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

    “We were overjoyed,” remembers Kitty, “and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

    Austrians saluting

    “After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

    “Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

    “Then we lost religious education for kids

    Poster promoting “Hitler Youth”

    “Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.

    “Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.”

    And then things got worse.

    “The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.

    “We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

    “My mother was very unhappy,” remembers Kitty. “When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.

    “I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

    A pro-Hitler rally

    “Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.

    “It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

    “Then food rationing began

    “In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death.

    “Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

    “Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

    Young Austrians

    “It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps,” remembers Kitty. “During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

    “They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.

    “When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.

    “Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

    “When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.

    “You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.

    “The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

    “Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..

    “After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

    “When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

    “If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

    “As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.

    “All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

    “We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.

    “ Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands.

    “Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

    “We had consumer protection, too

    Austrian kids loyal to Hitler

    “We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

    “In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.

    “So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.

    “I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.

    “I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.

    “They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

    “As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

    “THEN THEY TOOK OUR GUNS

    “Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

    Kitty Werthmann

    “No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

    “Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”

    “This is my eye-witness account.

    “It’s true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

    “America is truly is the greatest country in the world.

    “Don’t let freedom slip away.

    “After America, there is no place to go.”

    Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/on_the_front_lines_of_the_culture_wars/2011/04/she-survived-hitler-and-wants-to-warn-america.html#ixzz2GH1obOJ5

    • Don J

      I’ve seen you post this “cut n paste” tidbit elsewhere here. Do you have a original thought of your very own on the subject, or do you just use others?

      • wjgreen314

        Hey Don. Originality is way over-rated. In fact, it’s led to more wars, deaths, and abortions than virtually any thought any wo/man had prior to circa 1900.

        Keep your “original thoughts; I’ll stay with the classics; like the 2,000 + year old Word of God!

    • annoyedbybleadinghearts

      It is sad that anyone would down vote this response. Shame on you progressives. Don’t any of you come knocking on my door when things will go bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randy.myers.1485 Randy Myers

    Shane makes the point that we are still incredibly pagan. We are, even in the church, still bound toward violence. In our families, in our economics, in our education, on the playground and even in the sanctuary we worship at the altar of Molech rather than the table of Christ. We accept a world red-in-tooth-and-claw, rather than live as ambassadors of the Kingdom. Much conversion is left to happen in the people who claim the name of Jesus.

  • Wayne Sutton

    New International Version (©1984)
    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

      Finish the quote.

      He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 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.”

      The swords were there for what purpose? To fulfill Scripture. So that Jesus, though blameless, would be numbered with the transgressors. And what happens when a disciple uses that sword, striking one of the men who came to arrest Jesus?

      But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

      Jesus rebuked the one who used the sword. He healed the wound delivered. If we are taking this passage as an example to be followed, it seems abundantly clear that the message is this: criminals carry weapons. If you carry them, you must not use them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

        So, you’re making the case that Jesus was numbered among the transgressors who were His own apostles because they obeyed Him by taking swords with them on their ministries after He was crucified, died, buried and then rose again to ascend to the right hand of the Father?

        And Jesus was NOT numbered with the transgressors while He hung on the cross with criminals to His left and right?

        The apostles were transgressors and not primarily those who crucified Him and those who martyred the early Christians and fed them to the lions, eh?

        And you know that Jesus did NOT want one of His apostles who had obeyed Him and took a sword and cut off the ear of one of the people coming to arrest Him in the garden so that He could do one more miracle in the plain sight of the arresting transgressors and he who betrayed Him into their hands — Judas Iscariot — to demonstrate once again Who He truly was . . . how?

        Matthew 26:53 is instructive: “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

        In other words, the apostles did NOT need to use their swords to protect and defend Jesus — He had other means — but to protect themselves and their families because they did NOT have recourse to other means. While some of those who draw the sword will indeed die by the sword it is also true that those who never lift a hand against those drawing their swords to slay them will also die. We know many early Christians were martyred in this manner, as well as by other very cruel means.

        Passive-martyrdom in a pose of complete pacifism is arguably a high if not the highest calling as a manner of death for Christians, but it is very difficult to argue that it is normative when it comes to defending others more weak and vulnerable (women and children) than oneself. And there is NO rational argument to be made that non-theocratic governments should or must legislatively impose pacifist martyrdom on its law-abiding citizenry, to fall constant prey to the lawless, criminal citizenry.

