A Plague of Our Own Making

Earlier this week, the occupant of the White House back peddled previous statements about gun laws and went back to being a good boy under the control of the National Rifle Association. He said there was “no political will” to raise the minimum age for buying assault rifles, to fund research on gun deaths, or to end the unconditional protection of the only industry in America so protected. This, even though 75 percent of Americans support such changes.

Unfortunately, he is right; the will of the people is very different from political will. Republican politicians are more loyal to those who BOUGHT them than to those who ELECTED them. To be clear, the failure to do something about guns historically has been because of Democratic cowardice, but now the tide has turned. Democrats are nearly unanimous in their support of reform, while Republicans are nearly unanimous in their opposition to doing anything that the NRA doesn’t approve first.

There is an article in this week’s “Christian Century” by Peter Marty entitled “Guns are Americans’ Golden Calf.” Marty boldly wrote:

In the case of my own senator, Joni Ernst, to whom the NRA has contributed more than $3.1 million, you tweet gratitude for the first responders. If you’re Marco Rubio, senator in the home state of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre, and you’ve received in excess of $3.3 million from the NRA, you offer thoughts and prayers. You definitely can’t call for meaningful measures of gun legislation. We’re in golden calf country here, elevating a loyalty to the gun over a fidelity to God’s desire for abundant life. More than a hunting or safety device, the gun has become an object of reverence. We bow in devotion at its altar. “Sacred stuff resides in that wooden stock and blued steel,” onetime NRA president Charlton Heston said. And when a gun becomes an idol, it demands loyalty even if it regularly disappoints. Like other small g gods that offer false consolation, a gun’s guarantee of ultimate safety and security is a myth. The Lord said to Moses, “They have cast for themselves an image of a calf and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it … [and] the Lord sent a plague upon the people, because they made the calf.” We’re living our own modern plague: 15,592 gun-related deaths last year alone. And it’s a plague of our own making.

Maybe you should forward this to your favorite Republican lawmaker.

Blessings,

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