My Take: The thin line between God and guns
April 10th, 2013
06:45 AM ET

My Take: The thin line between God and guns

Editor's Note: The Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. He was previously a police officer in Southern California.

By Edward J. Konieczny, Special to CNN

(CNN)  Both sides of the gun control debate think I’m on their side. I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, a believer in Jesus Christ and for more than 18 years before entering seminary, I was a police officer.

While I try to preach God’s love and mercy, I also have a concealed carry permit and sometimes take my gun on long drives through the isolated areas of my diocese.

I live with the knowledge that I share responsibility for the taking of a human life in the line of duty and that a good friend on the force was shot and killed after we’d swapped shifts. And I wouldn’t be writing this article if the rifle that was pointed at my head one night by a man in the grip of a mental illness hadn’t failed to fire.

Until very recently, I was adamantly opposed to any expansion of gun control. But as I have reflected on the current debate — and the emotionally charged and morally complex gun-related moments in my past — I find myself struggling and evolving in my understanding of guns in our society. I think it is time for an honest conversation about the assumptions on which both sides in the gun debate base their arguments. It's  time for both sides to acknowledge that neither offers a complete solution to the problems of violence in our society.

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In 1979, one of my best friends, a fellow police officer named Don, swapped shifts with me so I could play in a police softball tournament. During that shift, Don was escorting a man from a bar when the man pulled a semiautomatic weapon from his coat and shot Don in the chest. Don died at the scene.

The man who shot Don was a convicted felon, recently released from prison. He should not have been able to buy a gun, but he had bought the one he used and several others from a licensed dealer.

In 1982, I was leading a team of officers trying to catch a serial rapist who had escaped from prison. Acting on a tip, we spotted the suspect in a car he'd stolen from his latest victim. As he tried to run over us, several of us shot at him — causing him to lose control and crash into a telephone pole. When he tried to retrieve what we thought was a gun in the car, officers fired again, killing him. Although I wasn't among those who fired the final shots — and it's unlikely I fired the fatal one — I still feel partially responsible for his death.

In 1991, a few days before I was to leave the police department to enter seminary, I was dispatched to check on a man with a history of depression who had not responded to his family’s numerous attempts to contact him. No one responded to our knocking, and when my partner and I opened the door to his house, the man appeared directly in front of me with a rifle pointed at my head. He pulled the trigger, but the weapon did not fire.

Later we learned that the man had struggled with serious mental illness for years but was still able to purchase weapons.

My 18 years as a police officer taught me that the law has little influence on some people, that those people are dangerous and that individual citizens have a right to protect themselves. As a priest and bishop, I have walked with those who have lost loved ones to gun violence. And in the quiet of my own meditations, I often remember my friend Don, his wife and children.

By acknowledging the complex part that guns and gun violence have played in my own life, I have come to understand that it is possible, and reasonable even, to be both inured to and incapacitated by violence.

This happens to us as individuals, and it can happen to us as a society. We get used to living with something because we cannot bear the raw emotions we would have to confront to change it.

The horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut,  and the murders in other communities scream out to us. The unthinkable grief of the parents and grandparents who were called upon to bury their children and grandchildren make it clear to all of us that we have to face the raw emotions of gun violence whether we want to or not.

Clearly God’s command to practice mercy and justice requires us to formulate a comprehensive response to gun violence.

We need a reasoned conversation about existing privacy laws that protect the mentally ill but too often fail to protect our law enforcement officers and our citizens. We need conversations about movies and video games that desensitize our children to the effects of violence. We need conversations about loopholes in the laws that allow the sale of weapons at gun shows and by private dealers without proper background checks.

And yes we as a society need to have a reasoned conversation about the need for military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in the civilian sector.

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We need not vilify gun owners nor make it unduly difficult to purchase and register a weapon.

There is no one wise enough to imagine every circumstance in which an individual might need a gun for protection or when a gun in the right hands might save innocent lives. But I would like my grandchildren to live in a world less violent than the one I have navigated, and it would be a moral failing if I refused to play my part in creating this world because I was too proud to change my mind or too mistrustful to work with people whose experiences may be different but who grieve as I grieve and share my prayers for peace.

We must proceed with humility. But we must proceed.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Edward J. Konieczny.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Crime • Episcopal • Opinion

soundoff (534 Responses)
  1. Cathy

    What would Jesus do? Why he'd grab an assault weapon and go on a rampage of course.

    April 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • hippypoet

      actually he would most likely have wood then get nailed!

      April 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    guns and god – they have two things in common...both begin with a G and are tools to kill people but don't actually do anything themselves!

    April 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      God is less efficient, we have to wait for it to inspire someone to kill. But, for large-scale slaughter, it can't be beat.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Salero21

    The best article/opinion I've read on the subject in a long time!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience on the subject Mr. Konieczny! I'am so glad it comes from a Christian also. Because no foolish, rash atheists can reason like that.

    April 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes it's true. We rash atheists cannot support delusional thought with the skill that comes from your long years of practice.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh there you are, Salero21. You had run off when I questioned you about the gospel authorship. I can't seem to get a reasonable answer from HeavenSent here about that, so maybe you can finally address that question.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Salero21

      Soon you will all die from the butt flu you caught from the ho.mos.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • clarity

      Wow – that's quite an answer to my question, Salero21. Not quite what I was looking for, but I guess it seems getting your feelings off your chest about certain things that make you uncomfy are more important than trying to defend your belief system. Very interesting, Salero21.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Salero21

      @ Clarity fuzzed,

      You know very well; as a matter of fact, you better than anyone else beside me knows that second post using my nickname was not me. So stop being a Hypocrite and a big Fatso liar because you did that post like you admitted doing others under another nickname. That's the big problem with this blog, that does not requires login to post comment. And you know that, don't you?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • clarity

      Yes that is a problem, Salero21. But it should never trump your belief system. So let's get back to the question – who wrote those all-important gospels that you rely on so heavily. Maybe you can help HeavenSent with that answer because HS really doesn't answer the question at all, but instead only gives a "circular reference" answer if you know what I mean.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Salero21

      I meant that you should know the first was not me and the second one was, Hypocrite Fatso, also the third.

      I am not here to answer your stupid babboon atheist questions.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • clarity

      Salero21 Translator: I'm afraid to answer your questions because it cuts to the root of the shaky foundation of Christianity.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • EX catholic

      @ Fuzzzy "clarity",

      Weren't you asking the same question using another nickname here?

      So you think I'm "afraid", oh wow! So now, besides being an ignorant, fat and lazy atheist you want to be a mind reader Psychic! You look more like a Psycho with multiple personality disorder than like a Psychic.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • His panic

      @ Fuzzy clarity,

      Yes clarity all fuzzed up you were asking me the same stupid baboon question.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • clarity

      Why else would Salero21 or anyone else go on for so long avoiding the question – who wrote the gospels? If they completely avoid answering the question, then the best guess is that they are afraid to do so – plain and simple.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • clarity

      And no, Ex Catholic – I did not respond to you here today. Lovely attack style by the way.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Was not he/she fuzzed all up clarity asking me the same question?

      How many times is he/she/it going to ask the same stupid question?

      Is that of any relevance?

