Friday, June 05, 2009

Who would Jesus shoot?

Its more sad than outrageous. Pastor Pagano's "deep-seeded belief in God and firearms" [his words!] should cram enough cognitive dissonance into the average Christian's mind to cause an instant migraine. Well, OK, the pastor used to be a Marine. Lots of ex-military have a psychologically unhealthy admiration for what a gun turns its owner into...but a pastor? Who let the dog-face in? Even saloons in the lawless American west of cowboy legend asked patrons to check their weapons at the door. Does he preach in fatigues? Does his Summer Bible School teach marksmanship?

This stupid episode is catching attention as far away as the UK, where they are most probably shaking their heads to learn there is even greater depth to our national sickness than commonly assumed. The Telegraph article is one of the few that emphasizes that expression and support of our liberty in the right to bear arms was the intended message of the stunt. Well, I guess that will have to do for an answer to the question most of us are asking: "What was he thinking?"

People do things to "send a message", you know. But how rare it is when the message intended is the same as the message taken. Here are some messages that are actually coming across as a result of the Pastor's ploy:
  • I don't mean to comment on the Pastor's reading of his bible because for all I know Christianity does specify that one should go about armed.
  • But his reading of the constitution is deficient. His job falls under the first, not the second amendment.
  • Guns, and particularly the neurotic and in-your-face brandishing of guns on the paranoid pretext that your personal deadly weapon might be confiscated, are not about freedom...they are about security and borrowing a feeling of safety that your upbringing could not manage to instill in you. How many of the pastor's flock have been mugged or burglarized lately?
  • The protection of your faith is inadequate, even in the very seat of its worship and observance...So carry a Glock instead!
If you want something less imaginary to feel insecure about, please consider how unfairly lone men with guns and publicly used middle names have tried to trash the course of history, undoing the hope and will of the people? Thank god Pastor Pagano did not ask his faithful to start using their full names!

I could go on. Others surely will.

Oh, Look! Here , as a formerly living media fossil would have said, is "the rest of the story": In neighboring Tennessee, you may legally go into a saloon packing a gun. I guess there is a little TN-KY rivalry here on who is the freest state. So now its a question of where would you rather have Jesus shoot you: in a church or in a bar?

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