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. Gyges & Buddha,
    Lem and Vonnegut are no doubt great writers of literature, forget genre. I must admit though as my life goes on they are a tad too dark for me. My favorite Vonnegut incidentally is “Sirens of Titan,”
    definitely SF and a mordant commentary of what could be the Sysyphusian nature of life. As I’ve gotten older I have tried to move away from the nihilism I felt in my youth, it makes my getting up in the morning easier. I want satisfying (happy) endings even though realistically life is at best bittersweet. That’s why I’ve seen most of Ingmar Bergmann movies, they were great but I won’t watch them anymore. Please check out richard Morgan “Woken Furies”
    which I re-read last week and think you’ll enjoy. I’ll check out some of those new writers you’ve mentioned.

  2. Mike,

    FYI, long ago when I first starting countering propaganda as a hobby, one of my first nicks was PrinceRandom. I love the Amber books. Talk about a set of books ripe for film!

  3. What part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” do you self-righteous brain-dead right-wing wingnuts not understand? And you guys call yourselves Christians? Jesus wept!!!

  4. Gyges,

    Lem was a great, but I agree on the movies/translation issue. I’ll look into Vandermeer. The only “new” guys I’m reading at the moment are Ken McLeod and Alistair Reynolds, but they are hard S/F. I don’t know what they put in the water in Scotland, but they are making some fine S/F writers these days. I suspect the secret ingredient is Scotch. I also recently read my first Stephen Baxter. I need to catch the rest of those too.

    I knew I liked you guys for more than just politics!

  5. Buddha and Mike,

    I think that it’s a shame Lem always seems to get left out of these discussions. I know that sometimes the translations are a little “off” but if you’re looking for social commentary and black humor, few do it better. “Memoirs Found in a Bathtub” is my one of my favorite books of any Genre. I’m not a huge fan of Solaris, but the book is far superior to the American Re-making of the movie.

    There’s a new(er) writer I’ve discovered recently, Jeff Vandermeer, that might be worth checking out. He’s still a little “fresh” but his books are definitely getting better as he goes. I’m not sure that I’d call everything he writes SF, but a lot of it is.

    As a side note, I think that some of Borges’s short stories could be called SF as well.

  6. Vonnegut. Don’t forget Kurt. He personally felt uncomfortable with being grouped as S/F as he himself was not a scientist (he told a great story about being on a panel discussion with Asimov), but his work has undeniable S/F elements in addition to being often hysterical social commentary and satire.

  7. Buddha/Gyges,
    Wolfe is a great writer. My favorites these days are Neal Stephenson, Steven Brust, Dan Simmons and Richard Morgan. Though my all time favorite, more story teller than a social commentator, is the late/great Roger Zelazsny. “Lord of Light” and “The Amber Chronicles” are sublime. There are really so many good writer’s about that the characterization of SF as a “genre” rather than in some instances great literature is the work of intellectual snobs.
    In that respect most of the work of Thomas Pynchon can be considered SF and the critics don’t complain. This is true when they praise the work of the “magical realists.” In the end my definition of a good, or great book is whether it moves me emotionally, gives me insights about the world and makes me care about its’ characters. No excitement in my chest, no tears in my eyes, no stimulated thought as I drop off to sleep, serves me as a better judge of literature that the NY Times Book Review, or the NY Review of Books.

  8. Gyges,

    If you appreciate literary SF, might I suggest Gene Wolfe. His works are grouped into “Books” but he has stand alone novels as well. I suggest:

    The Book of the New Sun – “Shadow of the Torturer”, “Claw of the Conciliator” (now sold in one volume “Shadow and Claw), “The Sword of the Lictor” and “Citadel of the Autarch” (now sold in one volume “Sword and Citadel”).

    The stand alone novels I suggest – “The Fifth Head of Cerebus”, “Free Live Free” and “The Urth of the New Sun”.

  9. Mike and Buddha,

    The Stars My Destination is my favorite Count of Monte Cristo re-telling. That and Cities in Flight are the two books responsible for realizing SF could actually be good literature.

  10. Another Bester that holds up well is “The Demolished Man”. It also has some interesting social commentary about criminal punishment.

  11. Thanks you All for a reminder,
    I read “Canticle for Liebowitz” when I was about twelve and remember it as being great. Had long forgotten about it and certainly who authored it. It’s more than time for a re-read since I’m a long time SF reader. Incidentally, my favorite book from that time was “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester. It’s in my collection and I’ve re-read it in the past year and it still stands up as a good read and cogent social commentary.

  12. Doh!

    Sorry all! I was countering since removed spam with that last post. My bad!

  13. The Arkansas proposal is simply part of a trend among the paranoid. I have heard anecdotal stories that the sale of arms increased significantly following the election. The people who wish to arm churghgoers are part of the bunch who have convinced themselves that the election of Barack Obama marks the beginning of a concerted effort to disarm citizens. I have even seen blog posts to that effect. We are going backward. Even in the old west, people had enough sense to ban handguns within the city limits in many areas. If we want guns in churches, shouldn’t we be permitted to carry them into saloons? After all, there are people who repair to those establishments while others are fulfilling their Sunday obligations.

  14. Cramer the Often Wrong?

    On a practical level, let’s look at his record of analysis. Wrong about Lehman just ahead of their stock dropping like a rock, in his own voice:
    This cost investors millions. This was not long after similar predictions cost investors dearly for bad advice on Bear Sterns. This was shortly before he had the audacity to suggest that viewers hound AIG employees about inappropriate behavior and then promptly bowed to kiss their ring when Big Daddy AIG demanded an apology. Not only often wrong, but a tower of gelatin. I won’t say Jell-o as it is not only copyrighted, it would be an insult to a product I love. Hmmmmm . . . jiggle-y.

    Here’s a nice summation of why Jim Cramer is an entertainer, not a source for serious financial news or analysis:

  15. Gyges,

    No, I haven’t. I only rarely go for anthologies but I have a few. I’ll keep an eye out though. Have you looked at

  16. Thanks for telling me about this Gyges and Buddha. Book ’em Danno! I’ll get it.

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