home
RSS
My Take: It’s time for evangelicals to speak up about guns
December 28th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: It’s time for evangelicals to speak up about guns

Editor’s note: Daniel Darling is a pastor, author and speaker in the Chicago area. His latest book is "Real: Owning Your Christian Faith." He tweets at @dandarling.

By Daniel Darling, Special to CNN

(CNN) – The Bible doesn’t clearly express an opinion on the possession of guns, but many evangelicals defend the unlimited distribution of firearms with the same fervor that they defend biblical orthodoxy. According to a recent Public Religion Research Institute survey, 8% of white evangelical Protestants favor tighter gun laws.

But in the wake of yet another deadly school shooting, it’s time for evangelicals to contribute to the national discussion beyond: “It’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.”

In fairness to gun enthusiasts, no reasonable observer could pin the blame for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting solely on the lack of effective gun laws. Even President Barack Obama and other influential voices have called for a balanced approach that looks not only at guns but also at mental illness, violent video games and a culture of fatherlessness that produces young troubled men. And the research about the effectiveness of gun controls laws seems mixed at best.

Still evangelicals should not defend the use, proliferation and availability of assault weapons with as much vigor as they defend their faith. In spite of some who insist the Second Amendment is drawn from the Bible, there is no clear-cut Christian position on gun control.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

On one level, the Bible affirms the government’s first and most basic job to protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable, our children. Romans 13 reminds us that government is “God’s servant for our good.” The Bible also gives high priority to the welfare of children.

At times, the Bible seems to affirm the right to self-defense. Even when Jesus famously told Peter to put down his sword during Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he didn’t tell Peter to destroy the sword but put it in its rightful place.

On the other hand, the Scripture is pretty clear that Christians should not only oppose violence but should be advocates for the sanctity of human life. This doesn’t simply apply to abortion but to any unlawful taking of human life. Advocating for life also includes taking care of children's and others' well-being after they are born. Each life is created in the image of God; therefore, death is the work of the evil one (1 John 3:15). The Apostle Paul labels death God’s final enemy. Christians are also called to be “peacemakers” and not lovers of violence.

Given the lack of a straightforward biblical imperative for or against guns, faithful followers of Christ should be more flexible in their opinions on this issue.

Why can’t we support sensible restrictions, such as a ban on military-style combat weapons? These weapons seem to serve no purpose other than the glorification of violence. If we take seriously the command to protect our children, we’ll avoid the risk of these weapons getting into the hands of unstable people. Sure, a ban won’t eliminate all weapons, especially those purchased illegally, but it may reduce the chance of another Sandy Hook massacre.

Massacre of children leaves many asking, 'Where’s God?'

We also should also advocate making it harder for people to acquire guns, even sensible weapons purchased for self-defense or hunting. Gun ownership should be a privilege earned by good behavior and conferred only on the most trustworthy of our citizens. I think we can do this without disrespecting the Second Amendment, which besides guaranteeing the right to bear arms calls for this right to be “well-regulated.” As blogger Marty Duren says, “While the Second Amendment provides the right to keep and bear (“carry”) arms, it does not necessitate the right to own any armament the mind of man can create.”

New gun laws won’t prevent every future crime, but perhaps a few common-sense regulations would help destroy a culture of violence that so tempts young troubled men.

Some will argue that new restrictions only hurt those who are already law-abiding. This may be so. But as Christians called to care for the common good of our communities, we should be willing to endure the inconvenience if it saves one child from death.  Since 9/11, we have all endured more hassle at the airport to prevent even one terrorist from killing our fellow citizens.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

Followers of Christ know that it is ultimately not the gun that kills, but evil that resides in every human heart. And yet it is precisely this belief in total depravity that might inform our views on gun control. In a fallen world, the most vulnerable among us need protection from those who cannot or will not discern right from wrong. (Ironically, this is the focus of the Christian anti-abortion argument.) Let’s not put instruments of death so close to hands that would do evil.

At the end of the day, living out our faith requires that we do more than simply react in a defensive posture but engage in this important debate. We can protect the cherished right to bear arms in self-defense and still make sure unnecessary and violent weapons are not sold on our store shelves and online and are not accessible by those in our communities who would use them to commit acts of aggression and murder.

