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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. lionlylamb

    Inside a Universally-Formed Multiple Cosmos of the Living Triune Cosmological Manifestation of the God-Being

    We all live amid two chasms of cosmological orders. We have the inner-cosmos and the outer-cosmos. The inner-cosmos is atomically made and is the universal construct of the outer-cosmos. One could not have an outer cosmos without there being an inner cosmos. Both are synonymously of the same natures. It stands to reason the inner-cosmos was made first and the outer-cosmos came into being only after the passive finalization of the inner-cosmos was made near complete. The inner-cosmos is transcendent and fixed while the outer-cosmos is ascendant and malleable in their dualities nurturing natures.

    The third cosmos is of megalithic life itself made from the inner-cosmos living upon the terrestrial planetary faces of the celestial outer-cosmos. This third cosmos is the celled cosmos or the cellular cosmologic orders duly ordained of and by and even for all megaliths of monolithic life forms to be made anywhere cellular life can grab a foothold to evolve and gain in the abundant natures toward the inner intellectual evolution of its structures ever evolving in intellectualized base pairings. Without the two main Cosmos coming into existence; all living cellular cosmologies in the celestial confines could not ever exist.

    The trinity or threefold nature of chasm cosmologies is being one of the greatest and grandest gestures ever to have been formulated! To say God had nothing to do with such a feat of cosmologic inter-dependencies seems to me, an infallible congruency inconsistent for one to say or think otherwise. To say the nature of God is to keep inflating the physical elements of the outer cosmos while deflating the essence needs for the inner-cosmos leaves one to wonder about the third cosmological construct’s real nature for having been created. Why then are there cellular cosmos of living cosmologies and when did such intra-celled cosmologic life become established?

    The history of multifaceted cosmological expansionism within celestial symmetries comes from the terrestrial complacencies of planetary regularities and solarized star-born objectivism wherever the abundance of inner cosmologies coalesces to form stars, planets and moons among many other fragmented structures within the spatial confines of a universe-formed Cosmos.

    Life, upon the celestial shorelines of the terrestrially compliant are as a megalithic monoliths of biologic ‘cellular’ cosmological constants, and were ever formed and are continually forming seemingly unto forever as well placed living megalithic conglomerations in naturalisms arcades of wondrous cavalcades marching in steps of melancholy tributes to God upon the most high cosmos of universally formidable formations on the highest of unimaginable grounds!

    If, that's IF our eternal souls were around from the very beginning moments of this amassed cosmos, what are then the reasons for our being physically born and then soulfully die? Were we not soulfully aware of our bodies being conceptualized within motherly wombs? IF our conscious consciences or our eternal souls are given placements within the bodies are we not but a two-folded being left adrift and apart of and away from the realm that our soul or spirit was first made manifest? Are not our consciences more than an abstraction of psychiatric wonderments?

    December 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • NikNak

      Too long, too boring, too incomprehensible....

      December 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You read far enough to notice?

      I can't be bothered.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Is it just me? Either this is waaay over my head, or LL's losing it. Somebody help me...I'm drowning in verbage and my brain needs oxygen.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not you, Ed, and it's not over anyone's head. It's crap, pure and simple. LL is engaging in writing as therapy. No need to respond or even acknowledge his spew. He's basically master bating.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • NikNak

      No, I read the first few sentences, and then realize he is still in god-speak, and make the post.
      I thought he and I had worked on his clarity, but I guess he has regressed.
      He claims he shows this to his shrink and she is ok with it. Anything for a buck I guess.
      Bet she has a loaded gun under her desk for their sessions.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Wow, LL. That was a bountiful blizzard of bullshit. You win first prize.

      December 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • dol

      You sound like the Sandy Hook Whacko!!!

      December 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  2. hrdwrknjoe

    Wished the gun toting wingnuts would open fire on the little old lady robbing, child raping, next door neighbor wife banging, wife/child beating con men called evangelicals – but I guess blowing your own head off won't get ya into never never land.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  3. CRC

    The right to keep and bare arms was meant to make the government fear the people lest it get out of control and become tyrannical. Those who came to American were well acquainted with tyrannical government and wanted a method of preventing it in the future. We must always consider this with gun control laws. We also must consider our own self defense if we are ever invaded on our own soil which is a possibility especially as we have parties that want to weaken our military. As common sense dictates, the best way to balance power is for the good guys to have access to the same weaponry that the bad guys have access to. Remember that the bad guys do not follow the law, hence the label "bad" guys.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Which guys know the difference between "bare" and "bear." Because I'm going with the smart ones. That would be: Not YOU.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • galvanism

      @ Tom. You cannot judge a person's intelligence based on his writing skills. I agreed that he wrote it wrong but that does not make him less intelligent.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If he has a point that's worthy, fine. Does he?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Everyone has the right to "bare arms". Just wear a tank top or short sleeved shirt.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • galvanism

      @Tom. I highly respect the opinions of both sides. Both sides have very good reasons. I think he have a good point.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And what point would that be?

