On God And Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

Political commentator, Dana Loesch, was recently featured in an NRA News Commentary, titled, “The Godless Left,”  wherein viewers are treated to a diatribe against what is claimed to be a monolithic left wing of the American political spectrum.  These evil people supposedly have contempt for history and rights, are lacking in values, but will use shaming and silencing to achieve their goals.  They even hate Christmas.

There is so much here that needs addressed.  I hear frequently that the United States is a Christian nation, but we can’t just leave the claim as is.  What, exactly, does it mean?  The majority of Americans identify themselves as Christian—three out of every four, more or less—but that number has been declining lately.  But in legal terms, this country is secular.  Contrary to Loesch’s implication, though, secular doesn’t mean “Godless.”  It simply means that our government has to be neutral with regard to religion, including the constitutional ban on establishment.  In fact, the only mentions of religion are to be found in the Sixth Article barring a religious test for holding public office and in the First Amendment, which as I said, requires government and religion to keep hands off the other.

This fact about the United States is reinforced by a couple of documents, one a letter and the other a treaty, written in our early days.  Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut that “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions.”  This was in response to the concerns of the Baptists over the then established denomination of Congregationalism.  Someone may say that this was only a letter, though it expresses the opinion of the sitting president.  A treaty, however holds legal standing.  The Treaty of Tripoli between the United States and Tripolitania in an effort to stop piracy in the Mediterranean, and in doing so, in Article XI it assures the North African nation that “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”  The point here was to make plain the fact that any time we involved ourselves in conflict, that action did not come from a religious motivation—that what we did to defend our sailors was not a new crusade.

But a nation is more than its laws.  One of my main themes is that we gun owners need to embrace people of all beliefs and backgrounds, so long as they accept the principle that each of us has the right to make choices about our own lives.  This isn’t about empathy or political correctness.  It’s basic marketing and survival.  The more people we have on our side, the more secure our rights will be.  Loesch’s attack on what she calls the “Godless left” only encourages undecided people to believe the stereotype of the white, Christian, male gun owner.

The author, Greg Camp, assumes that it’s possible to hold to secularism without veering off into a worship of anarchy or statism.  I claim it’s not, and my claim holds up in the light of history.  As philosopher R.J. Rushdoony explains in his book “The One and the Many,” orthodox Christianity is the only thought system that sustains the tripartite designation of power of the state, church and family.

I have no intention of embracing people of all beliefs and backgrounds, because America is a Christian nation at its core and inception.  Again, read “The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World” by my professor Douglas Kelly, or “The Foundations of Social Order” or “This Independent Republic” by Rousas J. Rushdoony.  Or start with my own brief assessment.  Either way, it you place your trust in embracing people of all beliefs and backgrounds, you’ll be ground into dust right after your wife and daughter are raped and beheaded, or put to work for the state.  Tell me how it goes when they inform you that your children belong to the state.  Take the temperature of your faith in mankind after that happens and let me know how you feel.

Greg can stick with his appeal to the inherent goodness of all men, and be disappointed as time waxes on in his life.  As for me, I and my household will follow the Lord.  The only successful antidote to statism is Christianity.  The Lord tells me in no uncertain terms that my rights don’t come from the second amendment.  They come from God himself.  This is my axiomatic irreducible.  It is my belief, and it is incorrigible.  I will not change.


  1. On January 7, 2016 at 11:23 am, Frank_in_Spokane said:

    As a Christian with a theonomic libertarian bent (yes, really; a la Greg Bahnsen), I think it is false to think of the US a “Christian nation.” We’re more like a “nation of Christians.”

    They’re not necessarily the same thing.

  2. On January 7, 2016 at 11:32 am, Herschel Smith said:

    We’re discussing degrees. Yes, I read “Theonomy in Christian Ethics” too, and Rushdoony’s tome, Gary North, etc. Still, it’s easy to demonstrate that our system of law comes from English common law, which is a function and product of Biblical law, at least generally speaking.

  3. On January 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm, Frank_in_Spokane said:

    I agree. But even saying that our laws ultimately go back to Biblical law is not the same thing as saying we are a Christian nation. (We may have been at one time, but I think that even our Constitution marks a definite turn toward Enlightenment secular humanism, which helped bring us to our present state. Apostasy occurs in baby steps.)

    If/when America repents, if/when the Great Commission really takes hold here and the Gospel changes the hearts of the majority of Americans, they will self-consciously seek to be ruled by explicitly Christian men, who will seek to implement an explicitly Christian polity.

    Then it will be appropriate to refer to America as a Christian nation. (And even then, it will still be possible for Christian America to fall away, if it is not diligent in giving God glory and seeking His face. The past 250+ years, for example.)

  4. On January 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm, Blake said:

    It looks like Mr. Camp is still under the delusion that the left, godless or otherwise, is someone we just “disagree” with, rather than accepting that the godless left is against everything America once stood for.

    It is not possible to negotiate or compromise with these people because these people are fundamentally dishonest.

    I’m more than willing to evangelize and discuss Christianity with these others Mr. Camp mentions, but, in the end, if these people do not repent, they are going to support, through their action or inaction, my incarceration or death.

