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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.

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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 • Guns

soundoff (2,819 Responses)
  1. Pat Jones

    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
    Mother Teresa

    December 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      It is because we are animals living in hell.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Apple Bush, I'm sorry you never evolved from being an ape.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @ James Reynolds

      Why does that make you sorry?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Or because people representing the Catholic church fought against family planning leading to bottom heavy demographics in developing countries that have crippled economies and left millions of unemployed you males with nothing to do but fight in an overpopulated world with ever diminishing resources. Your turn Mother Teresa.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  2. Pat Jones

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix

    December 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Overdosed.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      He choked to death on his own vomit. Great role model.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  3. GAW

    Welcome to Troll Town folks. And remember don't feed the trolls.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Bird Seed

      December 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Get a life, Brophy.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  4. Steph

    What a surprise ,CNN posts another ban guns article.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Thank goodness they do.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Apple Bush, do you work for CNN?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      No, why do you ask?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  5. RichardSRussell

    (1) "I think those pictures are shocking and disgusting. You didn't NEED to print them."
    "Maybe not, but I WANTED to print them, and as an American citizen with freedom of the press, I have a RIGHT to print them, so it doesn't matter what you think I need."

    (2) "You claim that the Prophet Mohammed was a pedophilic warmonger. You don't NEED to believe that."
    "Maybe not, but I DO believe that, and as an American citizen with freedom of religion, I have a RIGHT to believe anything I want, so it doesn't matter what you think I need."

    (3) "That's an insult to our governor. You didn't NEED to say that."
    "Maybe not, but that's the way I FEEL about him, and as an American citizen with freedom of speech, I have a RIGHT to spout off, so it doesn't matter what you think I need."

    (4) "Well, maybe you think those songs are funny, but I don't, and you don't NEED to be singing them here in the Rotunda."
    "Maybe not, but I ENJOY jolly lamp∞ns of buffoons, and as an American citizen with freedom of assembly, I have a RIGHT to do so musically, so it doesn't matter what you think I need."

    (5) "Maybe you occasionally do a little hunting or target shooting. You don't NEED a semi-automatic rifle to do that."
    "Maybe not, but I LIKE semi-autos and can afford one, and as an American citizen, I have a RIGHT to keep and bear arms, so it doesn't matter what you think I need."

    Why is it, my fellow liberals, that the question of what YOU think are MY needs never enters into your sincere defense of my right to freedom of religion, speech, the press, or assembly, but when we move on from the 1st Amendment to the 2nd, suddenly your opinion about my wishes and desires gets to trump mine, and the question of whether I "need" something (in your own deservedly humble opinion) suddenly becomes so important to you?

    If "need" were the only factor to consider in assigning rights, the only things I could ever possibly have that would be ent¡tled to protection would be air, water, food, a reasonable temperature range, and chocolate. Everything else — EVERYTHING else — is just a want.

    Just as the only speech that really needs protecting is unpopular speech, so the only weapons that need the cover of the 2nd Amendment are the unpopular ones. That's the only "need" you should be concerned with.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jon

      What a retarded argument. Your use of the first amendment isn't threatening to murder people you walk by. Just think of the Average American and how stupid they are. And realize half of America is dumber than that. And the majority of those people own guns.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  6. Barbara Dougherty

    I agree whole-heartedly with Pastor Darling. Evangelicals need to support the culture of life not death. A refreshing word in response to the recent tragedy at Newtown. We persons of faith must recognize our role in being "salt" and stop being passive to the issues that effect so many people that God loves, especially the children. We have a responsibility to be the salt of the earth, as Jesus admonishes us. Thank you, Pastor Darling, for your article, a much-needed expressed view that many like myself share.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Barbara Dougherty, oh yeah. God loves him some little children! BLAM, BLAM, BLAM! Die you little rat bastards! Welcome to hell!

