Shoot Me Now–Pun Intended

File under: Parishioners packing heat.

A church in Alabama has opened a gun range. Right behind the church.

According to the pastor,

“We had quite a number of church members, some elderly ladies, for example, and some not so elderly women that had purchased guns, but didn’t know how to use them,” Guin told WIAT-TV.

He said the safety classes evolved into a ministry, the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club.

“This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique. Even odd by some people’s standards. But who’s to say that church can’t happen right here,” Guin said…..

“Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment,” Guin said. “We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community.”

Evidently, in Alabama, the way to grow a congregation is to offer a “gun ministry.” The NRA will be so proud….

(It’s probably unfair, but when I read this, I immediately recalled an old Second City comedy routine from Cold War days, in which the repeated exhortation was to “kill a Commie for Christ.”)

I don’t pretend to understand the theology involved, but I’m worried that I do understand the marketing approach….

50 thoughts on “Shoot Me Now–Pun Intended

  1. Bob has identified the true religious doctrine behind this gun safety training school. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

  2. The fact that a) a pastor thought of it; b) thought it was a good idea; c) got buy-in from parishioners; d) can talk about it with a straight face; e) didn’t create a huge backlash, all show how the NRA has successfully marketed deadly force as a normal and gentle part of our everyday lives.

  3. The rabbi Jesus is spinning in his grave. Oops, the (illegitimate) pastor Guin would deny that possibility. The Saviour Jesus Christ once again says “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

  4. I really don’t get Sheila. Every time a gay church pops up, she’s all for it and speaks of the place in fawning terms.

    Let a church put in a gun range, and she goes nuts.

    Recognition of homosexuality as an accepted act has no place within Christianity/Judaism/Islam.

    A gun range, however, is no different than the baseball and football fields behind so many churches. Where adults have long lost the desire to strap on the pads and play Football, losing the ability of the church to use Football as a social force with its adult churchgoers, a gun range is a sports activity that adults do participate in, allowing the church to keep adults more integrated and involved in the church community.

    Where kids in a church league get regular does of spirituality and church teaching, adults are nowhere near the church, save for one hour a week. Instead of futilely trying to force adults involved in the horribly boring “Family Softball,” where half the team doesn’t know what base to throw to, this church is giving the adults a sport that does interest them.

    If Sheila doesn’t have a canonical objection to a baseball field on church grounds, she has no valid canonical objection to a gun range. Sports in churches have been common since the late 19th Century.

    Sheila’s complaint is cultural, not scriptural.

  5. “The rabbi Jesus is spinning in his grave.”

    Please don’t blaspheme. Rabbinical Judaism didn’t exist in Christ’s time, and Jesus was no rabbi. Rabbinical Judaism came several centuries after Jesus with the publication of the Babylonian Talmud. “Judaism,” as is practiced by 90% of the world’s Jews, did not exist, at all, in the time of Christ.

    Rabbis believe in the preeminence of the oral law over the written law, and Jesus was a strong minister of the written law. The Talmud speaks very unfavorably about Jesus for this very reason, as Jesus didn’t accept that you could lawyer your way out of God’s orders. The Talmud, the creation of the rabbis, contains shrewd argument after argument of overturning the written law by oral argument. The Talmud is a lot like reading a court opinion from an activist court. Read some Talmud, and you’ll better understand how we end up with that gay marriage supreme court case and how a written document such as a Constitution has no fixed meaning.

    The closest thing to rabbinism in Judea were the Pharisees who were from Babylon and believed in the supremacy of the oral law over the written law. Jesus found the Pharisees to be a pollution of his faith and the faith of Judea, which was not at all “Judaism.” As we all know, Jesus preached against the Pharisees, and the Pharisees had Jesus killed. Even unto today, those supporting the oral law yet deny and kill Christ.

    The only reason the Jews have rabbis today is that the Romans destroyed the temple in 70 AD and with it all proof of the bloodline of Jewish priests. Jews would much rather have priests and temples, but as priests and temples descend by blood in the Torah, without proof of the blood, Jews can have no priests or temples. In absence of priests and temples, Jews are left to employ rabbis and synagogues which are very different things.

