Thursday, June 01, 2006

What About the Religious Left?

In a thread over at THR the other day, a debate was going on over who we have more to fear from, the right or the left. In that thread, a quote from George Bush the Elder came up:

No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots.

And that one got me to thinking, since The High Road is, after all, a gun forum.
There are those on both sides of the political spectrum who speak of the threats posed by the "religious right" in this country since the Republicans have been in power in Washington and avowed Christian George W. Bush has been in the White House. Some have even gone so far as to contend that the factions with the most influence in Washington want to see the United States more or less turned into a theocracy, that the "religious right" has the country in a choke-hold and represents a dire threat to our Republic. But no one ever says anything about the Religious Left. Many of us know their issues, as quoted in the Post's article -- basically, government solutions to everything that ails this country, and this includes more gun control. Just for fun,I went looking for some of the measures that have been championed by the religious left, and, well, just take a look for yourself. From the United Methodist Church:
Another issue discussed at the 2000 General Conference was the issue of gun violence and the stance that the United Methodist Church should take on gun-control in the United States. Roughly 71% of the representative board voted to approve a resolution agreeing to support laws that would ban some firearms (including handguns and assault weapons)...

From Christian Ethics Today:
we developed a petition which could be used by churches to send a message to local, state, and federal level politicians about measures which need to be taken. The petition calls for an outright federal ban on assault weapons. It asks our state to repeal a recent law allowing ministers to carry concealed weapons in the pulpit! (yes, and we all saw the results of such a policy last week in Louisiana. -- ed.) It also suggests some more stringent measures, such as requiring all guns to be licensed, and all owners to attend a safety course in order to get their license renewed.

From the wolves-in-sheepdogs'-clothing at the Anti-Defamation League:
"While we have always supported legislation that attempts to address the problems of extremism and gun violence in our society, the recent school shootings in Littleton, Colo. and Conyers, Ga. have focused public attention on another troubling dimension of the problem – the ease with which young people are able to obtain guns in this country," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Strong gun laws are the only way we can act immediately and decisively to hopefully prevent another tragedy from happening in our schools."

(for an excellent rebuttal to the ADL's dangerous nonsense, refer to Aaron Zelman and his invaluable organization, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and here is another great smacking-down of the ADL's disgusting attempts to "use the Holocaust as (its) own political tool")

And this, from gun scholar David Kopel: legislatures have debated laws allowing licensed, trained citizens to obtain a permit to carry a handgun for protection, some of the most vocal opponents have been religious groups. Now the state chapter of the National Council of Churches does not show up at legislative hearings armed with criminological data. Instead, persons claiming to testify on behalf of "the religious community" come to express their "moral" opposition to the use of deadly force against criminal attack...Within the gun control movement, one does not have to dig very far to find the strongly-held and sanctimonious belief that the NRA and its ilk are moral cretins because they believe in answering violence with violence.

If you click on the Kopel link, you'll also see the execrable Charles Schumer actually saying that Sarah Brady -- the "paleo-(Cindy) Sheehan of the anti-gun movement," as Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee so accurately described her -- was "doing God's work." Kopel goes on to demolish Schumer's holier-than-thou claim with an excellent case for the moral legitimacy of self-defense with deadly force. Aaron Zelman, again:
But who exactly is Chuck Schumer's god? Certainly not the G-d of Judeo-Christian teachings -- the G-d who championed righteous self-defense in the name of life. Does Schumer worship the golden calf? Or perhaps he was referring to Anubis, the Egyptian god of death who conducted souls into the underworld. Or Set, the Egyptian god of chaos who personified evil. For evil and death will reign in a world where thugs are armed and disarmed victims bow helpless before them.

We are blessed to have such eloquence on our side. But, in any event, the question remains: Why does no one say anything about the insidious threat posed by such rhetoric and efforts from the Religious Left? Say what you will about the Religious Right clamping down on sex toys and such, but while I agree that the efforts of the RRs are misguided and may well be potentially dangerous to the Constitution and the Republic, the efforts of the Religious Left at further disarming Americans deserve no less scrutiny. In fact, I would argue that they deserve more, as we all know exactly what happens as a people is disarmed: everything from complete and utter societal breakdown, as seen on the streets of not-so-Great Britain-anymore, to the wholesale slaughter of the peoples whom those in power do not favor, as seen in Nazi Germany and Cambodia. We know they'll say, "it could never happen here," but then, no doubt many of the 120-some-odd-million innocents slaughtered by their governments in the 20th century thought the very same thing.
As for the whole "patriotism" angle, well, anyone who's familiar with the who's who of those in the gun-blogging community know very well that some of the biggest America-boosters to be found are atheists. Two names that ome to mind are the peerless Kim du Toit, and Kevin Baker at The Smallest Minority, and if I remember correctly, the GeekWithA.45 has said that he's a bit of an agnostic (Geek, if you read my rantings, please feel free to correct me on that point...) I am a theist, but I know better than to think that theism is a prerequisite for patriotism, and I think all true right-thinking people do as well.