      I meant; who really wrote the US Constipation?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • clarity

      Well I would hope if you're a Christian that knowing who wrote the Gospels would be important to you. But evidently hiding the fact that no one really knows is of more importance to those of "faith".

      April 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Fuzzy: lacking in "clarity" or definition

      April 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • In Other Words

      Fuzzy: lacking in clarity or definition, marked by or giving a suggestion of fuzz

      April 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • clarity

      Lol. try to hide it all you want – this is a great place for exposure.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Salero21

      LOL 😀 😛 Who wrote the gospels? What a dumb stupid question! Someone who knew how to write you stupid dumb wit atheist.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • clarity

      alsp – people should look up the term 'diabolical mimicry' that comes from early Xtian apologists.. quite telling how much they had to apologize in the early days..

      April 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • h

      Lol ROFLMAO 😀 😀

      April 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • clarity

      Yes – but the problem is you don't have the names. But there is much more missing information beyond that. Maybe tomorrow I'll introduce some new aspects to the holes. the swiss cheese.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • His panic

      LOL, LOL, LOL 😀 Stupid dumb question indeed it is! ROFLMAO 😀

      April 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • clarity

      I don't think so at all – let's see who embarrasses themselves next on the authenticity of the Bible.
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      April 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • clarity

      Atheism thanks posters like Salero to help find the holes in the Christian belief system. To find the places of – let's say discomfort for Christian belief.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • EX catholic

      Man oh Man, wow Salero, that so called "clarity" is Really, Really all Fuzzed-up! What a Super Stupid and Super Dumb question to ask! Of course it was a Scribe, someone who knew how to write. They'r were the ancient version of a typist or a Secretary. What kind of Stupid people are this atheists? Is incredible how dumb they are. They are just the IDOLATERS of the RCC. He/she/it is totally Fussy!

      April 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Quest ion

      How Stupid these atheists can be?

      How far their stupidity can take them?

      Are these stupid atheist from another Planet?

      Could it be possible they are descendants from the apes?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • clarity

      You know that's not the question, Ex cath., but for you convenience, from the other article, the original question was who authored the gospels. You should be able to tell by my line of questioning and avoidance by the others here as to what I am after. If you choose to continue to ignore that, then well, that says something about you now doesn't it.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Is there a real question in here somewhere?

      What if anything does the Stupid Dumb question of Fuzzy "clarity" has to do with the subject matter of this article?

      How can anyone be so darn Stupid?

      April 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • In Other Words

      The article is about weapons, guns and the 2nd amendment to the Constipation of the US of A. Is not about who wrote the Gospels. Truly this person "clarity" fuzzy is a totally moronic.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • fred

      It is a reasonable assumption that the Gospels were written by Mathew, Mark , Luke and John,

      April 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Can anyone answer my previous question?

      What does if anything, who wrote the Gospels have to do with the subject matter of this very interesting and educational article?

      Where in the world do the two things coincide?

      I meant, is two completely and disparaging things?

      How can this moronic person "clarity" fuzz it all up?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • clarity

      Well Question – if you go back and read the header and the first two replies, then that should answer at least one of your questions.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • clarity

      And fred, that is not reasonable at all. What makes you think that? Have you done ANY investigation into that?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • fred

      Only that alternative possible authors or composition of the Gospels have little foundation. I have not seen anything concrete concerning authorship and so I go with the reasonableness assigned by the early church. I look at all the manuscripts and church letters beginning in 180AD and the authors were assumed to be Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with some editing by others.

      Personally I am most concerned with what Jesus said and how the overall plan of salvation as revealed in the Bible fits with my understanding. I am not aware of a better plan of salvation.

      The atheist thought that it is all an accident is not possible without other non provable theories or pure speculations. Why not stick with what has personally revealed in the absence of any other evidence whatsoever?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Salero21

      Can anyone wonder now, why is it that I say time and again that these atheists posting here are Stupid?

      I mean, this very interesting article is the best I've read in a long time about the subject.

      Then some dumb wit atheists start asking questions about who wrote the Gospels. Is that stupid or not? What does one thing have to do with another? Especially in light of the FACT that the Internet have hundreds of websites on the very same subject that Fuzzy "clarity" can search and read.

      This article was written by a man who was a Policeman and is now a Minister. He can share a whole lot of Perspective from both points of Views. But some dim wit Super Dumb atheist want to divert ALL of the Attention to her agenda about who wrote the Gospels. Now that's as Stupid as it gets.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • His panic

      Absolutely! This a very, very good article! It is beyond human understanding why some foolish atheists want to derail ALL of the attention to her/him/it ideology. Who wrote the Gospel is totally unrelated to the subject matter of the article. That's a whole other subject. But again is really one more piece of Evidence on the Stupidity of the atheists.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • EX catholic

      I agree wholeheartedly. One of the best articles about the subject. Atheists and Idolaters are so Very Much Alike! It is almost as if they were one and the same. Totally Stupid! The subject of the Authorship of the Gospels could be addressed in some other way. But no, we have some Stupid Frustrated IDOLATER posing as a Super Stupid atheist pretending to derail the discussion to some Unrelated.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Can atheist UnClarity be any more Stupid?

      What in the world the one subject have anything to do with the other?

      April 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • In Other Words

      Clarity is unclear, clearly fuzzy.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • fred


      "Soon you will all die from the butt flu you caught from the ho.mos."

      =>I was trying to see how your statement tied into the great article. The comments reveal just how godless we all are and that our position relative to Christ not guns is the source of violence. Jesus even told Peter to put down the sword when they came to arrest Jesus because He came here for this purpose to die for us. If the Bible is true then homosexuals have a role in the plan of salvation just as you do.

      Directing focus away from the truth of the Words contained in the Bible and on silliness such as to why the authors of the Gospels did not use ghost names as many writers do today reveals the tongue of the Serpent in Genesis "did God really say that?"

      April 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • clarity

      fred – evidently someone else stole Salero's name on that one post. I do remember similar wordage from another article where that happened also. Not to say that either one of them seem very bright.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • fintastic

      "stupid" is the one who confuses the fiction of the bible with reality.

      April 11, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • M & Q

      Yeah, no question about it!

      Who can be so tard, to confuse such different issues as guns and who wrote the Bible. That clarity whoever he/she/it is so stupid, so totally stupid. I can imagine her/him/it in some single wide trailer sitting all day long in front of PC with nothing else to do. Though the trailer is all dirty with clothes laying around on the floor, on the sofa, on the bed. The children if any aren't in school, they haven't shower in a week, pizza boxes on the kitchen with flies hovering around. Ugh!

      April 11, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • My name is Bond

      Trailer parks are a lot of fun, I remember when Akira was living in ours. But that's beside the point, and the point that is so totally stupid for someone using the moniker "Clarity" to be so screwed-up that she can't even tell the difference between the two issues. Totally moronic, must be a mormon.

      April 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Q only

      Totally dumb.

      April 11, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Its name is Clarity

      And is totally dumb.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • M only

      I can see now thanks to Sal how stupid and totally moronic atheists are.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Akira

      I'am so stupid! I'am the champion sucker of the whole entire world!

      April 11, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • clarity

      No you are not! I'am.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Superman

      I can see it all from here.