Furthermore, an unwillingness to entertain common-sense restrictions casts the evangelical faith in an unnecessarily unfavorable light. It may cause some to think we love our guns more than our neighbors.

There are many things about which Christians should be unyielding; the right to own a killing machine should not be one of them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Daniel Darling.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Guns

soundoff (2,819 Responses)
  1. Saraswati

    A more interesting part of this is found in the survey cited in the article: the first choice of white evangelicals for avoiding this kind of event is teaching more morality and god. But this man, just like our last mass killer, was seriously mentally ill and in both cases the kids had parents who had done their best for them. Unfortunately sometimes the results of cognitive problems and mental illness are not easily foreseen and not easily managed when personal rights must be balanced.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Autism alone is not a mental illness.....but children with Autism are often mistreated in our schools ....so what are we really talking about here in CT shooting...

      December 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Since 1990 the rate of children with Autism in the USA has increased 1000 times.....We now require 36 shot by the age of two..

      December 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Technically autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, but I think we'd be quibbling about definitions here. It is included in the DSM and impacts development in ways that can contribute to behavioral problems.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  2. lol??

    "Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.".....................The law isn't for killer mommies to rule over da hubby and train gang bangers from the Beast fadder.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    "The Bible doesn’t clearly express an opinion on the possession of guns, but many evangelicals defend the unlimited distribution of firearms with the same fervor that they defend biblical orthodoxy.", Mr. Darling said.

    I remember the sitiuation when Jesus Christ was arrested by the servants of the Jews and Pontius Pilate. St. Peter tried to defend his beloved Lord using a sword. Jesus stopped Peter, and cured the man who had been injured by Peter. This situation shows that Christians should not defend themselves by violence when they have to suffer for the Kingdom of God's sake.

    I myself suffer from a real criminal attack at the moment (a neighbour of mine makes extreme noise during the night, and defrauds me of my sleep which I urgently need. I guess this attack has nothing to do with my faith in Christ. I admit that I have charged the police to do something against my neighbour in order to rebuild the night's rest. It is my opinion that also every Christian can call the police if he is simply a victim of a criminal attack. However, in no case a Christian should exercise vigilantism.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I guess the moral of this story for many people is that Peter should have used a gun instead of a sword.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  4. Observer

    Just out of curiosity, how many times in the Bible both New and Old testaments did God himself tell the people to rise up and destroy an enemy? The rules defined by the laws in the Bible were very definative, and not particularly sympatathic. God destroyed the world because the evil within became overwhellming. I have read through this book a couple of times and I can't recall ever noting a spot where control of weapons was mentioned by God. The instrument of the first murder ever noted in the Bible was a rock, and God punished the weilder of the rock he did not curse the rock. In the time frame of the Bible it seems to me the sword and spear were military style weapons. However they were not mentioned as the Military version or the civilian version, and there was no mention that military style swords were more deadly than other styles of swords or spears! Even Bows and Arrows were still just Bows and Arrows, not styled for one purpose over another. The same weapon that could kill a person, could also be used to gain food, or to defend ones home. Nearly everything God, Jesus, Buddah, Mohammed, Chisna, etc. said about life and death was meant to be positive in favor of life and peaceful purpose, but when confronted with evil, they were quick to take up arms and defend that which was theirs. In all of History that I have been priviliaged to read, no weapon in and of itself was ever guilty of causing a state of war, or the deaths of innocents. Weapons are tools nothing more, they can be used for good or evil, at the descretion of their owner. I believe that is one of the lessons to be learned by the passage that states 'they shall beat their swords into plowshears', the same material that creates a sword can create a plowshear, it is just the shape that makes it different. A weapon of war, and just as easily become a weapon of peace depending on whos hand it is placed in! Those who state that it is not the sword that takes a life, but hand that weilds it, are correct always and forever. Murder is committed first in the heart of a person then in the life is taken by what ever means is at hand, be it a Military weapon, a Military Styled weapon, a civilian weapon, or a simple stone. It is the evil within a person and a hard heart that kills, not the tool that was used.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Doc Petersen

