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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Gun Deaths...another time

I have to admit it seems like I blog a lot of gun deaths...and that can't be good for our souls. But first my disclaimer: I own guns. I have lived in the "gun culture" all my life. Guns are the most dangerous things I own...except for my Bibles.

The people I know who defend their "right" to own a gun defend it for one of two reasons: One, because it is a "right." (No blogger I have read over the past few days about the tragedy in Aurora, CO because of a very fast and deadly gun has dealt enough with this issue. That is, until the USA decides to rescind the 2nd Amendment we have to deal with the legacy of a group of guys who thought that having a few muskets around would make for a better country. It may have. And it may be that having some citizens around with very fast and deadly guns makes for a better country...unless it does not. But we have over 300 million people in this country--Norway has about 5 million as a comparison, about the size of one of our medium states like Minnesota--that are covered by the 2nd Amendment--whatever it means. And freedom isn't free if you take away even the most extreme options. Some people are comfortable with taking those away, apparently our current politicians are not. But in either case, if you are going to convince my family and friends about gun-control, you have to convince them that they don't have that right--as an American citizen--to that gun.) Secondly, we tend to believe the gun makes us more honest. (and no blogger has dealt with this.)

You see, all gun owners I've ever known...from my grandfather to my best friends to me all know one reality: in order for something to live, something else has to die. If you cannot believe that--even at its most extreme--you'll have a tough time understanding why people own guns. This idea, of course, has led to escalating violence throughout the course of human history. Although there have been a few Camelot-like eras, most of human history has been demarcated by violence. How, for example, did the Roman Empire fall? Did they just turn over the keys to the city? Was there an orientation for the new leaders? How did the Constitution become written? Violence is one option in a world where death is coming for you. (And it is coming, medical technology aside, does anything really think they will live forever?)

So in that world of impending death, my family and friends buy insurance and they buy guns...just in case they can put death at bay for a little while. (Of course we can't, but we don't tell the insurance agents or gun sellers that their products are a waste of money...we are too enculturated for that.) So, if you wish to talk about this to those of us in the gun culture, what are you going to offer in place of our self-delusional self protection that we have?   What other response can you offer to violence other than more violence?

Here is where our Christian faith needs to take over. To realize there is another response to violence besides more violence...but here's the thing: you have to die yourself for that option. You can see why that option is not so popular, and we even have Jesus who showed us how it could be done...and even more importantly, promised us that violence will end.

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

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