      April 11, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Quest ion

      How in the world all of this came to be?

      Why is this happening?

      What happened?

      April 11, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • clarity

      Is all because I'm so stupid, I just can't help it is just the way I'am. I need help... to clean my trailer!

      April 11, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  4. Tenjaku

    As a European I find the gun culture in America quite hard to comprehend. In fact it is almost beyond belief. It is difficult to understand why guns are so readily accepted and indeed, often considered essential in order to 'protect oneself'. Removing guns obviously isn't going to eliminate violence in society - the reasons for violent behaviour are complex - but the question I believe Americans should be asking themselves is this, "Would America be a safer place if there were no guns in civilian hands?" A comparison of the data on the number of homicides with countries that do not allow their citizens to carry or own guns reveals the answer.

    April 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      Many if not most Americans are in complete denial over the blindingly obvious facts related to lower gun violence in comparable western countries.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Guns, God and Greenbacks are the American holy trinity.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Tenjaku

      @ I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Without going to the actual root of the problem, this whole debate about gun control is like putting a bandaid on a cancerous tumour.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I don't know where I pulled these figures:

      ......................... Guns ..... Deaths
      .......................... p100 ...... p100k
      USA .................. 88.80 .... 9.20
      Switzerland ..... 45.70 .... 3.50
      Finland ............ 32.00 .... 3.64
      Sweden ........... 31.60 .... 1.47
      Norway ............ 31.30 .... 1.78
      Canada ........... 30.80 .... 4.78
      New Zealand .. 22.60 .... 2.66
      Australia .......... 15.00 .... 1.05
      Denmark ......... 12.00 .... 1.45
      UK ...................... 6.20 ..... 0.25
      Mexico ............. 15.00 ... 11.14

      Except in Mexico, most of these gun deaths are suicides. Again excepting Mexico, the relative percentage of homicides as the cause of firearm death is highest in the US (40%).

      April 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • .

      The worst of the problem comes from the southern states, where they're convinced a race war is about to erupt at any moment, and all those brown people will try and take over. Brown people, gays, muslims, or the government will roll in at any moment and take away their rights as God's chosen white Christian idiots. So they feel they need lots of guns.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Without going to the actual root of the problem, this whole debate about gun control is like putting a bandaid on a cancerous tumour."

      Indeed it is, but I look at it this way. If some lives are saved, then it is worth it, and we have to start somewhere.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tenjaku

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I couldn't agree more. It has to start somewhere and I applaud these efforts to try to address problems even if they are only surface deep, but where are the politicians who are brave enough to go to the heart of the issue?

      April 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • drep

      I don't know where I pulled these figures:

      ......................... Guns ..... Deaths
      .......................... p100 ...... p100k
      USA .................. 88.80 .... 9.20
      Switzerland ..... 45.70 .... 3.50
      Finland ............ 32.00 .... 3.64
      Sweden ........... 31.60 .... 1.47
      Norway ............ 31.30 .... 1.78
      Canada ........... 30.80 .... 4.78
      New Zealand .. 22.60 .... 2.66
      Australia .......... 15.00 .... 1.05
      Denmark ......... 12.00 .... 1.45
      UK ...................... 6.20 ..... 0.25
      Mexico ............. 15.00 ... 11.14

      American exeptionalism!!!

      April 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  5. Atheist Hunter

    All gun control will do is take weapons out of the hands of people who are law abiding citizens and can obtain them legally because of their LACK of criminal activity. The thugs who already obtain them illegally and commit crimes with them will continue to do so. You just won't be able to defend yourself or your children. I guess you could do like David and get you a slingshot and a rock. Good luck with that cause had it not been for the blessing of God Almighty it wouldn't have worked for David either. Shalom!

    April 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If you look at the gu control laws from around the world, you will see your opinion is very incorrect.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • WASP

      @AH: now remember that stance when your child sh00ts another child or itself with that firearm you hold so dear.
      remember that stance when someone does break into your home and gets ahold of your firearm because they broke in while you were out, then use that same firearm to rob a liquor store.

      those children/teens involved in the past sh00tings were committed by using their parents firearms.
      would sandyhook have happened if the mother hadn't owned an assault rifle? doubt it seeing other firearms were out of his reach with that kind of fire power.or atleast a lot fewer dead children.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      They're not trying to take your weapons. They are trying to regulate who can and can't get access to weapons. You're not going to stop the illegal guns regardless but by performing back ground checks and knowing who is and isn't mentally stable, they certainly will make somewhat of a difference in the number of senseless deaths as the result of a gun.
      We heard Gabby Giffords (SP??) speak on this issue and she is a huge 2nd amendment supporter who owns weapons, she agrees that tighter gun control rules need to be put in place.
      When the 2nd Amendment was written, the types of guns available quite obviously were not the same as today. What is the purpose of owning an AR 15 for home protection? What is the purpose of a concealed weapon?
      Is this not heart breaking to you? Some parent is out there grieving the loss of their innocent child all because their child happened to be walking down the street and some scum bag who got his gun from his Daddy (who has a weapons permit) decided he was pised off at the punks down the street for stupid teenage crap. 20 parents and a town suffered the loss of beautiful children and lives due to some psychologically fucked up person.

      Tell me how stories like NewTown and the numerous others don't scream the need for change to you. Keep your hand gun and rifles if you must but make the streets safer at the same time (and no an AR15 is not needed).

      What is the major issue with adapting and seeing how change may be good? How many more innocent lives must be lost before people like you wake up and say enough?

      We're not 1776 any more, it's time to join this century!

      (I'm not even part of your country and any thought we have to visit, is a distant one and it's largely due to the gun crime. We don't see this in Canada to the same degree. I have friends who own weapons but those weapons are registered and the gun owners are licensed. Gun owners here also have to take a course. (http://canadaonline.about.com/od/guncontrol/a/gun-control-canada.htm) )

      April 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Change inr not living a God fearing life is EXACTLY why these horrors occur.

      2 Timothy 4:2-4

      2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

      4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


      April 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh HeavenSent – you have some questions to answer... with better answers....

      April 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are lying again.

      These things don't happen because of not living a god fearing life...that is ridiculous.

      Look at the other countires in the world, where they have less people following religions, and it happens far less. The difference is the availability of weapons, and has nothing to do with your never present deity.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      HS: Canada is 46% secular, yet we have less death due to guns. We have stricter laws that while not perfect, do work. http://canadaonline.about.com/od/guncontrol/a/gun-control-canada.htm

      April 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Truth, I've never seen a number over 30% for lack of god belief in Canada, and irreligion numbers are even lower (weirdly). What numbers are you using?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  6. Universe

    God in Quran says, (Islamic scripture)

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    “The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate!” [5:75]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.”[22:74]

    “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.” [Quran 6:116]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    “O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued.” [22:73]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    April 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We have a problem – there's a surfeit of books containing what God said or claiming to present what God likes or doesn't like. We need God to come sort it all out.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      “The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate!” [5:75]

      Messiah means savior not messenger!

      April 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Which God?

      Messiah=mess-i a-hola. Go wipe, please.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • meifumado

      There is no misconception of your horrid evil religion.