  5. On January 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm, Fred said:

    Millennials support gun rights. They are open to learning our side of
    the issue. They are the least afraid and most curious about my carrying
    of a weapon, especially the women. I have seen many millennials enjoy
    shooting and appreciate somebody taking the time and effort show them
    how to safely operate a weapon. I do not call them names. I talk about
    Jesus and my rights from God in a non-emotional manner so that they may
    decide for themselves. They enjoy shooting and seem to respect this
    approach. Even if they remain unsure about God, they ACCEPT that weapons are a
    part of our common future. Let me repeat that.They AGREE that guns are here to stay.
    I’m good with Mr. Camp attempting to correct Ms. Loesch in her approach to
    the issue. We are winning the debate. Calling potential, future gun
    owners names, like a child, is counter productive. When, Ms. Loesch, somebody is secure in their belief, it shows in their
    demeanor when they present the issue. Of course, she may be assigned to “stir the base” to raise funds. I will pray for her. I respect Mr. Camp reaching out to new gun owners but some of his statements fall short. Only a non-believer would take the quote of Jefferson and live by it. God tells me, after reading the quote, that I must therefor, conduct all my affairs in His understanding, with every aspect of society, including government.
    And, he is wrong about the legal aspect of the relationship between church and state. The constitution and 1st amendment restrict government, NOT the believer. The Treaty of Tripoli is not relevant to anything except the treaty. A treaty does not amend or in anyway change or advise the constitution. The converse, is in fact, the case. ONLY an amendment, amends the founding document. Any part of a treaty that would have America violate it’s constitution is void. I will pray for Mr. camp as well. P.s. Ms. Loesch may be on her way out. Nobody likes her approach, not even Lindsey Graham republicans.

  6. On January 7, 2016 at 4:23 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    >Millennials support gun rights
    No they don’t. They’ll take queer marriage, free pot, and socialized medicine over firearms every single time. The freedom to bear arms — and the assumptions that guard our birthrights — is merely another pleasure, and one that rates much lower than the others.

    Ask them who they’re voting for President, and why. I dare you.

  7. On January 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm, Fred said:

    Might depend on where a person lives. I did make a generalized statement and can’t deny I stepped in it. I don’t ask them about politics because that detracts from MY two primary purposes, Christ and guns. I also will not talk to children, in adult bodies, about guns either. You are right about those types, and that is a waste of time. I reach for the likely successes. Do you look for folks who might be interested in shooting?

  8. On January 7, 2016 at 7:10 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    Ask the ones you consider successes who they’re voting for. They will tell you Hillary or Bernie, and sneer at the idea of voting Rethuglican because the Old Stupid Dying White Racist Party can’t shut up about Social Issues.

    If you gingerly prod them with the idea that, hey, I’m not trying to tell you what to think, but if you vote for either of those folks you are voting to put the Power of Der Staat in their house in a way that you wouldn’t if somebody smoked bud or ‘married’ to another guy, they will simply get angry.

    The Constitution, like the Bible, like a healthy community, has standards. It tells you that Thou Shalt Not do thus and such. That carries no weight with most twenty-somethings, who are in love with the idea of a Do As Thou Wilt, As Long As You Don’t Hurt Anybody. Point out this demonstrably leads to society turning into a metrosexual drug-addled open-air sewer that is a rotten place to live in, much less raise kids in, and they get angry all over again.

    I dare you to try. I dare you to even broach the topic.

    I dare you.

  9. On January 7, 2016 at 9:18 pm, Fred said:

    “Why can’t my gay married friends guard their pot garden with a machine gun?” That’s funny and well, they can as far as I care. And they are not actually married however. The license is void (as is yours, God did not say “go ye, seek civil authority for your union”) and their wedding was fake because they are gay. You can’t pick a fight with me because I agree with you about their politics. And you point out the exact reasons for what I already said; I don’t talk to babies in adult bodies nor do I talk politics. God is the fix for our ills not government. That is why I talk about Him instead. My approach has worked pretty well. Avoid babies, avoid politics, stick to God and guns and give them a good shooting experience. Maybe, just maybe, when they get a little older, they will remember the decent, hard working, God fearing folks they met along the way and figure,” that’s the kind of life that might not be so bad after all this rebelling and now that I have children.” I meet them where they are and try to leave a positive mark. I TAKE THE WIN I CAN GET.
    Mr. Smith, your article wasn’t even about young men and women, We took a lot of space and hijacked your post. I pray your pardon.

  10. On January 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm, Geoffry K said:

    There is no such thing as “separation of Church and State” in the Constitution. I haven’t found those words anywhere. That was something Thomas Jefferson said. Doesn’t mean crap.
    Read the 1st Amendment in the language of the 18th Century, not today’s language.
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
    The first part means Congress cannot dictate an official religion by passing a law. All religions are on an equal footing.
    The second part says the Government butts out and cannot interfere with anyone practicing their religion, by anyone, anywhere, anytime, even by those employed by Local, State or Federal Government. (Human sacrifice notwithstanding, but that would be under murder)
    So, you anti-religious nut cases can shove your “separation of Church and State” lawsuits up your backside.

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You are currently reading " On God And Guns", entry #14553 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Guns,Religion and was published January 7th, 2016 by Herschel Smith.

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