The website for a gun shop in Appalachia features machine guns,
Bible verses and Hooters girls.
By Scott Morris
If you question our love for Jesus in the Bible Belt, we might just shoot your ass.
It is one of the great contradictions about the South that strikes outsiders as slightly strange.
Actor Jerry Stiller captured this dichotomy perfectly in “The Heartbreak Kid,” a forgettable film if not for one of the greatest lines of all times. While driving to Oxford, Mississippi, with his son, Stiller’s character issues a warning.
“Remember, this is the Bible Belt,” he says. “These people have guns.”
The polytheistic worship of lethal weapons and the Prince of Peace might seem a strange combination in certain theological circles. Some folks argue that Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and, thus, would not approve of gun violence. Most people in the South would probably respond that Peter shouldn’t have brought a knife to a gunfight.
I have no problem with gun ownership or with self-protection. I have been a gun owner most of my life. My problem is with the worship of weapons — with the stubborn refusal to even consider the problem of gun violence in this country and to attack anyone who brings it up.
When yet another mass shooting occurs, the Christian thing to do would be to let the families of victims mourn before shouting about somebody trying to take our guns. The Christian thing to do would be to show empathy and express sorrow for the loss.
When we worship two lords — Jesus and guns — one has to lose.
And now that today’s sermon has concluded, let us bow our heads in prayer:
Our gun who art in holster
Hallowed be thy aim
Thy bullets come
Thy carnage done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily dead
And forgive us our hesitation
As we shoot those who trespass against us
And lead us not into regulation
But deliver us from common sense
For thine is the kingdom
And the firepower
And the guns-ablazing glory forever