      Quran (2:216) – "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

      Quran (3:56) – "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

      Quran (3:151) – "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

      Quran (4:74) – "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward."

      Quran (4:95) – "Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-"

      Quran (4:104) – "And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain..."

      Quran (5:33) – "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

      Quran (8:12) – "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

      Quran (8:39) – "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah"

      Quran (9:29) – "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." "People of the Book" refers to Christians and Jews.

      Quran (9:30) – "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

      Quran (48:29) – "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves"

      Quran (61:4) – "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way"

      Quran (61:9): "He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist."

      And there is much much more of this crap.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      If one rejects Jesus Christ you are lead to nowhere but hell (Revelation 21:8 "unbelieving, . . . idolaters"). Every single last person involved in rejecting Jesus Christ's truth of the Bible (Romans 1:18-25), and thus, the Truth of the Bible, God (John 14:6), will burn them forever in the lake of fire for hating Him so (Deuteronomy 32:39-41; Revelation 20:11-15).


      April 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • clarity

      So HeavenSent – let's just keep things simple and cut to the chase. Who wrote John? Are you going to be like Salero21, biggles, faith, john, Austin, Topher, etc. etc. and just run from that question?

      April 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh goodness, my apologies, I forgot Live4Him. We must not forget L4H. Now back to the question of the authorship of John. Any ideas?? We kind of need that to have a fuzzy good feeling about the supernatural Jesus, HeavenSent.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Quest ion

      Is it not Islam the Foundation of the American Constipation?

      Was it not Mohammad a Pedophile?

      Is it not true that radical Muslims carry weapons to kill all non-Muslims infidels?

      If the answer to all of the above is a Yes; What are you doing here posting Muslim gibberish?

      April 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, the Holy Spirit inspired Holy Men to write the Bible. Jesus Christ is the author.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • clarity

      Oh really HeavenSent? Can you cite me some sources on that? And what are the name of the people who were inspired? That was a very general answer, HeavenSent. I would actually call it a dodge. Do you care to clarify that response, HeavenSent?

      April 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • fintastic

      I see heaven stench is back with his smelly rectum odor again...... sigh.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent


      All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      2 Timothy 3:16


      April 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • clarity

      So, HS you're saying the word comes from God because Paul said so. Well, that's pretty shakey, so let's look at it a bit more. Where did Paul find this out?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Clarity, Jesus wrote His truth on all our hearts. See if yours will reveal His truth. That's if the brainwashing you received to deny Christ hasn't completely damaged you.

      April 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  7. drep

    I have often wondered exactly what type of firearm Jesus will be carrying upon his return. He's old school, so I'm thinking a 357 magnum. Large enough to stop a heathen in his tracks, but simple enough for a common Jewish preacher man.

    April 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Surely a .50 caliber. No pink-handled .357 plinker for Jesus.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • drep

      I think he would strap the 50 cal on top of his bullet proof Hummer limo.

      But as far as a side arm, he's going 357 long nose.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      drep, Jesus carries a sword when He returns.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And it's glorious, and I hope he pierces me with it good.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, you're up to your jealous ways I see.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • fintastic

      heaven stench..... your posts sure do stink like a pack of jeebus lies!

      April 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • drep

      "drep, Jesus carries a sword when He returns"

      Long haired peacenik carrying a sword?

      He is going to get his a s s kicked.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  8. Rainer Braendlein

    I guess the many rampages are a sign for an increasing decay of our societies.

    We ignore too much the consequencies of a sinful life. Some fools of us believe that one only could become depressive when he sins being aware of God's commandments but that is a nonsense. Even if there would be no commandments, and you would sin without knowing any commandment, you would nevertheless become depressive and sad.


    This is simply a metaphysical effect of the sin. Sin is simply the opposite of love. We were once created in God, who is love in himself. The more we sin the more we act against love the more we forsake the sphere of love, and perish because the sphere of love is also the sphere of life.

    Hence, when little Eddy promotes same-se-x relation he promotes the corruption of people, their despair. I guess that the people who kill other people are often desperated people.

    April 10, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • drep

      You do realize that over the last 40 or so years as our society has decayed (progressed) violent crime has actually decreased. You do also realize that in secular societies across Europe there is a fraction of the violent crime we see here in the US. Where religion goes, violence follows. You need to look no further than the middle east.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • myweightinwords

      This article is about gun control and the need for dialog, not depression, sin or homosexuality.

      That said, depression is an illness, often organic in nature. It is not, as you suggest, some metaphysical response to "sin". It also has nothing to do with being gay.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • WASP

      @rain: please show what exactly is SIN. then prove sin has any effect on anything other than the religious that buy into magic, ghosts, goblins etc etc etc.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Akira

      Sin doesn't cause depression. Stick with what you know, because this isn't one of them.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Just let us consider the sin of averice: You ignore your neighbour who is in need of help although you had enough resources to help him. After a while your neighbour recovers because anybody else helped him, and you wonder that your neighbour doesn't smile when he meets you. When you treat all your neighbours like that you will finally stop smiling because you will gradually adopt the "acid" complexion of all your neighbours who you did not support. The same happens in the invisble world. The more you neglect your neighbour the more God will neglect you. When "Life" neglects you you will perish.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Live by your own words, Rain, and love your neighbor as thyself.

      We all smile at each other in greeting in my neighborhood, Rain. Your neighborhood sounds miserable. Glad I live here in the US.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • WASP

      @rain: " You ignore your neighbour who is in need of help."
      you know what they say about assuming things?

      for what reason would i have to ignore my neighbor if they were in need of help?
      i haven't ever refused help to anyone, ever as long as i had what i needed to take care of my own family.

      that's one major thing i find to be a problem with america personally; we send food needed to feed our "family" here to other countries to feed them. kindof like i ask you for food so you give it to me then your child goes hungry that night. doesn't make much sense does it?

      April 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Rainer, people in same-sex relationships suffer corruption and despair to about the same degree as everyone else. You should get out more. Meet some nice same-sex couples. Perhaps you can have tea.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Which God?

      Rabid Rainer is spouting his metaphysical sin bull schiit once again. He has no clue what goes on in the real world, but his metphysical knowledge is vast...like the empty space between his ears.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Which, if you understood what Rainer wrote, you could join in conversation. Good post Rainer.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • clarity

      You don't seem to understand a lot from what I can tell, HS; even about your own religion. Now back to the question of the authorship of the gospels, HS. Because you seem to quote them a lot. Now who exactly wrote those??

      April 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, I've already answered your question.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • clarity

      Actually, HS, no – you didn't answer the question. You made what's called a circular reference answer. You know – you tried to validate the Bible with the Bible. That's pretty sily – I think even my youngest granddaughter would know better than to try to explain something from the same something. So please be more specific and let's get some names, OK, HS?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cloudy, is that anything like you trying to validate you?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      HeavenSent is physically incapable of giving a straight, honest answer to any question. She is a coward. And even worse, she has deluded herself into thinking her cowardice is some kind of amazing defense of her god. It's really quite pathetic, but a wonderful example of the mental damage that religion causes.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  9. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I can't argue with any of the words of the Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny here, but when all is said and done he has said little other than we need to talk about guns and gun violence.