      December 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    This is updated and discusses guns now…

    What America Means to me by Apple Bush:

    1. No Father to raise me and cultivate my talent.
    2. Step Father committed Suicide.
    3. Retarded stepfather bully and pedophile married in inest.
    4. Attempted murder in living room. Cleaned the blood and chased off the perp.
    5. My sister sexually molested by step dad.
    6. I was tortured and bullied by step dad.
    7. Bullied by Jay R. in high school. Cracked sternum that took two years to heal. Constant fear and attempted murder.
    8. Red necks attacked me with knives and tried to cut of my hair but I was able to escape.
    9. Almost died from alcohol poisoning during the Charmaine year.
    10. Sexually molested by Fred Newman. He molested many young boys and was celebrated.
    11. Forced to skinny dip with Fred Newman on outing to Missouri. This was a yearly event.
    12. Bullied by Jr. High School football coach.
    13. Raised by an alcoholic mother.
    14. Turned into a drinking buddy by an alcoholic father.
    15. Almost kidnapped but for my sister’s quick thinking. Standard man in a van with candy.
    16. Fear. Every time my step father came home he would bully and torture me.
    17. Our bunnies had their feet gnawed off by feral dogs and bleed to death.
    18. My wife committed adultery. Fucked another man. Never even seaked therapy. 23 years we were together. Every memory. Every vacation I lived for. Destroyed. The best years of my life shit on by my wife.
    19. My mother loves my wife more than me. She is dead to me. They both are.
    20. I have been a chronic depressive for over 20 years. Perseverance. Not easy.
    21. I started drinking in Junior High. Rum and Coke just like Mom. Later pop, acid, mushrooms, cocaine.
    21. Misidentified by the police and had a hand gun pointed at my temple.
    22. Inches from being decapitated by a high captain in Hawaii. The red marks did not go away for a week.
    24. Crashed my care in a drunken stupor driving to a Ted Nugent concert and almost killed me and 3 friends.
    25. My neighbors across the street were playing with a loaded gun and he one brother killed his brother. He was taken to state hospital. We were friends.
    26. Where I grew up, kids were playing on the train tracks and were severed in half.
    There is more, but that is enough. And sure there were lots of good times too. But I want some truth. This world we live in is bad. Very bad. This isn’t the kingdom of heaven. This is hell on Earth. Look around and quit pretending. Should I be surprised that after 23 years of marriage the only thing my wife cares about is sex? No, welcome to hell. Should I be surprised that I was beat up on all my life? No welcome to hell. Should I be surprised my mother loves my ex-wife more than me? No welcome to hell. Should I be surprised I drink? You do the math. This is the world we live in. I have one job and one job only. Helping my girls rise above and be achievers. They are blessed, and this dad is here to help them realize their dreams. You may tell me this is childish…that is ok. Whatever your reaction is I don’t care. This world is a torture chamber. Open your eyes.

    All we can do is be kind to one another. Care for our children. Respect our husbands and wives. Dust ourselves off when we fall down. Guns kill people. Down with the NRA in its present form. Fight for peace. Bring back America. Bring back the old Republican party before they all took stupid pills and care only for partisan politics and not for poverty stricken people. Enjoy the cliff retards. It will only benefit the Democrats dumb shits.

    And for the record, yes the doctor has me on a happy pill cocktail right now.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      get a new doctor, my friend

      December 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Why? I now see hell as it really is. No more lies.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Barbara Dougherty

      That's just unimaginable that you've experienced all that. You're here for some reason, or why else have you survived. Keep the faith. There is always hope in this fallen world. This was not suppose to happen.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      AB, you have one life to live, life is a gift, and you never throw away gifts do you? :-)

      December 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      But Barbara, it did happen, that is what happens in hell Open your eyes! you are blind.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Apple Bush, yes, life is hell the further away from God's truth we get. Are you gnashing your teeth yet?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Barbara Dougherty, I have survived because I am a two-fisted hard drinking Irish son of bitch. I should be dead but the devil can’t kill me cuz I am such a bastard.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mohammad A Dar, my friend. You do not know if there is but one life. You know nothing , same as me.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      James Reynolds, God IS hell. The great deceiver. Wake up from your gnashing.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  8. pngsummer

