AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
For people of faith, the term “idolatry” is a serious accusation. The idea of worshipping an idol other than God is a serious charge, one that in times past could land you on a pile of wood with your hands tied behind your back. While that punishment may be off the table, it’s still something no Christian likes to be accused of.
And that’s probably what Jesse Remedios of the National Catholic Reporter is counting on here [emphasis mine]:
“In terms of these mass shootings, I’ve actually been stunned by the church’s relative silence,” said Susan Bigelow Reynolds, a professor of Catholic studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.
Reynolds, who studies lived theology in contexts of marginality and suffering, said theologically she understands “gun violence and the culture around it as a kind of idolatry” in which access to weapons of murder are privileged over the lives of people.
“Every successive mass shooting feels like another ritual sacrifice to the idol of the gun,” she said.
That’s freaking rich.
No, seriously, it’s downright hysterical.
The gun culture is about using a tool. In this case, it’s a gun. None of us pretend it’s magical or all-powerful. It’s a tool that can be used to defend ourselves. Much of the talk about using a gun in self-defense is about how a firearm is not the totality of the answer, that it’s one piece of a very large puzzle that includes one’s mindset and training.
There’s nothing remotely religious about it.
But gun control, on the other hand…
Let’s see. We get claims that if we do “good,” all will be well with the world. When that doesn’t happen, we’re told that the problem is that we didn’t do enough “good,” so we have to do more.
Further, if we do “bad,” we’re told that horrible things will befall us. When that doesn’t happen, we get to hear about how it doesn’t happen because of all the other “good” that exists, not because of anything else.
Yeah, there’s idolatry in the gun debate, but it’s not on the part of the Second Amendment crowd.
Gun control is a religion that requires individuals to have faith that certain measures will work and when they don’t, are routinely told that they didn’t go far enough. It counts on you not thinking critically, that you always filter information through the faith of gun control.
No one on the pro-gun side deludes ourselves into thinking that a gun is an answer for everything. We recognize it for what it is: A tool. It’s a useful tool for defending ourselves, overthrowing tyrannical governments, or putting food on the table, but it’s still a tool. I’ve said before that a gun isn’t a talisman against evil, and that thinking isn’t unique on the pro-gun side of the debate.
Accusing the gun culture of idolatry is nothing more than a cheap attempt to use religious doctrine to dissuade people from going off the reservation and not adhering to the anti-gun religion known as gun control.