    With all respect Rev. Konieczny, we need to do something about guns and gun violence, not just talk about it.

    April 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • UD

      I agree that a healthy dialogue about guns is important.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Unquestionably. The Rt. Rev. does not offer up what he thinks should be done, besides talk about it.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  10. John

    I do not care about previous comments. When you are right, you're right.

    April 10, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  11. Tbay

    So much for "those who live by the sword shall parish by the sword" and "they will beat their swords into plowshears".

    Gun control is a hot button topic, and I won't pretend to know the answers, but I can tell you that the "Right Reverend" should not be the one to be preaching this sermon.

    WWJD? Certainly not this.

    April 10, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I don't know, based on his personal experience I think he is qualified. Who would you consider more qualified?

      April 10, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • fintastic

      What would Jefferson do?

      April 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Dear bishop Ed,

    what is it that you call yourself a bishop but you bless same-se-x couples?

    Of course, Jesus loves the sinners but he also teached that sinners have to repent before they can get admitted by the church. Ain't your church acting against Jesus' commands?

    I would bless gays only if they would be ready to abandon their gayness in the releasing power of Jesus.

    Dear bishop Ed, you should mind more about the true doctrine and issues of the Church, instead of minding about issues which belong to the state. There are reason supporting having a weapon, and reasons against having a weapon.

    "Pastor" Rainy

    April 10, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • midwest rail

      What the HELl do gay couples have to do with gun control ? Obsession is a mental disorder.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • sam stone

      well, well, well......the german closet queen speaks up.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” – Winston Churchill

      April 10, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do"

      Anne Lamott

      April 10, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • drep

      "I would bless gays only if they would be ready to abandon their gayness in the releasing power of Jesus"

      Wow, just wow.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

      Genesis 1:27


      April 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Which God?

      HS, that's your opinion, not fact. Your book of stories (like Peyton Place), has no bearing on anything. Anything. It is NOT the book of god, nor any god, is not a source of law, or how to comport oneself. It is, however, good advice if you want to sleep with your father, or let strangers hav s3x with your daughter. Get the point? Quoting your truth is not truth for others, who probably know a whole lot more than you. Your book of stories is not truth, nor your gods' word.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Which, take your complaints up with Jesus. He'll be waiting for you.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • fintastic

      I don't complain to imaginary beings you looney tune.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      fintastic, you tripped up and used the wrong dummy handle when responding. LOL.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • fintastic

      What can I say...... it's hard to tell the real stench from the heaven stench.... LOL!

      April 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  13. K-switch

    I find it tinteresting that gun control activists are wiling to offer up ideas, while gun lobbyists best contribution is "That won't work?"

    April 10, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Saraswati

      The alternative is to say "why would we want to change a system which gives us 3 to 4 times the murder rate of the rest of the world's wealthy countries?

      Several studies have found that conservatives are motivated largely by fear, and the NRA knows just how to play on this fear with obscure hypotheticals they use to keep people focused away from the core issues and real numbers.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

      Colossians 2:8


      April 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • clarity

      So I guess everyone can simply understand that the poster HeavenSent just outputs babble verse, but runs from giving reasonable answers to key questions about the book that it spews from. Hmmm.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, you're tripping over your ego again. I wrote my answer to you the first time you askedt. I suggest you read back to where you first posted your question to retrieve my answer.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • clarity

      Ego? I think this is actually about your inability to give me a straight answer, HS. I also think you haven't done your homework on the authorship of the gospels OR you have but are afraid of the truth. So again, what do we actually know about the authorship? I mean a lot of judgment coming from Christians comes from those writings, so we need to make sure we at least know exactly who wrote them.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Clarity, you're asking the wrong question. You should ask why you listen to those that lead you astray.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • clarity

      LOL, HS – if I were being led astray, then you would have no trouble at all giving me a straight answer to the question I posed. But that's not the case, is it, HS? Why are you afraid of that question??

      April 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • fintastic

      Heaven stench has his hands over his ears while he repeats.. "lah lah lah lah lah lah lah..... I can't hear you... lah lah lah lah lah..."

      April 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  14. hippypoet

    ok simple answer – lets teach everyone martial arts, that way no one needs a gun to inflict damage....that the only purpose of a gun – and so now we have that covered, we no longer require guns...done! plus the fights on youtube would be awesome!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      A 105 pound woman will never be able to fight off a 250 pound man with the same martial arts training. Of course, she can't fight off a man with the same gun either.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The simple answer hippypoet is that everyone needs to come back to God. Meaning, to read and abide in His truth is the only way to live in these flesh bodies.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • hippypoet

      you know nothing of martial arts – shut up. your ignorance spoken as fact will teach others nothing of use!

      April 10, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • Tbay

      the other simple answer is to arm everyone. It worked so well in the wild wild west.

      Of course we would need more saloons, but I am ok with that

      April 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • hippypoet

      HS – the surest way to create an atheist is to have them read the bible...think on that. – if you are able of thinking that is.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Saraswati

      "the other simple answer is to arm everyone. It worked so well in the wild wild west."

      lol...curb the overpopulation problem all right.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • HeavenSent

      hippypoet, I'll stay with God's truth over man's nonsense.

      The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good.

      Psalms 53:1


      April 10, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • WASP

      @HS: "I'll stay with God's truth over man's nonsense."
      "The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good."

      correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the WHOLE BIBLE written by man?
      wasn't the whole bible translated by man?
      wasn't the whole bible interrpted by man?

      so congrats you are following man's nonsense.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      WASP, the Holy Spirit inspired Holy Men to scribe the Bible. Jesus Christ is the author.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • fintastic

      HS...... a ghost? really a "holy ghost" ...... really? . that is laughable... we learn as children, there are no such things as ghosts.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • clarity

      HS: "the Holy Spirit inspired Holy Men to scribe the Bible. Jesus Christ is the author."

      Rubbish. Usual dodge. What Holy Men??

      April 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh look. HeavenSent is here again posting her divisive stupidity once again. Keep going HeavenSent, you make a wonderful case for atheism with every stupid post you put up.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      hawaiiguest, definition of negativity with a big no before anyone asks.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • clarity

      OK, HS – for us to learn something, try moving past the emotion and let's get back to my question – and let's do try to come up with a reasonable answer this time.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Yes yes, continue to be a moron. You only help out those who like rationality with your stupidity. Keep going, please.
      Your hate helps people like me way to much for me to ever want you to stop posting.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  15. We need conversations-yes

    "We need conversations about movies and video games that desensitize our children to the effects of violence"

    Yes we need conversation on the role of media, of late the gory trials make heroes out of criminals, the victims are often forgotten, the heinous nature of the crime is glamorized by the media. People watch shows like Nancy Grace and Dr.Drew and many other HLN shows with callous disdain and brazen apathy to such horrible crimes being played day after day ,hour by hour, while sipping their coffee or nibbling on peanuts.

    To the media-Stop glamorizing violence!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Stop glamorizing violence

      There was no gun involved in the lone star college stabbing incident, yesterday. The problem runs deeper , the solution has to be multipronged involving the role of media, the laws, control around assault weapons and honest discussions around 'values' and human life.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Stop creating a new name for every post that is actually a phrase designed to make a statement


      April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Matthew 15:19

      The antidote to evil -Romans 12:21.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • One nation under God...

