Culture At Large

Keep Your Piece?

Michael Geertsma

Recently, while wasting time on the internet doing important research, I ran across this article about a pastor in Kentucky who is inviting his parishioners to bring their guns to church.

The church is hosting a Saturday event that welcomes "responsible gun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church. The event will include a gun raffle and information on gun safety.

According to pastor Ken Pagano, the idea is to "celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation, and we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms."

At this point my bias kicked into full gear, and I started running through a mental list of emotional kneejerk reactions clever reasons why this is a terrible thing for a church to do. July 4th is not a religious holiday! How dare they align God and guns so closely? Do they realize how dangerous this is? This sounds like a setup for an episode of SNL's "Appalachian Emergency Room"!

Despite my cynical response, I soon realized that this type of thing is what I'd like to see churches do more. Admittedly, I have personal questions about how easy it is to obtain and legally carry a gun. Those issues aside, it's obvious that this church is engaging their local community in a creative and meaningful way. So often, churches can seem disconnected from the realities of everyday life. Undoubtedly, there are many people in every town and city across the country who are very passionate about their right to bear arms. And through this event, they can see that New Bethel Church cares about that as well.

But what do you think? Is this a meaningless, possibly dangerous, publicity stunt? Or is this church doing something that other churches could learn from?

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