    The scriptures give evidence for turning the other cheek and also defending oneself when attacked and also running away. The references can be looked up in a Bible concordance. I am concerned about the Democide that happens in USA and is roughly ignored. On average 4,109 unborn babies are allowed to be murdered in USA by evil fools running our government. Also government officials murder people in this country, by cops and in other countries by military that we are forced to support or go to jail for not paying taxes. My concern is that gun laws now are not inforced and also the USA weapons manufacturers supply 60% of weapons to rebels around the world. The USA is a war/violence culture that I hate.
    PS: I blew the whistle on atrocities in Viet Nam where USA forces murdered 2 million people and was attacked by our side and I had to hide for 10 years before I was able to get into medical school. The USA is an evil empire and GOD will judge her severely. I pray for God's judgement on our evil leadership everyday.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Lolwut

      Is English not your primary language?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Doc Peterson – you are no better than the folks over at westboro baptist.

      in many ways – you're much worse.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Are you a real Doctor...DO you give the 36 Vaccine shots required in the USA....Before 1990 there were 3 cases of Autism per 10,000 children born in America ...In 1996 it was 34 cases of Autism for every 10,000 children born in America..Today there is 1 child with Autism for every 88 children born in America...

      December 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tracy

      Please feel free to move!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I generally don't take seriously any comments from people who refer to inanimate objects as "she" and "her".

      December 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tracy

      So the US arms manufacturers supply 60 percent of the rebels arms? Really? Could you cite that for me please?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  6. lol??

    Rip off your neighbor with tax laws or kill em. what's da difference?

    December 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Many Christians are Republicans they feel like they have to support guns. It's sad really.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • dreamer96

      The GOP believe if people do not respect their religious views...they will respect their guns...

      December 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  8. GAW

    Right after the Aurora Co shooting a local Evangelical conservative talk show host in southeast Michigan went into a tirade on how liberals wanted to take away our gun rights. For him the weight of the issue fell not on the side of the loss of human life but the possible loss or diminishing of the right to own whatever gun or guns one wanted. So much for pro-life priorities.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      They spend their time defending the right to trade guns outside of background checks, to own ars'enals that when stolen fall into the hands of criminals, and to own types of weaponry no one needs to own. Then they make false claims that we are trying to take away their hunting rifles. Just like the anti-gay Christian right, these NRA types look ever more like the dinosaurs they are, and they'll go the same route.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  9. Reality

    One more time:

    The signers of the Consti-tution would not have approved of assault weapons for use by the general public. An armed citizen protecting himself/herself/family from Indians and the red coats in the 1700's meant swords and muskets. Video cameras, security systems, audible/silent alarms, fences, metal detectors, 911 and a simple 0.22 revolver should be enough protection for any global citizen in the 21st century.

    And when the Consti-tution needs updating, we add amendments. Time of one regarding assault and sniper rifles.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Tracy

      You have no way of knowing that!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • the AnViL

      yet someone else who either failed to take any american history courses – or did – and failed.

      our founding fathers understood tyranny. they understood what happens when tyranny takes over.

      they'd have been emphatic – YES you should have assault weapons!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Jack Dawson

      You can not say what those men thought, but you can read what they wrote, and SCOTUS has ruled on that. As for using a .22 for personal or home defense – good luck. A heavy leather jacket can stop a .22 and unless you are a magnificent shot you will not stop an assailant, just make him mad without slowing him down. That is why police and the military use higher caliber weapons. Even the 9mm used by NATO and a lot of other organizations is being ditched by police and much of the US military in favor of weapons with more stopping power.

      For civilians, a .38 or a .40 with good ammunition is probably sufficient. There are several makes of ammo that are good defense rounds, but none of them are .22s.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Jack Dawson

      Sniper rifles? Now you see why gun owners get worried about the snowball effect of anti-gun sentiment. It jumps from one thing to another so easily.