      ...fighting evil.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • hippypoet

      One nation under God...

      ...fighting evil – which was created by that very same god – who loves you...right?

      April 10, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Satan ensures evil flourishes. God will destroy all evil including those that follows satan' lies. Life is a test from God. Question you need to ask yourself is are you going to pass?

      April 10, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      @HeavenSent, If life is a test I'm pretty sure not falling for something as silly as your version of Christianity is a minimum reqirement for passing.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Since you don't practice living a Christian life Saraswati, your thoughts and words are nothing.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • WASP

      @HS: god; no god doesn't matter life isn't a test. life doesn't exsist because it has to life exsist because it can. life is a constant struggle to survive and see the next problem solved in our long track to make a better world.
      i don't know about all you religious folks, why do you all struggle and push your children to be successful in "the devil's world"?
      do you think it embresses your god that your children become greedy and thrive in such a waste pool of a world? hmmm
      all of your goals lead to "joining" your god correct, then why give two (c)raps about this world?
      i will tell you my reason for struggling to make this world a better place; my children.
      if i can clear the way for them, make their lives easier by me taking on the burden then so be it, because when i'm gone that's it. that is all she wrote. what i do on this earth will only be known by my close family and friends, no one else will even notice; just how when you die i won't notice anything other than "hmmmm haven't heard from HS in a while" "awww well nm."

      April 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all [is] vanity.

      Ecclesiastes 12:8


      April 10, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      HS, So your comments about atheism and other religions are worthless?

      April 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • WASP

      "Proverbs 23:13-15 ESV
      Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad."

      see i can post meaningless drivel also; now if you want you can follow what your god instructs and continue beating your children, remember they won't die god said so. 🙂

      April 10, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • HeavenSent

      WASP, to burst your bubble, that scripture means to teach your children right from wrong.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Akira

      "Teach your children right from wrong" until they pick up the gun you left lying around and shoot you...

      April 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • WASP

      @HS: " if you strike him with a rod, he will not DIE."

      ROD: a. A stick or bundle of sticks or switches used to give punishment by whipping.
      STRIKE: a. To hit sharply, as with the hand, the fist, or a weapon.
      b. To inflict (a blow).

      i survived through this sort of " teaching your children right from wrong." guess what it got them when i got older?
      1) "they are dead to me."
      2) ever lasting pity for how their parents brought them up
      3) seperation from their great grandchildren, and grandchildren.
      4) a lonely death with fewer family members there to mourn their death or comfort them on their deathbed.
      5) open hostility and warnings of don't contact me
      6) had to move churches due to "shame" of this abuse coming out.

      you spout your bible verses like they are harmless, however it's the opposite. many of those bible verses inspired by your god are truly HARMFUL.

      April 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Akira

      I'm sorry, WASP.
      What a horrible thing to have gone through.
      There is discipline,(which I do NOT believe is beating the crap out of children to be.) and there is abuse and cruelty. Yours sounds like the latter.
      Again, my heart goes out to you.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      WASP, you were dealing with ....

      An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

      Proverbs 29:22


      April 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • clarity

      HS – why do you keep spewing babble when you can't even defend the "good book". Why do you avoid answering questions about its authenticity, authorship, etc.?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • WASP

      @akira: thanks i survived it, given a bit angry but i atleast survived it. some children don't survive "christian correction."

      @HS: it was christians that followed that passage and commit such violence against their own offspring. you quote the "nice" quotes from your "holy book" however there are dangerous passages that christians follow as well. so how can your perfect god make such violence toward children ok?
      answer: there isn't a god or in the least he didn't write your horrible book, violent sheepherders with no respect for women nor children wrote that piece of garbage.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Clarity, have you ever visited where you've been?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • clarity

      I'll get to your questions, HS as soon as you've properly addressed the one I've been asking about – that is what are the names of the gospel authors – not Mark, Matthew, etc. – who actually wrote them?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, the only person that hounds me on this site is Tommie Tom and all his other dummy handles. LOL

      April 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • clarity

      So you think I'm Tommie Tom, do you? Interesting.
      So, HS – I guess we have to conclude that the authorship of the Gospels is unknown since you don't seem to know and I haven't heard anyone else come up with any credible knowledge about that. That really says a lot about Christianity, you know, that there are some really big holes about the key writings.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    "Why do you need a gun under your pillow?"
    "For protection."
    "From whom?"
    "Other people with guns."

    I've never understood America's firearm fetish – especially handguns.

    April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I have struggled for years to understand the firearm fetish. I finally understand it. It is religious.

      ... and it goes back centuries.

      The right to arms has roots that date back at least to the English Bill of Rights, enacted with Royal consent by William and Mary after the Glorious Revolution in 1689 (1688 Julian). These rights applied equally to Englishmen in North America.

      Bill of Rights, 1688
      Subjects’ Arms.
      That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

      They are an unalloyed product of the wars of the reformation, whose primary purpose was the defense of a religious state wedded to the divine right of Kings. It's all about the fundies.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Only a religious obsession can cause the promotion of so much illogical behavior in the face of the crushing weight of evidence that the behavior is stupid.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Jonathan

      I disagree. You need weapons for protection (whether a firearm or not) simply because not all people are as physically endowed as each other and the 'weaker' party needs something to equalize the other's advantage. Guns do this rather well, as both parties can be put down with a single bullet.

      Now, there are people who are willing and able to take advantage of others, from one varying degree or another. This is a fact. When there is lethal discouragement, the majority of them never get the ability or the 'courage' to act upon those impulses and peace is maintained.

      It is an arms race. Just look at the evolutionary ladder if you find this hard to swallow. There are always 'bad' people. They need to be culled from the rest of us, or (more humanely) kept in check.

      April 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I don't mind if you disagree, but the American obsession with firearms dates back to the Glorious revolution in 1689.

      This heritage is common with Englishmen – but why don't people in Britain need guns to protect themselves? Surely not all Englishmen "are as physically endowed as each other" as you put it.

      This IS an American obsession. It is not about survival of the best armed. Other western societies with the same cultural roots don't do this.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Oh, absolutely this is an American thing. The reason we were able to successly break free of British power was because we had an armed population that the British had no control over. It was vital to our survival. We have the most freedom of any other country and the only way we maintain it is because we still maintain an armed populace that the government can't completely track or control.

      It isn't any stretch of the imagination to forsee someone rising to power in this country, bribe or overpower enough people and start changing our laws to make this country into something that it isn't. It has been going on for a very long time.

      As long as the people maintain their arms, any government that tries to take away their freedom has a long and bloody fight ahead of them. Aside of nukes, the people have more firepower than the entire armed forces of the United States, combined.

      If the government doesn't like it, they can shove it in their pipes and smoke it. We still have people that will die for their freedom.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I'm entirely for ending the strange fantasy world of assault weapons shooters. I say that as a shooter myself, though I'm into the long-range side of target shooting, not playing soldier. It's interesting to look at ads in the various gun magazines, particularly NRA publications, where someone is shown in full combat gear carrying a $5000+ weapon with a 30-round magazine, flash suppressor, tactical scope etc. Usually there's a helicopter fling overhead. It's not an Army recruiting poster. It's telling you that you can live your war fantasies by outfitting yourself to match any soldier in the world. That's what the various AR platform manufacturers are selling to. That should stop. They are selling weapons of war, inaccurate and unsuitable for anything other than war, so that people can play soldier.