        Scripture does NOT record Jesus as saying that with the cutting off of the ear and the healing of the ear by Jesus that Jesus THEN wanted His disciples to discard their swords and never use them again. It’s NOT in the TEXT!

        • http://snommelp.tumblr.com/ Snommelp

          You are arguing against Jesus, not me. If you don’t like it, take it up with Him.

          “And you know that Jesus did NOT want one of His apostles who had obeyed Him and took a sword and cut off the ear of one of the people coming to arrest Him in the garden so that He could do one more miracle in the plain sight of the arresting transgressors and he who betrayed Him into their hands — Judas Iscariot — to demonstrate once again Who He truly was . . . how?”
          Because Jesus said so. I said that already. Even quoted it for you. My posts are much shorter than yours, I would hope you would be able to read them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/umcpastor Nathan Nordine

    With respect. I must ask where Jesus taught that we would “rid the world of evil.” Jesus didn’t do that. His message of the Kingdom is where the peace is at, not in the world. Also, Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Speaking metaphorically of division that would be caused by his Lordship. Why the demonizing of the NRA? The babies killed when Jesus was born was done with swords, not guns. OJ killed Nicole and that other guy with a sword, not a gun. The heart change is the key, not outlawing guns.

  • Jonathan Starkey

    Interesting reads: US Anabaptists during the Revolutionary War
    http://www.anabaptists.org/history/anabaptists-during-revolutionary-war.html

    • Jonathan Starkey

      Another cut and patset: “the whole Hutterite movement of 1000 members moved to the United
      States. There the movement prospered. However their pacifism caused much
      hostility during World War 2, and some relocated to Canada, but most returned
      after the war.”
      —-

  • James

    Shane (and Dr Campolo), you really need to read Luther on distinguishing between the kingdoms. We live in two worlds and under two kingdoms; the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Men. This blog, representing the Christian left, confuses the two kingdoms continually just like the Christian right confuses the kingdoms as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    While it is fine to ask the question “What would Jesus say to the NRA?”, it is only a glimpse at some truth, but NOT the whole truth and NOT nothing but the truth, so help U.S. God.

    For in the very next breath it must be asked, “What would Jesus say to . . . ”

    1) Planned Parenthood specifically and the entire Filicide industry generally?

    2) The U.S. Treasury that has mortgaged our children’s and grandchildren’s futures to the tune of over $16.4 Trillion and mounting?

    3) The Democratic party that booed God at their last convention and wants to profane the God-given sacrosanct sacrament of marriage by joining together Adam and Steve and Eve and Evangeline?

    4) President Obama for forcing religious and moral people to personally provide moneys to pay for women’s abortifacients and abortions, and for forcing businesses to provide health insurance that covers the same?

    5) Senator Feinstein and her ilk who want to abrogate the Bill of Rights and confiscate the modern-day equivalents of 1st-century swords? To wit:

    “’When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a SWORD, sell your cloak and BUY ONE. 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.’ The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are TWO SWORDS.’ ‘That is enough,’ he replied.” Luke 22:35b-38

    6) Barack Hussein Obama who not only regards his future grandchildren as “punishments” but has actually LEGISLATED that babies who escape the ravages of botched abortions be left alone to die in medical waste rooms next to toilets and “successfully” aborted babies?

    7) Barack Hussein Obama for ordering drones to fly over foreign skies and bomb U.S. citizens from above without due process, often resulting in extensive collateral damage?

    8) Why Congress continues to confiscate moneys from the hard-working public to wage decades old Wars on Poverty and Drugs, both of which have failed miserably and which have seen the waste of Trillions of dollars that could have been and should have been used for more productive and achievable purposes?

    9) Why Congress continues to confiscate moneys from hard-working people in order to transfer it to those capable of but NOT working, after the Holy Ghost spoke through St. Paul to state:

    “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'” 2 Thess 3:10

    10) Barack Hussein Obama and many members of Congress who place their hands on God’s Word, the Bible, at their inaugurations and swear before God to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, so help me God,” and then almost immediately set about abrogating it and disobeying it?

    These, too, demand and deserve answers!

