Anti-Gun Billboard Illustrates Why We Must Protect All Rights

Anti-Gun Billboard Illustrates Why We Must Protect All Rights
Anti-Gun Billboard Illustrates Why We Must Protect All Rights

Fayetteville, AR –-( A billboard in Charlotte, NC demonstrates the intersectionality of attacks on rights in America. The message, posted by the North Carolina Council of Churches, quotes the second item in the most popular list of Ten Commandments, seeking to remind Tar Heels that the worship of idols is forbidden while claiming that guns are treated as objects of religious devotion.

The concept of intersectionality usually shows up in discussions of race, sexual orientation, physical ability, and other characteristics that result in persons being subjected to multiple forms of bigotry. But this kind of thinking can be translated to other topics. One of my objections to demands for universal background checks, for example, is that mandating that in law poses a challenge both to the Second and the Fourth Amendments. This element of the gun control agenda seeks to require a permission slip for exercising gun rights and undermines privacy by allowing the government to collect yet more data about our personal interactions.

What the billboard does is create an intersection of gun rights and the separation of religion and state. Its purpose is to advocate policy on the basis of doctrine.

Now that by itself is not categorically wrong. We all have a variety of motivations, and delving into what drives people is interesting as its own activity, but it’s off-topic if we’re asking whether the action that we wish to perform is good or otherwise.

Which is to say that a person can support gun rights or gun control out of religious conviction or from having eaten a slightly off bit of chicken salad, but whatever is driving the person in question is not an argument. To convince other people, the proposal needs facts and logic.

One reason for this is that in the case of theological claims, any appeal that we make is guaranteed to miss large portions of the audience. Seventy percent of Americas identify as Christian, but two in ten of us are unaffiliated with any religion. And among evangelicals, a group that makes up a quarter of our population, support for the exercise of gun rights—including carrying guns in church—is strong.

Will a billboard that seeks to connect the exercise of gun rights with idol worship work? Unlikely. We’ve been debating the role of religion in this country for longer than we’ve been a country, and the modern involvement of Christian conservatives—modern defined as during my lifetime—has been going on for as long as I’ve been alive. Whether we’re talking about abortion, pornography, poverty, or guns, we’ve achieved a U-shaped curve, a sharply divided and defined polarity, no matter how intellectually defensible our collection of positions proves to be.

And then there’s the question of what could be meant by saying that we who support gun rights and gun ownership are worshipping firearms. If by that word the billboard is referring to the original sense, there may be a point. We certainly find worth in guns—to the detriment of our bank accounts, at times. John Moses Browning deserves to be done up like an icon with a gold halo and Old Church Slavonic text around him. I have from time to time referred to Col. Cooper as Saint Jeff of the Corps.

But that’s all in good fun. A gun is a tool. A well-made tool deserves my respect, as does a tool that is exactly what I need at a particular moment, but it’s not a deity, and it’s not magic. And while some gun enthusiasts gush over the latest piece of Combat Tupperware, the people who ascribe mystical significance to firearms are gun control advocates. Weapons in the real world are not the One Ring, the Spear of Longinus, or the Ark of the Covenant, yet the people who would look upon the North Carolina billboard as making a profound point seem to be confused about this.

It’s up to us to keep such thinking separate from public policy.

About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

  • 13 thoughts on “Anti-Gun Billboard Illustrates Why We Must Protect All Rights

    1. How many times did God send the Israelis to make war upon their neighbors without weapons? Trumpets and the Ark were used at Jericho, yet the troops were armed with spears and swords, and when the walls fell, they rushed in. I’m pretty sure they didn’t lightly tap each person in the city on the head and leave them to stand around doing nothing.

      A graven image is an image carved out of stone, wood, or metal. It could be a statue of a person or animal, or a relief carving in a wall or pole. It is differentiated from a molten image, which is melted metal poured into a cast. So, I guess some guns may be violations of the 2nd Commandment, and some not, depending upon how they are made.

    2. Bible and guns DO NOT go together. People just like to say these things out of a mislead need to feel like a patriot and a Christian. Pay Cesars things to Cesar, and God’s things to God. Return evil for evil to no man, vengeance belongs to God. God has given to each man the right to live in peace and not under oppression. Balh blah and so on. But, this is America. And in America we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Those two things alons dictate the same edict as the bible. Men have the right to live in peace and the right to fight back opressive tyranny. By .means lf a well armed militia to stop the threat of man by lethal means of necessary. The diggerence is, a man of the bible must turn his cheek and allow the assault and wait for God’s judgement. The constitution says I can dump a magazine into the fuk face who’s assaulting myself or family. I’ll opt for dumping my .45 into the jackwagon and God can sort it out when he’s ready.

    3. I have guns…. and a table saw; a 15 tonne hydraulic press; a chainsaw; a ten pound splitting maul; a whole arsenal of claw hammers of various types sizes, weights, material; a three tonne trackhoe; an oxyacetylene torch; and a BIG truck. Each of them could be used, and have been used by others in the past, to unlawfully take life. But none of the above items, or any others I own, have been or will be used for that purpose.
      Do I “like’ the above items? Yep. Else I’d not own them yet. DO I worship any of them? Nope. NONE can fix anyone’s problems, though some are useful for things like keeping warm and dry and fed. But then, so are plenty of other things.

      These religious pretenders need to go back and READ that commandment they so glibly quote out of context; It has two parts: until BOTH parts are fulfilled, there is no violation of God’s law. Part one.. don’t make any graven image or idol. Part two, DO NOT bow down and worship that thing you have made.

      This is political hand wringing.. we’ve got to DOOOOOOOoooo something about all the killing. Yet they refuse to take action against the killing that goes on amongst themselves, taking millionis of lives each year before those people are even born. They’ve swallowed the liberal/progressive kool ade.

      1. … and the sheeple should not follow the wolf but know the Good Shepherd and follow HIS voice only. A good Christian should own the Bible and a firearm and know how to use BOTH regularly.

    4. They aren’t churches.

      They are 501(c)3 CORPORATIONS.

      The STATE as at least one poster can hold their “tax exempt” status over their heads. They are trying o serve two masters, and so they are corrupt.

    5. Church’s need to stay out of politics or lose their not for profit status, this is a prime example of a liberal organization trying to push their agenda on others.

    6. Luke 22:36
      “Now, however,” He told them, “the one with a purse should take it, and likewise a bag; and the one without a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.
      The Bible tells us that being ready to defend yourself against evil is part of God’s will.

    7. NCC is not Christian, it is the anti-Christ movement. Bible and guns go together, support the 2A. NCC supports abortions.

    8. I am a retired pastor and ordained minister – and I can say with 100% certainty that these clergy members are likely to be highly selective in what Scriptures they take seriously. When they start taking all Scriptures seriously, I will then sit down with them and show them from the Scriptures that they are wrong. It really is that simple.

      I facilitate the online presence of a group of clergy persons who definitely do not believe that supporting the 2nd Amendment constitutes idol worship. I invite any interested persons to check us out:

      Joint Statement In Support of the 2nd Amendment:

      Did Jesus Order His Disciples To Be Armed?



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