  6. Gopper. Your blurry lines between issues always conveniently support your position, even if they are totally irrational. How does a “gay church” relate to the firearms range at the Alabama church? It doesn’t. It is the shiny object that you point at to draw attention away from your argument that has no base in reality. Guns are not harmless toys for adults. A gun range is totally different from a baseball or football field and most would recognize the differences and danger associated with firearms – except you. If the church has to rely on a gun range to attract adults, it has failed in its mission.

  7. “Rabbis believe in the preeminence of the oral law over the written law, and Jesus was a strong minister of the written law. ”

    Jesus was NOT a minister of the written law at all! His reference to the written law was only that he fullfilled the coming of the Messiah that the prophets spoke of.

    I would not even want to walk into and breathe the polluted air of the hell you call your church or religion. You are shameless!

    Demented people like you, Gopper, are exposing yourselves as the Pharisees of our time.

  8. OK, Gopper, I bit and clicked on the site you posted. Being deaf, I could hear nothing that was said but the video made as much sense to me as your comments on this blog do – none at all. What does an international skeet shooting competition, held in the United Arab Emirates, have to do with a gun range behind a church…any church anywhere?

    This example of what you believe to support your rambling thoughts and comments only proves your ignorance of the difference between a recognized sporting competition, a gun range as part of the religious base in one church and the murder rate in this country which rivals wars. You make the NRA proud.

  9. Is anyone really surprised that a religion based on an act of torture appeals to guys who can’t keep a wife without them being either completely economically dependent, or, barring that, or with threats of violence? Of COURSE the Shiite Baptists have a shooting range–cuts down on their divorce rate.

  10. This church has nothing to do with Bibles, Jesus, Moses, Rabbi’s, etc., so do not stray on to that path and get all wound up in theology. This “church” has everything to do making a buck or maybe many bucks. At this point the church is the poor relation to the Tele-Evangelists who promise healing, and riches if you just donate. Think of the church of guns as a start-up company, but with tax exemption or deduction for being “Religious” establishment.

  11. Louie; I viewed the church closer to Flip Wilson’s Church of What’s Happnin’ Now as run by Republicans and the NRA.

  12. @Gopper
    If you were proselytizing by presenting that Youtube clip of a bunch of jocks and with your scripture lesson on rabbis you have lost me – exactly what the churches and synagogues have been doing for generations: losing people despite population surges.
    Kudos to those writers who have jumped on your prideful ass!

  13. So, the alternative is to wait on the “authorities” to protect us, like those poor folks that were shot dead in their own sanctuary in South Carolina?

    Your casual sarcasm and overall contempt for Christianity and for folks that insist on taking their own personal protection into their own hands belies your “enlightened” superiority.

    The funny part is, you’ll probably never pray that the kind of violence that leads to people arming themselves will ever happen to you…

    Good luck to you.

  14. I cannot help but to wonder if some of these posts today would have been made if the authors were not hiding behind the coward’s wall of anonymity.

  15. What if “the kind of violence that leads to people arming themselves” is from our worship of guns as evidence suggests? What if that worship stems from the massive and continuous fear based advertising from the NRA doing what the arms industry pays them well to do?

  16. I just love when people who have no more authority to discuss the laws and history of my ethnic/religious group than I do to pontificate on Hindu scriptures make pronouncements.

    I am a priest by bloodline – sorry to disappoint you. I also spoke with G-d. She advised me to ignore this whole discussion — maybe I should have taken her advice 8)>

  17. I’m going to borrow a line by Strother Martin in “Cool Hand Luke”; “What we have here…is a failure to communicate.”

    The failure, in my estimation, is lack of understanding by many of what the founding fathers communicated in the Amendments; primarily 1st and 2nd. Their terminology, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech….” has not prevented Congress from passing laws supporting – not establishing – religion of their choice. They are thereby “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” regarding those of us who do not agree with their interpretation of whichever version of the Bible they are familiar with. They also abuse the “freedom of speech” issue to bypass truth and facts.

    Regarding the right to bear arms, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This has been the most dangerous lack of understanding; “failure to communicate”, the meaning behind the founding fathers including this right has turned many of our streets – and some schools and churches – into “the OK corral at High Noon”.

    The Alabama church has combined the 1st and 2nd Amendments to create their own private “gun ministry”. I seriously doubt the true Christians who were gunned down in the South Carolina church by the young man who was ILLEGALLY allowed to purchase firearms would have agreed to a “gun ministry” in that church. Obviously they were not armed or there would not be nine members of the congregation murdered; someone would have fired back to protect themselves and other congregants.