      December 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • mama k

      I don't care to see anyone's bare arms. At least not if they don't possess a smoking-hot body.

      Now look people. What the fvck is the mode of communication here? Are we communicating via telepathy? Are we drawing pictures in the sand?? I believe, and please correct me if I'm wrong, we are writing. Since this is the U.S. version of the site, aren't we writing in English? Yes or no? If you can't write a clear statement in English, then expect to be ridiculed for not doing so. If you think this is just a playpen, then expect to be ridiculed. Sure everyone makes a typo here and there. But many opinions are expressed here with subtle connotation. One simply convey the intended meaning of their message if they constantly make major flubs. So in addition to bringing ridicule onto yourself, you suck up others' time when they are trying to read through your messy crap. There is a serious problem with many things in this country and education is one of them. If you can't even express yourself with simple words, i.e., bear or bare, then how the fvck are you going to try to be the solution to ANYTHING?

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

      One simply cannot convey . . .

      (And proofread what you write and correct it!)

      December 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • galvanism

      I think it is just a simple accident.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  4. Jokesterer

    Which side of the .223 or .308 argument would Jesus come down on?

    December 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  5. ed

    wow cnn, you really are hard pressed to find any angle to attack and find backing within groups of people against the 2nd amendment. Now your going as far ignoring seperation of church of state?

    December 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "you're" and it's "separation."

      Do you wanna try for 3 in a row, or fold?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, gosh, you already did! It's "separation of church AND state."

      Please, go back and get your GED.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • ed

      Oh no spelling errors on teh internets!!! I guess I have to run what I say through a spell checker while I'm off on a saturday drinking some beers for your sake. Nice way to come back with a solid error by attacking someones spelling, shows you dont have much to counter with.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • NikNak

      Another reason to ban home schooling.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, eddie, if you can't spell simple words, you've already lost. Bye, bye, honey!

      December 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • ed

      The people who are attacking me must be bible thumpers.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is always entertaining to see the brain-dead get incensed when they can't spell a word and are called on it. Doesn't it occur to any of then that if they're not smart enough to write a coherent sentence, then they're not smart enough to be taken seriously as to their reasoning capabilities? Why don't they understand that? Sorry, but if you can't spell or write, why should I care what you think?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • ed

      Hey Tom, I just caught one spelling error, and a huge run on lacking periods.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure you did. And pigs can fly.

      You're a moron.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • ed

      Hey Tom, do spelling errors get you so angry that you need to insult others by calling them a moron? or is it the fact that you are a religious nut ball, bible thumper? regardless you are a sad man.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be new here, or else you're an idiot. I'm not male. I don't care about spelling errors unless they reveal the writer to be an idiot who can't spell AND has no coherent point. You fulfill BOTH requirements, you simpleton.

      Now bite me.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and you're a fvcking liar, eddie. Unless you can cite the 'error' you claimed to have found, you're nothing but a limp-dicked sh!t-axx troll.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      TT, check out "then" in your second sentence in your reply above.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Only by severe retribution can we eradicate bad spelling and grammar from the internet!" -Adolph Hitler, Grammar and Spelling Nazi Handbook, p. 13.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • NikNak

      Who is attacking you Eddie Munster?
      People are just pointing out the errors in your grammer and your thinking.
      Oh wait, I know, you are a fundie and EVERYONE is out to get you.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Doesn't it occur to any of then that if they're not smart enough to write a coherent sentence, then they're not smart enough to be taken seriously as to their reasoning capabilities?"

