Guns and God: Arkansas Legislators Move to Armed the Faithful in Church

thumb_weapon_gun_smith_and_wesson_hand_ejectorthumb_christmas_church_5Legislators in Arkansas do no want to have to chose between god and guns. They are pushing legislation to allow citizens to pack heat in the house of God. Grant Exton is a gun owner and president of the state’s Concealed Carry Association insists that they are simply trying to give all churches the right have armed congregationalists. Gun owners can then lock and load for Jesus.

This does not go over well with Little Rock pastor John Phillips for good reason. In 1986, he explained: “A gentleman came into the church. He was mentally deranged, and at the end of the sermon, pulled out a gun and shouted something about baptism and proceeded to shoot me in the back a couple of times. I still carry one of the bullets embedded in my spine.”

This week is the 23rd anniversary of the shooting.

This could pose a difficult choice for gun owners of what weapon is best suited for a particular sermon. A Glock might be suitable for a New Testament sermon, but the Old Testament is strictly non-automatic weapons only. Easter might call for something cute like a derringer while Christmas deserves a MAC-10.

For the full story, click here.

56 thoughts on “Guns and God: Arkansas Legislators Move to Armed the Faithful in Church”

  1. Jill,

    That’s the one. I like it, there’s some very interesting commentary on the roles of religion and science in society. The second book is good too, but you can tell they were written years apart.


    Have you ever seen the anthology Miller edited? I’ve been looking for a couple years now, and it seems to be MIA.

  2. Not to put words in Gyges’ keyboard, but that’s the one, Jill. Walter Miller. I’ve heard several times it was going to film, but nothing has ever come of it. Sorry, I collect 1st Ed. S/F.

  3. Gyges,

    Do you mean this book? I haven’t read it. Is it good? It sounds like it’s great!

    “Set in a monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man’s scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it.” (wikipedia)

  4. rofl

    I think Saint Leibowitz may be the patron of large format cameras. Unless there’s something about her I don’t know. There could a secret behind those celebrity photos.

  5. mespo,

    St. Adrian of Nicomedia? That’s a new one to me!

    That’s almost worth changing nicks for.

  6. I have a little expansion on JT’s list of the weapon of choice for various feast days:

    St. Christopher (saint of lost travelers) phosphorous tracer rounds

    St. Peter ( upon this rock…etc.) trebuche, sling

    St. Vitus (patron against dog bites) rottweiler

    St. Bridgid of Ireland (patron of cows) electrical prod

    St. Hubertus of Liege (patron of archers) crossbow

    St. Adrian of Nicomedia (believe it or not patron of arms dealers) worshipers choice, bigger is better!

    Michael the Archangel (patron of swords) gladius

  7. This may be TOO progressive, but here me out.

    Maybe arming bears could solve a lot of ecological problems.

    I’m pretty sure the park would belong to Yogi if he sported body armor and a computer controlled .50 cal. Perhaps give them big shots of adrenalin before returning them to the wild. Conservation? This could be a self-policing solution. “Hey hey hey, Boo Boo! Blast tha’ Ranger!” Or anything else that threatened their habitat.

    Again, it’s not about the animals. It’s all about the humans.

    It is axiomatic that not all ideas are good ideas. Shades of PETA?

  8. I wouldn’t have a problem with my fellow church members being armed.

    Is there some law against having a gun in church?

  9. I’ve stated before that I support the right to bear arms because my sense is the Founding Fathers (Jefferson at least) felt that the citizenry should have possible recourse against a tyrannical government. When I see stories like these though I also realize how many really ignorant people have their own weird needs supported by their weapons. Why would any person with religious feeling want to go into a house of worship packing a weapon? The answer has to be that they are so afraid of the world (and life) that they are paranoid about danger everywhere. Their weapons enable them to live somewhat normal lives, but at what cost?

    I’m not immune to the fact that there are real dangers in life, but like most people I’ve come to trust myself to be able to avoid or escape them and leave it at that. Having once been hit full on by a car as a pedestrian I’m aware of how danger can come out of nowhere. The thought though of a gun on my hip and constantly scanning my surroundings for potential threats is to me a life not worth leading. The statistics not only back up Gyges’ thoughts, they overwhelmingly show that carrying a gun is often most dangerous to its’ possessor.

  10. Bron,

    Or maybe 2 people would have been shot, or three, or four.

    Personally I think churches that own their own property should be able to choose if they want guns in their congregation or not. Assuming of course that it wouldn’t break any local\state\or federal laws. I also think that in the vast majority of situations hand guns are terrible for self defense, and usually just increase the probability of an innocent bystander getting hurt.

  11. Holy Smokes! Onward Christian Soldiers are at war too and they gotta have guns ‘cause the Father/the Son/and the ‘Holey’ Ghost caint take care of all them thar’ varmints in ever’ pew across this great christian nation ever’ Sunday. The cross of Jesus don’t pack the punch that a Glock do…

    Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle see his banners go!
    Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
    but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
    Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
    we have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail…

    God needs to preach to his (or is it her; or it it a combination thereof?) followers this sermon while visitin’ church and Sundee skool:

    Guns? We don’t need no stinkin’ guns.

  12. I’m thinking celebratory gunfire for Easter!

    Oh God,

    As bullets rise into the air, we remember that Christ too is risen.

  13. Our Lady of Smith & Wesson.

    Careful now. If Jesus shows up he might end up throwing you all out of the temple instead of just the money changers. Talk about missing the point . . .

  14. had someone been armed during that sermon 23 years ago maybe the preacher would not have been shot.

  15. This is sick. If God/Jesus/Allah, etc. stand for anything, it is peace. A gun does not belong in church or any public place. A stupid accident becomes magnified when it goes off in a crowd. I am thinking an AK-47 would be the appropriate choice for a baptism and his and her Deringers for a wedding would be ideal. Can’t we be without firearms in Church or temple? Arkansas is going on my must avoid list, just below Texas and Florida.

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