God Wants Gun Control
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 18, 2007
Left-wing religious officials raced to exploit the Virginia Tech murders by resuscitating their favorite slogans about gun control.
Winning the tackiness contest, National Council of Churches chief Bob Edgar issued a news release within hours of the shootings.
“How many more will have to die before we say enough is enough?” Edgar asked. “How many more senseless deaths will have to be counted before we enact meaningful firearms control in this country? How many more of our pastors, rabbis and imams will have to preside over caskets of innocent victims of gun violence because a nation refused to stop the proliferation of these small weapons of mass destruction?”
Revealingly, Edgar’s quick statement barely mentioned “God,” made no mention of Christ, and quoted no Scripture. Although ostensibly the head of the nation’s chief ecumenical organization for Christian churches, Edgar evidently thought neither the Redeemer nor Holy Writ were all that pertinent in the wake of over two dozen murdered young people. Far more urgent was a renewed push for gun control legislation.
From his perch in
Geneva, World Council of Churches chief Samuel Kobia offered prayers for the bereaved before launching into his own political fusillade. “One of the major obstacles to effective global regulation of small arms and light weapons is the pro-gun position adopted by the U.S. administration during years of international negotiations,” Kobia quickly asserted, connecting the Virginia Tech murders to the global depredations of the
United States. “The news from Virginia today is little different than the news from Darfur yesterday and the news from
Iraq tomorrow,” he asserted. After all, Blacksburg, Virginia, like Darfur and
Iraq, has “wanton killings, the indiscriminate use of armed force and the widespread availability of deadly weapons.”Kobia hoped that the “gun lobby across the
USA” will begin to “understand the rising frustration among concerned citizens and governments around the world.” While admitting there are “other factors,” he still insisted that the “U.S. arms manufacturing and arms sales policies have violent consequences abroad as well as in the
U.S.” “We are all Virginians in our sympathy, but many people around the world are also Virginians in their vulnerability to the misuse of unregulated guns,” Kobia concluded. “The globalized trade in small arms and light weapons must come under firm and appropriate controls.” Like Kobia, Geneva-based World Alliance of Reformed Churches chief Setri Nyomi was also praying for the Virginia Tech victims and for “the United States of America and all nations as they struggle to overcome the temptation to rely on arms and as they work to find true security for all their peoples.” Repentance, from Nyomi’s perspective, would undoubtedly include a ban on hand guns, among other state controls. United Methodist chief lobbyist Jim Winkler also used the Virginia Tech killings to herald his denomination’s official support for a complete ban on handguns. “The presence of guns in
U.S. society has not led to greater security but in fact has undermined the general sense of safety,” he declared. “It must be stated that had this ban been in place this shooting might have been prevented since one of the guns used by the assailant was a 9 mm handgun. We once again call on the Congress to ban on all handguns and assault weapons so that our communities will be safer and so that this endless cycle of violence can be ended.”
Not all Religious Left officials exploited the Virginia Tech horrors. The chief officials of the
Church in America (ELCA), the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) tactfully refrained from crowing about their denomination’s stances on gun control. Even evangelical left leader Jim Wallis showed restraint, calling for a time of “prayer and silence.”
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson actually quoted Scripture in his statement: “We mourn, we pray, and with the Psalmist we plead: “Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice!’ (Psalm 130:1) As family and friends grieve the deaths and injuries of loved ones, we claim the promise of Christ’s Resurrection.”How unique that a prominent mainline church official actually responded to the horrible deaths of countless young people by pointing to the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why do others of his colleagues not follow his example?
The sin of murder precedes by many millennia the invention of fire arms. It is recorded in the earliest chapters of the Bible, with Cain’s killing his brother Abel, and continues until the final chapters of Revelation. Before the advent of guns, fallen humanity killed each other senselessly by the thousands with spears, with arrows, with hatchets and axes, with rocks, drownings, poisons, arsons, strangulations, starvations and incomprehensible tortures. As Ecclesiastes records, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Much of the Religious Left, with its absolute faith in statist regulation, and its denial of human fallenness, is confident that murder can be banished by banning its instruments. But human nature is such that murderers will almost always have guns, and even when deprived, will resort to equally lethal weapons.
The state can punish, rarely deter, but it cannot change corrupt human hearts. The social mores that prevent murder are only effectively instilled by religion, which the Religious Left has neglected in favor of political “salvation.”
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