Sunday, September 21, 2014
God and Guns - No Biblical Grounds for Emphasis on Self-defense
Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., talks about the importance of raising awareness of gun safety and the "Open Carry Church Service" he was planning at the church in 2009 in this file photo. Christians or Jews looking to the Bible for justification of a personal focus on self-defense won't find it in the Bible, say advocates of reasonable gun regulation during a panel on "God and Guns" at the 2014 Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference. (AP Photo/Aaron Borton, The Courier-Journal) (Aaron Borton)
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"It's hard to articulate a strong Biblical case for a heavily armed society," said Professor David Gushee, a Christian ethicist at Mercer University. "That's not Biblical reasoning; that's cultural reasoning."
Rachel Laser, the deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, was more blunt.
The indiscriminate support of gun rights in American society has become "the worship of idols," Laser said, "And that's blasphemy. For Jews, there is the biblical mandate from Leviticus: You don't stand by while your brother's blood is being shed."