Louisiana not only has liberal gun laws, you can take a gun to church. So while Arizona bemoans the violence in its atmosphere, what does it mean when faith-talking conservatives praise gun-toting laws for Sunday worship protection?
Louisiana passed a law allowing guns in church last year. It did so as it has a popular foundation from a state where Second Amendment rights are as critical to the culture as are the Ten Commandments. Governor Bobby Jindal, whom few may know well outside Louisiana, outside of television images about the oil spill along the coast, advocated, supported and signed the bill into law.
The Ten Commandments, however, were modified by the words of Jesus Christ. That turn-the-other cheek message is lost when weapons are forged for violent response rather than the rational and peaceful ways the ways of Christ proclaimed.
Furthermore in the Old West gunslingers were supposed to check their guns at the door.
It is the verbal atmosphere of praising guns that allows violence to breed. Perhaps in that sense it isn’t guns themselves. Instead it’s the constant barrage from apologists who take extreme positions when it comes to guns. They are seen as the best for hunting deer, with automatic rifles. Those who object to things like that are mocked while the multitudes of gun-lovers continue prattling their pride in gun ownership, with even preachers turned politicians, like Gerald Long of north central Louisiana, bragging about gun collections.
In fact in Natchitoches, a survey about guns undertaken by this journalist less than two years ago found most preachers contacted from across the Protestant groups either collected or just owned guns.
The violence of the gun remains a symbol of Western expansion, part of the symbolic takeover of the country, wrested from Native Americans as the spread of population grew across the country. Settlements developed with gun protection in Arizona and Oregon, where the Lewis and Clark trail ended. The gun is glorified in stories, and its rights are upheld at the expense of upholding life itself, as faith is supposed to do. As one author underlines, its as American as apple pie.
In the wake of Arizona’s misery, it is likely, sadly too, that the Louisiana politicians will likely condemn the violence as an isolated thing and continue its advocacy of guns even within the church. Oregon will continue to display its gun shop proudly on its main thoroughfare.
The saddest commentary of all in the public pronouncements of guns is that in the place where Jesus is to dwell as the head of the church, the gun can go to the altar in the pocket of the supplicant while on knees bended in prayer. It is a symbol of the violence available anywhere, in a shopping mall, as revealed by the Gifford shooting, or even in a church.
Guns in Church? Jindal Signs Louisiana Bill Into Law
Assault Rifles Are Used Legally for Hunting, Target Shooting
John R. Lott
The All-American Gun