12.26.2015

Jesus and the Open Carry Law and Why You Can't Have Both



Starting January 1st, in Texas, gun owners will be able to openly carry their guns wherever the hell they want to. I've been very conflicted about this, especially since it affects me and the restaurant I manage. It affects the people around me. It affects the business as a whole. 

Or does it?

I've been conflicted. But it hasn't been out of a fear I have of guns or a hatred I have towards guns. My conflict has come in the form of principles, mainly those established by the Jesus I claim to follow. 

I can't reconcile how someone who follows Jesus can support the open carry law. 

And here's the most annoying thing in the world to me when it comes to the American Christian. We're so good at laying out the ins and outs of the dogmatic guidelines when it comes to keywords like salvation, baptism, heaven, hell, and forgiveness. Every Christian knows the "key" fundamentals: Jesus is God, Jesus died on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus was born to a virgin, and blah de blah de blah. Every Christian can spout these off with no trouble. It's engrained in our minds. It's there. We've been trained to believe it, say it, claim it, and hold onto it. 

But here's the problem with these Christian phrases: You can't repeat any of these things. You can't be God. You can't die on a cross (most likely). You can't rise from the dead. You weren't born to a virgin.

For some reason, no one who labels themselves true, born-again, Bible-believing Christians ever have problems spouting off these core principles of Christianity. Yet, none of these principles are tangible, practical applications that we can actually work into our lives. 

You can't practice rising from the dead. You can't practice being born to a virgin. Why? Because they are all beliefs. You either believe them or you don't. You can't practice doing them, only believing them. 

And, I would argue that these "core, fundamental" values of Christianity are the most illogical, non-sensical, and whacky ideas I've ever heard. Don't get me wrong now. I have found a way to make each of them make sense to me, but at face value, with literal connotations, there's no way I'm claiming them without some explanation. 

Lets leave that for the present, and move on to a different sort of value. 

Lets talk about the other values that Jesus loved to talk about - specifically regarding non-violence, meekness, and turning the other cheek. 

And I'll also throw in a one-line synopsis of this whole article.

Time and time again, the same Jesus that talks about non-tangible things like heaven, hell, eternal life, and being the Son of Man (whatever the hell that means), talks about tangible things like telling Peter to put away his sword, and . . . 

     . . . telling his disciples that they'll be hated for their allegiance to his non-violent ways and . . . 

 . . . telling his disciples that if they get persecuted in one town to move to the next (not have political, self-pity rallies with the mega-synagogues) and . . . telling his audience to turn their swords into plowshares . . . and telling his audience to not so much as even get angry at someone else. 

In my opinion, following Jesus's tangible instructions is where true Christianity lies. It doesn't take any action to believe something about how Jesus rose from the dead or was born to a virgin. Believing in the virgin birth doesn't lead me to give everything away to the poor. Doing what Jesus said in regard to the poor would be what leads me to give it all away. 

How is it then, that Christians aren't up in arms (no pun intended) about other Christians trying to mix guns and Jesus. What bible are they reading from? 

I don't have a problem with people who don't call Jesus their inspiration, pushing for open carry, or carrying around their guns. I have no problem with non-Christians pushing for more guns. 

I do have a problem with Christians promoting this bogus idea that the Jesus I read about in scriptures would support Christians arming themselves in the name of some bogus nationalistic, constitutionalistic, democratic world system. 

It boggles my mind and makes me never want to associate with Christianity again. Every time I hear another "sold out" Christian talk about how it's okay to arm themselves and carry their guns around in public, I wanna puke. I wanna get every hairy, slimy, bit of Americanized Christian dogma out of my system. 

And that's where I am now. I'm accepting that on January 1st, I may see some guns holstered on peoples' hips. I may see a Christian armed and loaded. But I will not let you walk by me, label yourself as a Jesus follower, and rationalize my Jesus with your guns. I will not let you hijack The Way in my presence. I will not let you spread the disease of nationalistic Christianity on my watch, in my presence. 

One last thing. 

Quit saying some things are literal and some are not. 

Quit trying to convince me that Jesus literally rose from the dead, when you can't tell me that Jesus meant for Peter to literally put away his sword. That's not gonna work anymore. You sound like an idiot. Stop it.