Packing Pastors & Nuns with Guns: Let There be Light … and Guns

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 11.47.35 AMWhen Gov. Mike Beebe signed the Church Protection Act into law this month, Arkansas joined Louisiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming in allowing parishioners to bear weapons as they bear witness.

There is a certain logic to this: if you can arm teachers, why not preachers? If Jesus came with a sword, who is to say that in modern times his flock can’t pack a Glock? Advocates for such measures maintain that, a church being a public place, a mobilized congregation could defend itself from whatever armed intruder that threatened the peace of the faithful.

Unlike the NRA’s post–Sandy Hook push to allow guns in schools, however, there’s an American tradition of pistol-packing prayer—one that dates back beyond the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to an even earlier authority: the Puritan elders. During the drawn-out Indian Wars, colonists, on constant alert for raids, weren’t just expected to worship armed but were actually fined for praying without their weapons handy, the historian Bernard Bailyn tells us.

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  • Todd

    Pastors with Guns??? Oh Im sure if their was a god he’d be ok with GUNS WAKE UP!

    • Uncle Sam’s Misguided Child

      Guess you did but forgot your brain.

  • redwolf6911

    There have been several shootings in churches over the years. Makes sense to me, but most churches still will not allow CWL packers in churches. The Texas church where several were killed and injured several years ago, I now allows carry. I believe the pastor, most of ushers and a number of members also carry. Only an idiot would go to that church again.

  • revlarry

    I’m an ordained minister in a mainline, conservative, protestant denomination. Our state, Michigan, allows Concealed Carry in churches only with the permission of the clergy (or church boards). I am not a gun owner, nor a hunter. But I am far from ignorant of history. I have given my permission for members to carry in church (when asked), and I’m almost certain there are a couple who have not asked — but I would certainly stand behind them if they were challenged. I’ve gotten to know these people over the years, and don’t fear them — but I do fear for them, even in church. Their carrying might just keep me safe some sad Sunday.

  • Oscar

    Our World War 2 song starts with,, ( PRAISE THE LORD, AND PRAISE THE AMMUNITION)… DUUUUUUH? Todd are you from this planet?

  • Ted R. Weiland

    “…there’s an American tradition of pistol-packing prayer—one that dates
    back beyond the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to an even
    earlier authority: the Puritan elders.”

    Very good! However, our authority for the RESPONSIBILITY to bear arms in defense of ourselves, families, and neighbors goes much further back then 1600 America:

    “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword [or today’s equivalent] in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye Yah.” (Psalm 149:6-9)

    “…Nearly all gun enthusiasts point to the Second Amendment as their authority for possessing firearms, which means their authority to keep and bear arms can be traced back to 1791. Where did the men living in America prior to 1791 get their authority to be armed? Do you suppose they might have gotten it from Exodus 22:2-3; Deuteronomy 22:23-24; Psalm 149:6-9; Luke 11:21, 12:39, 22:36; and 1 Timothy 5:8….

    “If your authority to keep and bear arms is derived from the Second Amendment – from the god WE THE PEOPLE – it is unlikely you will react any differently from the British and Australians who surrendered their weapons when required to do so by their respective governments. On the other hand, if your faith is in Yahweh’s sovereign authority, you will be far less likely to turn over your weapons to any civil government unauthorized by the omnipotent Supreme Ruler of the universe.”

    For more, see online Chapter 12 “Amendment 2: Constitutional vs. Biblical Self-Defense” at

    • Davy Crockett

      All well informed Christians, patriots, and the Christian Founders of this nation recognize our right and duty to self defense is not granted by the Constitution, but merely recognized for the sake of future generation’s understanding. This is a necessary function of civil government and does not in anyway detract from the worth of our government as it was founded and intended. To most of, us this is a elementary point except for some very uninformed folks, lets move on from this old straw man to some real meat and get something productive done.

    • A. G. T. Jr.

      Ted, the line on the stone that separates us US Americans from Aussies and Brits is that they are SUBJECTS and are very persuaded that HRM the King bor Queen will always protect them. Us here in the US are citizens and have the right to defend our loved ones, property, and our individual selves. Family, property and individual protection and defense is a moral duty and right. This beautiful concept has been well elucidated before many and I’m simply reiterating it here lest we we slip on the proverbial banana peel of liberals, the ungodly and most Democrats.

      • Ted R. Weiland

        AGT, thanks for responding. I’ll refrain from getting into a debate about whether U.S. citizens are actually subjects (slaves) or not. But please consider the following regarding duty, or responsibilities, versus rights. Constitutional rights are optional whereas Biblical responsibilities (such as found in 1 Timothy 5:8, which includes bearing arms in defense of ourselves, families, and neighbors) is non-optional.

        Then ask yourself, which is more easily infringed, licensed, and limited: Constitutional rights or Biblical responsibilities?

        • Davy Crockett

          “Shall not be infringed” is an extremely clear phrase with absolutely no wiggle room, as clear as any Bible passage. Yet it is infringed upon and even ignored, how? Why? Simple, it is the bad leaders choosing to ignore law just as they will ignore and twist the Bible into a tyrannical theocracy that will fall as it has every other time in history. It is bad leaders that is the problem and the apathy of people who put them there, not our Constitution and form of government as the Christian Founding Fathers intended it to be. Theses same people will destroy your government even faster, while the Christian Founding Fathers government has stood their assaults for over 200 years, God, giving us time to fix it if we as men will govern ourselves, instead of expecting or leaving government to do it for us as you would have it.

          “Rights” as in such as those recognized and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are real and Biblical in our horizontal relationship with men. These are God given, inalienable rights granted by the duties and responsibilities God has given us in Scripture. Some examples are Gen. 1:26 were we are given dominion over the earth and all that is in it and “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1st Tim. 5:8). Providing means such things as security, food, shelter, etc, so from these passages we see our right to self defense and to bear arms, property rights and security of property etc. Everyone of our true rights can be found in Scripture like this.

          Before God, in our vertical relationship what we call “rights” are necessary parts of duties and responsibilities He has given us. Yet before Him, we do have rights, but a different type of rights. As sons of the living God and “co-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17) we have the right to pension Him in prayer (John 14:14). We have all the covenants, birthrights, and promises we can claim as ours with the rights and privileges they include. We also have the right to lose and bind as found in:

          “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

          “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 18:18-19

          Yes, God reserves His right as Sovereign over all, but He still grants us these rights as Christians and as applicable, as immortal beings “created in His image”. So it is incorrect to say we do not have rights. We truly do, have rights as I have shown above and as our Founding Fathers intended. I do not indorse the current state of our nation, but the foundation of this country was true.

        • A. G. T. Jr.

          Ted and Davy, I’m not a Constitutional Law student and theology is not my beat. My knowledge of how things are is as fundamental as breathing in order to live and the recognition of an all-powerful God. Both your treatise are beautiful and well-thought of and reading them was un-infringed joy and unlimited pleasure. Thanks gentlemen. May your tribe increase!!!

  • Robert Alexander

    Should be standing practice to now allow anyone considered a part of the congregation unless they at least own SOME form of weapon.

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