    April 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • guest

      I Agree

      April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Saraswati

      Yep, pretty much. And the people who want to play are willing to let thousands die rather than risk even a small restriction to their play. Little brats in a sand box.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  18. hippypoet

    ok besides the pretty statement in the bible where god says do not kill, I think god would love guns!

    April 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The power of life and death in the palm of the hand sure makes some people feel like they're a god.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • guest

      The commadment in the Bible "thou shall not kill..." is refering to agravated murdder, not like killing in self defense or in the act of war and in law enfocement. When Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, killed all the men of Shechem,(Gen 34) that was murdder. When th Children of Israel killed all the people of Ai (Jos 7, 8) that was a command of God to rid the country of diabolical sinners. Don't judge God! When David sent orders to Joab to put Uriah in a dangerous situation durring a battle so he would be killed in the line of duty (2nd Sam 11) that was murdder. So it depended on the situation if it was murdder or justified killing.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • hippypoet

      wow – so god can be swayed to kill even thou god itself is unchangeable and has made a ruling already on this topic – thank you for your understanding of hypocrisy...the idea of justified murder when in belief to any supernatural which commands you do not kill its completely backwards. Oh and I can't judge god, I can only judge that which exists. otherwise I am more or less rating an idea...god has received a low rating.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • guest

      The commadment in the Bible "thou shall not kill..." is refering to agravated murdder, not like killing in self defense or in the act of war and in law enfocement. When Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, killed all the men of Shechem,(Gen 34) that was murdder. When th Children of Israel killed all the people of Ai (Jos 7, 8) that was a command of God to rid the country of diabolical sinners. Don't judge God! When David sent orders to Joab to put Uriah in a dangerous situation durring a battle so he would be killed in the line of duty (2nd Sam 11) that was murdder. So it depended on the situation if it was murdder or justified killing. I've got admit, I don't understand all the killing in the Bible like when Solomon had his brother killed because he asked for Abishag as a wife (1 Kings 2) that is a mystrey to me, even though it had something to do with the userpering of Soloman's authority.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • hippypoet

      look, if an all powerful all knowing creature creates a law that it knows will not be upheld, then punishes you for it – does that sound like something worshipping?

      those "laws" were created by man, whom also created the notion of god, to make it seem like a great idea to convert to – once converted, the believer is willing to do pretty much anything to uphold those beliefs, even in the face of not understanding them!

      April 10, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • HeavenSent

      He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

      Matthew 19:18


      April 10, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Every time hippypoet opens his mouth, babble spews from his lips.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • clarity

      Let's get to the bottom of things, shall we, HS? Who wrote Matthew?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, if you never visit to where you've been, how do you expect to go forward?

      April 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • clarity

      Check this out. HS dodges the question again; lol. It really shouldn't be that big of a deal to tell us who wrote the gospels, HS – I mean really. I seem to have struck a nerve so to speak. But I think that tells us something about your belief system.

      April 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      clarity, let me write this in English very slowly for you. I've answered your question. Go back through the posts so you can view what I wrote.

      April 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • clarity

      Let me write this very slowly so you understand, HS. You evaded the question. Maybe this would be easier – do you think God's hand reached down out of heaven and wrote the original gospels?

      April 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • fintastic

      no no no no no.... the gospel writers were inspired by a "ghost"....... how totally laughable..

      April 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  19. WASP

    For those thinking that doing "advanced background checks" is truly going to stop some ticked off teenager from stealing mommy or daddy's assault rifle and going to the school with loaded speed clips, then you are sadly mistaken.
    These actions the government is taking isn't going to change anything; it's just part of the illusion of security they are trying to provide until the next time something like this happens.
    As long as we manufacture and permit people to own rifles and other weapons designed for war-fare as their "personal protection weapon" some stupid parent will mess up and forget to lock the weapon cabinet or get shot by his angry teen who then goes on another shooting spree.

    for the author: that rifle that was pointed at your skull, could he have done that if that weapon wasn't on the market to buy in the first place?
    i believe not. if they aren't built by someone then they can't be used to harm others; now can they?

    April 10, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • Saraswati

      The fact that some people will still flow through the cracks does not mean we shouldn't make the cracks smaller. Yes, a kids will still be able to steal a gun from parents who are irresponsible but passed background checks. But a personal with a violent criminal past who in a moment of rage wants to buy a gun to shoot his neighbor will not. And because fewer people will beable to buy to resell illegally,that person will have fewer options on the illegal market. We will never wipe out all murders, but currently runningat 3 to 4 times the murder rate of most develped countires, we have a lot of room to make things better.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • WASP

      @sara: i was agreeing with having tougher weapon laws what i was pointing out was that as long as they are manufactured and permitted to be sold (assault rifles) then regardless of how many background checks the government sets up a mental person, direct offspring, or cat burgler will become armed due to these rifles being allowed to be owned.
      plus nothing is stopping someone from stealing them from stores, out of peoples homes or just convincing the owner to "let them borrow it" and never returning it.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The problems is the anti-social personalities in the world ... aka Narcissists to sociopaths that turn into psychopaths. But, let's focus and waste taxpayers money on nonsense.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • WASP

      @HS: do you feel safe in america?
      how about do you feel safe at work?
      safe in your church?

      that is all an illusion. there isn't such a thing a safe. anything can happen at any moment during any given point in our lives; however to keep our minds from going insane we choose to ignore the fact that the car going a little too fast might lose control, jump the sidewalk and mow us down.
      we ignore a lot of dangers in our lives strictly because our brains couldn't handle the constant worry of being in constant danger, laws such as background checks are mainly just to placate the population to the fact that government truly can't protect you from some psycho with a weapon.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • HeavenSent

      WASP, Jesus ensured the book of Ecclesiastes was written to show man how to live in the flesh.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Saraswati

      @WASP, agreed, then. If we expect perfection we'll be disappointed.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "the fact that government truly can't protect you from some psycho with a weapon."

      Or even themselves ...

      There have been several instances of people in law enforcement who were recently shot by surprise.

      No one has commented as to whether the director of Colorado corrections was a gun owner and had guns in his home. One presumes that given his line of work he might have.

      The Mingo County, WV Sheriff who was murdered sitting in his patrol car outside the courthouse was almost certainly armed.

      Two Kaufman County (TX) prosecutors were murdered recently. I haven't noticed any comments as to whether these men had concealed carry permits – but this is Texas and certainly after the first shooting they knew there was a problem. Apparently they were unable to defend themselves.

      The sheriff

      April 10, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – "The Sheriff" at the end is a typographical error.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "... but I did not shoot the Deputy."

      April 10, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      😉 well I'm glad to hear that. I hope you're not making a confession there!

      April 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • drep

      "Two Kaufman County (TX) prosecutors were murdered recently. I haven't noticed any comments as to whether these men had concealed carry permits – but this is Texas and certainly after the first shooting they knew there was a problem. Apparently they were unable to defend themselves."