    • Marc Kivel

      Peter, you ask 10 questions and here are some possible answers:

      I should think Jesus would support health services for poor women by any provider – although he’d be amazed it was a government paid function rather than the duty of the priesthood. As for abortion? As a matter of medical necessity I do not see any objection on his part – in his own day Jesus would not have been considered old enough to be considered viable until the 8th day after his birth when he would have been named….

      As for the state of our national debt? Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s was good enough then and is good enough now…I note that many of Rome’s Emperors engaged in deficit budgets yet Jesus had nothing to say about the matter…

      The “sacrament” of marriage in the time of Jesus and among his people consisted of one or more of the following acts: giving of a written contract from man to wife or wife’s father specifying the wife’s payment in case of divorce, the giving of a token payment (sometimes in the form of rings) from husband to wife, or cohabitation with subsequent proof of coitus. Inasmuch as he also lives in Roman territory, there would also most likely have been a civil registration of the marriage for census/tax purposes. Because of the Torahitic and Roman cultural roles of men and women the marriage of a man to a man or a woman to a woman was not possible…of course, we do not live under Torah nor Roman law….

      The provision of medical care to those requiring it (i.e. abortifacients) would have hardly been a problem for Jesus who healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath and the fact that corporations – our modern equivalent of slave-owners – are required to provide for their “servants” healthcare needs would hardly strike Jesus as surprising.

      As for the “swords” argument: Jesus may or may not have advocated swords for his disciples, if not for himself, but he did not advocate a ballista or a faster draw bow and arrow….

      I would suggest Jesus would be unlikely to have thought much of accusing Pilate OR Caesar of immoral or unethical behaviors they had not committed….

      I do not recall Jesus having anything particular to say about how Caesar and Roman military performed their war duties….

      In the OT we are taught the poor will always be with us…Jesus agrees…..that does not mean we are called to ignore poverty or to beggar our neighbors…

      While you note Paul’s comment in Thessalonicans I note that in Acts we learn that the earliest church shared goods so all could eat and be clothed……

      As for swearing on the Bible – although Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists do not and Jews use only the OT and Quakers only affirm, not swear – it is a tradition but I doubt that it means they swear to uphold a Biblical viewpoint – only that they commit to make their best efforts to govern…thoughts?

    • annoyedbybleadinghearts

      How can this get down votes. I have yet to see anyone on this website give any rational reasoning for the existence of planned parenthood. When that argument is put forward I hope it does not include for the protection of the mother, because that is the same exact argument I would give for owning a gun to protect my family. I don’t expect an honest answer, but it would be nice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    Sign the White House Petition against David “BIG AMMO CLIP” Gregory for violating the law of the land:

    Press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round, high capacity assault rifle magazine in Washington D.C

    David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.

    DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines – D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01

    (b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

    We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on “Meet The Press.”

    Created: Dec 23, 2012

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/press-charges-against-david-gregory-possession-30-round-high-capacity-assault-rifle-magazine/gMNRPpPl

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    “When we said we will no longer sit on the back of the bus, a place was being reserved for us down at the abortion clinic.” — Dr. Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s (a gun owner) niece.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200351501329771&set=a.1247528587965.2038630.1221949455&type=1&theater

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    I’m repeating here what Peter Fodera posted on another but similar thread–too instructive not to repost:

    Notice the multi-colored map below. See that BLACK mark just right of center — that’s Illinois, the home of the Windy City: Chicago, currently Mayored by Rahm “Rahmbo Dead Fish” Emanuel, Barack Hussein Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff. Chicago is also Obama’s hometown. Chicago has some of the most stringent and harsh anti-2nd amendment Gun Control Laws in the nation.

    And it is no coincidence that Chicago is fast over-taking New York as the Murder Capital of the U.S., DESPITE playing host to so many “Gun Free Zones.”

    Chicago ended 2012 with 532 people murdered, according to statistics compiled by the Crime in Chicago website. The number of people murdered the year before was 441, meaning in the city of Chicago, murders have increased by 91 (21%) from 2011 to 2012.

    The website also claims that, through December 25, 2012, 2,670 people were SHOT. That’s also an increase of 453 shootings, a jumpt of 20% from the year before, when 2,217 people were shot in Chicago. That’s the “Chicago Way.”

    In all, it means that on average almost 1.5 people were murdered in Chicago each day last year, while on average 7.3 people were shot each day.

