Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

Guns in Church, or Synagogues and Mosques For That Matter

Having spent my teens committed to a way of life that celebrated faith and force, this story about a church event celebrating weapons and the right to keep them is more than a little disturbing. The track record of Guns and God is simply too toxic for anyone to easily tolerate.
I appreciate that there is room for real debate about gun laws in this country, but a pastor calling together his flock to extol the sacredness of guns is pretty disturbing – though clearly not to those who attended what Pastor Ken Pagano refused to call a service despite having stood in the pulpit and blessing the assembles congregation.
Whatever one thinks about guns, gun ownership, or gun laws, do we really need any more religious leaders officiating over a marriage between faith and firearms?

  • R

    Classic case of a person unclear on the concept.

  • JanS

    Our churches are no longer Holy Places. I remember as a child when I stepped into the sanctuary, I was taught to be quiet and respectful. It was a place of worship — God’s House. Today, churches are social centers; places of political activism; places of commerce. Why then, are we surprised that weapons would now have a place in what used to be God’s House? Those that carry guns into their churches are full an anxiety and paranoia – they certainly do not have much faith.

  • Not a Gun Lover

    In an age where death and tradegy assault us every time we turn on the television, read the paper, or surf the net many of us seek out pieces of comfort that reinforce our faith and an increased sense of security. Some of us cook, eat, drink, pray, spend time with family and friends. But what about those people who do not have the same family dynamics that you or I may come from? Are talking about a community that hunts and for whom carrying guns is a normal way of life? In such circumstances, I can begin to understand how a community would grasp onto such an item, providing them with a sense of emotional security. Granted, I am not saying I agree with guns in a place of worship, but how would these people react to the fact that I do morning yoga while sending my prayers to G-d in the morning? They would probably think I was a nut-ball, tree-hugging liberal and come to the conclusion that it is not praying…but it is for me. It brings me to the best level of kavanah for me, not you or anyone else. What brings them closer to G-d may not work for you, but it is their prayers and their service. Unless they have intentions to do others harm, then let them pray as they see fit.

  • RJohnson

    What was it that candidate Obama said about those folks holding to their religion and guns?

  • Comments from a Gun Nut

    The US Constitution is divinely inspired, and nowhere is the hand of the Almighty in the creation of our country more evident in the glorious right of all its citizens to defend themselves enshrined in the Sacred Second Amendment. To me, bringing firearms to church, synagogue, or mosque is a joyful act of worship and thanksgiving for this our most sacred right, to defend our very lives from royal oppression.

  • pagansister

    Hard to tell if the “minister” is actually a minister or a soldier! Why in the name of who ever one considers “holy” would there be an invitation to bring a fire arm to church, synagogue or mosque? Hasn’t there been enough killings in churches recently? Most recently Dr. Tiller? The minister needs to have his head examined, IMO.

  • New Age Cowboy

    Amen Mr. Hirschfield!

  • Your Name

    Yeah, you’re right Rabbi. Look at how much more efficacious Constantine was at spreading the Faith with his sword. Keep your laws and hands away from my sword.
    Even the Quakers wouldn’t have a new Nation, if the Anglicans hadn’t fought for it, while worshipping at Old Christ Church and St Peter’s in Philadelphia. Gun free zones are free fire zones for the Agents-of-Evil, who do not respect our customs and culture.

  • Moishe

    Jewish law, our ancient legal system derived from the Torah (the biblical books of Genesis through Deuteronomy), codified by the Mishneh, and further clarified and refined in the Talmud and the works of its latter day commentators, is quite adamant regarding the preservation of innocent life even at the expense of killing another individual whose intentions are murderous.
    The biblical source for the obligation to defend oneself against an unprovoked attack is Exodus 22:1. Other English bible versions, the King James Version for example, number this verse as 22:2. There the bible states, “If a thief is found breaking in, and is killed, no liability (guilt) is incurred.”
    The bible does not instruct how the intruder is to be killed, only that the homeowner may kill him. The logic is that the thief, knowing that the home is occupied and nobody will stand around like a dolt as his possessions are being carted away right before his eyes, is prepared to murder the homeowner if necessary to burglarize the home.
    The Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 72A states, “Since the burglar is going to kill you, rise up (overcome your meekness and reluctance to be violent) and kill him first.”
    Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, often referred to as the RAMBAM-1135-1204 CE), in Hilchos G’neiva (Laws Pertaining to Theft), Chapter 9, explains further.
    Sub-chapter 7: “A burglar, whether by day or night, has neither blood nor soul with regard to anyone killing him. It does not fall solely to the homeowner to kill him. Anyone may do so. The burglar may be killed on an ordinary weekday or on the Sabbath (during which time even the killing of an insect is prohibited). Any means available may be used to kill the burglar, since by his exercise of free choice his life has lost all value.”

  • rb

    I’d need to see exactly what the preacher said before I could comment on “a church event celebrating weapons and the right to keep them.” Here, however, are some facts! In Colorado, in the past two years, gunmen have come into churches and church parking lots and people have been KILLED!!! In one church, after the gunman killed two teenage girls in the parking lot, he went into the church, and it was ONLY BECAUSE a security guard was armed and willing to use her firearm, that the killer was shot and stopped. Now, here in Colorado, many churches advise their parishoners to come to church armed, because they have been targeted and it’s better to be on the defense from whacko armed killers who want to kill people who go to church than to allow the potential of more church-goers to be killed. And this is not just happening in Colorado. People who go to church are being killed all over the country. So, it’s just possible that a church event about the right to keep and bear arms was also alerting its parishoners on being on the lookout for those who are out to kill them, and not just “celebrating” weapons and the right to keep them. This is about preserving life and the right to self defense. No police were there to protect the innocents. They were just there to id the body, put it in a body bag and observe the coroner’s wagon hauling the dead body off. Most of the time, rabbi, I agree with you. This time, no. We DO have the right to self defense. We DO have the right to keep and bear arms. And an important distinction… The right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment does not “give” us the right as is often misinterpreted. It PROTECTS our PRE-EXISTING right to defend ourselves.

  • rb

    Okay. I now have read the article. Yes, it does celebrate the right to bring guns to church and to keep and bear arms. But some of the comments also indicate that they may be needed for protection. This is THE REASON to be able to keep and bear arms. FOR PROTECTION! That’s the point. This world has become psycho with all kinds of people going off the deep end. Your nice next door neighbor becomes a psycho killer and kills his/her family. Or stands out in front of a church and kills someone who they don’t agree with. Or walks up to a guard in front of the Holocaust museum and kills him because he’s a racist. Why wouldn’t, then, a church celebrate a way to preserve life, any way to preserve life. And if it means being able to carry a gun which is a tool that has the capacity to save a life in many cases, so be it.

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