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Friday, August 16, 2013

Armed clergy: Oxymoronic?

Semi-automatic Pistol  (Photo by Yaf) 
When Franciscan priest Paul Williams was "held at gunpoint and carjacked in his church parking lot," he did not wish to "treat violence with violence" - even though this incident had been preceded by "two break-ins within weeks of one another."

Rather than deciding to henceforth exercise his legal right to bear arms, Williams chose a kinder gentler path – one that he feels is
much more compatible with Christianity. He therefore gave this explanation to Katherine Bindley of The Huffington Post:   "We prayed for that man.  We prayed for an end to all of this violence, because I believe that there's too much of it."

Not all Christian leaders agree with Williams.  Protestant evangelical minister Deb Kluttz believes that people (clergy included) should "prepare for the worst, but pray for the best" (which is somewhat reminiscent of two other oxymoronic statements: "Speak softly, but carry a big stick," and/or "Be wise like the serpent, but gentle like the dove…").

Kluttz is therefore packing a pulpit pistol "when she feels her church's 550 members might be vulnerable to a violent person…"  After all, she reasons:  I guess I don't see anywhere in Scripture where we're not
supposed to use our brains…

Yes, but:  Aren't brains and bullets often two very different avenues?


Copyright August 16, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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