    To add insult to injury at least 11 people were shot, 1 fatally, in the early hours of the New Year. Obama’s and Emanuel’s New Year 2013 is truly starting off with a BIG BANG!

    But NO GUN FREE ZONES for Obama and Emanuel — no sirree. They have armed guards surrounding them at all times and both send their children to schools guarded by well armed security, in Obama’s case both by armed Special Police Officers (SPOs) and by Secret Service wo/men armed with semi-automatic pistols and/or automatic assault rifles. Same goes for David “BIG AMMO CLIP” Gregory who sends his kids to the same school as Obama’s daughters.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200356942105787&set=pcb.10200357042108287&type=1&theater

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200356952186039&set=pcb.10200357042108287&type=1&theater

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/chicago-no-2-nation-murder-and-rising-bullet

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-532-murdered-chicago-2012_693417.html

    http://www.suntimes.com/17331248-761/at-least-9-people-shot-in-early-hours-of-new-year.html

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/23/School-Obama-s-Daughters-Attend-Has-11-Armed-Guards-Not-Counting-Secret-Service

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/26/Rahm-s-Kids-School-Protected-by-Armed-On-Duty-Police

    • bl1nda

      Yet New York city, with among the strictest gun laws in the nation had a quarter of the murder rate of Atlanta, which has much laxer laws. (NYC 407 murders among 8.2 million people or 1 for every 20,000; Atlanta: 88 murders among 425,000 people or 1 for every 5,000, roughly. Chicago’s murder rate is in line with Atlanta’s. NYC’s rate is half of Houston, which had one murder for every 10,000). NYC is now one of the safest cities in the nation. Gun laws helped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.laster Charles Laster

    awesome

  • Jim

    What would Jesus say to the NRA? I guess you would have to ask Him. And since that is not going to happen, all comments are but speculation.

    Similar to the WWJD bumper sticker. Does anyone really know for sure?

  • nckwu

    The NRA as far as I’m concerned would be akin to what we call the Pharsees of Jesus’ times.
    It is obvious that the real reason why Americans opt to have everyone else having guns, responsibilty or by virtue of legal rights, is because there are so widely available. America lives in a gun-based society. How many business revolve around firearms, or defense industry, or supplementing law enforcement (private security/ military contractors)? Quite a lot. It’s no surprise that any solutions Americans would first think of would be consistent with this mentality. Every American I know that has lived in Canada has so far yet to suggest that the better idea of security is if everyone starts owning guns.

    So it is not so much that many people own guns, but that many people would want one…and the country is pretty much the hotbed of firearms. I can’t even imagine a scenario where those law-abiding Americans that want guns not already have them, and yet balk at the prospect that the ability get further guns- despite already having a clean record on their part- is being increasingly limited.

    It is almost like the real mentality is “not enough guns”, which is a bit strange to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeepNarcosis William J. Green

    What the FBI has to say to Red Letter Christians specifically and Democrats Generally:

    According to the FBI annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle.

    Looking at the FBI numbers from 2005 to 2011, the number of murders by hammers and clubs consistently exceeds the number of murders committed with a rifle.

    In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618.

    And so the list goes, with the actual numbers changing somewhat from year to year, yet the fact that more people are killed with blunt objects each year remains constant.

    For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

    Also according to the FBI, nearly twice as many people are killed by HANDS AND FISTS each year than are killed by murderers who use rifles.

    Democrats like Barack Hussein Obama, Senator Feinstein and Chucky Schummer are just plain Ignorant of the Facts and completely misguided in their Legislative irrational exuberance.

    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/03/FBI-More-People-Killed-With-Hammers-and-Clubs-Each-Year-Than-With-Rifles?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigGovernment+%28Big+Government%29

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.fodera.1 Peter Fodera

    What would a 1st-century near equivalent to the NRA appear like to Jesus and His disciples vis-a-vis Congress and State Legislatures?

    “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion (NRA’s Wayne LaPierre ) came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.’

    “Jesus said to him, ‘I will go and heal him.’