      Is this the sentence you're referring to? Because if so, "then" is correct. If you are referring to some other sentence, then quote it.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, did you mean the typo of "then" instead of "them"? Guilty as charged. Hang me.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Ignoring the spelling and grammar errors for the moment, what possible point are you trying to make? This opinion piece is not about intrusion of church into state affairs, or about intrusion of state into church affairs. It is about where a group of people with a shared belief come down on a social issue.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • NikNak

      Hey Cosmic, stop trying to be logical.
      We are doing some xtian bashing here, which is what us atheists love to do when we are not plotting the overthrow of the government or hanging out in gay leather bars dancing to Abba.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  6. Drew

    Christians are the most persecuted and have been the most persecuted people of all time. Any christian, that knows history, should be a strong supporter of the second amendment. Last century, Turkey disarmed its citizens and slaughtered 1.5 million christian armenians. The catholic church, in the dark ages, has slaughtered untold millions of christians. The ten comandments do not read, "Thou shall not kill" but "Thou shall not murder". God knows that there is evil in this world and there will be a time for good people to do what must be done. I wish we could all beat our swords into plow shears but until God comes and evil is vanquished, I will always be armed.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, aren't you special?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You poor persecuted little Christians!! I surely do feel sorry for you. You never get any special favors, do you? Poor things. It's no wonder you need to gun up! Everyone is against you and you're SO outnumbered everywhere!! Your rights are just being trampled on all over the place, aren't they?

      What color is the sky in your world, you moron?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Christians are the most persecuted and have been the most persecuted people of all time. "

      Wow, way to show both a total lack of objectivity and complete ignorance of world history at the same time.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      Sorry, lamo's, but he's right on.

      You idi ots (Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, and Saraswati) are PRIME examples of the persecution and castigation Christians receive on a DAILY basis.

      If the author had said he was Muslim, would you be responding the way you did? Of course you wouldn't – you politically correct brain-dead mor on s.

      Like the author, this Christian will be armed, and ready to kick your proud as $ around the block if needed.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @BldrRepublican, Could you show me where I'm persecuting Christians?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You idiot, I don't care if you worship the God of Dog Sh!t. You morons are brain-dead from the get-go and what god your choose to pander to has nothing to do with your stupidity.

      Get a clue, Cletus. You're dumb. No matter what deity you deem all-powerful.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Ronin

      Um, Drew, hate to break it to you buddy, but Catholics are the ORIGINAL Christians. You basically just said Christians slaughtered other Christians. Try to get your facts straight next time.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • NikNak

      I think the Jews might have an argument to make about that Drew.
      Must really suck to go thru life always needing to feel persecuted.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Drew

      Ronin thanks for the easy argument win. You obviously never heard of the dark ages and how the catholic church tortured, committed genocide, and burned at the stake millions of christians. Look something up before you make yourself look like a fool.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • NikNak

      Yeah, about what I would expect from a fun die/republican, Birdbrainrepub, violence.
      You are such a tough guy, with your guns and your ability to kick az ez.
      The only thing a religious person knows how to do is break things.
      The only thing a republican knows is a clenched fist.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • CRC

      Well stated Drew, I'm with you on this one.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bldr, You know nothing about my beliefs. If a Muslim had stated the same thing I would have reacted exactly the same way, and have on many similar occassions. No one group can make a claim to be the most persecuted. As humans we have a long history of not tolerating differences, sometimes out of a necessity of survival, often out of our own weakness as a species. I have taken a lot of flack here for saying fundamentalist atheists and fundamentalist Christians are equally dangerous. The same goes for the simple and narrow minded faction of any belief system.

      The worlds major religions are far to large and diverse to criticize as awhole. All contain wise and ignorant members. But we do all have to live together, and as a result some common ground is needed. Some limits must be accepted so we can still live together with as much freedom as possible.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      LIke anyone gives a crap, you boob.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Mary

      BaldRepublican, you can write 'idiot'. You can write 'ass'. I truly believe these two words describe you perfectly. Oh, PS: Christians are persecuted no more than any other group of people. Stop the hysterical hypocrisy. This isn't a theocracy, and it never will be.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      Drew, Catholics ARE Christian, so it is Christians persecuting Christians. Which is what Ronin just said. You LOSE.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  7. Speaking for Jesus

    After the evangelicals and other Christian religious leaders divest themselves of their churches built like pagan temples, or at least pay property taxes on them to support the government, only then should we listen to those who tell Christians what they should or shouldn't do as followers of Jesus.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Indeed, the pagan Christian blue hairs responsible for the ice cold water, sugar cookies and piping hot coffee need to be rewarded and the janitor cleaning he coffee stains.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  8. conoclast

    Question: What's the difference between an NRA gun fetishist, a modern-day "christian", and a racist tea-bagger?
    Answer: Apparently none whatsoever; turns out they're the same people!

