Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guns in Churches

Doug Newman has quoted an article from Friday’s Denver Rocky Mountain News. The headline reads, “More Churchgoers Carrying Firearms.” The opening paragraph reads:

“Ever since a gunman went on a deadly shooting rampage at a missionary training center in Arvada and a Colorado Springs megachurch, law enforcement and security officials are encountering what they believe is a growing dilemma - people packing firearms when they go to worship.”

Most readers won't notice that this sentence is logically incomplete.

What is the "dilemma" here? According to Wikipedia,

A dilemma (Greek δί-λημμα "double proposition") is a problem offering at least two solutions or possibilities, of which none are practically acceptable; one in this position has been traditionally described as being impaled "on the horns of a dilemma," neither horn being comfortable.

How is a law enforcement officer faced with a "dilemma" when his prior failure to protect church-goers from mass-murderers results in church-goers taking steps to protect themselves?

If my employer ordered me to break into a competitor's office and steal corporate secrets, I would "encounter a dilemma": should I commit a crime or should I lose my job?

If I follow my boss' orders, I'll be a criminal. If I don't follow my boss' orders, I'll be fired.

That's a "dilemma."

What is the "growing dilemma" that Colorado law enforcement officers are encountering?

This is all I can think of: "Should I violate the Constitution or should I lose my job?" Law enforcement officers must be thinking about taking away arms from church-goers. Otherwise, there's no "dilemma." (Of course, we could be needlessly dissecting the routinely-misused words of an ordinary secular journalist who is a victim and a supporter of government dumbing-down and educational malpractice.)

Law enforcement officers take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, including the Constitution's Second Amendment, which says,

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

This Amendment, in the context of the Declaration of Independence, was not designed to protect the right of church-goers to defend themselves against murderers. The Amendment was demanded as a condition of ratification to protect the right of church-goers to abolish the U.S. government if it became a tyranny. The Second Amendment was not designed for hunters, antique gun collectors, or even for personal self-defense against private-sector criminals. The Second Amendment was designed to protect the colonists' right to armed revolution against the State.

I don't believe in this or similar "constitutional rights." The Bible clearly teaches that we have a duty to submit to tyrants.

Matthew 5 (“Resist not evil” “Turn the other cheek” “go the second mile”)
Romans 12-13 (“Do not avenge yourselves – Vengeance is Mine”)
1 Peter 2 (“Submit to every human statute – follow His steps”)

The Bible says we are to pay the taxes demanded of us by the Red Coats (Romans 13:1-7).

For these reasons I believe the American War for Independence was unChristian.

The purpose of schools in the colonial era was to teach "religion, morality, and knowledge." See footnote 9 of Justice Douglas' concurring opinion in Engel v. Vitale, 370 US 421 at 443, the case which removed voluntary prayer from public schools. He admitted:

Religion was once deemed to be a function of the public school system. The Northwest Ordinance, which antedated the First Amendment, provided in Article III that
"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

It is "unconstitutional" in our day for a public school teacher in Colorado to warn a future mass-murderer that God says "thou shalt not kill."

[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.

If the government cannot contend with morally unbridled mass-murderers, neither can armed church-goers. The answer to crime is not a relaxation of conceal-and-carry laws (though they should be relaxed). We will never be safe from crime (or to use the words of the Declaration of Independence, we can never have a "firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence") as long as religion and morality and the Declaration of Independence are all banned from public school classrooms.


Why I am a "pacifist."

Doug Newman quotes Luke 22:36 in support of lethal force by Christians. Why he's mistaken, along with many others.

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