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What Would Jesus Say to the NRA? by Shane Claiborne

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I personally am not a religious person. I believe in the life force that is this universe, not a human personified deity residing in the sky. I was raised Catholic but I have rejected a good deal of the churches teachings. 

However, Shane Claiborne is one of the few Christians I truly admire. I also believe he's one of the few who is actually living and breathing Christs teachings. So much so that he hangs out with the prostitutes and drug addicts, and convicts of Philadelphia and is the leader of The Simple Way. His is a message of unconditional love. Especially for those who hurt us the most. I read his book Jesus For President and it was a very good book. This is an article he wrote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-claiborne/what-would-jesus-say-to-the-nra_b_2360543.html


What does the birth of the baby Jesus 2,000 years ago have to offer the violent, troubled world we live in? Or what would Jesus say to the NRA?

I want to suggest: a lot. A whole lot.

Jesus entered the world from a posture of absolute vulnerability -- as an unarmed, innocent child during a time of tremendous violence. The Bible speaks of a terrible massacre as Jesus was born, an unspeakable act of violence as King Herod slaughters children throughout the land hoping to kill Jesus (which the church remembers annually as the massacre of the Holy Innocents).

Perhaps the original Christmas was marked more with agony and grief like that in Connecticut than with the glitz and glamour of the shopping malls and Christmas parades. For just as Mary and Joseph celebrated their newborn baby, there were plenty of other moms and dads in utter agony because their kids had just been killed.

From his birth in the manger as a homeless refugee until his brutal execution on the Roman cross, Jesus was very familiar with violence. Emmanuel means "God with us." Jesus' coming to earth is all about a God who leaves the comfort of heaven to join the suffering on earth. The fact that Christians throughout the world regularly identify with a victim of violence -- and a nonviolent, grace-filled, forgiving victim -- is perhaps one of the most fundamentally life-altering and world-changing assumptions of the Christian faith. Or it should be.

So what does that have to do with the NRA? Underneath the rhetoric of the gun-control debate this Christmas is a nagging question: Are more guns the solution to our gun problem?

Everything in Jesus' world, just as in ours, contends that we must use violence to protect the innocent from violence, which is the very thing Jesus came to help us un-learn through his nonviolent life and death on the cross. Surely, we think, if God were to come to earth, he should at least come with a bodyguard -- if not an entire entourage of armed soldiers and secret service folk. But Jesus comes unarmed. Surely, we think, if God were about to be killed he would bust out a can of butt-kicking wrath; but Jesus looks into the eyes of those about to kill him and says, "Father forgive them." The Bible goes so far to say that the wisdom of God makes no sense to the logic of this world, in fact it may even seem like "foolishness" (or at least utopian idealism).

When soldiers come to arrest and execute Jesus, one of his closest friends defensively picks up a sword to protect him. Jesus' response is stunning: He scolds his own disciple and heals the wounded persecutor. It was a tough and very counter-intuitive lesson: "The one who picks up the sword dies by the sword ... there is another way."

That lesson that Jesus taught his disciple is as relevant to us, and the NRA, as it was the early movement of Christians in the first century. Violence will not rid the world of violence. You do not use swords to get rid of swords or guns to get rid of guns. There is another way.

Many Christians have begun to speak of Jesus as an interruption to the "myth of redemptive violence," the assumption that we can use violence to get rid of violence or that we can destroy a life to save a life. The myth of redemptive violence has many ugly faces. It teaches us that we can kill those who kill to show that killing is wrong. It teaches us to live by the law of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" a law that Jesus firmly spun on its head, saying, "You've heard it said 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth ... but I tell you..." There is another way. Killing to show that killing is wrong is like trying to teach holiness by fornication. The cure is as bad as the disease.

At one point Jesus even weeps over the violent world he lived in, lamenting that "they did not know the things that would lead to peace." The fact that Jesus carried a cross rather than a sword has something relevant and redemptive to offer our violent-possessed world. After all, the Bible has a lot to say about loving enemies, and "Thou shalt not kill," but doesn't even mention the right to bear arms.

So let's imagine. What would Jesus say to our nation, where these are things are true:

  • 10,000 people die from gun-related homicides each year, that's one Sandy Hook massacre a day, every day
  • There are nearly 90 guns for every 100 people
  • There are more than 51,000 licensed gunshops (and 30,000 supermarkets)
  • Guns that can shoot 100 rounds a minute, and are only designed to kill, are still legal
  • Other than auto accidents, gun violence is the leading cause of death of young people (under 20)
  • $20,000 a second is spent on war

There is a reason we talk about "Peace on Earth" so much around Christmas. There is a reason why we talk about Jesus as the "Prince of Peace." He consistently taught that we can disarm violence without mirroring it, and that we can rid the world of evil without becoming the evil we abhor. So let us recommit ourselves to Peace this Christmas season and new year -- in honor of Jesus, and in honor of the holy innocents.

by on Dec. 28, 2012 at 4:06 PM
Replies (41-50):
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:59 PM
1 mom liked this

Do you think people would have a better chance at surviving an armed home invasion if they just said "take whatever you want, just take it and go".

