July 6, 2009

NRA Christianity

I really understand the value of the second amendment (though wonder why the Mike Huckabees and other seem to think holding on to their Glock 9 will allow them to stop the government from forcing them to do, well, anything), and really understand Steve's point about safe gun ownership and responsible gun owners. But I don't understand the deification of guns in the Christian community, and this pastor scares the crap out of me, if for no other reason that the conflation of American Exceptionalism, Christianity and guns:
"'As a Christian, I believe, and as an American this country was founded on the deep-seated belief in God and firearms -- without which we wouldn't be here today,'"
I also understand liking and respecting guns. I have no interest in hunting any more, but have no problem with those who do. I don't, however, understand those (including an unnamed friend and or relative) who sought to stock up on ammunition when Obama took office.


steves said...

I don't think that this is anything new. There are many Christians that are also gun owners, so it only stands to reason that there will be some crossover. I have seem some deification of guns and would agree that it is strange, though I don't get that vibe from this event. I could be wrong, though, but I can't really tell without being at it.

Ammo sales have gone through the roof. A year ago I could get a box of .45 ACP for around $17 or so. Now it is going for $45 a box if I can even find it. Most places limit sales to 3 boxes a person. I don't understand it, either. On the other hand, I could see a possible ban on so-called "assault weapons", and I understand the rush to buy those up. Prices on those have also gone up and some places have waiting lists.

Monk-in-Training said...

I agree, Streak. No problem with guns or people owning them, but the attitude of this Pastor is unthinkable to me.

I wonder how u can square this other quote from Pastor Pagano ”

“As soon as you start saying that it’s not something that Christians do, well, guns are just the foil. The issue now is the Gospel. So in a sense, it does become a crusade. Now the Gospel is at stake.”

With a secure, masculine Faith that looks the enemy square in the eye and says “God loves you, and so do I” It seems to come from a world view that is pretty insecure to say the least.

I would submit that the way of violence, gun toting good ol boy showdowns at noon, jihad, revenge, judgment, and inquisition is the easy path, the dangerous path, the lower path, and most importantly the evil path.

Jesus has shown us the way: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”, we must listen to Him and cut through the testosterone laced rhetoric and stop hate and revenge. No one said being a Christian was easy, and sometimes it takes a real man (and a real woman).

Ok, I will get off my soapbox and worry about my own sins for a while.

Streak said...

Steve, I understand that this may not be that new, but the conflation of Christian belief and gun ownership is creepy. And I am really serious about my question--what is that .45 going to do for someone facing a Blackwater led government crackdown on citizens? Mike Huckabee waxed romantic about guns the other day, suggesting that gun ownership would have saved Neda and the other Iranians protesting in the street? Really? Or would it have justified more violence from the government?

Monk, I am with you. I am bad at turning the other cheek, but am reminded of the passage where it is said that it is easy to love your friends and hate your enemies--even the non-believers can do that.

It is that part of this strutting that bothers me the most. I am fine with responsible gun ownership and even justifiable self-defense. But the crowing and strutting of some of these people is incompatible with the gospel message. IMO

Matt said...

A Blackwater led government crackdown on citizens? I thought Obama would never have anything to do with Blackwater, now you tell me he will?

Streak said...

Just making a point. I don't think Obama will do anything of the sort. Hell, I didn't think Bush would either. But if some future President Palin decides to take over the people by force, your little Glock 9 won't stop them.

Streak said...

BTW, if you are just a troll, like the others, then fuck off. If you want to talk about the role of government or constitutional rights, fine. Otherwise....

Little tired of trolls this week.

steves said...

I have been at my in-laws for a few days and was unable to comment (they have ye olde dial-up).

My church used to have an annual trap shoot. It was usually on a Saturday morning and had nothing to do with the weekly service. There are some that would suggest that churches have nothing to do with this type of event. I disagree. It would be different if they were advocating some kind of illegal or immoral behavior, but this was entirely lawful.

I would submit that most of the modern gun movement has nothing to do with jihad, revenge, or the showdown at high noon. I know there are people that are like this, but they are often mocked and avoided by most gun rights people. The vast majority are normal, law abiding people that only use guns recreationally or for lawful self-defense.

I guess I don't read anything into what he is saying that would advocate unlawful behavior, rather he seems to be reacting to those that would restrict a basic fundamental right. I tend to take a Constitutional defense or a human rights defense, as opposed to scripture. I don't think there is anything in Christianity that would preclude legitimate self-defense or violence under some circumstances.

I don't hold any kind of Walter Mitty-ish fantasy of fighting off the 'gubmint' with my Glock. I don't even own a Glock. Seriously, it would depend on the crackdown, the target group, and the support from the rest of the country. I can't speak for myself, but history is full of poorly armed insurgencies causing tremendous damage. The mujahideen in Afghanistan, despite being armed by the CIA, was mostly ill-equipped. Many were only armed with WWI era British Enfields. Just look at Iraq.

Streak said...

Steve, I think my major point is him equating Christianity with gun ownership. I conceded many of your points in my original post, and still agree that there is nothing wrong with those responsible gun owners. But conflating that belief with Christianity is problematic.

steves said...

You are correct. There is no real logical connection between the two.