      The only definition I know of a sniper rifle is any rifle with a sniper using it. And please, do not call any shooter firing from concealment a sniper. Any fool can shoot from cover. A sniper is a trained professional and deserves to be respected for his or her skills. Unfortunately the media and uninformed tend to use the term loosely because it sounds much more interesting or sinister.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I agree with your conclusion — that the proper course for anybody who thinks the 2nd Amendment has outlived its usefulness is to get it amended out of existence, the way the 21st did with the 18th — but not with your misrepresentation of what the 2nd Amendment actually means. The principle is not hostage to the technology. The 2nd Amendment guaranteed individual citizens the rights to own arms JUST AS GOOD as those of the regular soldiers they might have to oppose in an armed rebellion — the very sort of armed rebellion that the writers of the 2nd Amendment had recently successfully engaged in, defeating the most powerful military force on the planet using their own guns, which were JUST AS GOOD as what the British regulars and their Hessian mercenaries had.
       
      The Founders no more meant to limit the 2nd Amendment to muskets than they meant to limit the 1st to hand-cranked wooden-type handbill presses like the ones Ben Franklin used.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Reality

      But Thomas Jefferson did not know the meaning of 911, video cameras, dead bolt locks, home and car security systems, tasers, pepper sprays, silent alarms, and gps, We don't need assault weapons to keep us safe. And there is a reason we don't allow guns on airplanes.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  10. Jack

    Wow, the bible doesn't say anything about a technology which wouldn't be invented for thousands of years? What a newsflash!

    December 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  11. Michael Weedman

    Once again, this Pastor and the general public clearly show a memory span of about .... ZERO!
    Janet Reno, the Attorney General of the United States at the time, authorized and ordered the use of UNITED STATES MILITARY FORCES, WITH THEIR MILITARY ASSUALT ARMAMENT, to MURDER seventy-six American men, women and children in their own home in the U.S. .... you have obviously already forgotten Waco, TX! And if you think the Branch Dividians had it coming, I suggest you research their history; no less than 3 times before they had been arrested PEACEFULLY for having automatic weapons and 3 times the courts found them legal and ordered them returned to the BD's. Why did Texas law enforcement decide to use ARMED FORCE WITH MILITARY ASSAULT WEAPONS without warning, to arrest them again ON THE SAME EXACT CHARGES they had been found innocent of and why did the U.S. Government support that action?

    In case you missed it, our Laws expressly forbid the use of the American Military to enforce U.S. civilian law, whether Federal, State or local, yet the Government does it with impunity at will. So take a wild guess why American Citizens who DO own guns, especially assault type weapons ... ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE THEM UP AND FOR A VERY GOOD REASON!!!

    and BTW; there are currently over 12 MILLION illegal aliens in the U.S.and more flow in every day, if only .001% of those illegals are Al Qaeda type terrorists just WHO do you think is here to stop them when they finally attack ????? Good luck to Law Enforcement, but I don't think so ........... the only answer will be for the Military to take over COMPLETELY, think about THAT!

    December 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • 21k

      "gubbamint!"

      December 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      You're right. The Branch Davidians didn't shoot, or set fire, or break any laws in the siege they themselves started. If you want to be a gun-happy fool that wants to own assault weaponry because it's an extension of your dick, fine. But don't pretend that the reason you do so has nothing to do with the Branch Davidian debacle.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tracy

      They aren't an extension of my dick but they sure make it nice and hard!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  12. 21k

    gun nuts, are there any limits to the weaponry we should be allowed to own? should i be able to mount a 50 cal on my pickup? keep an rpg at the ready in my living room? never mind, i know you are trying to watch reruns of honey-boo-boo. she so funny. go ahead have another plate of butter n' sketties. it's so good.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tracy

      Glad you like her!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      As I am not a gun nut, I will speak only for my own understanding of the 2nd Amendment and let self-admitted nuts speak on their behalf. It appears to me that the 2nd Amendment was written by people who understood that it's possible (because they had just done it) to win a revolution if common citizens owned guns JUST AS GOOD as what the opposing soldiers were equipped with. That is, what ONE opposing soldier could reasonably manage, to wit, a single gun. Anything that took 2 guys to manage (such as a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher) or a team (such as artillery) or an entire brigade (such as an international-range missile) was not contemplated by them and, IMHO, is not covered by the 2nd Amendment.

