Jesus wants the U.S. government to ban guns except those owned by government-licensed hunters and guns carried by law-enforcement officers or the military.
How do we know this? Because Jim Wallis says so.
Who is Jim Wallis? He is a Left-wing Democrat. He has never been anything else. He has spent 40 years trying to persuade theologically conservative Protestants that Jesus taught a gospel that conforms to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society agenda . . . only more so. He thinks it is time to go way beyond Johnson’s hesitant efforts.
He campaigns incessantly for the welfare state. He says that Christianity teaches the welfare state. I have made it a sideline in my own ministry to refute him, point by point.
His main theological message is this: Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.
He also is a gun control advocate. This is consistent.
He is very upset by the National Rifle Association. He writes the following:
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said this as his response to the massacre of children at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn.: “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
That statement is at the heart of the problem of gun violence in America today — not just because it is factually flawed, which of course it is, but also because it is morally mistaken, theologically dangerous, and religiously repugnant.
Jesus said this:
“When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors’ ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied. (Luke 22:35-38, NIV)
But this carries no weight in Wallis’s circles. They cry: “Proof-texting! Proof-texting!” What is proof-texting? It is quoting Bible verses that are not compatible with theological liberalism, political liberalism, or gun control.
He begins with a platitude: “The world is not full of good and bad people; that is not what our scriptures teach us. We are, as human beings, both good and bad. This is not only true of humanity as a whole, but we as individuals have both good and bad in us.”
He uses this platitude to draw a conclusion that in no way follows: “When we are bad or isolated or angry or furious or vengeful or politically agitated or confused or lost or deranged or unhinged — and we have the ability to get and use weapons only designed to kill large numbers of people — our society is in great danger.”
Great danger? All 315 million Americans are in great danger? Day and night, night and day? From people with unnamed weapons of mass murder? Sorry, but I had not noticed. Sporadic acts of violence are common throughout history. What makes the United States uniquely vulnerable in 2013?
Notice, he says “we,” as in you and I. When “we have the ability to get and use weapons only designed to kill large numbers of people — our society is in great danger.” I ask: “What about them?” Gang members, maniacs, and rapists. He does not say.
What are these weapons “only designed to kill large numbers of people”? He does not say. So, we are left to speculate.
What about a government that has so much power that it can prohibit such weapons? Can it prohibit other weapons? He does not speculate.
As we have just seen again, when such destructive weapons are allowed to be used out of powerful emotion without restraint or rules, that is bad.
He ignores the obvious: there are rules. There are laws against murder.
In dangerous situations, we as parents cannot tell our children they are safe. We cannot, because they are not. After Sandy Hook many child psychologists were counseling parents like us (I have a 9-year-old and 14-year-old) to hold and love our children, tell them they were safe. We can and did hold and love them, but we cannot tell them they are safe. Not as long as such weapons are available to human beings when they are acting badly.
Let me understand this. We – you and I – cannot tell our children they are safe as long as such unnamed weapons are available to “human beings when they are acting badly.” They are also not safe from intruders, kidnappers, and a mentally deranged parent who uses a knife to kill his children. In short, Wallis is using a definition of safety that is ludicrous: safety from AK-47s or Kalishnokov’s or Uzis. If we could just prohibit private citizens from owning these, we could then tell our children they are safe. That is the inescapable implication of how he frames his argument.
The ideology of gun control makes its adherents sound silly.
What about AK-47s and Kalishnikovs and Uzis? These weapons do exist. They can be purchased on any black market in the world. You only need money and connections. Gangs have both. How is gun control going to make our children safe — at long last! — by officially banning ownership of these weapons?
There is another way to get safer. He does not mention it. Own guns and know how to use them. This is called self-defense.
We can call the police, of course. How long until they arrive?
Wallis skips over such matters. He says:
When we are good, we want to protect our children — not by having more guns than the bad people, but by making sure guns aren’t the first available thing to people when they’re being bad. Being good is protecting people and our children from guns that are outside of the control of rules, regulations, and protections for the rest of us.
He has shifted from calling for gun controls on undefined guns to all guns. But how, pray tell, can we “make sure guns aren’t first available to people when they are being bad”? The word “Prohibition” comes to mind. The phrase “war on drugs” also comes to mind.
Wallis admits that all men are good and bad. Then how, I wonder, can we keep weapons away from good people whenever they choose to become bad people? What law can provide this? What law-enforcement system can provide this? I call this Edward Hyde legislation. It requires every Dr. Jekyll to turn over his guns temporarily whenever he feels Edward Hyde coming on.
No law can do this. Wallis knows this. But, being a liberal Democrat, he thinks that it is better to disarm innocent people, even though evil people will be able to buy guns on the black market. “It’s the principle of the thing,” we are told. What principle? “To become 100% dependent on the State for our safety.”
Here is their bumper sticker: Facing a Murderer? Call 911.
Finally, what will make a difference this time? Only two things I can think of. First, is if people of faith respond differently just because they are people of faith — that our faith overcomes our politics here, and that gun owners and gun advocates who are people of faith will act in this situation as people of faith, distinctively and differently.
President Harding invented word to describe a form of public speaking: bloviate. He defined it as follows: “the art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing.” Alan Greenspan was a master of bloviation. Jim Wallis is not far behind.
He says: “Parents across the spectrum, gun owners or not, must demand a new national conversation on guns.” But we have had that conversation for decades. It boils down to this: (1) “The State alone has the right to own guns. Hand yours over.” (2) “An armed citizenry is the basis of liberty. Read the Second Amendment.”
He leaves us with this argument. He expects it to persuade defenders of the Second Amendment to turn over their guns to the government unless they are government-licensed hunters.
I was putting my 9-year-old to bed a few nights ago. He said, “Dad I heard you talking on the phone about guns and the press conference you’re talking at tomorrow. “
“What do you think about it Jack? What do you think about it Jack?” I asked him.
And here’s what Jack said:
“I think that they ought to let people who, like licensed hunters, have guns if they use them to hunt. And people who need guns — who need guns for their job like policemen and army. But I don’t think that we should just let anybody have any kind of gun and any kind of bullets that they want. That’s pretty crazy.”
Jesus said to buy a sword. The nine-year-old son of a Left-wing Democrat thinks otherwise.
Take your pick.