    Living by the sword and dying by the sword is not a recommendation – it was a statement of inevitability. http://www.invertedalchemy.com/2012/12/drive-by-shootings-call-to-arms.html

    December 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  9. self-gratification

    Why are we letting the religious lunatics actually write their opinion pieces? We might as well have an "asylum blog" on CNN, too.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Barbara Dougherty

      Free speech. You don't have to read it.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      self-gratification, I thought the belief blog was the "asylum blog" with what the atheists post.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If that's what you think, Jim-Boob, then leave.

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

    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 7:15 pm |
    • Andy

      The 2nd Amendment was referring to Musskets....not assualt rifles. Plus at that time they did not have the type of police and other law enforcement we have today.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Reality makes no sense except to himself

      That's because Jefferson lived and died before our 16th President was killed in office.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jefferson would never have allowed most of the people posting here to vote at all.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Carol

      Tom, your communist agenda has been uncovered. Stop using and abusing what Jefferson was all about to suit your commie needs.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Carol, let me guess: you never graduated from a college of any kind, did you?

      December 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • niknak

      Hey Carol,
      You fundies/repubs are busy writing Jefferson out of our nation's textbooks because he was an atheist.
      Cencership is just in the eye of the beholder.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Jefferson may have been our very best president. Without him, no USA as we know it today. Hail the Chief.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      How can Jefferson be an atheist? The man wrote his own bible.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you READ it, you ninny?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Reality

      The Jefferson Bible is on-line at

      http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/62/The_Jefferson_Bible_The_Life__Morals_of_Jesus_of_Nazareth_1.html

      December 30, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  11. Isabella

    This is the first time I am hearing that evangelicals are pro guns. I think this is contrary to the Biblical perspective. Guns and evangelicals!!! Guns in the military are necessary. But possession of guns by all and sundry. I think this irresponsibility at its highest level. There is no legislation that can justify the possession of guns even for self defence. Its all about economics. What about all the people who cannot afford to buy guns, what about their self defence?

    December 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Isabella, not to be rude, but, what? Criminals steal their guns. Lack of money has never stopped that.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  12. Frustrated

    This is such a freaking joke...I swear why are we letting news groups play with out emotions? I mean why not have a ban on liquor...o we did that...anyone know why just have an age restriction?!
    I know why not ban free thinking and action...It seems to me the issue is that people do what they want and they don't follow the "program"...Yea thats it lets keep looking at the periph at not the issue itself...The issue being a screwed up society that doesn't want to correct moral issues head on.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, you've certainly thought this through quite carefully. Your post is just chock-full of practical solutions.

      In some other world.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      the problem is our culture of fear, never the less you are right prohibition never works

      December 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • GAW

      @ Frustrated Calm down and take a long sit on the ice. No one is coming to take away your brain and subject you to re-neducation

      December 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Jill

      Atheists are the problem. All a bunch of communists if you ask me.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope, Jill. Guess again. Strain.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jill

      Oh, come now Tom, spill some more lies to entertain us and take our minds of the atheist communist agenda you guys go going on this blog.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, get off it, you poe.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jill? Jill? Are you there, Jill??? Brophy? Bueller?

      You guys are so easy.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Sam yaza

      so Jill i will prove you wrong one atheist that's not a commie

      Ayn Rand

      also Jill communism was invented in the Sidhe commonwealth so it was Druidic IE pagan

      teh fairies did it

      December 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  13. lionlylamb

    Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    Micah 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Rancid

      You sound like a nut. Wake up. The year 2013 is upon us. Read some science and history books. Come to the conclusion that your faith is a result of when and where you were born. Many other religions have existed and do exist today. They are all equally fake.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Andy

      Andrewski 1:1 Lionlylamb shall getest a life and come into thouest 21st Century. Lionlylamb shall also read other more modern parchment and getest a clueth.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Clausen

      Rancid, your not converting anybody saying stuff like that. Go back and read your Darwin books that you love so much and learn to be respectful towards others.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Clausen, do you really think you'd be a Christian if you had been born in Iraq? Really? How stupid are you?