    December 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      And don't you forget it!

      Lest I come kick your azz around the block a time or two.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet you're a fat old dude whose gut is so big it can't be contained by his belt. I'll bet you can't get your dick up without a double dose of viagra and cialis together.

      I'll bet you are bald as a plucked chicken and what hair you have on your groin is white.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • NikNak

      So your answer to violence is more violence birdbrainrepub?
      But what else would I expect from a xtian repub like you.
      Does your gun make you tough?
      Does making threats on the internet make you tough?
      So glad I don't have to live near you of people like you.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Ben

    How do you want to make it harder to legally buy a gun? I already have to pass a thorough background check... You can't buy with out of state license. And the DEALER will get arrested for either selling to or brokering a deal with a felon... What more do you want?

    The lunatic who shot up the school STOLE his weapons from his mom and killed her. He didn't acquire them legally, so what do more laws do??

    December 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Edweird69

      So true Ben. Too bad a gun doesn't have any kind of intelligence, and doesn't know when it's destroying innocents. I think people would just like to see those weapons that are capable of spraying so many people at once with gunfire, out of the public's reach.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Saraswati

      There are massive loopholes that allow thousands of criminals to buy guns without background checks. And no, I'm not going to give details in a public form but it's not remotely hard for a criminal to figure out how it's done. Additionally, decreasing the number and type of guns people can have limits what can be stolen. Limit, mind you, not ban. You won't ever reduce the risk to zero, but many, many lives will be saved.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • BldrRepublican

      @Saraswati-

      Oh, I don't know – let's ask the woman on the bus in India if she'd liked to have a gun..

      OH WAIT! She DIED from her injuries from being defenseless and attacked..... You have NO empathy for ANY victim, other than that typical liberal "fittest survive" mentality.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      And 20 children just died from some fruit loop who stole his mama's gun....PLUS they got the guys who r.aped that poor woman, PLUS HOW many peopledo you think would have died is she opened fire in a crowded bus with an AK-15? You lack of sense is staggering, and Saraswati has more empathy than you EVER will, being that she is a voice of reason against the "pry my gun from my cold, dead hands" bozos.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bldr, Don't tell me who I do and don't have empathy for. I have friends who've been rap'ed. Again you know Nothing about me or my politics outside what I've posted here. I'm "right" of the republicans on several issues that would never allow you to fit me into your simple liberal/conservative framework. You're taking a very small view of what you've seen and as'suming you can fit my views into some box you've created.

      December 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Steve

      What is an AK15?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  10. Gregolas

    Mr. Darling,
    The imperative to own guns isn't in the Bible, but the imperative to defend innocent life by force of arms IS!
    I recommend you check out my website:www.bibleselfdefense.com, and my new book,"A Time To Kill- The Myth of Christian Pacifism". You can buy it on the website by Wednesday next week, and on Amazon in a couple weeks.
    My qualifications to write this book are:40 years as a taecher of the Bible to adults,;23 years as a criminal prosecutor and defense lawyer, and a nationally certified use-of-force instructor for police and civilians.
    I think my book will be helpful to anyone who wants to carefully consider whether Jesus allows(and in fact commands) that we defend ourselves and others.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  11. Mark McKean

    I believe my right to live my life without fear of being gunned down by some idiot with a firearm far exceeds the right of said idiot to be armed to the teeth.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Quite so.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Wow...very simply put, and makes total sense. Very nicely stated. Too bad a few people have to ruin the fun for everyone else. Most people I know just enjoy target practice, and hunting for game. They're harmless.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      Exactly!

      December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • OOO

      Yea, but like that harmless mother in Conn. You just don't know if their children or neighbors are harmless too.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Mark McKean: word.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • havingcoffeenowthankyouverymuch

      The solution, then, is to do something about all the idiots. Since you can't fix stupid, you'll have to evaluate each one and then ban them from ever owning a gun. That'll rid us of the worst thugs wearing badges, too. Good deal all around, I'd say.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  12. Todd

    Swords were the biblical days' guns. Here's what Jesus said:

    "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
    – Jesus in Matthew 10:34

    December 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And of course you think he meant a literal sword, don't you?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Edweird69

      That book is so ambiguous...who knows what that scripture supposedly means. Once xtian will say "it's the word", another will say "oh, he meant he came to kill those who turn away from him".. it's all bs.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      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.