      I do not speak as a legal authority, however, and AFAICT, neither have any actual legal authorities. So take it for what it's worth, one more opinion in a vast sea of opinions, most of them conflicting, where none of them has been endorsed by God almighty (contrary to the apparent beliefs of some of the people mentioned in this article).

      December 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    "The Bible doesn’t clearly express an opinion on the possession of guns, ...", Mr. Darling said.

    The Bible is not a person who can speak or talk. There has always been a great battle or struggle between the true teachers of the Christian Church and the heretics. The Bible is chiefly a report about the previous struggle from which we can draw conclusions in order to manage current issues; but it is not the case that the Bible talks like a living person.

    The main content of the Bible is the Gospel of Jesus Christ: God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for our sins, and raised him from the dead for our justification. This information we can find yet in the Old Testament, only somewhat hidden. The heretics always try to distort and to forge this simple Gospel, and then the true teachers of the Church have to write long-winded posts against the heretics. Hence, the heretics are responsible that the Bible has become such a "long-winded post".

    December 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  14. The Truth

    Ultimately the religious will never give up their gun's because they don't really have any faith in God to save them and feel they have to take the key's to life and death away from Jesus, then sit back and claim they are defending God and their rights when really they are shouting loud and clear "I DON'T TRUST YOU TO PROTECT ME JESUS!! THAT'S WHY I GOT THESE EXTRA LARGE CLIPS AND THIS ASSAULT RIFLE!!"

    Guns for anything other than hunting to feed your family = total lack of faith in God to protect you.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Tracy

      That's why God let guns be invented....he was giving us the tools to protect ourselves!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      I also lack faith that God will protect me when crossing against the light.

      IMHO, that's a pretty smart att¡tude to have about God's ability to protect me at all.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  15. US Citizen

    You already disrespect the 2nd amendment when you say it should be a privilege. It is not a privilege, it is a right of citizens of the United States. And military STYLE weapons are just that, they LOOK like military weapons but do not have the same capabilities. What is next? ban military STYLE clothing? The Semi Auto rifles are not official assault rifles as they do not have military capability. These rifles are made to last longer and be more comfortable and easier to use than other types, that is all. They do not present a threat as military weapons. Enough said.

    December 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still no reason for any private citizen to own one. Their only purpose is to kill many people quickly. Why does a private citizen need to do that?

      And last I heard, no one ever died from an attack of camo clothing.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • hugh64

      I agree. It IS a right of a citizen of the USA to own a gun, if that person is a member of a 'Well-regulated militia'. Are you?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thank you, hugh. My thoughts exactly. Since when did a "well-regulated militia" become "unregulated random citizens"?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • pattysboi

      Wrong on ALL counts. NOBODY except the military should be allowed to purchase/own/borrow a semi-automatic firearm, whatsoever.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      There is no need for any weapon like the one used to gun down those innocent children. That same weapon is a spin-off of sorts from the M16 which is a military weapon. And as much as WikiPedia is not always the most trusted site, the article offers enough info to state there is no need. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15
      Point being that a simple handgun or shot gun should be all one needs to protect themselves...something that doesn't fire 30 rounds in as many seconds or less.
      I live in Canada and due to our strict gun control laws we are not seeing the same types of insane killing and I'm thankful for that.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • The Truth

      We did away with the militia when we started using our tax dollars to pay for a regulated military. They are the only ones who should have access to assault style weapons, ammo and clips. The rest of us should feel privileged to own a hunting rifle if we are into that as a sport or live in an area we can use it to feed our families.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Sean

      There's a sad misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment here. It was not to ensure that people could hunt, nor to ensure that only an organized, government run group could have weapons (that's not a militia, that's an army). The militia is the people–every able person, according to the people who created the amendment. And the purpose of it was to guarantee that no standing army (the guys with military weapons, you know?) could be used to oppress the citizens, the militia, because those citizens would be armed in like fashion. We are intended to have "military" weaponry just like the army, because without it, we the people have no teeth. It's bad enough that most of us have no access to engines of war like the army does, don't try to take effective small arms away from law abiding citizens because of the acts of criminals.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mama k -

      DOH! I just got it (I said I could be a bit thick at times). Slippery, dishonest, weasel Chad is skipping towards equating firearms and birth control as "instruments of death". Sorry, I'm out of practice.