      December 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Rancid,

      What say you regarding science that could quite literally lead to a belief in superior beings all living among us?

      1. The inner cosmology of the atomized realms. Are these realms not the first realms conceived in the grand schemes of cosmology?

      2. The outer cosmology of the celestial realms. Did not this realm become conceived only after the inner cosmological realm was made nearing a completion?

      3. The cellular cosmology of the living realms. Did this living realm of cosmological matter come about by sheer coincidence or was there a cosmological order for the living realms of cellular cosmology to become an ever evolving realm ending upon these celestial shores as being mankind?

      We, our bodies are made by very intelligent beings all living upon and inside all cellular cosmologies. Religions call them Gods but I do not buy into such thoughts. These super intelligent beings live out their life inside us keeping our bodies functioning as best they can and sometimes they screw up our body of a building and cannot fix their mistakes ergo our bodies go to the junk heep while these intelligently super small beings move on to another living cellular structure whose super small inhabitants agree to take them in.

      John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world!"

      Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is inside you!"

      1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building!"

      December 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tracey

      Thank you! I felt this article tried too hard to be non-partisan. Certainly the Bible is anti-violence and anti-weapon. Thanks for sharing a verse that shows this.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Jill

      Rancid, Christians understand him. Sorry, we no speaketh communista baloney.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Jill, were you born in China? Afghanistan? Namibia? Or did you hatch in Ohio or Kansas?

      Do you really think you would be a Christian if your parents weren't? Or if you were born in Kenya? Or in Ja pan?

      December 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • abbadon

      Moronicus 12:29
      shut the fvck up

      December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Jill

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, instead of spinning the debate in to your circular arguments, answer how the OT came from Israel to the USA? Could it be that Jews traveled and brought their truth with them?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Couldn't care less. Are you going to answer my question? Or are you going to blow me, Jill? Take your pick, dearie.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  14. Rancid

    Guns are for scared pvssy faqqots.

    December 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Rob

      Hey Rancid, let me drop you off in Harlem for the night and we'll talk in the morning

      December 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Jill

      Good one Rob. These atheists do talk alot of baloney and want to sell it to everyone.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you ever BEEN in Harlem? I doubt you or Jill ever got to a town that had buildings more than 3 stories high.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jill

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, so much for what you think you know. A lot of propaganda nonsense is still nonsense.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  15. TJ

    Americans should never lay down their weapons. They... WE are America's first line of defense. That said, if someone wants a fully automatic rifle... no problem. Just explain exactly what you need is, and if it's reasonable, you get to keep it. If not, then into a citizen-owned private armory that is locked-up tight so no weapons can be stolen from it. Then if a well-regulated militia is needed, you know where to get your weapons, along with all other law-abiding Americans who store their fully automatics there.

    I'm a gun buff... and a once nationally ranked shooter. I LOVE guns... but they need to be respected, and lets face it, there are those owners who are careless or think "It'll never happen to me"... like I used to say about cancer, which I now have.

    Folks... we need to find a way to keep guns in the hands of RESPONSIBLE Americans without surrendering anything more to Dictator (Uncle?) Sam. And that means WE, the people need to come together and start a dialog. That's what I did here... present an idea (ridiculous that it might be). But let's START SOMEWHERE, rather than bicker, bicker, bicker.

    I'm also a Christian, and this pastor is wrong... the Bible is clear on firearms. If he knew his Bible, he'd know the Bible's reference to swords IS the same as if they were handguns... something this pastor seems to have glazed-over. Not all pastors should be pastors.

    Top of the day to all, and a very safe New Year!