    I agree with Theresa regarding the anonymity of the few who seem to be the ones least aware of the facts behind issues they rant against, at times in abusive language and rarely offering facts to back up their views/accusations/complaints.

    Sheila does not exhibit sarcasm or contempt for Christians (or any other religion) or for those who chose to arm themselves for protection. She states facts and her sources and welcomes our comments and our views.

  18. “What if “the kind of violence that leads to people arming themselves” is from our worship of guns as evidence suggests? ”

    Naw, it’s criminals – because of the lack of any meaningful relationships with appropriate role models. Nobody taught a thug how to de-escalate a potentially violent situation. Nobody ever taught them “sticks and stones…”, and a cross look is justification to cap someone. Pretty sure that’s the reason…

    II was not trying to say that Sheila was the offending poster, but rather a few of these replies seem flippant and immature. “WWJK”? Really, that’s not helpful or conducive to an open discussion of our opinions.

    Probably not too many NRA members gunning-up to go take out churches, theatres, etc.

  19. Oh Lord! I’m wondering what silhouettes they use for target practice–stereotypic same-sex couples, stereotypic depictions of Middle-Easterners, or others they might like to take a shot at “in the name of the Lord”.

  20. @ Kevin- Who Would Jesus Kill? Jesus taught Christians how to respond to violence. Examples include; Matthew 5:39; Matthew 5:44; 1 Peter 3:9.

    How do you love thy neighbor when you are killing them? The main purpose of guns, according to the NRA, is to kill another human being. Do you really thing that is what Jesus wants us to do?

  21. @JoAnn

    All I’m trying to say is: It’s a mistake to let Gopper insult Sheila like he did and not respond in kind. As you pointed out before, Gopper doesn’t even tell us who is. Just because something is outrageous doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be answered. It’s just the opposite. It’s imperative that it is countered. If not, we will all end up cowards like Gopper. And in respect to Sheila: “I mean he should be fully engaged in a civil way. But fully.”

  22. Sheila has, on a few occasions without mentioning names (or un-names), called us to task for name-calling and insults. She asked that we confront but be polite (not sure “polite” was the word she used). I guess we are trying to adhere to her request when, if Gopper could read our minds, he/she would disappear from the scene, tail between his/her legs, with no help from us. Thanks for responding.

  23. I further ad, if Gopper can’t play by the rules then please, please don’t let him in the room. There are many people observing this blog , like I do now, who do not participate in the exchange. He’s starting to do DAMAGE to the CREDIBILITY of the blog.

  24. Time to weigh in on trolling, I guess.

    Here’s the rule: anyone can comment on this blog so long as they do so without name-calling and uncivil behaviors. I am not going to block people for disagreeing with me, no matter how unfounded or delusional I may consider their arguments.

    At the same time, although it isn’t a rule, I disagree with Marv: some arguments really do not merit response. Engaging with people whose clear purpose is simply to “stir the pot” is what gives them credibility. I’m not sure why people who are clearly uninterested in genuine dialogue continue to participate in these discussions, but I see no point to allowing them to derail the often instructive and always interesting commentary that so many readers provide.

  25. “I further ad, if Gopper can’t play by the rules then please, please don’t let him in the room.”

    Marv, you’ve got me very interested. What are “the rules,” as you see them?

    Is Nancy (or JoAnn, or the Little Girl Cousin, I can’t tell them apart) calling for my post-birth abortion within the ambit of “the rules?”

  26. Ron, “WWJK” was somebody else’s comment, not mine. I carry a weapon to defend my life and the lives of my loved ones. I train and study so that I (hopefully) never have to use it.
    I am a Christian, and regardless of what our more enlightened liberal friends here think, I am not prejudiced against gays, or anybody else they think I don’t like.

    Just bad guys.

    I will not turn the other cheek if faced with deadly force. That’s all I’m saying. You folks shouldn’t either.

  27. Gopper:
    “Jesus didn’t accept that you could lawyer your way out of God’s orders”
    No, apparently he instead just decided he could wave his hand and invalidate all of God’s orders in one fell swoop.
    Or do you and your ilk in fact refrain from shellfish, pork, and clothing made from both cotton and linen?

  28. In the aftermath of the on-air shooting of Virginia CBS affiliate WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, Breitbart News published an article unnecessarily politicizing the murders with a racial lens.

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