In the United States, the First Amendment expressly bars any establishment of a national religion. This has been described–not in the Constitution, but well after it was ratified–as the separation of church and state.
However, a lot of faiths like to delve into politics, particularly gun control.
We’ve seen so-called faith leaders repeatedly quoted advocating for the restriction of our Second Amendment rights, all while enjoying the benefits of the First Amendment protections–including the right to worship as one pleases.
Now, a number of Catholic bishops in Tennessee are calling for gun control as well.
The Catholic bishops of Tennessee joined more than 130 religious leaders in the state Tuesday in calling on Republican Gov. Bill Lee and the Legislature to enact tighter gun restrictions including “extreme risk” or “red flag” laws.
The letter comes less than a month after a mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville in which a former student shot and killed three current students and three staff members.
“As faith leaders, we encourage you, our elected leaders, to take steps that will help protect our kids and our cherished individual rights,” says the April 17 letter, which was signed by Bishop Mark Spalding of Nashville, Bishop David Talley of Memphis, and Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville.
In the letter, which was led by a state coalition calling for firearm restrictions, Voices for a Safer Tennessee, three requests were made of lawmakers and the governor.
These requests were for an assault weapon ban, restrictions on handguns, universal background checks, and a red flag law.
All I can think is, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
See, I get that the bishops and other faith leaders may think guns are bad, but I find it more than a little ironic that people who will use the Constitution to protect their ability to practice their faith would be so quick to try and gut another part of the Bill of Rights.
Take a look at the many anti-gunners who are also anti-religion. Do you really think that if they were to successfully pass the kind of gun control these bishops want, they’d just leave the rest of the Bill of Rights alone?
Or is it far more likely that they’d use such restrictions to justify additional restrictions on other rights down the road?
Only a fool would think that they’d live him alone after gutting the rights of others, and it seems these bishops are, in fact, fools.
Further, none of the things they’re advocating for would accomplish anything. Colorado Springs wasn’t prevented by a red flag law. Virginia Tech wouldn’t have been prevented by an assault weapon ban. Most mass shooters pass background checks and your garden variety criminals aren’t inhibited by universal background check laws. I don’t know what kind of handgun regulation they want, but it’s also unlikely any such regulations would do much of anything except make life harder for law-abiding folks.
They’re demanding laws for the sake of demanding them, but they should be wary.
If they get the world they’re demanding, it’s only a matter of time before they’re the ones under the proverbial hammer.