Thursday, November 02, 2023

Amendment vs. Commandment: Do guns belong in churches?

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Yesterday, the Associated Press published a feature article asking, "Do guns belong in church?"

They said the article was designed to spark a conversation---the news media always says that when they are pushing a leftist agenda.

"The time has come," AP says, "for the Rev. Jimmie Hardaway Jr. to preach the lessons embodied by the Prince of Peace." 

If only the world outside Trinity Baptist’s stained-glass windows were a more peaceful one. Alas, it is not.

"So when Hardaway rises to the pulpit this Sunday morning – weeks after a 24-year-old man was shot to death in the street two blocks from the chapel, and days after a mass shooting claimed six lives at a church-run school in Tennessee – he carries a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol concealed in the pinstriped folds of his suit."

Amendment vs commandment.

Be informed, not misled.

A number of articles have been published recently "exploring" the various reasons America is so deeply divided. This story is one example, in my opinion, of how the press works to create and perpetuate that cultural division by declaring a contest between pastors over whether they should embrace God or Caesar in regard to safety in the church.

The tension.

Pastor Hardaway tells AP, “I’m really not free if I have to sit here and worry about threats to a congregation." He is one of several religious leaders who sued New York officials last fall after lawmakers restricted guns in houses of worship. He notes the similarities between Trinity’s worshippers and those at a historic Black church in Charleston, S.C., where a mass shooter killed nine people in 2015.

“I’m really not free if I know that there’s someone who can do harm and I can’t do anything to protect them,” says Hardaway, whose city struggles with one of the state’s highest rates of violent crime.

"The decision Hardaway has made is a distinctly American one. And it spotlights rising friction between the assertion of two very American principles: the right to worship and the right to own guns. With U.S. deaths by gunfire reaching record levels, it is far from an isolated instance of that tension."

The conflict.

At the same hour, about 90 miles away, the Rev. Stephen Cady and his flock at Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester, New York, also sought sanctuary.

AP  continues:

And in a country where many faith leaders say their jobs now require them to draw up plans for responding to a mass shooter on their premises, Cady has reached the diametrically opposite conclusion.

His church, in a city where 63 people were killed in shootings last year, presides over a leafy neighborhood of carefully kept homes largely bypassed by the violence. But for a congregation unsettled by the increase in mass shootings and the deaths across town that garner far less attention, the way forward would only be darkened by adding even more guns, Cady says.

“Let us pause for a moment together … just outside the violence of the week ahead, that we might at least acknowledge the violence of the week we have just left behind,” preaches Cady, a father of three. He tells his worshippers of the dread he felt learning that one of those slain in the Tennessee mass shooting was the 9-year-old daughter of that church’s pastor.

“Here we stand … outside of the gate, longing for nothing more than to get to that new life on the other side,” he says. “Yet hell seems to have found us.”

Two men, brothers in Christ but unknown to one another, each determined to exercise their American right to pray without interference.

To one, the right to bear arms – and the proliferation of 400 million guns and thousands of shootings it has enabled– undermines the freedom to worship in peace. To the other, the right to carry a gun is an essential means of protecting fragile religious liberty.

Associated Press concludes its long and well-thought-out biased article with this:

“The world we are in now, you always have to be on guard,” says Tameka Felts, a church trustee who also is licensed to carry. She does not bring her gun into church but is reassured knowing the pastor is armed.

“You always have to wonder, ‘Who is that person coming into the building?’” she says. “Coming into church you should not have to feel like that, but you do.”

That can be hard to reconcile with the sense of peace that fills Trinity on this Sunday. The light of a crystalline sky streams through the stained glass. Worshippers, some holding children on their laps, lift their voices in song.

Sundays should be reserved for giving praise, says the pastor’s wife, Karen Anderson Hardaway, whose voice intertwines with her husband’s in the call and response of worship. The decision to carry a concealed weapon is intended to keep it that way.

Still, Anderson Hardaway says she understands how others seeking to preserve sanctuary fervently disagree. In a country where the average day sees more than 130 people killed with a gun, will the right to worship in peace be insulated from violence with one or without one?

“There is no right answer,” she says.

I believe both these pastors are trying to do the right thing.

I also believe the Associated Press is seizing the opportunity to create divisions, not solutions.

Their history of publishing in recent years is always bent toward the left---especially in regard to the Second Amendment.

I believe this article was published not primarily to inform, but to persuade and even divide.


Saul Alinsky's teaching is the basis for the left's tactics to achieve their cultural goals.

Today on the radio, I'll be talking about Alinsky's "13 Rules for Radicals",  a course Barack Obama taught at Harvard and millions of Leftists use to divide and conquer within our culture.

You may join me on the air from anywhere in the world. Here's how.

You may also listen to the podcast of today's program. It will be posted on our website a little later today.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.