Why are evangelicals in direct opposition to gun control?

Where does it say in the Bible that it’s a god-given right to bear arms? The second amendment says this, ‘”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ I’m not sure the wording of this is entirely suitable, considering a militia is generally associated with rebel and terrorist forces that are in direct opposition to the military. You’d think that part of being a Christian is preservation of life, and mass shootings in America has become an extremely serious social problem, so why don’t they support gun control, and why do so many advocate the National Rifle Association (NRA)?Their website claims that the The National Rifle Association is America’s longest-standing civil rights organization, and strengthening Americans‘ Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities’. Whilst the NRA does focus on gun safety, and training on how to use firearms, and supported the gun control act of 1968, which put restrictions on certain classes of firearms, they’ve come under intense criticism for promoting the use of guns, aggressive advertising, and they’ve been under scrutiny from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) since its inception.

“The NRA has masterfully constructed a narrative based on gun rights propaganda, evoking images of a society devoid of rule of law and under constant threat of attack from an unidentified but ever-present enemy. By deploying a carefully crafted campaign of misinformation, deception, and confusion, the NRA has both undermined legitimate arguments for common-sense gun law reform and made it substantially more difficult for its emotive, provocative propaganda to be countered with fact and reason.” – Source

The NRA has shifted from supporting the safety of firearms, to advocating gun rights, and clearly the evangelical community has been sucked right in, but why are extremely religious Christians so obsessed with guns, and the freedom to protect themselves, if god is watching over them? How can the owning of a gun be a civil rights issue? Civil rights are about equality, protection for racial minorities, sexual minorities, and gender discrimination, not whether or not you can arm yourself to the teeth to take a trip to Walmart.

The argument that evangelicals have is simply outrageous, and so out of touch with reality it defies belief. They claim that guns aren’t the problem, and it’s the sinful nature of evil that has led to a national gun crisis, and taking away the liberty of owning guns won’t solve it. How can someone claim to be pro-life, but in the next breath say that the only way you’ll take away my guns is by prying them away from my dead fingers?

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”Matthew 26:52

Really?

I’ve read the claim that taking away the rights to bare arms would take away right wing Conservative Christian rights and the American family would break down. The U.S Congress formed the Bill of Rights in 1791, when America was much more of a lawless society, but it’s now 2020, and why is there still such an emphasis on guns when we are supposed to live in a more civilised world? I’m not someone who agrees with hunting, but they are personally so resins that I won’t get into, but if that’s what you wish to do, then you should have to apply for a licence to do it. I don’t agree that every day people should be allowed to carry guns in public. The idea that you need a gun to protect yourself is nonsensical, as if no one had guns, there’d be no need to to feel vulnerable. I live in the north of England, where there’s no firearms and in 46 years I’ve not once felt like my life has been in danger, and felt the need to arm myself. Guns are the problem, despite many Americans claiming that they’re not, and this was evident when Australia had a major gun amnesty in 1996, where people were encouraged to hand in weapons with fear of prosecution, and guess what? Gun crime, and gun homicides dropped dramatically. How many more massacres must America face before gun control is taken seriously?

Are followers of YHWH inherently evil?

According to the ‘Oxford dictionary‘, evil means ‘profoundly immoral and wicked‘. Not only is god associated with moral evil, but also represents natural evil if he’s allegedly omnipresent. Moral evil is wickedness and generally being a horrible and vindictive person, and natural evil is disease, illness, and events like disasters that come from tsunamis, hurricanes and typhoons that generally amount to flooding. This takes me rather naturally to the Great Flood, where YHWH made it rain so that the Earth, and the majority of life on it perished by drowning. All Biblical quotes are taken from the King James Bible as usual.

Why did he allegedly do it?

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” – Genesis 1:27

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” – Genesis 6:5

So god created man in his own image, and he saw that the wickedness of man was great on the Earth, and his response was to commit an act of mass genocide, using evil to combat evil. The Old Testament not only tells the story of creation, but it also addresses god’s temper, and intolerance. It’s a collection of stories where he creates bloodshed, orders the Israelites to kill the Cannanites, and personal sacrifice from his followers. He punished all women with the pain of childbirth, because Eve disobeyed a direct order from him.

“But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee” – Deuteronomy 20:17

I’ve heard many people claim that the flood was just, and that his heart was heavy, and he gained no pleasure from his actions, as he was grieving, and his actions gave humanity a fresh start, yet didn’t he allow a Jesus to die for our sins? Jesus allegedly died for atonement, where his sacrifice brought together the fractured relationship man had with YHWH, after Satan corrupted Adam and Eve which led to the birth of sin. So if he killed every living thing on a earth, except Noah, his family and the animals and creatures on the ARK, and then not long after sacrifices his son, who’s really him in human form, then doesn’t this mean that YHWH made two mistakes with humanity despite us being the perfect creation?

The original idea of sin is in law terms, an entrapment. The Oxford dictionary describes entrapment as ‘the action of tricking someone into committing a crime in order to secure their prosecution‘. The original sin was set in the Garden of Eden after Adam was created from dust, and Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs. They were disobedient in that they went against YHWH’s instruction not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The serpent, which is allegedly Satan, told Eve that despite being told by YHWH that they would surely die if they ate from the tree, they wouldn’t die.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3: 4-5

Eve decided to directly disobey YHWH, as the serpent tempted her, but at the same time, why did YHWH out the tree there in the first place, as he knew they’d be tempted. Upon eating the fruit, they realised that they were naked, and covered their genitalia with leaves. Why didn’t YHWH give them dignity when he created them? Why did they have to eat fruit to realise they were naked? Why did he allow the serpent into the garden, knowing full well that the serpent would tempt them, and a natural human instinct is curiosity? I’ve read Genesis many times, and every time I look at chapters about Adam and Eve, it’s almost like he wanted them to eat the fruit, so he could punish them and show them how vengeful he really is when he doesn’t get his own way, and how he’s god and everyone must obey him. Talk about an overinflated ego!

