American fundamentalist Christianity is growing increasingly irrational. Of course, fundamentalism of any sort is basically the product of immaturity and irrationality … but what I mean is that it’s getting worse than it had been. The New York Times reports on a pastor in Louisville KY who celebrates guns as being central to Christian theology:

Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church

Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it.

I could be wrong, but the Jesus Christ I recall reading about in the gospels was a pacifist. Here’s a sample from scripture … this is when Jesus was being arrested:

And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:51-52)

Pagano’s theology is, by comparison, overtly militant:

“God and guns were part of the foundation of this country,” Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. “I don’t see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.”

Pagano is correct in saying that “not every Christian denomination is pacifist,” however, that does not mean they’re actually obeying the words of the same Jesus who said “all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” Pagano, far from acknowledging this, is adamant about his warlike theology:

“When someone from within the church tells me that being a Christian and having firearms are contradictions, that they’re incompatible with the Gospel — baloney,” he said. “As soon as you start saying that it’s not something that Christians do, well, guns are just the foil. The issue now is the Gospel. So in a sense, it does become a crusade. Now the Gospel is at stake.”

Pagano is saying that any limitation on Christians is utterly impermissible. To say that “guns are not Christian” is — in his mind — an abridgment of what Christians can do … and to abridge Christians is a direct frontal assault on “the Gospel” (i.e. Christianity itself).

Therefore, to say guns are not Christian is to attack Christianity.

Words cannot express how utterly irrational and asinine this line of thinking is. It’s religiously-inspired paranoia.

Note: The NY Times Lede blog is live-blogging this event. Check there for any recent news about it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,