The Golden Calf Of Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

The Kansas City Star:

Some 30,000 people in the U.S. die each year by gunshot, and one reason there aren’t more effective efforts to stop the carnage is that “the faith community has been asleep — fast asleep,” says a pastor who has worked for decades to reduce gun violence.

The Rev. James E. Atwood, author of “America and Its Guns: A Theological Exposé,” was in Kansas City recently to urge religious congregations to take a stand for sensible gun safety legislation that would protect both lives and Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

Such advocates are badly needed. As Harper’s Magazine noted recently, since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., more than twice as many laws have been passed in various states weakening gun controls than laws strengthening them. That certainly holds for Missouri and Kansas. It’s an outrage, but there may be hope in this deeply religious country if Atwood is right that since Newtown “we are seeing a tipping point where the faith community is at last waking up.”

In his Kansas City appearances — sponsored by a coalition of more than a dozen groups — Atwood, a Presbyterian who is himself a gun owner and hunter, said one of the problems is that many Americans have moved from “respect” for firearms to “reverence” for them.

“It’s an idolatrous belief,” he said, “that violence can produce security. On the other hand when guns become idols we can document how their presence transforms the personalities of individuals and entire communities.”

So guns have morphed from an inanimate object, a component made of mechanical parts, into something that can transform the personality of not only an individual but an entire community.

Unfortunately, the pitiful pastor has forgotten his theology, and made something the theologians call adiaphorous (neutral, neither good nor bad) into something with personality and intentionality. He replaces the evil in the heart of mankind with evil in objects, a form of animism.

He also worships the power of the state to transform, and thus he has turned the state into his god.  One good antidote for this kind of twisted thinking is my Christians, The Second Amendment and the Duty Of Self Defense.



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  • Biff Sarin

    -”So guns have morphed from an inanimate object, a component made of mechanical parts, into something that can transform the personality of not only an individual but an entire community.”-

    Well yes actually they do change my personality. When I have a gun I am less afraid of the unknown but prevalent evil which lurks in my city.

  • Bill Baker

    I always laugh at the calls about idolatry. They only use it when it suits them, else they would never wear a crucifix. As for idolizing guns, I do like mine, but assign no personality or god like or even dog like characteristics to them.

  • Akatsukami

    I won’t claim to have memorized the Nazarene Codicil, but I seem to recall something in there about Jesus advising his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords.

  • sevenbrokenbricks

    30,000? Two-thirds of that is suicide – not crime.

    As much as I appreciate your attempt to bring some reason to the debate, you need to get your numbers straight if you expect your conclusion to be of this reality.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    I didn’t say anything about 30,000. You might be getting that from the article that I cited. Welcome to the internet. Citing an article for comment doesn’t mean that I agree with it.

  • Windy Wilson

    I hope sevenbrokenbricks was addressing the pastor and was careless with his citation signals. His comment is an excellent rejoinder to the idolatrous pastor.

  • sevenbrokenbricks

    My apologies. Yes, that was directed to Atwood, not Smith.


You are currently reading "The Golden Calf Of Gun Control", entry #10924 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,Guns,Religion and was published June 19th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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