      The one prosecutor was actually carrying a firearm when shot. The other was shot in his home where he certainly had a firearm.

      Yesterday a six year old died from a gunshot inflicted by a four year old here in NJ. One of the family members was in law enforcement. A loaded rifle laying around the house.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  20. Reality

    This is the 21st century with all kinds of technology available to make weapons safer.

    How about fingerprint lock outs? Only the owner's fingerprint can activate the weapon.

    GPS permanent tracers in every weapon?

    Minature radio transmitters in every weapon such that alarms are activated in areas where guns/rifles don't belong?

    Severe punishments for those to include manufacturers who do not add protective devices to their weapons? Ditto for those who do not keep their weapons in locked storage?

    The door is wide open for other ideas.

    April 10, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Fingerprint lockouts don't work about 10% of the time ( a terrible figure when you NEED to use a weapon), so the technology isn't there yet.

      GPS tracers in guns is a neat idea, but I am against people monitoring my whereabouts constantly as a principle, so I can't support this idea (and it is why I don't own a more modern cell phone despite the numerous advantages smart phones offer)

      All of this is really entirely moot points, however, when you consider that people who get guns to committ illegal acts with guns can bypass these systems and will. Gun laws never effect criminals using guns to committ gun crimes because a criminal, by definition, is someone whom breaks the law.

      Serious enforcement of the laws on the books would be all that is needed for the most part to lessen terrible acts from occurring and rigorous application of those laws is sorely needed.

      Keeping guns in locked storage is a fine idea, unless you have a weapon for personal or home defense. If that is your reason for owning a weapon and it is not kept fully loaded, ready to fire, and on your side or within reach of you at all times, then you do not have a weapon for personal/home defense.

      One thing's for sure, if my government wants me to be limited in what I have access to (ammunition magazines of a greater than 10 round capicity for example) but will not also impose those same limitations on local, state, and federal law enforcement personell first, why should anyone be expected to follow suit amongst their citizenry?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Flamspeak sez:
      "Fingerprint lockouts don't work about 10% of the time ( a terrible figure when you NEED to use a weapon), so the technology isn't there yet."
      Serious question ... not trying to be a jerk
      When was the last time you "NEEDED" to use a weapon ?
      Couldn't there be a simple lockout on guns ? like a combonation lock ? only the owner would know it ?

      April 10, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Reality

      In the 21st century, we have tasers, gps monitoring, 911, professional 24/7 security systems, OnStar and analogous systems, home and car monitoring (cameras, motion detectors, silent and shrill alarms, smart phone apps for off-site updates, window locks and alarms) so why do we need guns to protect our cars, homes and families?

      From today's news: "New Jersey police: 6-year-old dies a day after being shot - by a 4-year-old" .

      April 10, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • I'm the best

      Why do we need guns? Same reason you keep a fire extinguisher in your house. Even with all that technology it's not going to help you until someone else gets there. A gun is there to keep a situation from getting worse while waiting on the cops to get there just like a fire extinguisher is there to keep a fire under control without needing to call the fire department.

      The criminal isn't going to wait for you to grab your phone and call the cops, but they might if they have a gun pointed at them.

      April 10, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      In 2009 there were total of 1,348,500 house fires; ~114,800,000 house holds in America
      In 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. ~300,000,000 people in America

      April 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • WASP

      @best: do you kow how many fires are truly put out by that extinguisher you keep under your kitchen sink? not as many as you might think.
      look up the number of criminals that went into a house unarmed, then became armed because that family "misplaced" control of that fire arm, or strictly couldn't get to it in time due to the fact it was early mourning/ late night and they couldn't remember the combination to the weapon safe.

      i will make you a deal, give me your address and i will break into your home at 3am and see how quickly you notice i'm there; deal? i've done this before for other friends just to show them how quickly someone can gain entry into your home before you even notice.

      April 10, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Why do we need guns? Same reason you keep a fire extinguisher in your house."

      How many American homes have a gun?
      How many American homes have a fire extinguisher?

      It would be interesting to see that data.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Estimates vary for the number of homes with a fire extinguisher: 25% (Kidde), 39% (fire extinguisher, purchased or recharged in the last 2-5 years, NFPA*)

      * report suggests that this is inflated self-reporting.

      American households with a gun – 47%, other sources 40-45%.

      Unsurprisingly more people seem to think fire arms are a better choice than fire extinguishers – even though the risk data is overwhelmingly in the opposite.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • I'm The Best

      WASP, my point is, I'd rather have both and need neither than not have one that I need when I need it. I'm sure you could get into my home without me noticing, but you could probably get to me to keep me from making a phone call to the cops faster than you could stop me from pulling out a gun. So I'd rather have a gun that you might get your hands on then only rely on me getting to my phone fast enough to call someone else to come help who may show up to late. I just think a gun and a phone is better than just a phone, just like a fire extinguisher and a phone is better than just a phone. The difference is you can probably get away from a fire easier than you can get away from a robber who's twice your size.

      April 10, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • WASP

      @best: yeah having and being able to get to a fire arm before someone gets into your home up to your room and to you in bed is a great comfort; however like that fire extinquisher under the kitchen sink it won't do you a lot of good if they are already in your home, not to mention most burglers enter your home when you are away on vacation or out for the day because they have been watching you; they know you routine and how best to do what they want.
      people have went to bed upstairs in their home only to wake up and find all their things downstairs (laptops, etc etc etc) were stolen during the night while they were asleep.
      a firearm can protect you if you can get to it and only if the person aims to get close enough to you for you to use it; otherwise it's just sitting there waiting for your child to figure out the lock combination to take it to school. church, playground or yard and open fire on others.

      oh one other point, your thinking that the person in your house either:
      A) isn't armed himself
      B) will hesitate to sh00t you
      C) doesn't have an assault rifle

      as long as assualt rifles and other high caliber firearms are produced and sold they will always be a danger regardless of what laws are passed. it should be encouraged by the american community to hand in assault rifles to local authorities (for compensation ofcourse) to get these types of weapons off our streets and prevent them from getting into the hands of people that will use them for what they were designed for.

      April 10, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • I'm the best

      It's not about protecting my stuff, is about protecting me. If a robber comes in and gets closer enough to me then I will use the gun. If he stays out of my room. I'm just calling the cops and letting them handle it when they get there.

      And my gun either comes with me on vacation or is locked up. And if I had a kid it would be locked up much more than it is more. I feel like most people think gun owners are just itching to shoot someone which isn't the case. The majority of gun owners are very responsible with their weapons. Keeping them locked up when they need to. Taking guns away from responsible people just creates more victims.

      April 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • WASP

      @best: " Taking guns away from responsible people just creates more victims."
      1) whom do you deem "responsible"?
      2) what is to keep them from becoming non-responsible?
      3) what firearm do you require to "protect" your home/self?
      me i can drop a person with one shot from a revolver, should i upgrade to a semi-automatic gas fed, air-cooled, magazine fed assault rifle?
      maybe i should strap a .50 caliber machinegu.n to the back of my truck "for protection" mind you, if they come to take it they just violated my second ammendment right to bear arms. 🙂

      April 10, 2013 at 3:05 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.