Photographed in May 2013 on I-81, near Kingsport, TN
I am at a total and complete loss. I need someone to explain to me how Jesus and Christianity and guns go together. And I mean that I am completely dumbfounded and confused. What I don’t get is–how do guns and ammo and killing people go hand in hand with Jesus? Even if I don’t believe in Jesus, I understand the ideas and concepts behind Christianity. Does this stem from God and Country? What is the draw? Really, I need to be enlightened. One of my cousins–an evangelical Christian–posed with an assault rifle on FaceBook. Another one of my cousins boasted on FaceBook that for Christmas, 2015, the top gift for Americans were guns–and she is a Southern Baptist.
Agains, whether I believe in Jesus or God or not, the concept of the New Testament is one of peace, is it not?
Courtesy, Reboot: Christianity
Interestingly to me is how Christianity, just as life on Earth, evolves with the times. Yes, you heard me right–Christianity evolves. The Christianity of the 2nd Century Anno Domini is not the same Christianity that evolved from the 1st Century teachings of St. Paul the Apostle (Saul of Tarsus) or the Christianity of 4th Century St. Augustine of Hippo. The Protestant Reformation took the world by storm and completely changed the conversation from the Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine Church. Jumping many centuries to today, the proliferation of mega-churches that are not connected with mainstream Protestant sects are continuing to change the atmosphere of Christianity today and make their leaders–Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren–rock stars of the modern religious era.
So somewhere, somehow, the American evangelical Christian movement grabbed onto the Second Amendment and integrated it within the anti-abortion and now, anti-immigration movements. Sounds like an evolution of thought and deed to me.
I can only conclude that this is part of the Christian psyche of fear. Why else would someone purchase a gun in the United States? Hunting? Sure. Target practice? If that what gets you out of bed in the morning. But when you purchase a gun out of fear, it is because you fear that local law enforcement will not protect you so you must protect yourself. How does that have anything to do with Christianity?
Now, here in Texas, our legislation has taken yet an even more aggressive stance, allowing for open carry. In other words, you can pack heat in public. Welcome to the Wild West of 2016. In Houston, many area church leaders are appalled by the idea of their parishioners coming in with holstered weapons. See Area congregations weigh impact of guns in churches from the Houston Chronicle, January 6, 2016. But the Rev. Evan McClanahan, pastor of First Evangelical–note EVANGELICAL in the title–Lutheran Church, has no problem with his congregation members bringing guns into his service.
“I’m not pretending to speak for everyone in my congregation,” said McClanahan, “but my basic feeling is that criminals commit crime. Criminals have weapons. It wouldn’t bother me at all if church members had open carry. We don’t worship guns, don’t like them per se. But it’s a fallen world and guns are part of a fallen world.”
There it is. “Guns are part of a fallen world.” That is FEAR. You can’t have modern religion, especially evangelical religion without fear.
Yet as we have seen time and time again, those who kill are usually mentally ill. Unfortunately, the examples in the United States abound with the innocent loosing their lives from the barrel of a gun whose trigger is pulled by someone with incredibly fucked up brains. So the answer for Christians is to arm ourselves even more.
So, it’s not really guns and Christianity, it’s Christianity and fear that moves the religious to purchase guns. The non-believer will have fears, but those fears are not linked to mystical teachings or antiquated sayings and writings. If you are fearful and you are not mentally ill, or a convicted felon, then you should be able to arm yourself as per the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. It’s not my interest, but this is the way our country has EVOLVED and I see no chance for a change on gun rights. In the end, if I don’t want to live surrounded by those who have armed themselves, I need to move to another country. I know, it’s insane.
But so is fear. So is religion.