Statistics say yes. This isn't cut and dry though. I'm not going to sit here and pretend there are many ways that kind of situation can really tank, doesn't matter what the home owners do. I'm just wondering about those who claim to be Christian and yet hold on to their weapons, support wars and violence. 

Quoting pansyprincess:

Is this what Jesus taught?

What I think are lot of people call themselves Christians, and say they believe and have faith, but at the end of the day, they wouldn't die for that faith.  They wouldn't act as Jesus would, and let that person barge into their home and kill them.  They wouldn't turn the other cheek.  They wouldn't show love in the face in the violence.   So it makes you wonder how much they really believe in their god. 

Quoting Mommy2_two:

 That is true. PEOPLE WITH GUNS PROTECT PEOPLE FROM OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE GUNS!

Quoting Bookwormy:

But everyone knows guns don't protect people, people protect people.
Quoting yourspecialkid:
Quoting Bookwormy:

 I'm not Christian so I don't really care what Jesus would tell anyone, but I think that if I am wrong, & Jesus really was/is the son of G-d, you are likely off base.  If I am wrong I'm guessing Shane Claiborne is on the money & you don't like that, do you?  Bummer for you I guess.

Do you believe is Jesus?  If not, don't let Mr. Claiborne get under your skin.  If you do, you might consider the hypocricy of Christianity & fighting violence with violence.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Jesus would tell Shane not to judge others.  Especially based on the actions of a few

 You don't know what the NRA is really about do you?  It isn't about war.  It is about protecting what the Constitution promises.  It is about allowing people to protect themselves, their family and their property and choosing to use a firearm to do so.  The NRA is about insuring hunters and the tables they put meat on.  It is about hobbyists, collectors and historians.

I can't help but wonder what you would do if your family was threatened....would you just have everyone line up to be killed or would you fight back?  Protection of self and family may be violent, but it is necessary violence

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM

His accent kinda makes some words hard to understand. I've watched a couple times just to understand everything he says. In the most adorable way. Damn this guy is cute. I admire his passion the most. 

Quoting Billiejeens:

I have got to check my hearing.

I thought it was "the meek" shall inherit the earth - not "the freak".

Quoting mehamil1:

Adorable.

Quoting FromAtoZ:

It really is.

For what ever reason, that I can't really explain, this article really hit me.  Not necessarily from the 'gun' angle.............the overall, more important, message.  The message Jesus laid out for all to see and learn from.  I don't know, it's a little strange.....but the words written here truly impacted me tonight.

Silly........perhaps.  But true

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM
Guns don't kill people, people kill people, but people kill people with inanimate objects?


Quoting Mommy2_two:

 That is true. PEOPLE WITH GUNS PROTECT PEOPLE FROM OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE GUNS!




Quoting Bookwormy:

But everyone knows guns don't protect people, people protect people.



Quoting yourspecialkid:


 



Quoting Bookwormy:



 I'm not Christian so I don't really care what Jesus would tell anyone, but I think that if I am wrong, & Jesus really was/is the son of G-d, you are likely off base.  If I am wrong I'm guessing Shane Claiborne is on the money & you don't like that, do you?  Bummer for you I guess.



Do you believe is Jesus?  If not, don't let Mr. Claiborne get under your skin.  If you do, you might consider the hypocricy of Christianity & fighting violence with violence.



 



Quoting yourspecialkid:



 Jesus would tell Shane not to judge others.  Especially based on the actions of a few.



 



 



 



 You don't know what the NRA is really about do you?  It isn't about war.  It is about protecting what the Constitution promises.  It is about allowing people to protect themselves, their family and their property and choosing to use a firearm to do so.  The NRA is about insuring hunters and the tables they put meat on.  It is about hobbyists, collectors and historians.



I can't help but wonder what you would do if your family was threatened....would you just have everyone line up to be killed or would you fight back?  Protection of self and family may be violent, but it is necessary violence.



 





 


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I did in fact write it myself.  No matter how rude AsFriend is now, she knows that I am, in fact, quite witty, even if she won't admit it.  She used to be nicer when she went by that profile name before Sandy.  At least I'm told that BJ & AF are one in the same.  I really hope it isn't true, because I liked & respected AF, even though we often didn't agree.  BJ has gone out of her way to cyber-bully me & hurt my feelings.  Its almost as if she has dissociative identity disorder.  And one isn't even allowed to have multiple screen/profile names on CM!  But trolls & folks with mental illness don't really follow rules, do they?


