MARCH FOR OUR LIVES young people:
we believe in you, we pray for your success because your courage and commitment to justice can change our nation.
BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS RIGHT NOW
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Put down your guns. Stop taking blood money from the NRA. And by all means, stop giving the NRA money to perpetuate the madness of gun violence in the United States.
Welcome to Washington DC: We need you, we applaud you.
Ash Wednesday evening and what we now know is that 17 young people have been murdered by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Many more are injured and possibly more will succumb. Politicians who robotically spout their “prayers and thoughts” are with victims hide behind prayer and religion while their hands take money from the NRA. Bloody hands! Bloody politics. Stop praying to end gun violence, Congresspersons. We didn’t send you to Washington to pray nor to instruct we who pray in our churches, synagogues, mosques and temples about prayer. We sent you to legislate and protect your citizens. Stop praying to end gun violence and start legislating sensible gun control laws! We who take religion seriously deny you the use of piety to hide your inept and callous disregard of our children and young people, our fellow citizens.
This past October, I preached a sermon entitled, “We Need To Talk About Gun Violence.” If you search inside this site for “guns,” you will see over a dozen entries devoted to this topic. After years and years of massacres the only conclusion we can rationally make is, our culture is depraved. The level of depravity is stupefying and it permeates every level of our culture. In this season of Lent, let us ponder this reality, seek God’s redemption in our own lives and let us work side by side with those who want to end this scourge of gun violence in our country.
Las Vegas now has its name listed amongst the other cities of massacres carried out by lone gunmen who, with but one weapon and a lot of ammunition, destroy a multitude of lives. I have written so often in blogs about this that I can see no point in repeating what I have said on those other occasions. Our society is very sick. We should be alarmed. We should be rational and logical about how we limit access to these hideous weapons. But we aren’t and we won’t. And at the center of that hollow problematic is a wicked disposition desperately in need of a remedy and redemption. Let me state that last sentence more clearly: the problem is deeply spiritual. The remedies are simply mechanical and legislative but there must be a will, an intention to do what must be done to safeguard our society.
As you cross the threshold to enter the world, do so with blessing on your lips. When you cross the threshold and re-enter your home, do with thanksgiving and gratitude in your heart. In the various decisions you make in a day—from how you greet someone to how you carry out your work—consider doing no harm and expanding the circle of friendship and kindness. Join a community of the Spirit so your and my life might be hallowed, not rendered hollow.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
We remember the perished and wounded in Las Vegas.
Gun violence in America is a scourge. Had an invader killed as many of our citizens, we would be demanding a declaration of war from our Congress. Instead, we hear the NRA talk about the “right to carry and conceal” and our Congress cowardly shirk before the Gun sellers. Had a virus or plague killed as many, we would demand the CDC and other government agencies coordinate a multi-pronged effort to arrest the virus and find a vaccination. Instead, we are subjected to lies and half-truths about the Second Amendment.
It is not patriotic to stand by as fellow citizens are murdered and wounded.
It is immoral, even if it be legal, to sell assault weapons.
Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. Christians, stop supporting the blood soaked NRA. Start asking your congresspersons to pass sensible laws that register and control what can be sold. Gun shop owners, stop selling assault weapons. Put away your guns. We are reaping the whirlwind.
Listen to Pastor Bledsoe’s sermon of June 21st, WE WILL NOT BE MOVED, a sermon in response to the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Emanuel: we stand with you and fervently pray for you.
Our hearts go out to the families of those callously gunned down in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. What a wicked act! Everyone is asking, of course, how does a person walk into a church (and the perpetrator of this crime apparently sat with them for an hour before murdering them) and then execute nine people of faith? That is exactly the question we should ask.
Human personality is collective, developmental and does not appear ready-made and complete. In other words, this young man drew his ideas from somewhere; someone or some people played a role in his life. Where did he learn to hate Black people? What on earth gave him the idea that murdering people was okay? These will be difficult questions to answer since the mind is also mercurial and despite even good influences, will bend toward the wicked. But one thing that is not difficult to answer is how he was able to purchase a gun in the United States. The NRA owns so many of our congresspersons, has acted as a ministry of propaganda for the arming of any and everyone and in the name of freedom has facilitated a process that makes these deadly weapons more easily available than drugs.
Indeed, guns + hatred in America is a drug. Faiths United to Prevent Handgun Violence reports : ”New research was just released showing that the licensing of all handgun purchasers in Connecticut has led to a 40% drop in gunhomicides in the state. This is just on the heels of last year’s study that showed a 25% increase in gunhomicides when Missouri repealed it’s requirement that handgun purchasers be licensed. Both studies ruled out other possible explanations for the changes in gun homicides.”
May a surge of effort arise out of churches and likeminded persons who are sick and tired of gunhomicides in this country. Let us work together to make handgun purchaser licensing a national priority. You can begin by visiting Tale of Two States and signing the resolution to legislate such a requirement. In the meanwhile, we will pray for Emmanuel AME. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.