This one is rich: Jesus wouldn’t join the NRA, by Abigail Disney. The entire commentary belongs in the realm of other Disney scripts – perhaps a new chapter for Alice in Wonderland.
Right now, white evangelical Protestants are the group most likely to oppose stricter gun- control laws. They stand out as one of the few constituencies where a strong pro-life identity is tied to attitudes against any restrictions on gun ownership. Evangelicals are also one of the strongest constituencies of support for the National Rifle Association.
I think criminals are “the group most likely to oppose stricter gun-control laws”…well, actually, they will just ignore them.
But back to the question that allows one to pretend there is some deep philosophical and moral thinking behind it: What would Jesus do? One more time we are subject to ignorant speculation on Jesus’ views on some question of the day.
As recently as the Korean War in the early 1950s and the Vietnam War in the 1960s, many evangelicals said they were pacifists and registered as conscientious objectors.
Because, you know, there is no difference between self-defense and the murder of others who never posed a risk to you.
Abigail found a know-nothing-about-the-Bible minister based in Washington, Rob Schenck, who “has begun asking whether pro-life Christians can also be pro-gun. In doing so, Schenck finds himself increasingly alone — way out on a political limb.”
This will take a little more unpacking. Of course, self-defense does not mean the same thing as murder.
But what is this “pro-life Christian” nonsense. Christians have been voting for pro-death politicians ever since there was such a thing as a so-called Christian vote. Pro-death for foreign interventionism; pro-death for unborn babies; pro-death as criminal punishment.
Who is Rob Schenck?
Robert Lenard "Rob" Schenck (pronounced SHANK; born 1958) is a leading American Evangelical reverend to elected and appointed officials in Washington, DC. Serving as President of the Christian outreach ministry Faith and Action, Schenck is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Church Alliance and was elected its chairman in July 2012.
And what is “Faith and Action”?
Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital is a Christian outreach organization ministering to top-level government officials. The organizational headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. across the street from the east façade of the United States Supreme Court.
Finally, the “Evangelical Church Alliance”?
The ECA International is an alliance of ministers serving throughout the world. The ministries of ECA members include, but are not limited to pastors, teachers, para church leaders, church executives, missionaries, evangelists, speakers, youth ministers, professors, military chaplains, and fire, industrial, hospice, police, and prison chaplains.
Whatever Schenck is, I know what this minister-on-the-doorstep-of-Washington is not: he most certainly is not “…way out on a political limb.” It would be a career-ending move.
But back to recruiting Jesus for the cause: it is with this pro-death group of Evangelical Christians where Abigail finds some hope – a swing vote to ensure universal background checks for gun buyers:
If even a small percentage of those who claim a dynamic association with the life and teaching of the Jesus Christ who gave us the Sermon on the Mount start talking about the contradictory language and ethics of evangelicals and the NRA, a powerful shift could occur.
Christians in the United States living in accord with the Sermon on the Mount? Don’t make me laugh. Yet even if they do live in accord with this creed, what does it have to do with Jesus and self-defense or gun registration?
Now for some libel (for Abigail) and slander (for Rob):
“I’m concerned about the NRA promoting the idea that the best way to solve the most vexing problems in our society is to be prepared to shoot people dead,” Schenck said at a meeting of the Evangelical Church Alliance.
Look, I know that the NRA is not the staunchest supporter of unfettered gun rights, but still…does the NRA suggest that shooting people dead is the best way to solve society’s most vexing problems? Really?
Finally, I know you will be surprised to find a Christian minister ignorant of the Bible that he preaches:
As Schenck demonstrates in the film, if evangelicals can come together in open dialogue, fully informed by the Bible in which they believe, many might well conclude that the logic of unfettered gun rights is incompatible with a life dedicated to following the example of the Prince of Peace.
Many might conclude this, but not the aforementioned “Prince of Peace”:
John 18: 1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Is it possible Jesus didn’t know that Peter carried a sword? Not much of a Son of God if true. Did Jesus ask Peter if the sword was registered with the Roman guard? No. Did He ask Peter to throw the sword into a river? No; he said put it away.
Peter’s “sword rights” were both “unfettered” and otherwise unquestioned by Jesus. Jesus’ recognized that a means of defense is necessary. He stopped Peter because He knew that this time was not the time for the sword; His Father had a specific purpose in mind.
Abigail makes so many mistakes in one compact package: Christians aren’t pro-life, that’s one mistake. Jesus wasn’t for his disciples to walk around like chickens for plucking, that’s a second mistake. Self-defense isn’t the same as murder, that’s three mistakes.
Yet there is more. Abigail’s biggest mistake: assuming that a Christian minister who makes his living bowing to the biggest murderers on the planet knows anything about (or would actually preach anything from) the Bible.