Guns, such different perspectives

I really should cut the Facebook habit. But, there have been times in the last couple of years when Facebook was link to sanity, my link to people who thought more like me, and my connection to people who cared for me beyond what was expedient. I guess I have an emotional tie to Facebook. That said there are still times it drives me nuts. Mostly, because at times it gives me a little too much of an unedited look at people’s beliefs.

It is kind of like when my wife first found out that a lot of her friends in Louisiana carried hand guns in their gloves boxes. Before living in Louisiana, I grew up in California and lived in New York City. So, I guess I just have a different way of thinking. The thought of these soccer moms at my wife’s Bible study having guns in their glove boxes really threw me for a loop. It wasn’t like we lived in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. These friends all lived in safe suburban/ rural communities. I really don’t understand why the fear, why the need for the guns.

I felt kind of the same way when I saw this picture posted on Facebook. First let me say that I support the second amendment. While I don’t own any guns (other than my BB gun from when I was a kid), I think people should have a right to own guns. I wouldn’t mind a little more control in terms of wait periods and such but I think people have the right to hunt and shoot for sport, or to collect guns, etc. What I don’t understand though is the fear and aggression that seems to come through in the image here. The person that posted this also lives in a safe neighborhood in a small community. Why do people like this think they will need a gun to protect themselves?

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Politics and the bride of Christ.

  Every once in a while you run across an article where all you can you is node approvingly and say “Amen.”  7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics by Bryan Roberts is one such article. …

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Shot by Culture Warriors

I ran across this story about John Fea this morning and I find it truly disturbing. Fea is a history professor and Department Chair at Messiah College who recently made the cardinal sin of saying something positive about Barrack Obama. Fea wrote an article for Patheos.com that both points to Obama’s explicitly Christian rhetoric and criticized him for failing to follow through on some of his faith-based promises from the 2008 campaign. That article was then discovered and written about on Glen Beck‘s ‘The Blaze‘. The part of the article that really set people off was when Fea wrote:

Obama may be the most explicitly Christian president in American history. If we analyze his language in the same way that historians examine the religious language of the Founding Fathers or even George W. Bush, we will find that Obama’s piety, use of the Bible, and references to Christian faith and theology put most other American presidents to shame on this front. I think there may be good reasons why some people will not vote for Obama in November, but his commitment to Christianity is not one of them.

In Fea’s response to the firestorm, he wrote:

When I awoke this morning I had dozens of angry e-mails.  The voice-mail on my office phone was filled with nasty attacks.  The Blaze currently has 800+ comments and the originally piece at Patheos has about 160….  In the last 24 hours I have been called a lot of names.  I have been compared to Hitler, Louis Farrakhan, and Woodrow Wilson (yes, you read that last one correctly).  Several expressed wishes that I be cast into perdition.  A few demanded that the administration at the college where I teach fire me immediately.

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Are We Voting Away Our Witness?

For good or ill, the evangelical community has been highly politicized for the last 30 years. The Religious Right has become a political force that has the power to sway elections and the very direction …

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This is Our Country… Well More Mine than Yours.

I do not often listen to the radio when I am in the car. Typically, I listen to lectures or music from my iPod and when I do listen to the radio it is generally NPR. However, last week when I was running some errands I forgot my iPod and did not feel like the music selection that was on NPR at that time so I decided to do something that I do on occasion. I turned to one of the local conservative talk stations to see what they were saying. I have a friend who is a morning host at this particular station, The Truth 104.3.

I am not fan of Limbaugh or Beck or any of the big name conservative radio hosts and in general I believe their rhetoric is not helpful. It is often far too polemical and designed to incite an emotional response rather than reasoned dialogue. Still, I think it is important to engage divergent ideas so at times I will take a listen. In fact, a couple of years ago I had a friend who challenged me to watch Glenn Beck. She assured me that if I gave him a fair listen I would like his ideas. So, I caught him on the radio and set my DVR to record his television show.

My friend was wrong. I found his ideas distasteful and even deceptive. But, what surprised me the most was how watching his show every day influenced my emotions. I found myself becoming agitated, even angry. I found his rhetoric to be so emotionally charged that it does not yield itself well to dialogue. It cuts at you viscerally. In my case it was a reaction to his logical gaffs and historical misrepresentations. But for those who agree with him, I think his rhetoric is designed to engender an equally strong but opposite emotion response to what I was having. It actually got to the point that watching this show daily was so negatively effecting my emotional state that I decided to stop recording and watching the show so that I would not be channeling any anger.

When I was in the car running my errands and listening to the radio, I had the opportunity to listen to Neal Bortz. I do not know a lot about Bortz. I have heard him a couple of times and know that he is a long time radio personality (forty plus years) and of a conservative persuasion. But, that is all I knew.

Much of what was said as Bortz and his guest spoke (I do not remember the identity of the guest) was standard fair polemics. Bortz claimed that Obama is not very smart, flat out called him a jerk, and referred to Obama as “Dear Leader.” He also made comments about how he was old enough and established enough that he could leave the country if Obama wins the next election. Bortz also recalled the

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Where is the Gospel in our Politics?

I know a guy who is a really nice college student. He is personable, gentle, and loving. However, like so many Christians today his political rhetoric seems devoid of the compassion he exhibits in his …

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