Monday, May 17, 2010

Louisiana Bill on Guns in Church

I remember from my childhood seeing a bumpersticker that said, "An armed society is a polite society." This was often next to another that said "God said it, I believe it and that settles it." Or "In case of Rapture, this car will be empty." But I would not have expected one that said, "An armed church is a polite church." Or: "An armed congregation gets better sermons." Or: "When guns are outlawed in church, only outlaw churchgoers will have guns."

Talking Points Memo has the story of a bill allowing people to carry concealed weapons in church that passed the Louisiana house.

The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Henry Burns (R), argues that it is necessary for making churches safe. Remember, if George Tiller had been packing heat in church, he could have shot Scott Roeder and saved himself. Or if the other parishioners had been packing, Roeder, and no doubt a few innocent bystanders, could have been cut down in a hail of bullets. No doubt it's the media's obsessions with ideas of these firefights that keeps the media portraying such bills negatively. From the TPM site:

But despite the negative portrayals by "media types," it makes sense "for the good shepherd or the minister to protect his flock," and this bill is "a gift of intervention that's provided to ensure their safety."

Puzzlingly, this bill allows parishioners to carry guns when the justification for the bill is that the minister is supposed to protect the parishioners. I suggest that the bill be modified to allow only ministers, or perhaps deacons if there's a particular need for lots of armed personnel, to carry guns. Some ministers misunderstand their role as representatives of God on earth and think that they should serve humanity with peace and love, but in fact, each must learn to be, to quote From Dusk till Dawn, a "mean, motherf*#king servant of God". They should not just give names (in christening) but should kick ass and take names. They can still bring comfort to those in need, but they also have to bring the pain to those who need it. And when the minister cuts down some maniac--you know, the kind of idiot who would bring a gun to church--he'll be right there to deliver the last rites.

And if you think about it, the pulpit really is the best place to see the whole congregation. I propose that Tennessee pass a law mandating that every church come with a gun emplacement in its pulpit, and each minister be required to man the gun. After all, what could be more important than the safety of the congregation? And we know that "A mighty fortress is our God", and perhaps our churches as well.

All of this suggests one more bumper sticker: An armed minister makes for a polite congregation.

We could be sure there would be fewer people falling asleep in the pews or skipping out early to catch the football game. And the "Amens" and "Alleluias" might be a little more heartfelt. And most importantly, the collection plates would be a lot fuller with an armed minister watching over the flock.


  1. I'm not going to comment on the merits (or lack thereof) of carrying guns in church or anywhere else. But I have to ask, what's with the reference to Tennessee? Do you have a personal bias against (or for?) that state? Or maybe this is the result of some sort of in-joke, and I'm not "in"?