Quoting mehamil1:

Out of her glowingly brilliant brain. 

Quoting Billiejeens:

That's actually a good line.  Where'd you get it?

Quoting Bookwormy:

But everyone knows guns don't protect people, people protect people.
Quoting yourspecialkid:
Quoting Bookwormy:

 I'm not Christian so I don't really care what Jesus would tell anyone, but I think that if I am wrong, & Jesus really was/is the son of G-d, you are likely off base.  If I am wrong I'm guessing Shane Claiborne is on the money & you don't like that, do you?  Bummer for you I guess.

Do you believe is Jesus?  If not, don't let Mr. Claiborne get under your skin.  If you do, you might consider the hypocricy of Christianity & fighting violence with violence

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Jesus would tell Shane not to judge others.  Especially based on the actions of a few

 You don't know what the NRA is really about do you?  It isn't about war.  It is about protecting what the Constitution promises.  It is about allowing people to protect themselves, their family and their property and choosing to use a firearm to do so.  The NRA is about insuring hunters and the tables they put meat on.  It is about hobbyists, collectors and historians.

I can't help but wonder what you would do if your family was threatened....would you just have everyone line up to be killed or would you fight back?  Protection of self and family may be violent, but it is necessary violence


 

Hate Is NOT a Family Value.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:38 PM

People who pose these types of arguments obviously haven't read the entire Bible, or truly understand Biblical History. God put forth the law stating that if you killed someone, the relatives of that person could kill you, provided you hadn't found sanctuary.  Jesus also participated in violence, when people were selling animals in the temple.

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM

The scene at the temple is always used as a justification for violence. Oh, Jesus threw over some tables in the temple, that excuses my own violent behavior. 

It's a cop out and you know it. 

Watch the video I posted of Shane Claiborn. He's one of the few Christians who takes Jesus seriously. He calls himself a red letter Christian. He pays the most attention to the words written in red. What Jesus said, what he did. That is the most important part of that book. Jesus said to forgive the trespasses against you. So if you are a Christian, I would think that trumps the law of Moses which is eye for an eye. 

His argument is based on what Jesus said and did. Not what the rest of that book says. 

Quoting kailu1835:

People who pose these types of arguments obviously haven't read the entire Bible, or truly understand Biblical History. God put forth the law stating that if you killed someone, the relatives of that person could kill you, provided you hadn't found sanctuary.  Jesus also participated in violence, when people were selling animals in the temple.

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I know she's asfriend. She's said way too much that asfriend also said for her to not be asfriend. I don't care. I take her with a grain of salt. 

Quoting Bookwormy:

I did in fact write it myself.  No matter how rude AsFriend is now, she knows that I am, in fact, quite witty, even if she won't admit it.  She used to be nicer when she went by that profile name before Sandy.  At least I'm told that BJ & AF are one in the same.  I really hope it isn't true, because I liked & respected AF, even though we often didn't agree.  BJ has gone out of her way to cyber-bully me & hurt my feelings.  Its almost as if she has dissociative identity disorder.  And one isn't even allowed to have multiple screen/profile names on CM!  But trolls & folks with mental illness don't really follow rules, do they?

Quoting mehamil1:

Out of her glowingly brilliant brain. 

Quoting Billiejeens:

That's actually a good line.  Where'd you get it?

Quoting Bookwormy:
But everyone knows guns don't protect people, people protect people.
AdellesMom
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Great read
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Oh look, he addresses this very subject you brought up. It's called bad theology. 

Quoting kailu1835:

People who pose these types of arguments obviously haven't read the entire Bible, or truly understand Biblical History. God put forth the law stating that if you killed someone, the relatives of that person could kill you, provided you hadn't found sanctuary.  Jesus also participated in violence, when people were selling animals in the temple.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Out of curiosity, what are his credentials?  As in, what makes him so big and powerful that he can determine what is or isn't bad theology?

He needs to get a clue.  The Bible talks about Jesus' second coming, and a great and terrible battle (ie war) that he will be waging against all of evil.  It could be metaphor, it could be literal, but the point is, he never said that war was wrong, in fact his father commanded his people to do so, many times.  He is not a pacifist.

Quoting mehamil1:

Oh look, he addresses this very subject you brought up. It's called bad theology. 

Quoting kailu1835:

People who pose these types of arguments obviously haven't read the entire Bible, or truly understand Biblical History. God put forth the law stating that if you killed someone, the relatives of that person could kill you, provided you hadn't found sanctuary.  Jesus also participated in violence, when people were selling animals in the temple.


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