5 years 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.