    “The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

    “When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you the truth, I HAVE NOT FOUND ANYONE IN ISRAEL WITH SUCH GREAT FAITH. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that very hour.”

    cf Matthew 8:5-13

  • Corey

    What would Jesus say to us as a people for not helping the mentally ill. Guns legislation is only the beginning. We need legislation to protect us from the mentally ill. Lets please stop the violence and get the sick people off the streets. We obviously can’t be a free society so we need to know who in our comunity is sick so we can watch them and protect our children.

  • robin

    Good that you are writing articles to get people talking about such needed topics. I don’t even presume to think that I would know what Jesus would have to say to this generation about guns. (even though I have spent my life studying and sharing the bible all over the world) However, I don’t think gun control OR revolution is the answer…it lies somewhere in the heart and soul of each of us. I believe that there is something very basic in the morality of our culture that is missing. I would say that John Adams has a point when he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

  • Michael Kowalski

    If you’re going to bother with these kind of ideas, you have to go all the way; this means no more military, no more police, no armed guards anywhere. These are all part of the nation, and they have a LOT of guns.
    Every individual has the right to allow themselves to be martyred if they so desire; even if person A is at peace with a condition of powerlessness within the temporal world, no individual — this person included — has the right to force person B into a situation of powerlessness that Person B does not understand, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you support the potential laws that assail the NRA.
    You cannot force a person to be a christian; you cannot force a person to be LIKE a christian.
    If you want to stand up for Christ, you do 2 things:
    a) Behave like him YOURSELF
    b) Explain this behavior to others, explain your beliefs

    Jesus NEVER — NEVER! — forced people to comply, nor does he now. Think about that.

    It may be worth pointing out for some people that there actually are well-regulated state militias, and restrictions placed on gun ownership are comprehensive and cover members of the militia along with all other citizens.

    Lastly, there have been wars and murder throughout all recorded and unearthed human history. Probably around 70,000 people were slaughtered in a day during the Battle of Cannae before a single one of them had even considered a firearm. Men, women, and children have been poisoned, stabbed, hung, beat to death; they’ve been sewn up in animal hides and thrown to the dogs; they’ve been burned to death in their homes. They’ve been slaughtered in large numbers, even in mass murders. All of this before a gun had been imagined by anyone on the face of this earth. Do you know why? Because mankind is evil. Guns are here now; so are drones, bombs, various explosives and chemical weapons. The world has changed, the weapons have changed; people have not. Do you know how the Delian League evolved into the ‘Athenian Empire’? People trusted their security to Athens — people entrusted themselves into the hands of other people and were then utterly at their mercy. All you who stand against the private ownership of guns, you would force the same upon American citizens: you would FORCE them to surrender themselves, step by step, to people as evil, frail, fallible, and unstable as anyone else — the collection of human beings in that oppressive and manipulative oligarchy we call ‘government’. You would have your fellow man wholly and completely surrender himself, in a spirit of helpless timidity, to other men, and you would smile a self-righteous smile all the while. Please don’t do that.

    If you want to do something, mold yourself into what you want to see; become a moral bulwark, and perhaps you’ll have some influence on others — some REAL influence. There is a distinct moral void in modern America, and the world, where absolutes have been rejected, creating an amoral environment. There are evil people, and until the end of time, there will be evil people. Guns are guns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.golding.5 Jon Golding

    I wonder what Jesus would say if He knew that since Britain banned handguns, gun violence and burglaries have doubled with criminals knowing that the average citizen wouldn’t be able to defend himself. I wonder if He would kow tow to basic rhetoric and not understand that passing legislation does not force criminals to give up their weapons or keep them from smuggling them in or keep people who know how to weld from forging 19th century technology. I wonder if He would truly be in favor of a non-violent resolution if it meant people could break into your house and steal all your possessions while threatening your family’s lives.

  • RGR

    My

  • DanielKnightForChrist

    this article is inaccurate and misleading because it creates an either or fallacy: guns aren’t only for violence anymore than a knife, hammer, spear, trident or nailgun. Just posessing a gun can prevent violence if a crimnal knows you have one, and the right to have one can lessen violence as a criminal may not want to risk injury or death by a gun owner. Furthermore God doesn’t say you can only have something specific, like a gun only if he specifically states it, if that were the case the Bible would be enormous or we’d own little. But God spoke broadly, like when he said to subdue the earth. Also, Jesus permitted the carrying of a knife or sword before his capture.

  • DanielKnightForChrist

    read my comment

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