      Cheers

      December 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jack Dawson

      That is where the disconnect occurs – some people believe that the government allows us to bear arms rather than understanding that the government is commanded to do so by the Bill of Rights.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Country Boy

      pattysboi, you basically just banned almost every gun in existence by using the semi-automatic classification. Seriously, if city hicks are going to get involved in gun debate, they should at least learn the terms. It wouldn't hurt for them to go do a little target shooting. They might have some fun and change their minds.

      December 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  16. Chad

    Followers of Christ know that it is ultimately not the gun that kills, but evil that resides in every human heart. And yet it is precisely this belief in total depravity that might inform our views on gun control. In a fallen world, the most vulnerable among us need protection from those who cannot or will not discern right from wrong. (Ironically, this is the focus of the Christian anti-abortion argument.) Let’s not put instruments of death so close to hands that would do evil.

    as an evangelical Christian, who has been hunting since I was 12 years old, I certainly fall within the letters stated target audience. I thought it was an extremely well written article, good points.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Blah, blah, blah. How'd your inflatable date work out, Chardalicious?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • GAW

      Tom, Tom So what was the weakness of what Chad said. Instead of resorting to insults use some intelligence. Isn't this is what being an atheist is all about? Think man! Think!

      December 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be new here. Chard is a bonehead.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not a man, either, which you'd know if you had been here longer than a day.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son -

      It seems Chad is actually in your camp on this issue; if I'm correct, I think a bit of recognition is in order.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • mama k

      And only a bonehead would say the morning after pill is an "instrument of death".

      December 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • The Truth

      "Followers of Christ know that it is ultimately not the gun that kills, but evil that resides in every human heart." total bull shlt. There is no "evil" in every human heart, there is no "good" residing in the hearts of Christians. There is no Jesus and there is no Satan. Those who pick up weapons to kill for their faith or those who kill for their sick deluded fantasies are one in the same. The fact is that owning a gun doubles your likelihood of being killed by a gun in your lifetime which means not owning one, regardless of what idiots and morons will claim with absolutely no evidence of their own of somehow being "safer" with a gun, are lying to you. So yes, once again, anyone telling you that you are safer with a gun can add liar to their list of self diagnosed sin.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • mama k

      Yes, but Tom knows where this is headed from the Chard. And I do too.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • GAW

      Think woman! think! :)

      December 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mama k -

      Where? I can be a bit thick at times and may have missed it.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • mama k

      @Really-O? and GAW. Is this your first day on here??

      From Chad (copied from yesterday, article on Hobby Lobby company – page 5):

      [

      Chad

      right, thanks for illustrating my point perfectly. You don't understand the difference between prevention and termination (murder).

      the second sentence "The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

      now, follow this.
      The "morning after pill" operates the morning after, that's how it got its name.
      "after" refers to after the act of conceiving the child (fertilized egg).

      "after' is the opposite of "before". that's important to understand.

      contraceptives prevent conception
      abortion (morning after pill), destroy a newly conceived being.

      December 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm ]

      December 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • mama k

      So again, I will reiterate my point – only a bonehead would say the morning after pill is an "instrument of death".

      December 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mama k -

      This is far from my first day – I simply now post infrequently as I find it mostly tedious and unrewarding. I'm fully aware of Chad's character (at least the one he presents on this blog) – he is ignorant, smarmy, and, most importantly, dishonest. However, bitch-slapping him when he (apparently) displays reason seems a bit misguided. Did I miss something?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @mama k – regarding your comments on Chad and the morning-after-pill

      I agree with you completely – Chad's comments are those of a "bonehead"; however, this thread is in regard to his comments on gun control.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Really-O?
      @mama k -

      DOH! I just got it (I said I could be a bit thick at times). Slippery, dishonest, weasel Chad is skipping towards equating firearms and birth control as "instruments of death". Sorry, I'm out of practice.

