Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"I'm an Evangelical Preacher. You can't be pro-life and pro-gun."

Read the whole thing if you think I'm being unfair in my comments below the fold.  It's short, thankfully, since it's mostly bad.  If this were a paper in class I'd give it a D for having no thesis and poor argumentation.  A difference between right and left will shine forth from this piece.  In spite of how badly this Evangelical Preacher argues, the left will praise him because he means well and it feels good.
In the United States, evangelicals are among the biggest supporters of gun rights. They are the major religious group least likely to support stricter laws. Evangelical Larry Pratt, who directs Gun Owners of America, even argues that all Christians should be armed.
For most of my adult life, I agreed
. I believed that we had a God-given right to defend ourselves. I also believed that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear arms, and that anyone should be able to obtain a gun.

For most of his adult life Rob Schenck agreed that all Christians should be armed and that anyone should be able to obtain a gun??  10-year-olds?  Everyone?  At all times?
What was he thinking?  And now he thinks that there is no right to self-defense?  Or perhaps there is a right, but it's not God-given?  Now he thinks that the Second Amendment does not guarantee a right to bear arms?  Either Rob Schenck is not a clear thinker, writer, or both.
Then, I saw the after-effects of gun violence firsthand. In Pennsylvania, I visited the families of five murdered Amish schoolgirls, as well as the family of the shooter. 
The Amish who died, like all Amish, were pacifists. This doesn't look like a good case for being anti-self-defense....
And I watched as a mass shooting unfolded at the Washington Navy Yard, across from where I lived at the time. These experiences, followed by careful theological and moral reflection, left me convinced that my family of faith is wrong on guns.
But the Navy Yard is a gun-free zone.  Guns are already prohibited there.  As well as murders and mass shootings.
But I disagree with my community’s wholesale embrace of the idea that anyone should be able to buy a gun. 
Straw man.  No one, except perhaps his former self (if we take him at his word) thinks that the mentally insane should be armed, terrorists and criminals should be armed, 5-year-olds should be armed, and so forth.  The question is how to keep guns out of the hands of such people while not infringing on a right to self-defense, defense of the vulnerable, and Second Amendment rights.
Additionally, [1] anyone using a gun for defense must be ready to kill. Such [2] a posture is antithetical to the term “evangelical,” which refers to the “evangel,” or gospel. The gospel begins with God’s love for every human, and calls on Christians to be more Christ-like. [3] At no time did Jesus use deadly force. [4] Although he once allowed his disciples to defend themselves with “a sword,” that permission came with a limitation on the number of weapons they could possess. Numerous Bible passages, such as Exodus 22:2-3, strictly limit the use of deadly force.
This whole paragraph is a dog's dinner.  It's hard to know where to begin, so I'll just fisk the whole thing from top to bottom. [1] One could, if one wanted, commit only to maiming someone with a gun in self-defense.  [2] This simply begs the question at hand without argument.  [3] At no time did Jesus vote, change diapers, disarm a nuclear warhead, etc. [4] Odd.  Above he suggests that self-defense is not a right.  Now he suggests it is, at least in some instances, but from a passage which says nothing explicitly about self-defense!  (My take is that no one knows why Jesus said to bring swords).
Despite this criticism, I won’t be silent on this issue. 
Which is what exactly?  Pacifism?  Confiscating all guns in the U.S. including those of police officers?  Beyond all the sentiment and fluff, for what precisely is he arguing?  Here is the final paragraph:
The impulse to protect oneself is natural, especially after terrorist attacks. But evangelicals must be careful that the noble language of self-defense is not used to cloak a more insidious lust for revenge. St. Paul wrote to persecuted Christians, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay.’” We must turn away from our fears, base human instincts and prejudices, and turn toward the example of Jesus in word and deed.
Is he against self-defense? In this paragraph it seems not.  He gets to the real heart of Jesus's message, which is not against self-defense, but against vengeance.  But then what is the point of this article?  It seems to be a bait and switch from start to finish.  It's is full of platitudes but lacking in substance, evidence, data, and a coherent argument.

The left will love it.

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