    December 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • GAW

      Well as they say the way you go into the Bible dictates the way you come out of the Bible.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tom

      Dude, I mean look at the movie Red Dawn! -the original one, not the stupid new one- If people didn't have weapons, they would've been mincemeat under all the Russian paratrooper machine gun fire. Liberals will be looking to us to protect them when the Russians invade, and I say le them fend for themselves.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tom is 12.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • GAW

      Tom you also want to bring aliens and zombies into the picture and make that a case for owning guns?

      December 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Tom

      You never know, man, you never know.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Andy

      The Bible has nothing to say about guns. It is an ancient book written by middle eastern desert people. There is no updated version from God about guns. You cannot equate swords with modern weapons. You are making this crap up. If God did have something to say he would have put out an updated version, but there is nothing other than ancient text written by ancient men....not a God.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      GAW, the little dork spends most of his day playing video games and is delusional enough to think they're equivalent to real life. I'll bet he still wets his bed.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Agreed

      we need these guns to protect us from enemies foreign and domestics

      December 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Tom

      I WAS 12. The Walking Dead on XBox is a perfect example of what can happen if you don't believe people can turn into zombies. You guys are fun, by the way.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • GAW

      Hark! I think I can hear Tom's mom calling him up for dinner.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, GAW, and he'd better hurry. It's basketti night.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • GAW

      Perhaps Spaghetti night.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tom

      Naw, she usually lets me play a few rounds of Call Of Duty first. Gotta be prepared, that's what I say. After dinner, she says we can go watch Django! YES! And they say it's the guns! LOL

      December 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's not how Tom says it.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • niknak

      When the Russians invade?!?
      I thought you repub/fundies had Al Quaida as you wolf at the door to scare everyone.
      Are you now going back to Russians?
      That is pretty sad.

      Plus, if the Russians did invade, your puny guns would be no match for a modern military.
      Unless you are Tom Tom and have an AR-15 :)

      December 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Haha, nik nak :)

      December 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom

      Are you kidding me? Russia is banning Americans from adopting Russian children! Putin is slowly usurping power and bringing former states back under Russian control under he ruse of economic consolidation. He is sending Russian bombers to Cuba, Alaska, and Venezuala and subs into the Gulf of Mexico. Paratroopers in your back yard is next, buddy! Better be prepared. I recommend Call Of Duty, and it will help you with zombies, too.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • niknak

      OK Tom, I see your logic now.
      Putin puts a ban on Americans ablility to adopt Russian Children and that logically flows to the Russians invading America.
      Is that about how you see it?

      It is amazing just how paranoid the religious/far right is.
      I bet Fix news will start having their commentators wear bio hazard suits just to scare you whackos even more.

      Be afraid Tom, be very afraid.....

      December 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • niknak

      Hey Tom Tom the Pied Piper's son,

      Is there someone out there jacking your screen name or not?
      Have been a bit confused as many of your posts are not the same as they were before, in writing style and in content.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @niknak: probably. Where did this occur? Can you tell me what article/thread and page?

      If you mean the bit about my having an AR 15, that was herbie or one of his relatives, not me.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • niknak

      Yeah, I did not think it was you.
      It occured on this article at page 24, near the middle.
      I could tell it was a guy writing, and not very well at that.
      He/it used some derogatory language that I have never seen you post before.

      I guess you have gotten under someone's skin.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Jill

      Tom, niknak probably thinks that you are not as insulting as usual. None of us gave up hope. We know you to be a total ass.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ Jill: blow me. @ niknak: the last post that I wrote was at 12:09, just as mama k so astutely observed.

      @ Jill: blow me again.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Dude, I mean look at the movie Red Dawn! -the original one, not the stupid new one- "

      Wow, I was about 14 when that came out and even my idiot classmates were ridiculing it...now the young'uns think it was a work of genius?!?!

