God, Guns, Country?

God, guns, country? Maybe y’all are reading a different Bible than me…?
“Thou shalt not kill.” – Exodus 20
“Blessed are the meek.” – Matthew 5
“…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” – Micah 4
“God is love.” – I John 4

GunsandGod

Why do folks put guns and God – “gunsandGod” – together in the same breath like they’re somehow connected – somehow equivalent? It makes no sense to me.

Ed Mazza wrote a story in “The Huffington Post” that talked about our president’s attack on his political rival, Joe Biden – an attack that appeared to include the “guns” and “God” equivalency. Mazza relates: “Although Biden is a practicing Catholic who has for years talked openly about his faith, Trump claimed he was ‘against God,’ then launched into a rambling attack on Thursday: ‘Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy. Our kind of energy.’

Mazza continues: “Biden later defended his faith as the ‘bedrock foundation’ of his life.’It’s provided me comfort in moments of loss and tragedy, it’s kept me grounded and humbled in times of triumph and joy,’ he said. He described Trump as ‘shameful’ for the attack. He added: ‘My faith teaches me to love my neighbor as I would myself while President Trump only seeks to divide us. My faith teaches me to care for the least among us while President Trump seems to only be concerned about his gilded friends. My faith teaches me to welcome the stranger while President Trump tears families apart. My faith teaches me to walk humbly while President Trump teargassed peaceful protesters so he could walk over to a church for a photo op’.”

Guns and God. Turnips and God makes as much sense to me. If you love God, you must love turnips, too, right? Or… if you don’t love turnips, you must not love God? Or… if you love turnips you must love guns…and God…? Eesh. Maybe it’s all too deep for me to understand.

Anyway. Here’s some of what The Bible actually says about weapons:
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:18

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
-Isaiah 2:4

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place:for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
– Matthew 6:25

And here’s what Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, has to say about “the cannon’s mouth”:
“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.”

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo of cannons at Antietam by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

 

my country is killing people

my country is killing people
separating parents from children
building walls to keep “them” out
and to keep “us” in
my country is killing people
in the streets because of the color
of their skin, their sexual orientation,
and their religion
my country is killing people
in their newspaper offices, churches,
at concerts, schools, and malls
because guns are more important
my country is killing people
in an economy that gives tax
cuts to the rich, and denies access
to health care for the poor
my country is killing people
as it kills the environment with coal
trains, fracking, oil pipelines, pesticides
and greed

and i am ashamed

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

More Guns Is Not the Answer

I found out about the shootings on Facebook. A friend messaged me to ask if my husband, Scott, a photojournalist, had gone to the Mall to cover the shootings for his newspaper. I called Scott to find out where he was and learned he was on his way to the shootings.

He’s home now – finally walked in the door at midnight.

There are four dead. Another critically injured. All had been in Macy’s.

Right now I don’t know anything about the victims, other than their genders. I don’t know if I knew them. I don’t know their ages. I don’t know their names. But I was in Macy’s a couple weeks ago and I remember the young woman in the shoe department who laughed with me when I teetered around on those 6 inch heels she brought out for me “just for fun.” I remember the older lady  who was so helpful and friendly when she rang me up. I remember the pretty ladies in the cosmetics department – and, although I didn’t stop to do any cosmeticking, they all smiled at me and wished me a good day. All of them – every single one of them – added something happy to my day. I believe that nothing good anybody adds to the world is ever lost.

Some of my Facebook friends are suggesting that if everyone at the Mall had just been carrying a weapon the shooter wouldn’t have gotten far. And… really?!! I picture it – guns coming out of everyone’s holsters, shots being fired in rapid succession as the “target” moves through the store, bullets zipping past the shooter and hitting innocent people. The store becoming a war zone – a scene from the wild west.

No. I do not believe more guns is the answer to our nation’s problems.