      Cheers.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • mama k

      He copied this: "(Ironically, this is the focus of the Christian anti-abortion argument.) " From all previous posts, it's obvious that it's one of his primary concerns if not the most primary. I've seen him and others like him jump at any opportunity, regardless of topic to scream about the killing of babies.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • mama k

      And I think there are too many abortions, but fundamentalists of any kind, including Catholics, going after the morning after pill doesn't help anything IMHO.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • mama k

      OK -cheers, Really O.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • niknak

      Although Chad is a bonehead, I did think your response to him was a bit much Tom Tom.
      Chad just posted an exerpt from the article and said he fit into those catagories and then mentioned he thought the writer had some good points.
      Then you jumped on him by insulting him.

      And I thought I read in another post by you that you own 17 guns, one being an AR-15. Is that correct?

      December 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, I do own them. What's it to you, retard?

      December 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • mama k

      Maybe it appears to come from nowhere, but I believe there was a recent conversation -maybe from late last night, and I immediately took Tom's reply as a continuation of that. Regardless, there is only one way to counter the "street apologeticist" (http://streetapologetics.com/) and that's head-on, niknak.

      December 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Everybody stop posting under my name! I invented Chad as my alter-ego with whom to have flame wars because it's fun. I am also mama k, as you'll notice that she also jumps in to help whenever I get in trouble. It is so fun being a troll here.

      December 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Chad

      And funny enough there are a lot of us Chads in the world, some of whom aren't alter-egos for a troll.

      December 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • niknak

      Tom Tom Club.

      Since I have been reading your posts for a bit now, I have found you to be a sane, rational human being.
      And I have seen you post before against assault rifles and for more gun control, unless I got posters confused, which I don't think I did. In fact, in this thread I have read you post against assault weapons.
      Funny that you would own one.
      But if you do, then fine, I don't care.

      Not sure why you would call me a name, when I have never called you anything before.
      I am thinking that you are not the original Tom, and someone who jacked that person's screen name.
      I will go with that, especially since the Tom that I have been reading has better writing skills and is more civil.

      December 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • mama k

      niknak – I am not Tom Tom. I believe the real Tom's last post was at 12:09.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • niknak

      @ Mama,

      I never thought you were the same posters. But just above someone posted at Tom and said you and Chad were all the same poster.
      In some other thread, someone posted as Tom and said they owned 17 guns and one being an AR-15.
      But just above on this same page, a Tom posted against assault weapons and about people arming themselves and pretending to be a militia. Those two posts are a bit contradictory.

      So I am assuming there is a jacked Tom going around tring to troll.
      Or maybe the real Tom is not as nuanced as I had once thought.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • niknak

      I see now.
      The original Tom is in caps all the way thru, the jacked one starts out tom, then Tom.

      I thought something was amiss as the original Tom has much better articulation.
      Plus, the original Tom is a woman, and the jacked one is clearly a man writing.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "And only a bonehead would say the morning after pill is an "instrument of death"."
      @Chad "it results in the death of a newly conceived child..
      so..

      seems like dishonest semantics to claim that a newly conceived child isnt a human until he/she is implanted in the uterus.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Calling a group of 16 – 100 undifferentiated cells a "child" is grossly dishonest semantics.

      December 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Chad

      He/she is a developing human, right?
      killing him/her takes a life.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, simple-minded, know-nothing niknak. Assault rifles are already banned. AR-15s like the one I own are not assault rifles. That is why they are legal in Maryland, where I live. Dishonest libtards like to obfuscate the issue by intentionally using imprecise terminology. Simpletons blindly echo the dishonest buggers because they don't know anything about guns. I bet you think semi-automatics are military machine guns.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      TTTPS, please tell me that you are not a current/former teacher, divorced, who owns multiple semi-automatic weapons and has a clear issue with anger management/self esteem?

      seriously, I hope that isnt your profile.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad -

      My position on this issue is probably closer to yours than on any other topic I've discussed with you on this blog and we both might benefit and learn something from an honest exchange of ideas on the subject. That said, every single exchange I've had with you, as well as the exchanges others have with you time-after-time, leads me to the conclusion that you have no interest in honest interaction or in entertaining ideas that conflict with your dogma. If my conclusion is hasty, so be it, but it is based on evidence.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Chad

      The problem is, "honest exchange of ideas'" to an atheist has a very specific meaning, namely that the theist recognize the "truth" of what the anti-theist is saying.

