In more rural states, faith plays a larger factor in people’s lives than it might in larger cities. That’s not to say everyone in the country is a Bible-thumper or that everyone in the city is a godless heathen. However, generally speaking, you’re going to find more faithful in the rural areas. In fact, rural areas and gun rights support tend to line up pretty well with one another, actually.
And let’s be honest, some folks like to think that most people listen to their pastor about a lot of things beyond scripture. It seems that Everytown is among those, and they have a plan to take advantage of that.
A leading gun control advocacy group has enlisted more than a dozen religious leaders to boost voter turnout this fall in support of candidates who support measures to prevent gun violence.
Everytown for Gun Safety, which expects to spend $60 million on this year’s elections, is forging its interfaith effort amid ongoing concerns about shootings at houses of worship. The group’s partners include representatives from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh backgrounds, several of them well-known progressive activists.
Among those joining Everytown’s initiative, details of which were shared with The Associated Press ahead of its official announcement, are evangelical Shane Claiborne, president of the group Red Letter Christians, and Rev. Traci Blackmon, a United Church of Christ executive minister and a central member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Another is Rev. Rob Schenck, a former evangelical anti-abortion activist who has since shifted to support the Roe v. Wade decision and sought to redefine a “pro-life” agenda as one that supports gun control.
Schenck described gun violence as a “life or death issue, which makes it a supreme moral consideration.”
“Churches, especially white evangelical churches, have largely ignored this question — I think, much to their own detriment and to the detriment of the people they’re called to serve,” said Schenck, president of the Washington-based nonprofit Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute.
So, let me break it down for Everytown.
First, most of your members and donors are people who generally tell the religious to shut up and keep their faith to themselves. It’s incredibly hypocritical to now try to use faith to alter public opinion on guns.
Second, only an idiot would think that progressive activists who also happen to be members of the clergy are going to accomplish a damn thing. Those particular pastors are used to preaching to the choir. They’re not going to convince all of us faithful gun owners to turn in our guns and just roll over and allow progressives to have their way on that or any other issue, really.
Gun-owning folks are going to look at these so-called faith leaders and roll their eyes. The same is true for most of the moderates out there. They’ll look at who is talking and the moment they find out that these aren’t unbiased members of the clergy but are, instead, progressive activists who manipulate people using the trappings of Christianity.
Of course, most of these pastors fail to understand this passage particularly well:
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out without purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. “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.