21 thoughts on “Guns Redux”

  1. LOL. Where I live, it seems that everyone is into guns, even the non-fundies. But fundies have a way of exporting the gun thing to the whole country. It makes me wonder how fundie missionaries in Europe handle it.

  2. Eh, not all fundy leaders like the idea of guns in the hands of the rank and file. I worked at PCC for 10 years (long story) and at that time, I seem to recall a rule against anyone who lived in staff housing owning a gun without permission from the administration. I lived off campus since my wife and I were half-caste, so it didn’t affect me directly, but a coworker once remarked about looking forward to being out of staff housing so he would be allowed to own a gun. I’m not sure if that was just for the residents of staff apartments, or if it applied to PCC-owned single-family homes as well, because as a resident of non-PCC-owned housing I didn’t receive the PCC housing rulebook.

    Dr. Mullenix and Dr. Mutsch also discouraged gun ownership from the pulpit on numerous occasions, with Mullenix suggesting that keeping a weapon to protect your family revealed a lack of faith in God, as I recall, and Mutsch suggesting gun ownership is dangerous and you are better off not owning one. On the other hand, the Campus Church did give Pastor Schettler a .270 deer rifle for Christmas one year, so I think it might be either a who-you-are thing, or a hunting-vs.-self-defense thing.

    They also absolutely prohibited teaching your kids to shoot BB guns in your yard, even if you owned the house. The staff handbook said if you want to teach your kid to shoot a BB gun, “go out in the country” to do it.

  3. From what I hear, Dr. Horton is quite a hunter himself — or at least was back in the day.

  4. If the fundies handled their guns like they handle the word of God the firing pins, triggers, bolts and other essential parts would be missing, rusted or otherwise frozen up from lack of care and attention; causing the gun to misfire, jam, or just plain blow up in their face.

  5. whereas if they handled their Bible knowledge like they handle their gun knowledge, they would know the origin of every doctrine, who expounded it most effectively, its significant faults and virtues, and what heresies it has effectively thwarted. They would also have identified the KJV as antiquated and out dated and would be advocating the most powerful, concise, and accurate version on the market, with considerable persuasion.

  6. @Phil Ray: rules against owning/carrying guns on school campuses are not fundy-specific. That’s actually the norm at most (all?) campuses.

  7. The guy in this story is actually Southern Baptist.

    I always detected a pacifistic bent at PCC. They don’t want anyone taking up for themselves for any reason.

    I believe Indiana University Southeast (Louisville suburb) allows the carry of firearms on campus *IF* the student has a concealed carry permit. I don’t believe any other university in the area does.

  8. @Amanda, the PCC rules applied to people who lived off campus in “normal” neighborhoods, but in housing controlled by PCC. PCC owns a significant percentage of the single-family homes in the neighborhoods that surround it (e.g., Norwood), as well as a few apartment complexes, and they do not allow staff to purchase homes without permission from the administration (which is not generally granted until you’ve been on a waiting list for some time). The staff handbook contains quite a bit of rules covering your home life (including what your wife and children can wear both inside the home and away from home, what you can do with your kids, etc.) and there is an additional handbook for those who live in PCC-owned housing that specifies additional rules. That’s the way it was in 2003-ish when I left, anyway.

    @Darrell, I believe you’re right about Dr. Horton, although I don’t believe he has hunted for many years. There is something of a dichotomy between things that are deemed OK for the leadership and what is deemed OK for the twentysomething family working for them, though. Whenever Dr. Mullenix and Mutsch criticized gun ownership, it was generally in the context of nonhunting guns, although they didn’t say so explicitly. Mullenix tells the story that his father-in-law wanted to give him a handgun to protect his daughter (Mrs. Mullenix) with, and Dr. Mullenix either refused, or took it and locked it away, I don’t recall which. But as I recall, he was using that as an example of what Christians should do, i.e. be pacifist and trust God to protect us in our pacifism, which is not a philosophy I adhere to.

  9. @Phil: gotcha. I thought you were referring to on-campus housing (which would make it a somewhat understandable rule), not off (which would be over controlling, in line with fundy philosophy). Blech.