      December 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Saraswati: don't judge all American youth by Tom; he's brain-dead.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Thanks for the reminder Tom, Tom. And I do know young people who aren't that dumb. It's just scary to think that something we all knew was stupic years ago could be seen by anyone today as any less ridiculous than its modern counterpart. Which will no doubt be cited by some teenager in 30 years are a great film from the past. Yikes.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, don't get me wrong, Saraswati, no 'slap on the wrist' was intended. Tom's a fvcking idiot, no doubt, and there are plenty more like him. But there are also brilliant kids who, while they might play video games, are far more focused on their future, their education, and their interests in topics Tom doesn't even know exist.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jill

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, don't you think your husband should do that? He must be out and about and left you alone again seeing that you are so desperate to post your thoughts.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  16. Just call me Lucifer

    There is nothing credible about someone who believes in invisible super-beings. The all powerful being that does absolutely nothing. Ban religion and save humanity.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • OK

      Lucifer.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Andy

      You're not Lucifer, you are correct and rational. Sell the church's and feed the world.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • GAW

      Your delusional idea to obtain a utopia is misguided. Yes even Hitler thought the same way as you do. Just eliminate the ideology (Inevitably those who embrace it) that stands in your way of achieving the utopia.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      you not Lucifer i am i say we need to embrace and accept all ideologies even the ones that seem irrational to you; asking some one to through away their ideology is not going to work. yes we will have piece and a utopia if everyone thinks like you, but the answer is no different then what the Yahweh commands; which is, even one believe and follow me and we will have peace.

      another ting to ask your self is peace worth it...sounds boring to me

      December 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Jill

      Lucifer, you banned religion in your life and look at what a mess you turned out to be.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Jill/herbie: you suck dead priests.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • onecell

      welcome Lucifer, looks like things are going according to plan.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      @Andy – I'm Lucifer, and I am also correct and rational.

      @GAW- Nowhere in my post did I mention achieving a utopia. You are delusional. Your god created Hitler and allowed him
      to wreak havoc on the world. Your god is an azzhole.

      @Sam- I don't care what you say or think.

      @Jill – Your presumptions about me are laughable.

      @Tom Tom- Its true, I've seen Jill suck off dead priests.

      @onecell – Yep.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    What America Means to me by Apple Bush:

    1. No Father to raise me and cultivate my talent.
    2. Step Father Suicide.
    3. Retarded stepfather bully and pedophile married in incest.
    4. Attempted murder in living room. Cleaned the blood and chased off the perp.
    5. My sister sexually molested by step dad.
    6. I was tortured and bullied by step dad.
    7. Bullied by Jay R. in high school. Cracked sternum that took two years to heal. Constant fear and attempted murder.
    8. Red necks attacked me with knives and tried to cut of my hair but I was able to escape.
    9. Almost died from alcohol poisoning during the Charmaine year.
    10. Sexually molested by Fred Newman. He molested many young boys and was celebrated.
    11. Forced to skinny dip with Fred Newman on outing to Missouri. This was a yearly event.
    12. Bullied by Jr. High School football coach.
    13. Raised by an alcoholic mother.
    14. Turned into a drinking buddy by an alcoholic father.
    15. Almost kidnapped but for my sister’s quick thinking. Standard man in a van with candy.
    16. Fear. Every time my step father came home he would bully and torture me.
    17. Our bunnies had their feet gnawed off by feral dogs and blead to death.
    18. My wife committed adultery. Fucked another man. Never even seaked therapy. 23 years we were together. Every memory. Every vacation I lived for. Destroyed. The best years of my life shit on by my wife.
    19. My mother loves my wife more than me. She is dead to me. They both are.
    20. I have been a chronic depressive for over 20 years. Perseverance. Not easy.
    21. I became an alcoholic in Junior High. Rum and Coke just like Mom.
    21. Misidentified by the police and had a hand gun pointed at my temple.
    22. Inches from being decapitated by a high captain in Hawaii. The red marks did not go away for a week.
    23. Burned by a sting ray, Still hae the scar.