      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.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  13. Pat Jones

    I just love all the quotes I have found today and put on here. So many wise people throughout history!

    We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Our forefathers gave their lives so that we could get unreliable quotes off the internet." – Abraham Lincoln

      December 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  14. Pat Jones

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  15. dorkface

    Yea, like the bible is a good place to go to learn about how god feels about violence! Its the most violent and heinous book ever written! It makes our video games seem a bit tame. God is a sham. The bible is a book of myths and fantasies. Guns DO in fact kill people when they are discharged by humans. Lets get real, 'evangelicals' have their heads up their ass as much as everyone else. Just because they site the bible doesnt make their insanity correct.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • blessedgeek

      Thanks for regurgitating.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Dork, God teaches us about mankind. Those that live within society's laws and and those that go against society laws. Which part of these teachings do you hate?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      dorkface,

      I am a closeted Christian. I do not believe in manmade churches being the true churches nor do I believe our religions faith of God. I believe our bodies are where super small intelligent beings take residence within upon our cellular cosmologies on a scale too obscurely small to ever be seen even with our most powerful microscopes. Certain verses of the KJVB scriptures have led me to this belief I have. These supposed gods and goddesses live out their lives and are not immortal. They die just like we do but their lifespan is quite possibly thousands of years longer than ours. Our day is very possibly a thousand years their time. Scripture does bear this out.

      Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.

      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 8:31 pm |
    • LTS

      No Bullets kill people when a gun goes off Einstein

      December 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If anyone thinks that LL has the inside scoop, please report to Nurse Ratched immediately, as you are in dire need of medication.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @LL – you spew nonsense that you invent in your own mind. You really should work as a video game developer.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Edweird69,

      Sorry Ed. I write things as I see it to be. Although I feel the same way as Lucas of Star Wars does in that deeply inside us lives what are called 'midi-chlorians', being super small intelligent beings that give the 'force' its meaning.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      "I believe our bodies are where super small intelligent beings take residence within upon our cellular cosmologies on a scale too obscurely small to ever be seen even with our most powerful microscopes."
      I believe you're nuts, and I hope you have no access to weapons.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation of LL's nonsense: Nonsense, drug–induced paranoia, nonsense, bullish!t.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @LL – well, at least you have some imagination. I just view the world as to what I see and experience. Never had any kind of supersitions.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Dippy

      Try using some punctuation, LTS. Your posts might make sense.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Argle Bargle,

      My psychiatrist knows very well my views I write out here and she sees nothing wrong with my perspective of thoughts. I was once on 30mg of meds and am now down to 15mg. My once a month visits to her is quite enjoyable and it gives me pleasure to talk to someone with a degree of psychiatric authority to tell of my thoughts. I am now in the making of a cd regarding my views to be given to my psychiatrist and case manager. I feel quite comfortable with them knowing well my thoughts and veiws and perspectives being on the table. Those of you who cannot seem to fathom my prospects may well be above your mindedness issues.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your psychiatrist is getting paid. We aren't. Go peddle your twaddle elsewhere if you don't like the reaction it gets here. You don't own the blog, dude.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "All dorkfaces will henceforth be allowed to wear masks or other types of face coverings as a private medical need and not necessarily a free speech issue, yet it must be removable for public security purposes in situations where public safety is of main concern." – Presidential Order Number 323447239, October 17th, 2044

      December 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Argle Bargle

      There is not enough hours left in your lifetime to get the therapy you need. Your writing isn't coherent. Can you possibly fathom THAT?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Your negativities are as usual a menagerie of emotional instincts fit for a commoner pig's stie.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Dippy

      Sty, not stie. Knowledge of basic English should be a prerequisite for posting on this site.

      December 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  16. Woody

    Religion is as close to violence and hate as you can get ! No one had a gun when Jesus was crucified ! Gun powder had not even been invented yet !

