With a wet pinky stuck to the wind to determine shifting political opinion, ever-to-please evangelical leaders are calling lock-stock-and-barrel (pun intended) for gun control. On account of the Parkland School shooting in Florida, a number of evangelical talking heads are demanding that all Christians embrace gun control as a part of the pro-life ethic. We have previously written about how social progressive Southern Baptist leader, Russell Moore, had changed the definition of “pro-life” to include amnesty for illegal immigration. It seems that others are similarly willing to change the definition of the moniker to push their own leftist agendas.
Ignoring the reality that the recent Sutherland Springs church shooting was stopped by an NRA member with an AR-15, these leaders propose gun bans to keep people safe. This is, according to them, the pro-life position on firearms. The group of gun-control advocates masquerading as pro-life activists have created a petition for other evangelicals to sign, which seeks to “couple prayer with action” and they are calling for legislative action on gun ownership.
The website says:
We acknowledge our Biblical responsibility to protect life by lovingly guiding those who are suffering from severe mental illnesses to the appropriate professional resources, by urging America’s lawmakers to pass common-sense gun laws, and by encouraging gun owners to take precautions against the risks associated with allowing firearms in their homes when children are present or when a family member is dealing with crisis.
The petition has the support of at least 16 prominent evangelical leaders, which include Lynn Hybles (wife of Bill Hybles, founder of seeker-friendly megachurch, Willow Creek), Max Lucado, Gabriel Salguero (the President of the National Latino Evangelical Association), and Gus Reyes of the Texas General Baptist Convention (a more liberal contingent of the SBC, represented by more than 5 thousand churches). At the time of writing, there are currently 281 signers to the petition.
There are several problems inherent with the move by evangelicals to support gun control, and even more complicatingly, to do it on the grounds of it being the pro-life position.
First, there is no tangible empirical evidence that suggests fewer guns equal less violent crime. As gun ownership has dramatically increased in the last twenty years in the U.S., violent crimes has actually decreased (link). Secondly, there are no legitimate proposals that can statistically demonstrate how laws restricting new gun purchases can significantly lower gun crime, considering that there are currently 300 million firearms in America (source link), and anything short of confiscation leaves nearly half of the civilian-owned guns in the entire world (48% in fact – source) still in the hands of the populace. Neither do such proposals take into account the reality that – like in Sutherland Springs – gun violence is often stopped by legally owned civilian firearms. When a 13 year-old homeschool child was able to protect his life and property by killing intruders in South Carolina with his parents’ legally owned firearm, it’s impossible to argue that the “pro-life” position requires the disarmament of the American people.
From Ed Stetzer to arch-feminist and liberal, Karen Swallow Prior, pop-culture evangelicals are largely calling for new gun laws, as though murder wasn’t already illegal. Pray for common sense evangelicals who do believe that self-defense is a right given by God.