    “But as I recall, he was using that as an example of what Christians should do, i.e. be pacifist and trust God to protect us in our pacifism, which is not a philosophy I adhere to.”

    Sounds a lot like Greg Boyd. Not sure fundies would want to be associated with him. 🙂

  10. Mmm. Good stuff. I had to rush home to my parents’ place in PA and didn’t have time to properly pack my gun(s) for the flight. I’ve felt naked for the last two weeks. 😀

    Re: guns at school… It varies by state. SC allows CWP holders only to have a firearm in the car on school property; non-permit holders can’t even have it in the glove box. Permanent residences on school property (including residence hall supervisor apartments, interestingly enough) are exempt from school property laws, but the minute you’re put of the front door you’re under the school clause. http://www.usacarry.com has a lot of good info about state laws and school property.

    Church laws are all over the place. Carrying at church in the Carolinas is legal with permission from a church authority (pastor, chairman of the deacon board, head elder, etc.). Illegal in Georgia entirely (but they do it anyway, amen?), and in PA it’s unrestricted.

    I have to know these things with as much travling as I do. 🙂

  11. I was raised Pagan and it’s been really interesting to see how the Pagan community’s views on firearms have changed over the last few decades.

    When I was a child, it seemed pretty much agreed upon that gun control was a good thing and that guns should be eliminated from the civilian world. Now, I grant that might have had that perception because my mother was a militant pacifist and kept to people with similar ideals.

    Even as an adult over the last decade and a half I’ve noticed a shift in the community. Fifteen years ago guns were considered a necessary evil or a tool to be mastered. They were still chagrined by the majority of Pagans that I knew or spoke to. Nowadays, it seems virtually every Pagan that is legally allowed to do so owns a gun, myself included.

    Mind you, this is not some spontaneously growing enthusiasm for sport shooting that’s evolved over the last twenty odd years. This is a response to a cultural shift that has taken place outside of our community during that same time. In the seventies and eighties there was a feeling that America at large was liberalizing and that Pagans of all stripes would soon be accepted as just another religious minority, allowed to live and let live as Jews and Buddhists usually are.

    This turned out not to be the case and in the nineties and aughts, as the nation has taken a perceived turn to the right, as fundamentalists have risen in prominence and power, as the religious atmosphere has become more charged and more hostile, we’ve become actively afraid that far right Xians will become violent towards us.

    It’s sad and a bit strange to admit this. Most of us dress it up, justify it other ways. “Target shooting is a skill to master,” is my usual statement. I’ve heard a number of other excuses but always with the unstated caveat that one day some megachurch firebrand, knowing that his numbers are too large to be stopped by local law enforcement, if they aren’t all part of his congregation already, is going to push his rhetoric too far and his flock will do what should be unthinkable.

    I freely grant that my experience may be skewed by the fact that I live in the deep south and confront a different degree of hostility than my counterparts in Northern California, for instance, but I also don’t know that that makes it any less troubling.

  12. I’ve never quite understood the whole gun thing. Like how did it get intertwined with religion in such an inseparable way? How did it become another doctrine? I don’t have anything against guns and am totally fine with anyone owning a gun. Really my lack of gun ownership is mostly due to apathy and the rest due to money, but still. I am happy without a gun and find no need for one.

    1. I think the importance of gun ownership is more of an American thing than a religious one. Widespread gun ownership is the last defense against either a foreign invasion or an out of control government.

  13. I think when your religion becomes intertwined with masculinity, Daniel Boone, cowboys, Americana, and a vision of an earlier version of this nation that never actually existed, the gun becomes a sacred relic. Having said that, I never owned a gun until after I started documenting abuses in Fundamentalism. I was threatened, and so I bought a gun.

  14. @BASSENCO, “when your religion becomes intertwined with masculinity” – this reminds me rather of Mark Driscoll, etc. Fundamentalism is infectious, and it seems to be spreading…

  15. The paraodx is, the more Fundamentalis emphasized gender roles and machismo over Christ, the more and more it became infected with adultery and child molesting.

  16. Fundies LOVE Hot Fuzz (unless he’s pulling them over), because not only is he a cop, but when not in uniform, he still usually carries his side arm and his badge on his belt. He says because if some lunatic goes crazy in a store somewhere, he can react and detain them.

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