Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day & Presidential Inaugural Day

It is just after 5:00 a.m. on this MLK, Jr./Presidential Inauguration Day. I awoke at the prescribed time – my pulmonologist has me getting up at 4:30 a.m. to retrain my sleep habits –  and have spent that last half-hour devising an answer to a pro-gun e-mail that greeted me when I turned on my computer. Among the many fallacious arguments in the e-mail was the following printed on the back of a t-shirt:

If Guns kill people then:

·    Pencils mispel words . . .
·    Cars make people drive drunk . . .
·    Spoons made Rosie O’Donnell fat . . .

 My responses are:

·    The primary purpose of a pencil is Not to mispel words . . .
·    The primary purpose of a car is Not to drive it while drunk . . .
·    The primary purpose of a spoon is Not to make Rosie fat . . .
·    BUT the primary purpose of a gun IS to kill . . . 

Think about this:

·    If pencils could be bought that couldn’t misspell, everyone would want one . . .
·    If cars were made so they would not operate when the driver was drunk, they would still be widely (and wildly) popular . . .
·    If spoons were made that fed people precisely the right amount of food to keep them healthy, people would still eat with spoons . . .
·    However, if guns were made incapable of killing . . . no one would want one.

The biggest fallacy of the pro-gun people is the belief that most of the rest of us want to get rid of all guns. I admit that I am looking forward to living someday in a gun-free society (heaven) but for now I grant that guns have some utility for some people beyond that of murder and mayhem. It seems, though – and the e-mail I got this morning bears this out – that the greatest lovers of guns are also the coarsest and most verbally violent among us. Kind of scary to me.

Well, what a start to the day! I hope you had time to have a few pleasant thoughts before I slapped these in your face. And I hope you continue to have good thoughts despite the fact that this is MLK, Jr. Day, a day celebrating a life brought to an apparent untimely end by a man wielding a high powered rifle. It is also a day in which hundreds of thousands of dollars of U.S. taxpayers money is being expended to assure that the President of the United States does not fall victim, during his inauguration, to assassination by gun. (All of our assassinated Presidents were killed with guns.)

I have frequently prayed, during the last four years, for the protection of our President, from gun-wielding assassins. He faces daily a credible treat given the amount of hate-talk directed at him and the incredible paranoia expressed by those convinced – against all evidence and logic – that he intends to “take away” guns from law-abiding citizens. I will continue to pray for the President’s protection these next four years.

It appalls me when I note that some of the most vituperative language I hear, directed at the President and his administration, comes from people I know to profess Christian faith. Their visceral hatred of this President belies a misunderstanding of what Christ’s Kingdom is all about. Jesus, when asked by Pilate about his intentions to establish a kingdom on earth, replied: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

By the logic of many gun-rights-Christians of our day, those early followers of Jesus should have stocked up on the latest, greatest weapons of their day to protect themselves from the Pilates, and Herods, and Nero’s of their day. Instead they went into their entire world, armed only with their love of Christ, their love of their fellow man, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and two thousand years of brutal, armed opposition has not conquered them.

If we arrive at St. Peter’s Gate
and find it armed with fiery hate,
we’ll know, alas, that hate has won;
that heaven is no safer than “the other one.”

1 comment:

  1. Great response to typical "guns don't kill people" rhetoric from low-level, low-information "thinkers". I think someone on msnbc should see your pencils cars spoons reply - maybe The Ed Sbow.

    The person that sent you the email most likely lives in the fox news bubble - where facts and reason are replaced with paranoid, feeble-minded and hypocritical hyperbole and speculation. imo


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