Those with concealed-weapons permits may now carry guns in churches—at least in Louisiana. Governor Bobby Jindal signed
the bill on Tuesday night. As Politico reports, the law allows "permit holders who take an additional eight hours of tactical
training each year" to carry their firearms into houses of worship, which must announce that members of their congregations may be armed. Though seemingly a controversial step, reaction online has been muted.
Opponents of the law are quick to express their discontent, of course, while supporters of the law have
been largely silent.
- Biblically, This Seems Odd The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne responds with two quotes from the Bible. The first is from the Book of Isaiah: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." The second is from the Book of Matthew, and ends, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God." Dionne leaves it at that.
- For Some, a Christian Obligation Regarding Guns, explain Sarah Posner and Julie Ingersoll at Religion Dispatches. For example, so-called Reconstructionists, as well as those in the "survivalist/militia movement," believe "gun ownership is a Christian duty," partly, at least for the former, because "when the civil government oversteps the authority given to it by God, citizens have a right and an obligation to resist."
- Is This About Law and Order? At Think Progress, Amanda Terkel notes that Louisiana State Representative Henry Burns thinks the law offers "extra protection against crime." Yet, she points out, "to be clear ... houses of worship can authorize any person to receive a concealed handgun permit after eight hours of training--whether or not the purpose is to help them fight crime."
- The Last People Killed in Churches "The last bit of gun violence inside a church in the US that I recall," writes Shakesville blogger Melissa McEwan, "was the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and, before that, the shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, both of which were about conservatives seeking out progressives whose political views/actions they didn't like." So why were conservatives pushing for this law? Gov. Jindal also signed a bill yesterday requiring women to get an ultrasound before abortion, notes McEwan, "which makes the implicit invocation of Dr. Tiller by the other law somehow that much more painful."
- Compare This to the Attitude on Gay Adoption "Loaded weapons inside churches? Yeah, that doesn't pose a threat to kids," writes Michael Jones at Change.org. "But well qualified and eager gay and lesbian adoptive parents? Hit the panic button."