    December 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Time to go back to school, boy." – Elder Scranton, Tale of the Wooden Leg

      December 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      It's amazing how this site purposely goofs up what that killing of innocents was all about. How's it feel to play stupid and believe that you are fooling anyone?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How's it feel to confuse "reign" and "rein" and pretend you know what you're blabbering about?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  17. Saraswati

    Like most people in the US, I don't care if a law abiding citizen with no record of dangerous mental illness has a gun or two. Notonly that, but I'll go further and say we are better off for it. But what really makes me sick are the collectors who put their percieved 'right' to enjoy the hobby of collecting hundreds of guns above the rights of children not to be killed when these guns are stollen or when other 'collectors' turn out to be criminals dealing for gangs. When these same people think that the freedom to enjoy handlinghigh powered weapons like the characters they see in the movies outweighs the deaths of innocent citizens in mass killings. These folks who willfully ignore data that doesn't meet their self-serving views. They make me sick and in my mind are as evil as the gangs they help arm.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      Saraswati, I suspect you've never met a psychopath or at least, won't admit it.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you have? When? Where? What did you do about it?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Psychopath" is a popular concept and not a psychological diagnosis – it's about as technical as calling someone 'crazy'. As a result It usually just means whatever the lay person speaking wants it to mean, and I'm not going to guess at your definition. I have, however, known several people with antisocial personality disorders if that is the general area you're trying to get at.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Steve

      The Second Amendment is not about hunting, collecting, or target shooting. It is about the people having the power to forcefully remove a tyranical government.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And so what, Steve? Has our government threatened to take over its citizens? In 200 years, through many upheavals and trials, has that EVER occurred? NO. It hasn't. And it is more and more unlikely that it ever will.

      Really, the paranoid nuts who are so afraid of your own government: why not go start your own country if you're so frightened of this one?

      December 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  18. Mike

    My good Rev. Darling ... You'll forgive my reluctance to accept anything spoken by anybody from Chicago.

    December 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Mike: you'll forgive my scorn for anyone who never got out of lower Bumfvck, Arkansas.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • havingcoffeenowthankyouverymuch

      While I have no idea what started this exchange, I must say that Chicago is well-known for being a place filled with, shall we say, people who suffer from cognitive dissonance as well as a half-assed gangland mentality influencing the way their corrupt government operates?
      And whenever a Chicago politician moves to DC, they never get a hang of the way DC corruption works as if they are stuck in a Chicago-brand mindset of corruption expectations that just don't match up with reality.
      Kind of like the Chicago School of Economics. They are a laughingstock in the science community for refusing to acknowledge and integrate proven economic theory. And guess what sort of nonsense Obama believes? Bad economics thanks to his Chicago cronies, bad political maneuvers due to his Chicago cronies, and a mindset that is not group-oriented but self-interest-oriented only, but with the infamous Chicago-twist that puts it squarely in the realm of "messed-up".

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

      Unfortunately for you, what you just stated is a fallacy. Ignorance is bliss, right?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • James Reynolds

      havingcoffeenowthankyouverymuch, don't just stop with Chicago. Look at these politicians yakking about the fiscal cliff and want to tax us instead of pulling in the reigns of their outrageous spending and hirings. For any of those idiots that need to get to a meeting, did you ever hear of speaker phones along with Skype capabilities?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Have you ever figured out that 'reign' and "rein" are't the same? That the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plane?

      December 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • havingcoffeenowthankyouverymuch

      There is no cliff, you poor unwashed heathen. You've been taken in by the fearmongers who have lied to you.
      Most of the economic risk, and it ain't much, is the sudden influx of revenue could pay down our deficit too quickly, which for some reason is never spoken about by the fearmongers who don't really want to balance anything but only reduce the size of our government despite constant population growth that will require more government workers to compensate.
      The fearmongers you listen to just want to make you worried about something that isn't a big deal. Time to wake up and smell what they are shoveling.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "I've been shoveling the B-S, all the live-long day,
      I've been listening to LImbaugh just to pass the time a-way!
      Can't you hear my B-S blow-in', smelling up the internet this morn?
      'Bama, don't you take my gun away, just subsidize my corn!"
      Longtime Listener, First-time Caller

      December 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      *lyrics quote to be sung to the tune of I've Been Working On The Railroad. – ed.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  19. Pat Jones

    Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
    John Lennon

    December 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Killed by a gun.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • loki

      lennon was sham

      December 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Lennon was a Sham-Wow of Peace" – anonymous

      December 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  20. Pat Jones

    An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
    Mahatma Gandhi

    December 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Give me your eyes, your teeth, your faded underwear, and let all take shelter under my ragged wings." – Statue of Liberty

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

      Given to us by the French who invented the toilet.

      December 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "Curses! Foiled again!" – Reynolds Wrap™

      December 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • S Kopfter

      "When I drink my own urine, I find that standing on my head becomes a pleasurable experience." – Ghandi

      December 29, 2012 at 9:32 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.