The Wrong Way To Argue For Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has a post up on Presbyterianism and gun rights concerning “Presbyterian” leadership and anti-gun advocacy.  I like the spirit of his post, but there are two very problematic aspects to his post.

First, he conflates the PCUSA with Presbyterians.  Not so.  Not at all.  There is the PCA, the OPC, the RPCNA, the ARP, and so on.  Presbyterianism isn’t a monolith, and the PCUSA is noted as the very left wing of Presbyterianism.

Second, and most important, Sebastian argues thusly:

I really don’t like it when churches insert themselves into political matters under the guise that these are really spiritual matters. Murder, rage, and vengeance — these are all matters of the spirit. Gun control is a matter of politics

And that, my friends, is exactly how to lose the gun rights argument.  Make it a political debate where, with enough pressure, votes and power, a man can take away what God has granted.  There is more background in Let Him Who Has No Gun Sell His Robe and Buy One, and Dr. Greg Bahnsen has much more.  But the short version is that the right to self defense is a right seen by our forefathers as inalienable.  That  means that it isn’t subject to the ebb and flow of politics.

My right to firearms ownership is granted by God, no  matter what the PCUSA says.  They’re just wrong.  But the way to defeat wrongheaded arguments is not to remove our rights from the framework of righteousness and morality.  It is to prove our opponents wrong on this very basis.

The problem is that while Sebastian claims that gun control is a matter of politics rather than religion (“spirit”), it really is a matter of religion and righteousness and morality rather than politics.  He has it exactly backwards.  I’m not being critical.  I’m trying to ground our rights in something other than the machinations of the political animal.

  • Rev. Mike

    Good point. Your framing is absolutely correct. However, Sebastian’s notion that religion and politics have their own spheres and never should they meet is also wrongheaded. As for the PCUSA, come back home, Herschel. The water’s freezing cold, but it invigorates and focuses the heart and soul. ;)

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Herschel Smith
    RE: Wrong-Headedness

    On the contrary, I think that Sebastian has hit the proverbial nail rather accurately. Rather, you seem to be mistaking the matter that Sebastian may have poorly addressed.

    As I see it, it is not so much that the National Presbyterie (NP) has spoken from the ‘spirit’ against guns.

    As a REAL chrisitian, e.g., can you say, “Born Again”, I see it as these people are opposed to (1) the Constitution of the United States and (2) even the Word of Christ.

    As I asked over at Snowflakes in Hell….

    …..what does the National Presbyterie say to Christ words….

    Now is the time for every man to take his purse and buy a sword?

    To which I’ve not received ONE SINGLE ANSWER.

    These people, the NP, seem to me, based on my honestly held opinion, opposed to both items 1 and 2 I specify above.

    As a matter of evidence to support my claim about item #2, I offer the FACT that the NP says NOTHING about abortion, which has murdered millions of the most innocent among US since Roe v. Wade.

    If they’re so ‘hot’ on guns….why are they so silent on abortion?

    In the Army Intel community, they’d call that something of an ‘indicator’.


    [Wanna know what the other guys are doing? Watch their actions instead of their words.]

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.S. What you DON’T ‘see’ in their actions, speaks volumes about their intentions.

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.P.S. Back on the ‘abortion’ matter….

    What did Christ say about ‘abortion’?

    Was it an ‘indirect approach’? Something like….

    Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not.

    I say to you that he who shall not accept a child as this for my Name’s Sake shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven

    Or words to that effect.

    I suspect something of a double-entendre in that statement.

  • Herschel Smith


    Your comments are so random and rambling that I have no idea what you’re talking about. Until you can persuade me with some resemblance of organized, rational reasoning, I stand by what I wrote.

    I own weapons because God gave me that right, not some political party or political decision(s). That’s the point of the post.

    Now. Stick to the point or get your comments deleted.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Herschel Smith
    RE: Rambling?

    Interesting thought that.

    How can I clarify for you? Did you read my commens over a Snowflakes in Hell? That might help ‘clarify’ my comments here to you. I ‘assumed’ you had read the entire thread of comments. My ‘mistake’….famous axiom of all US Army First Shirts, When you ASSUME something you make an ASS out of U and ME.

    The point being that the National Presbyterie (NP) is hypocritical. On one hand they decry ‘guns’. At the same time they are silent about a form of ‘murder’ that far outpaces the rate of ‘gun violence’.

    Therefore, if the NP is a hypocritical organization, they can’t be trusted to tell the truth about much of anything.

    Hope the helps.


    [Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.]

    P.S Do with my comments as you see fit. But be advised, deletion of said will be an indicator of a degree of censorship that is anathema to someone who claimed to “uphold and defend the Consitution of the United States”.

    If I understand your nature properly, you supposedly took the same oath I took back in the 1970s.

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.P.S. This thread has been saved for future reference……

  • Herschel Smith

    Chuck, you do not advise me. It’s my web site. Now. You can take whatever position you wish on whatever issue you wish. Do it at some other web site. The PCUSA can be as hypocritical as they want to. That’s not the point of my article. You want to talk about the PCUSA. Go somewhere else to do that. The point of my article has to do with how one properly argues for firearms ownership. The method I described is the correct way to do it.

    End of discussion.

  • Pingback: A Fair Criticism of My Approach to PCUSA | Snowflakes in Hell()

You are currently reading "The Wrong Way To Argue For Gun Rights", entry #7633 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Second Amendment and was published September 24th, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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