Monday, December 17, 2012

Religion and Gun Culture

Last night I attended a Christmas program at a local Baptist church. I had family members singing in the choir and had reason to be there. I went to support them.

The program was about 90 minutes long, and it included children singing, lots of hymns, a few carols, some scripture, a guest singer, an offering and prayer.

It was very upbeat and the hellfire and damnation was at a minimum. Overall it was a nice production, and I could tell a lot of work and effort had gone into it.

One section included a mini-play. A father and his two teenager sons sat around a table, and they were joined by a teenage sister.

The father said this year he wanted to talk about Christmas memories, and each told a memory they wanted to share.

One of the memories went like this:

The children were in the house and the father was napping. A noise occurred and the father, bleary and sleep-filled, jumped from the bed and grabbed his shotgun. He ran around the house in his underwear with his gun, finally opening the front door to point the loaded weapon at his wife, who was coming back from shopping. The father spent the next month sleeping on the couch.

I was appalled at this story. To have it been deemed an acceptable message in a church setting at any time is not acceptable to me, but to have it deemed acceptable less than 60 hours after a national tragedy where an unstable young man shot and killed 27 people in Connecticut was just horrid.

Did no one think about the implications of this story? You had several impressionable young people there, all of whom now think it is perfectly fine to hear a noise and grab a gun.

Why is this the first thought? If you are that fearful that grabbing a weapon is the immediate response to something that startles you, I feel sorry for you. You need help. You don't need to be lauded for that action. You need to go to jail or a mental health institution, if you want that story to have an acceptable moral. You don't go around pointing guns at people.

There are a million things someone could have remembered about Christmas. And this story that makes pointing a gun at someone an acceptable past time was what they came up with. Nearly shooting Mom, who, by the way, apparently died six months later from something unmentioned?

Later, someone pressed me as to why I did not attend this particular church. Exasperated, I told her it was too militant for me. She did not understand.

Obviously not.

5 comments:

  1. wow. The story is on the news right now - awful.

    It's a bit baffling to us in the UK, though. We don't understand the gun-ownership in the USA at all.

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  2. It does make you pause and wonder WHAT exactly were they thinking or better yet were they thinking at all. Obviously not indeed.

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  3. I'm hopeful that our gun laws will be changing soon..

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  4. How completely inappropriate for any church of any faith.

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  5. I suppose this just shows how totally desensitised people have become to gun violence. So daddy nearly shot mummy because he thought she was an intruder. How jolly funny. And the church didn't take the opportunity to criticise gun culture? Silence gives consent - not a very christian thing to approve of, gun ownership.

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