Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The End of Sanctuary

Image result for churches and guns cartoons

Canadians are well aware that we are like our American neighbours in many ways, even though we spell it "neighbour" rather than "neighbor." We speak the same language -kinda- and we enjoy the same junk foods and we can't help but be influenced by the US culture, such as it is. I am aware though, that when I watch a European cop drama guns don't blaze away they do in just about every American show. When in doubt, draw sidearms and fire, seems to be the Blood Red, White, and Blue premise.

Even though we live so close by, being armed to the teeth is idolatry, a false religion in the United States, or so it seems to me. As Rev. Leah Schade puts it, worshiping the gun god is killing America. You might recall a blog I wrote about the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Armor of Light. Evangelical pastor Robert Schenk courageously chose to speak up in support of gun control as a pro-life issue. He ended up losing support from many congregants and others who funded his anti-abortion campaign. In one scene a supposed friend and congregant can barely contain his anger at Schenk and defends his right to carry a gun into worship. Perhaps he'll be the guy who takes down a gunman who enters their church. It is such a bizarre and violent fantasy world that some Americans live in.

Already this week Christianity Today magazine has published a Protect Your Congregation from a Gunman article with a list of steps and recommendations. This is of course a response to the tragic massacre of 26 innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children in a church in Texas on Sunday  morning. Virtually the entire congregation attending worship was injured or killed by a man who began shooting from the back of the "sanctuary" with an semi-automatic weapon.

Now President Trump is claiming that far greater harm would have been done if gun control existed because a man confronted, shot, and wounded the perpetrator after he had completed his carnage and left the building. Why can't I stop expecting even an iota of logic from this man?

Should congregations have safety plans? Certainly, and most don't. Yet this approach fails to grasp the greater issues of a culture of anger and violence. This is antithetical to the gospel of Christ which some proclaim glibly yet repeatedly deny in practice. Perhaps there should be protection plans for religious leaders who have the fortitude to challenge a false gospel of security at the end of gun barrel.



roger said...

I think I gave up expecting anything rational coming from Trump. So he believes having everyone armed is safer because that way, if someone does go on a shooting rampage, there is someone nearby who can "deal with it". Let's forget the fact that the gunman has access to semi-automatic weapons in the first place!

As I have mentioned in your blog before, if the killing of all those children in Sandy Hook years ago did not change the gun laws in the States, nothing will.

Canada is obviously not perfect - no country is - but the U.S. is a very troubled country. Take a look at the number of mass shootings in just this year. I believe it averaged at least one a day.

Lori Graham said...

I have gotten to the point where I feel ill seeing Trump's image anymore. I have nightmares.

David Mundy said...

Thanks Roger and Lori. Trump definitely disturbs our sleeping and our waking!