So I was reading some blogs and news reports when this little bit of information came across my computer: Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church. This minister, Pastor Ken Pagano had, a couple of months ago a special meeting to celebrate the right to bear arms and to own enough firepower to put a small country to shame. He decided that the Church hasn't done enough to celebrate the Second Amendment and to obey the recently found 11th Commandment which reads in part, "Thou Shalt Carry a Glok when thou entereth the Sanctuary of the Lord", or words to that effect.
It promises to be a fun evening. If watching people carry heat in with their Bibles wasn't enough, there's other events:
The bring-your-gun-to-church day, which will include a $1 raffle of a handgun, firearms safety lessons and a picnic, is another sign that the gun culture in the United States is thriving
It's quite possible some people may wonder about attending that service. I mean if you have a small family do you really want to expose them to gunplay during the Children's story, for example. Not to fear, because Pastor Pagano will provide:
The celebration will feature lessons in responsible gun ownership, Mr. Pagano said. Sheriff’s deputies will be at the doors to check that openly carried firearms are unloaded, but they will not check for concealed weapons.
You see, you can bring your gun, just leave your amunition at home. Oh and this is only for the weapons he sees, if you conceal it, bring it and don't worry, no one is going to search you.
Let's put this into it's historic perspective, because its something the good Pastor seems to be lacking. What is so fascinating is the total callousness of the invitation and also where this is taking place. Last year, in the State of Kentucky, one individual decided, being the trendsetter he is, to do this very thing. Jim David Adkisson brought a gun into a church service, one that featured a childrens' concert, only he brought bullets. The result of this was the death of two people and the wounding of seven. The gunman was motivated by a hatred of:
After the shooting police found a letter in Adkisson’s car in which he described his “hatred of the liberal movement, liberals in general, as well as gays.”
Then there was the killing of Dr. George Tiller, who was an usher in his church that Sunday when a rabid anti-abortionist decided that he beliefs in the right to life included the right to kill. Look I disagree with abortion about as much as anything but right to life means everybody deserves the right to live and stay alive.
Of course, if you want the real history of why its wrong to be weapons in a church service, you need to go back to 1170, when Archbishop Thomas Becket wsa murdered by two knights who were working at the behest of King Henry the Second. Seems these two had heard the King complain about the Archbishop:
What sluggards, what cowards have I brought up in my court, who care nothing for their allegiance to their lord. Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.
Clearly arming a congregant is never a good idea.
To say this is potentially dangerous is an understatement.
To say Pastor Ken Pagano is certifiable is also an understatement.
If all this wasn't enough and let's face it, having a raffle during a church service- so gambling and guns is okay in his church but I bet voting Democrat will get you excommunicated, he decides to justify himself this way:
“When someone from within the church tells me that being a Christian and having firearms are contradictions, that they’re incompatible with the Gospel — baloney,” he said. “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.”
My question to him would be is 'how is the Gospel at stake'. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus dying on the Cross for the sins of humanity. The Gospel is the good news that we can have eternal life and enjoy life in all its fulness. How the Pastor now decides the validity, nay the very existence of the Gospel now depends upon the congregation bringing in the weaponry is beyond my understanding.
This is not an anti-gun screed. I don't own a gun, I'm not interested in owning a gun. I accept the fact that there are a lot of people who own guns for the enjoyment of firing one and also for the purpose of hunting. if you idea of a fun Saturday is going to a rifle range and shooting, good on you. If you like to go hunting, there's nothing wrong with enjoying outdoors and killing one of God's creatures. If you shoot a moose you're more then welcome to send me a couple of roasts.
What is also sad is that there is enough right-wing rabid religionists who would agree with the good Pastor.