      Kind of similar to "lying": a Christian stating anything they believe to be true.
      "disengenuous": a Christian citing a atheist scientist to support any scientific claim

      so.. the problem isnt on this end..

      December 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad -

      Do you not see the numerous suppositions in your December 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm post that make honest discussion impossible?

      December 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Chad

      provide a link and I'm happy to take a look.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Chad

      I didnt read the time stamp, you mean this post?
      If so, then no, I see no suppositions on my part, I see a very clear description of atheist behavior.

      and (unlike atheists) I am happy to provide multiple examples of precisely what I am saying.

      The problem is, "honest exchange of ideas'" to an atheist has a very specific meaning, namely that the theist recognize the "truth" of what the anti-theist is saying.

      Kind of similar to "lying": a Christian stating anything they believe to be true.
      "disengenuous": a Christian citing a atheist scientist to support any scientific claim

      so.. the problem isnt on this end..

      December 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad -

      December 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm is your previous post in this very thread. Is that an honest oversight?

      December 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad -

      Yes, it appears it was an honest oversight. No harm

      December 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chardalicious, you know my profile. You silly little Christian.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why do you think I can write the things I do on here and not worry what other people think?

      December 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Interesting (not surprising)...Chad implies he's interested in an honest exchange of ideas and then disappears into the aether.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, Chad, you ARE a liar. You don't just do the action, you embody the idea. It's what you are; you're a liar. It's clear to every singe person who has ever had a discussion with you. A more sensible person who isn't pathological would wonder why so many people consider him a liar.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Atheists are the worst liars

      I'm a liar, you're a liar, he's a liar, she's a liar, wouldn't you want to be a liar too? I'm thirsty for some Dr. Pepper, man.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Moby Schtick -

      I know (based on evidence) that you're right Moby. Long ago I abandoned engaging Chad because of that very realization. I've decided to engage Chad once again, not due to the deluded belief that I can somehow edumacate him, but simply to see if he can actually engage in rational discussion; I have no evidence of this to date (and I don't have much hope either), but I thought I'd take another stab.

      Cheers

      December 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Atheists are the worst liars

      I am soooo smart. I have a corner on knowledge, and I must teach Chad rhe error of his ways. Atheists are arrogant fools who believe in themselves a bit more than is warranted. Ya edumacated beyond ya intelligence boyz and girlz.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Very convincing Chad, your alias is not at all obvious.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  17. LeeCMH

    Christians are are hateful people. They like to fantasize about killing hordes of gay people.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • VanHagar

      Were you drooling when you wrote that?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  18. AtheistHuman

    Evangelicals need to start using condoms so they don't reproduce more evangelicls.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Jim

      Planning to make the master race are we?

      December 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • gary

      Everyone needs to start using more condoms.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  19. GAW

    Great article. But whatever happened to turn the other cheek? I guess most Evangelicals can simply ignore or reinterpret the words of Jesus to suit their ideology. Evangelicalism is in fact Americas folk religion.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Robert Brown

      GAW
      Turn the other cheek is a good one. You may also want to consider removing the log from your own eye before you try to get the speck out of your brothers. Judge not, lest you be judged. Of course if you aren’t a Christian, the only thing you need to worry about is establishing your own relationship with Jesus. Peace. Jesus speaking in Luke 11:21
      “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:”

      December 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • GAW

      And you judged me for making a legitimate observation. If you practiced what you preached you wouldn't have said anything.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Johnny

      "The other cheek" is full of buckshot from the jesus people trying to protect thier paranoia from the humanity they are suppose to love.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      GAW,

      I made no judgements in my reply.

      December 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  20. Johnny

    Didn't Jesus say "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword". Also "Turn your swords in plowsheers", and "Blessed are the peacemakers". Evidence enough that Jesus is for gun control.

    December 29, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • dreamer96

      Who needs guns...You can buy fireworks year round in Missouri....defend your home with Roman Candles...and M80's....It is sad but even without easy access to 30 round clips for semi-automatic guns..people will still kill other people...

      December 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.