    I know I am leaving a lot out and I am intinentinially leaving out the good times and there are many. Many are minor but I was on a roll. But I want some truth. This world we live in is bad. Very bad. This isn’t the kingdom of heaven. This is hell on Earth. Look around and quit pretending. Should I be surprised that after 23 years of marriage the only thing my wife cares about is sex? No, welcome to hell. Should I be surprised that I was beat up on all my life? No welcome to hell. Should I be surprised my mother loves my ex-wife more than me? No welcome to hell. Should I be surprised I drink? You do the math. This is the world we live in. I have one job and one job only. Helping my girls rise above and be achievers. They are blessed, and this dad is here to help them realize their dreams. You may tell me this is childish…that is ok. Whatever your reaction is is fine. This world is a torture chamber. Open your eyes.Watch for that bullet trained at your head.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Janice

      Apple Bush, the world is deceived by Satan's lies.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Flabbergasted

      Umm. That sucks, dude. Here's to the hope that things get better for you.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • niknak

      So what did all that have to do with the article?

      December 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Janice, are you 5 years old? What the fuck does that mean. This IS hell. Wake up.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Flabbergasted, thanks. Therapy is helping and I am leaving my wife.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      niknak, you live in a hell hole dominated by guns. Yet you sit by and wait to get wacked. We have to take Charge.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Jill

      Apple Bush, that's what Christians mean when they post that Satan deceives the whole world. It means, his lies rule.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Oh and niknak, and I am a fan of yours, there is no rule stating you have to discuss the article all the time. How boring would that be? We can digress and chit chat. At least I can. Don't know about you?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • niknak

      I have tried to discuss your post, but twice now the filter has not liked something I wrote. Not sure what.
      Thanks for being a fan, you are most likely the only one though.

      Sorry to hear you have had so much tragedy in your life.
      Mine is the polar opposite of yours.
      Love every minute of it in fact.
      I know there are heaps of bad people, and heaps of guns.
      And maybe I will get whacked by one of them.
      But I am not going to live my life in fear of them/it.

      It may be hard for anyone not in your shoes to give advice, but here it is anyway.
      Don't look back, live for today and for tomorrow and try to make it better for yourself.
      Would love to chat more, but have dishes and a kitchen to clean.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      So Jill, Satan is the boss. No surprise there dumb ass.

      niknak, I face the hell head on , but you do see how fucked up this reality is right? There is no fairness. YOU should look at me and be the most stank and miserable of all. How can live with yourslef?

      December 30, 2012 at 3:34 am |
  18. Batman

    Ban bazookas, automatic weapons with civilians... It's that simple. What's wrong with you guys?

    December 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Captain America

      No my bat buddy. We must fight for the right to par...for every citizen to have their own bare arms, especially nude bazookas, they're so cool.

      December 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  19. TSB8C

    Luke 22:36 – "and he who has no sword [gun], let him sell his garment and buy one".

    December 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  20. edmundburkeson

    Darling, Daniel: 8% is a very weak number. those same 8 % have probably missed the history lessons of the Reformation. Protestants fled persecution in Europe to live out their faith here free of governments who wanted to impose one faith on their people. there is still a strong belief among Evangelicals that faith is threatened now by those who believe that we have a secular not a Christian civil government which tolerates all faiths. Self preservation in the form of gun ownership has always been a part of that. My family has been in this country for 12 generations and they embraced the Christian faith long before. One of my ancestors was a pioneer in NJ and hung for treason because he was a member of the NJ militia, the same militia that won the Revolutionary War. So there seems to be a huge gap in your understanding of the Christian faith, American history, and the influence of secularism. The Bible is not neutral on the subject use of force. You left out the best part civil government is a minister of wrath against those that do evil. If you do not possess a weapon? How do you administer wrath? How do you uphold justice personally?

    December 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Ken

      edmund, the problem with most people is that they don't know history other than what a government school tells them which is being changed all the time or the version of history some liberal professor tells them. The only thing they know about the bible is what some web site tells them or what some liberal professor tells them. That, to them, is the gospel and the only gospel they know.

      December 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Jill

      Ken, you are a man of great wisdom.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.