Let's see... no, no guns...
So, a Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring their guns to church (H/T Andrew Sullivan). Says our pistol-packin' man of God, Ken Pagano,
As a Christian pastor I believe that without a deep-seeded belief in God and firearms that this country would not be here.Well. This is the type of story in which reality outpaces parody. The jokes write themselves and it is impossible to tell whether we're reading the Times or the Onion.
The obvious question to pose here, of course, is whether or not it is really appropriate to celebrate instruments of death in a church whose founder preached love and nonviolence (how many people die from gun violence in this country every year? 30,000?). Going more deeply into the story reveals how strange the extreme religious right in this country is in their approach to reality, and how much issues that have at first sight very little to do with religion become sacralized for these people. I disagree with the right-wing's approach to abortion laws and gay marriage, but I see where it comes from. People like Pastor Pagano, however, speak about issues like gun ownership and (I suppose) tax relief as if they were as deeply rooted in Christian scripture as questions more obviously concerned with morality. Fundamentalist religious ideas have had great impact on the GOP platform, and it seems that the GOP platform has become enshrined in toto in church.
The distrubing gun fetishism that makes the NRA so powerful has become part of what passes for liturgy in Pastor Pagano's church. This man, the pastor of a Christian church, seems to put belief in God on the same plane as gun ownership (so much for sola fide) and tie both inimately to one particular country when considering how worship is to be carried out for his congregation. "Without a deep-seeded belief in God and firearms..." A deep-seeded belief in firearms?
Strange. And very, very disturbing.