Monday, August 23, 2010

Bob Loves Guns! Just like Jesus!

Bob makes it clear that his political positions are informed by the Bible. If Jesus taught something, it is paramount that those teachings be incorporated into the politics of today's world.

Among Jesus' teachings, you'll find various statements about peace. In Luke 6:27-32 Jesus taught
But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
The Gospel of Matthew is even more explicit. In Matthew 5:9, Jesus taught "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."

Because Bob is such a good Christian, you would expect him to take every opportunity to promote peace as the correct political view.

However, when Bob was asked about people openly carrying guns at the Art, Beats and Eats festival, Bob said:



Let's review: For the Children of God to be peacemakers, Jesus taught his followers to be willing to turn the other cheek and give away more than what is taken from them. Bob, on the other hand, is comforted in knowing that some people are willing to carry guns and shoot "bad guys."

Beyond the fact that Bob is ignoring Jesus' explicit teaching, Bob is making several revealing assumptions. First, Bob assumes that there are people around him that are "bad" and carrying guns. Second, Bob assumes that the "good" guy carrying the gun has the noble intentions of protecting Bob and his family. Finally, Bob assumes that the police and local government (made up of We the People) are unwilling or incapable of protecting him at a public event.

In summary, Bob has no faith that God or the Government can or will protect him, making guns in public absolutely necessary. Bob also distrusts absolute strangers.

Need I remind you that Bob prostitutes the Bible to make a buck?

6 comments:

Pat said...

I find this posting especially interesting, because Bob went through some contortions before admitting that he’s a dyed in the wool Republican. If you recall, he use to say that he was non-partisan, mostly to position himself as an objective observer of the political scene. When this proved too ridiculous an assertion, even by Bob’s standards, he changed his line and now embraces the Republican Party. At the same time, he claims that his Christian values drive his political agenda, not the other way around. The way he phrases it is to say that Republicans by and large hold views that square with the Bible, and Democrats by and large hold views that don’t. The “by and large” part is of course thrown in so he sounds reasonable to those who aren’t especially critical listeners. It’s usually enhanced by some non-qualifier: “now, I’m not saying all Republicans or all Democrats,” just to drive home the point that he doesn’t agree with liberal Republicans, such as John McCain.
Of course, the assertion that Christian values drive his political agenda is difficult to believe, and you cite one example of why this is so. You might remember that Bob once discussed with his listeners the case of some off-duty officer who was in a church when some gunman came into it, and the officer was able to wound the gunman before he could carry out his plan. What’s wrong with bringing guns into church, Bob asked (it’s easy to tell what he’s going to say even when he pretends he’s presenting an open question). After all, heavily armed Christians could prevent mayhem in the event someone walks in and starts shooting. Forget the stuff about my house should be a house of prayer; forget the stuff about leaving your weapons in a special room prior to entering the sacred space of a church (that stuff went out long ago). Instead Bob would like to join the “bring your gun to church” movement.
What’s wrong with this? Well, it assumes that churches are regular sites of shooting sprees and require special measures for safety. It also assumes that having lots of armed people in a small enclosed area open fire in a panic counts as a special measure of safety. From a practical point of view, there’s room to question this approach.
From a theological point of view also, there’s room to criticize the approach (as you’ve done). At the same time, it’s only one of contradictions that arise for Bob as a result of really identifying strongly with a right-wing political agenda and also holding strongly to a literal interpretation of the Bible. However, when theology and conservative politics are at odds, the latter wins. This is why Bob is staunchly opposed to government programs to help the poor and to ending the death penalty. It’s also why he was a proponent of invading Iraq (which he defends to this day).
In my view, Bob’s stated positions can be understood as belonging to the same person only if 1) he’s seen as being first and foremost a right-wing extremist, 2) seen as someone who can’t cope with life and needs religion as a crutch, both overcome grief (though it’s not helping much with the anger and hatred) and to provide him with an arena where his limited intellectual capacity is transformed from a liability to an asset that brings him praise from those who also need religion as a crutch, but who need help holding their views in the face of reality.

Irl Hudnutt said...

Pat,

>> However, when theology and conservative politics are at odds, the latter wins. <<

Bingo!

Bob's beliefs don't inform his politics, it's the other way round. By claiming that his politics are derived from "Christian" values, Bob lays claim to the moral high ground. The claim is specious, of course, because he has to ignore the systematic problems inherent in the Constitution, capitalism, and history.

Which is why Bob doesn't want discussion. He's not interested in discourse, he's interested in false polemics to prop up some imagined sense of superiority.

Phil DeYoung said...

You said, "Beyond the fact that Bob is ignoring Jesus' explicit teaching, Bob is making several revealing assumptions.”

I don’t see in Scripture where Jesus “explicitly teaches” that one must not carry a gun. In light of the obvious fact that guns didn’t exist in Jesus’ day, and that the first-century counterpart to the present-day gun was the sword, I think it’s reasonable to scripturally conclude that carrying a gun is biblically justifiable. Consider Luke 22:36-38, for example: “And He said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Also consider John 18:10-11, “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

At this stage in the game (i.e., three years into Jesus’ ministry), it’s more than reasonable to assume that Simon would have long since discarded his sword had Jesus actually condemned the notion of having one. Yet, even after Peter used it, Jesus merely said, “put the sword into the sheath.”

Irl Hudnutt said...

Pat,

So let me see if I understand you correctly: After three years of ministry, Jesus had changed his mind about turning the other cheek?

So, what, Jesus had time to think about the beatitudes and decided they were impractical?

And what, exactly, did Jesus want his disciples to use those swords for? Was Jesus advocating violence against those who threatened his disciples?

If not, then why even carry a sword?

Conservative Thinker said...

Hi Irl it’s me again... so responding your last set of questions, you asked "did Jesus change his mind about turn the other cheek?" Why is it so hard for Liberals to understand the difference between using a weapon to attack innocent people and using a weapon to defend yourself and why one is wrong and one is right? So you’re telling me that if you were walking around a bad area of town with your family and a mugger came up and said give me your money and I’m going to rape you wife...somehow you think that using a gun to protect your family would be wrong?? What Jesus was saying is that you should have a weapon to protect yourself...quick clue... there were murder's , thieves, and people that had no morals back in Jesus day so you had to protect yourself yes even back then (if you don't think so why did Romans have centurions or what we call today "police"). I have read a few books on Liberals and why you guys think the way you do...sum it up like this in regards to weapons when you were little your mom/dad teacher said "don't hit" to keep it simple and teachable because you were TOO young to know a good reason for hitting and a bad reason for hitting. And now that you have grown up and supposedly the "big thinkers" of the world (because us kristinas are stoopid yall write??..) you have now translated "don't hit" to NO WAR..NO WEAPONS... The lesson of no hitting was not meant to propel you from age 5 to your death ....your parents believed that as you grew up you would learn right from wrong and should have learned there is good reasons to "hit" such as defending your family against criminals.... and a bunch of other reasons. So you can't keep using your 5 year old lesson to run your life.... grow up be bold get a backbone and learn to judge wisely or discern things I know Liberals hate this but there are such things as right and wrong!

Irl Hudnutt said...

Conseravtive:

You said "[s]o you’re telling me that if you were walking around a bad area of town with your family and a mugger came up and said give me your money and I’m going to rape you wife...somehow you think that using a gun to protect your family would be wrong??

Hardly. I'm saying that Christ said it was wrong.

Luke 6:29-30 specifically states "To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back."

Was Christ wrong?

Are you claiming that Christ's teachings aren't absolutes? If Christ's dictum isn't absolute, then how can any of God's "morals" be absolute?