Because of their alleged original sin, humans were tarnished with collective guilt which was passed down to the rest of humanity, and the sin became increasingly evil until YHWH decided to destroy everything and undo his creation. Every human born after that, was born with sin, even though a baby has no concept of sin, but theologians claim its only a matter of time before they do sin, as it’s instilled in our nature. The Oxford dictionary defines sin as an ‘immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law‘. Christians say everyone is a sinner, despite their claims that having YHWH in their hearts is the only way a person can be moral. So sin and morality totally contradict each other. They claim that the only way you can battle sin is through salvation, which is about atonement, and accepting Christ into your life, and accepting that his sacrifice and resurrection was his way of pardoning the sin of humanity.

Christians suggest that without following Christ and YHWH then a person, by default has no morality, but morality is defined by the Oxford dictionary as principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour‘. Many Christians try to justify the actions of YHWH, and the stories of the Bible, even when they are against modern moral standards, like slavery as an example. They always accuse non believers of taking the words out of context, and that the slaves were really servants, but the Oxford dictionary defines slavery as a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them‘. The Israelites used Canaanite slaves who were captured during wars, and it’s documented in the Old Testament. Some fathers even sold their daughters into slavery as they at least knew that they’d be protected by their masters, and we are supposed to accept that as divine morality?

‪Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ” – Ephesians 6:5‬

‪”And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.” – Exodus 21:20 – 21‬

The issue here is Christians tend to mirror YHWH in what he considers moral, as he’s god, and god must be seen as just, and a law giver, but do they ever take the time to understand or question these alleged morals? If you blindly follower the moral beliefs of your god, then surely you’re thinking on behalf of someone else’s beliefs rather than your own? No one truly believes every word of the Bible, as no one can be so ignorantly gullible, and many sects of Christianity take different approaches towards what’s written, and interpret it in a way to suit their religion. This is where classic cherry picking comes into play, and they promote what they personally agree with, and ignore that which they don’t agree with. ‘Emmanuel Kant‘ suggested that it’s good will that’s makes someone moral, as it’s their duty to do the right thing, and as soon as promises of reward are used to influence decisions, then morality has ceased to function. This is why I’m certain that if YHWH’s actions, and moral claims are in fact evil, then if Christians are made in his image, and they attempt to justify slavery, genocide and homophobia, then they are also evil, they just haven’t realised yet, or maybe they never will.

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means” – George Bernard Shaw

Scepticism and cynicism: Are they irrational?

Scepticism is about doubt to the truth of something, and cynicism is about doubt of the sincerity of people. Cynicism is in a way being a form of scepticism, as by default a cynical person thinks that the majority of people are fuelled by agenda, or selfish interests, and they require evidence to convince them otherwise.

The sceptics

In Ancient Greece, there was a philosophical movement known as the sceptics (skeptics American English), Latinised ‘skepsis’, Greek ‘σκέπτομαι’, which means investigate; inquire, so the sceptics referred to themselves as investigators as they suspended judgement until sufficient evidence. They refused to affirm anything unless the knowledge was legitimate, which has led to the scientific method. The skeptics society formed in 1992 with the aim to maximise sceptical science, and minimise the promotion of pseudoscience, and irrational beliefs. It’s about applying reason, and a strict method, to eliminate the possibility of fake knowledge, and superstition. Everyone is sceptical about something, yet many people blindly accept beliefs because they think it’s correct, rather than knowing it correct.

“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?” – Carl Sagan

The cynics

In Ancient Greece, there was also a philosophical movement known as the cynics, Latinised ‘Cynici’, Greek ‘Κυνικοί’, which was about living a life by virtue, and one with nature, and are considered as the very first anarchists as they wanted to disband the controls of governments. They lived rejecting the desires of fame, wealth or notable social status, and considered themselves watchdogs of humanity, and criticised people of greed, which many people view to this day as the biggest cause of human suffering. In the 5th century the movement died out when Christianity gained momentum, despite it heavily influencing early Christianity, and even ‘Jesus‘ was described as a cynic.

Modern cynicism, however, has a different meaning, and it’s the general mistrust of people, who are motivated by materialism, greed, wealth, social status, and selfishness, where the sincerity of actions are questioned. It’s also a pessimistic view that humans are difficult to trust, as they mostly have personal agendas that interfere with ethical decision making. Social cynicism is displayed as distrust towards institutions like religious, or political groups, and personally I can understand not trusting politics or religion, as both are disingenuous.

“I’m riddled with cynicism. Whenever anyone says ‘trust me,’ the hairs go up on the back of my neck.” – Charles Dance

Whilst I personally have a desire for humanity to grow in perpetual harmony, I’m not an idiot, and I know that human nature, and instinct very often outweighs the need to use moral foundations, and this is evident in wars, terrorism, political scandals, violent protests as we are seeing in America due to the cynicism towards the actions of the police towards African Americans. This is unfortunately understandable and despite wanting to trust human to do the right thing, desire and selfishness often gets in the way. Scepticism, however, is an essential part of critical thinking, and without it, people would accept any nonsense, and all reason, rationality and logic would disappear.