Tag Archives: church

Shoot Me Now–Pun Intended

File under: Parishioners packing heat.

A church in Alabama has opened a gun range. Right behind the church.

According to the pastor,

“We had quite a number of church members, some elderly ladies, for example, and some not so elderly women that had purchased guns, but didn’t know how to use them,” Guin told WIAT-TV.

He said the safety classes evolved into a ministry, the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club.

“This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique. Even odd by some people’s standards. But who’s to say that church can’t happen right here,” Guin said…..

“Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment,” Guin said. “We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community.”

Evidently, in Alabama, the way to grow a congregation is to offer a “gun ministry.” The NRA will be so proud….

(It’s probably unfair, but when I read this, I immediately recalled an old Second City comedy routine from Cold War days, in which the repeated exhortation was to “kill a Commie for Christ.”)

I don’t pretend to understand the theology involved, but I’m worried that I do understand the marketing approach….

More Evidence of Civic Ignorance

Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton quotes a column written by one of those “serious news” folks from increasingly  absurd Fox News.

Joe Carr believes a day is fast approaching when pastors will be charged with hate crimes for preaching that homosexuality is a sin and churches will face lawsuits for refusing to host same-sex weddings.

“It’s just a matter of time,” said Carr, the pastor of Waynesville Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia. “What’s happening in Europe – we’re going to see happen here and we’re going to see it happen sooner rather than later I’m afraid.”

And that’s why the congregation will be voting next month to change their church bylaws – to officially ban the usage of their facilities for gay marriages.

“We needed to have a clear statement,” Carr told Fox News. “It’s to protect us from being forced to allow someone to use our facilities who does not believe what we believe the Bible teaches.”

In how many ways is this unbelievably stupid?

First–and most important–the U.S. Constitution has this provision called the First Amendment. The First Amendment includes something called the Free Exercise Clause–and that Clause absolutely prohibits government from telling churches what to preach or who to marry. Your church can preach hate, it can ban gays, blacks, unwed mothers or smart-ass bloggers–your church can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages, interfaith marriages, or marriages between ducks and drakes…whatever your doctrinal pleasure, no matter how unwelcoming or bizarre.

READ MY LIPS: the government can’t make you change your theology or your practices. You are safe from the assaults of the homosexual hordes.

Feel better?

On the other hand, if the government actually could impose its will on your church–if there was no Free Exercise Clause, and if (as you seem to believe) a Supreme Court decision mandating equality could be applied to churches and religious bodies–do you seriously think that changing your bylaws would protect you?  Try to think (I know it’s hard). If your church changed its rules and declared its church van would no longer observe the speed limit, do you really think that would protect you from getting a ticket?

And by the way–if you own your church, you get to say who uses it. Even if your bylaws don’t spell that out.

This is why civics teachers and lawyers drink.