Three days after a gunman killed two moviegoers and himself, presidential wanna-be Rick Perry popped up on TV and said we should carry guns to the movies.
Within weeks after the tragic gun death at a Newtown, CT, elementary school, state legislators in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee were writing bills that would allow teachers to carry guns.
And the day after nine church people were shot and killed while taking part in a Bible study and prayer meeting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, an NRA board member was blaming the pastor – a state senator – for voting against a bill that would have allowed guns in South Carolina houses of worship. Guns in church are the answer, the NRA supporter implied.
Each of these proposals troubles me. But, as a pastor, especially the last one.
The NRA Board member who thinks we should carry guns in church so that we can shoot people completely misses the point of Christianity.
“Don’t resist an evildoer,” the gospel writer records Jesus as saying, “I tell you, Turn the other cheek.”
“Never avenge yourselves,” the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church in Rome.
These words – and others – from the Bible are not an easy ethic. Time and time again the Christian church has fallen short of this peaceful way of living.
Newtown. Charleston. Lafayette. The voice of fear speaks loudly in response. Let the voices of faith speak firmly too.
Timothy Tutt is a wanderer, wonderer, husband, father, laugher, liberal, Texan-by-birth, Washingtonian-by-choice (yep, DC). He is the senior minister at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ in Bethesda. Take a look at his blog ZenTexas.blogspot.com