The Cottage on the Moor is a place where I'll keep a fire going on cold winter nights and a breeze flowing through the windows on steamy summer days. There will be a "cup of warm" waiting for you to stimulate your mind. I'll try to keep it fresh by adding something every now and then. So come often. I hope you find it worth your while.
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
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.”