Sunday, February 25, 2018


   Imagine someone handing Jesus an AR-15 automatic rifle.

   I see him looking at it very sadly and then even more sadly handing it to a soldier.  Yes, in this world of ours it is will be necessary at times for soldiers to fight just wars of defense.  Of course, we must do everything we possibly can to make any kind of war a thing of the past.  But we are not naive.  Obscenely, even now we are faced with threats of war, even a nuclear war.

   The Second Amendment gives us the legal right to have certain guns in case we need to form a militia.  Today's militia takes the form of the National Guard units of the various states.  The "militias" that are paranoically formed for defense against the federal government are corruptions of the militia mentioned in the Second Amendment.  

   We can legally have guns, for example, for target shooting, hunting and personal self-defense.  That is reasonable.  But as a Christian and spiritual theologian, I deeply believe that no one, no one, outside the military should have an assault gun, which is a weapon of war.  To permit civilians to have such weapons is not necessary, not reasonable, not human, not Christian.

   Philosophy and science describe us as rational animals.  To be human is to be able to act rationally, reasonably.  How rational or reasonable is it for civilians to own and use weapons of war whose only purpose is to mutilate and destroy an enemy?  

   We are images and likenesses of God and the people of Jesus the Christ, who is the greatest expression of God's peace and love.  Christians who present God as a war-like, avenging judge who, for example, sends hurricanes to punish us because of homosexuals, seriously misrepresent God.  They never move forward in the Old Testament to see God's great love for us all and for all creation. (Ps. 23; Jer: 31:3; Joel 2:17-14.)  And when they arrive at the New Testament they can't worship and preach a God who is Infinite, Overflowing, Self-giving Love, as revealed in the person of Jesus, who taught us how to live in love.

   In the name of Jesus, the Christ, and of human reason, how necessary is it for anyone other than a soldier to have an assault weapon like the AR-15?  The children in the Florida high school who were murdered were not just pierced with the killer's bullets.  The AR-15 mutilated and destroyed their young limbs and organs.  Were these precious children so horrifically destroyed so that we American civilians could have the right to own and use a weapon of war?

   The NRA and the politicians who depend on the NRA for money and reelection have actually said that the mentally ill should not be prevented from owning a gun--any gun.  Now they are reconsidering their irrational stance.  But what do we mean by "mentally ill?"  Do we mean clinically diagnosed paranoid schizophrenics?  How about people who are  depressed, or upset, or politicized against our government, or angry at their parents?  And in today's overly individualized and broken culture, how much do I have to stretch the point to say that if I believe I just have to have an AR-15, am I in some way mentally ill?

   Thank God for the students of the Florida high school who, having seen hell first hand, are bravely speaking up.  With rightful anger they are crying out to all adults to wake up to the truth about assault rifles and to the special sacredness of human life.  Isn't war horrific enough without bringing it upon our own children!?  May their voices grow in volume, redound to heaven and bring reason and sanity especially to our legislators and President!

   As an American and Christian, I cry out to all my fellow Americans.  For the sake of reason, of humanity, and of our very souls, "Enjoy ordinary guns if you want to, but leave military weapons to the military!"