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Does Your Preacher Pack a Gun?

By Carol Forsloff     Feb 9, 2009 in World
God and guns we might think don’t swing together in church or anywhere else. After all there’s a rule about killing. It turns out that many preachers in one Southern part of the United States love their guns and consider them valuable.
A survey of ministers in a town called Natchitoches, Louisiana reveals that many of them have a gun as part of a collection, for hunting (even though most of them say they haven’t hunted in years) and for protection.
We won’t get into “thou shalt not kill” because there might be too much discussion just on the meaning of that. Suffice to say that ministers believe that if there is violence in the home or they are somewhere they need to insure that they or a loved one are not harmed, they want to have a gun available. They believe in the second amendment and the right to bear arms.
One pastor supports guns for teenagers and believes they should have them for church, just in case. Bob Ross, pastor of the Windsor Baptist Church had put together a program to literally give guns away. It was canceled, however, when people objected and thought it might be just too controversial.
Last year a gunman entered a Unitarian-Universalist Church in Tennessee and started firing. When it was over Jim D. Adkisson, 58, a truck driver who was out of work at the time, had killed two people and wounded six others while a children’s musical was taking place at the church Sunday morning in February of 2008. The writer who reported this incident in a column said that this incident wasn’t the first time and the guns used in this and other similar incidents were all legally acquired. He believes that since the Supreme Court’s ruling about the right to bear arms and what it means the ownership of guns has increased to the extent that more deaths will occur, especially when there are too few restrictions in place for gun ownership.
Those lack of restrictions on guns are certainly true in Louisiana. There are hardly any. But some people believe that gun control comes from racist roots, in that during the days of slavery whites were afraid slaves would revolt so they prohibited them from carrying any type of weapon. Cramer, who wrote this piece that is cited a number of times on the Internet, declares, “we should regard gun control aimed at law-abiding people as a "suspect idea," and require that the courts use the same demanding standards when reviewing the constitutionality of a gun control law, that they would use with respect to a law that discriminated based on race.”
In the past few days Arkansas legislators have been moving to allow churchgoers to pack guns with their Bibles to church. Jonathan Turley, law professor and television commentator for legal issues, reports one church pastor being against this because 23 years ago there was a shooting at the church. A Little Rock minister, John Phillips, remembers the incident that happened to him during those moments 23 years ago when he was shot in the back. He opposes people having guns in church for that reason.
Turley said if the law in Arkansas passes pastors might be able to “lock and load for Jesus.” He goes on to write, “This could pose a difficult choice for gun owners of what weapon is best suited for a particular sermon. A Glock might be suitable for a New Testament sermon, but the Old Testament is strictly non-automatic weapons only. Easter might call for something cute like a derringer while Christmas deserves a MAC-10.”
The right to own a gun seems to be held sacred among the ministers in a small Southern town.
Right now they don’t pack them to church, but if Arkansas leads the way they can. What might be the consequences of that is a question legislators will have to answer in reviewing laws that allow the practice of taking guns to church.
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