Sometimes, it seems that gun control advocates figure that since they can’t make you feel bad for not supporting gun control, they’ll just try and make you feel a certain kind of way about supporting gun rights instead.
After all, if you’re afraid of being seen to “worship” guns, you’ll at least be less of an impediment to their gun control efforts.
That word–worship–was chosen for a reason. While it’s not the totality of how anti-gunners approach this kind of thing, it’s one that came up recently.
It seems a writer at Baptist News decided to invoke the term.
I love my guns. To me, they’re beautiful tools. No different than the ancient hand drill passed down from my father, or the simple, bone-handled pocketknife I carry.
I marvel at the craftsmanship of these utilitarian devices, the grain of a gun’s stock, its deeply blued barrels, the simplicity of design. Each brings back memories of a day in the field with friends, family and dogs.
But unless I’m hunting or at the range, these tools — except for my grandfather’s worn, non-functioning side-by-side hanging above the hearth — are locked in a heavy safe bolted to the floor. Beautiful as they are, guns are tools designed to kill.
So while I find pleasure and beauty in these dangerous instruments, I do not worship them.
Now, I suspect you’re thinking, “So far, so good.”
You’re right. After all, I don’t worship my guns, either. No one I know does. It looks like he’s making that point, right?
Don’t get too excited.
Ironically, I feel much the same about the Bible. After years struggling to escape from a conservative Christian upbringing, I view the word of God not as the restrictive, intimidating book of rules I was taught, but rather a beautiful tool for living a good life.
Yet like my guns, in the wrong hands the Bible can be a destructive weapon — certainly not as deadly as an assault rifle, but still capable of severely damaging the hearts, minds and lives of those on whom it is trained. Which is exactly what is happening today in America.
We are weaponizing God and worshiping guns.
To a growing, predominantly male sect, firearms — especially assault weapons — have become holy idols, and the right to carry them, as Mike Pence recently proclaimed at the national NRA convention, a “God given” liberty. At the same time, Christian nationalists are using the Bible as a cultural cudgel in the raging war on race, abortion, transgender identity and other so-called “liberal-woke” issues.”
I’m sorry, but calling the right to keep and bear arms a “God-given” right isn’t worshipping guns. It’s part of the whole idea of natural rights–rights that derive from our very being. For a Christian, this means these rights are God-given.
It’s no different than calling the freedom of religion “God-given.” We’re not worshipping the freedom, we’re enjoying the freedom to worship that was granted to us by virtue of being God’s creations.
Now, I’m not getting into Christian Nationalism or any of that because that’s not what we do here and besides, I’m probably out of my depth on that one.
But to equate the idea of a God-given right as somehow meaning a worship of that right and the tools associated with that right is nothing more than what has to be a willful misunderstanding.
Instead of making an argument in favor of some degree of gun restriction–it would seem that the author isn’t in favor of a total gun ban, at least–he simply tries to tell readers that they’re wrong for valuing their rights. Again, those same rights granted by virtue of being God’s creation.
He then goes to the story of the golden calf to try and make that point, but again, it’s a gross misrepresentation of what gun owners and gun rights advocates are doing in the first place.
And yes, I believe it to be willful.
The author can’t articulate a good argument, so he wants to try and guilt gun rights supporters out of their beliefs. He wants to make them think, “I don’t want to sin, so I should probably shut up about gun rights.”
That’s the goal and it’s not one that is going to work.