"Wisdom is better than weapons of war," says the Book of Ecclesiastes 9:18. But church-goers in Louisiana could soon have access to both in the House of the Lord, thanks to Gov. Bobby Jindal. The governor recently approved a law allowing licensed gun-owners who are part of a security force to carry concealed weapons into churches, mosques, and synagogues. The "gun-in-church" bill is intended to give worshippers in "declining neighborhoods" a means of defense against muggers or thieves. But is it really a good idea to mix worship and weaponry?
This law perpetuates stereotypes: "If you feel the need to bring a gun to church," says Michael Stone in the Portland Progressive Examiner, "you are probably in the wrong church." Christ preached a message of "tolerance and non-violence," and allowing worshippers to bring arms into His house is not in the spirit of Christianity. Worse than that, it "lends credence to the stereotype of frightened, ignorant Bible thumpers, clinging to their guns and Jesus."
"Guns in church? La. Gov. Jindal says 'yes'"
But the bill has a serious intent, and contains safeguards: Jindal is certainly "walking through a minefield" with this new bill, says Stacy at Right Pundits. But "anti-gun violence advocates" should note a couple of things: First, the bill is intended to allow "increased security at the often targeted religious institutions," not just to satisfy gun lovers. Also, anyone who's designated to "pack some heat during service" is obliged to undergo eight hours of tactical training each year.
"Jindal: guns in church legal"
The Good Book is not pro-gun: Let's see what the Bible has to say about this, says E. J. Dionne in The Washington Post. How about Isaiah 2:4: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Or Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Seems as if Gov. Jindal could use a little Bible study. "Thus endeth the lesson."
"Blessed are the armed?"
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