Nice Try, Snowflake

A guy named Richard Lindsay, a professed Christian writing on “Patheos” – a “progressive” Christian megablog – “renounces” his right to keep and bear arms:

I hereby renounce my right to bear arms.I will not keep guns in my house, in my car, or on my person. I will not rely on guns for self-protection. I do not believe owning a gun is a fundamental human right like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. I do not believe owning a gun is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy. I am capable of functioning in society without resorting to the threat or use of lethal force.

Isn’t that special?

Sorry, Rich.  Your rights are endowed to you by your creator.  You can choose not to exercise them.  You can even choose not to value them, or fight to allow government to illegitimately strip them away from us if you’d like.

But you can’t “renounce” your actual human rights any more than you can renounce the species you were born as.  You can tell everyone you want that you’re a dog; you can even lobby to have the law classify you, and all humans, as dogs if you’d like.  It doesn’t make you a dog.

You’re a human.  With a miserably subservient view of human rights.

I’m a Christian too – rather militantly so, actually – and there are few things in this world that nauseate me more than “Christian” gun control activists.

29 thoughts on “Nice Try, Snowflake

  1. Two years ago–and Patheos has really the whole range. It’s not totally progressive and has confessional (conservative, evangelical) Lutherans like Gene Veith there, too.

    But hey, good luck when Haman comes to town, Richard.

  2. I am given to understand that certain religious groups believe it is wrong to take a life – any life – so they won’t even step on bugs.

    I am given to understand that certain religious groups believe it is wrong to commit acts of violence, even in self defense, so they will allow themselves and their families to be abused and slaughtered on this Earth in hopes of reaching a better Kingdom.

    I am given to understand that certain religious groups believe theirs is the One True Faith and therefore, they have a moral obligation to attempt to convert me so that I, too, may one day enjoy Paradise.

    They are within their rights, as I am within mine to decline to adopt their religious views, decline to surrender to evil, decline to give up my arms.

  3. Um, you can’t be “militantly Christian”, those two ideas are juxtaposed. Beat your swords into plowshares, when your neighbor strikes you, turn your other cheek so that he may strike you there also. Christ=Prince of Peace…

    Sorry Mitch, I know it’s not the point of your post, but that comment is simply wrong-headed. Further, I’ve almost never seen you speak about faith, so how exactly are you “militantly” Christian? I’d challenge any claim to adhering to Christianity which embraced conservatism because conservatism at it’s core talks about NOT helping those in need but rather telling them to get up off their lazy butts and get a job. Christianity talks about HELPING those in prison, conservatism talks about making their conditions as severe as possible, usually with contempt for harsh conditions (such as those Joe Arpaio frequently inflicted on his prisoners). Conservatism is, imho, faux Christianity, a faith of prosperity, not of humility (Trump is a good example of that). Lutheranism talks about self-reliance but even Luther (early in his spiritual life) himself decried any assumption that self-reliance meant those in need were inferior/stupid/lazy as an excuse to not help.

    As far as renouncing rights, agreed you can’t renounce them – or rather, your renouncing them is irrelevant, you can say whatever you like, but that said, sorry Mitch embracing weaponry is counter to the tenets of Christianity, whether you agree or not is also, and equally irrelevant. It may nauseate you, but conversely and unlike your position, those who brandish personal firearms as a thinly veiled threat about their willingness to use violence and not “turn the other cheek” and likewise threaten to shoot others in shows of vigilantism, is equally nauseating and unlike your peptic discomfort actually IS an objection founded upon the words of Christ.

  4. The civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s was based on the idea of not turning the other cheek, and yet most Christian ministers believe the civil rights movement was justified by scripture.
    Lindsay accuses his Christian opponents of eisegesis, but he is guilty of eisegesis as well.

  5. Richard Lindsay is one of the sheep who’d pray for a sheepdog if the wolves were to come knocking on his door.

  6. Emery, your question perfectly illustrates the difference between Americans and people who are visiting America. Visitors don’t understand that Americans genuinely believe this stuff:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Since God gave us those gifts, Americans also believe that we have a right to protect and defend the gifts He gave us, one of which is life itself, using whatever means are necessary including lethal force.

    It’s the difference between being a citizen who has God-given rights and a subject who was given temporary permission by the Crown. Some visitors stay here their whole lives and never get the hang of it.

  7. Joe Doakes quoted:
    We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    Yet none of these “truths” are facts. It is certainly not a scientific fact that all men are created equal. Science tells us that the opposite is true, in scientific terms no two people are created equal. So unless you believe that a thing can be true without being a fact, what the founders wrote was nonsense.
    The word “fact” has an interesting history. Before the enlightenment it wasn’t used much. In the old days men used reason to determine truth. Nowadays they use science to determine facts.

  8. But you can’t “renounce” your actual human rights any more than you can renounce the species you were born as.

    According to Emery and his ilk you can renounce your gender, so why can’t you renounce your species? After all, they’ve already renounced the sapience part of homo sapiens.

  9. Nerdie: always the gentleman.

    JD, do you have a citation from the Bible that would clear this up for you?

  10. Ask dumb questions, get insulting answers, Emery.
    It’s not your first turn on this ride.

  11. The quote is from the Declaration of Independence, not the Bible.

    As for “facts” which have been established by hard science and therefore are indisputable TRUTH, you quibble over “equal” but accept “Creator?” Remarkable.

  12. Mam –
    “Yet none of these “truths” are facts. It is certainly not a scientific fact that all men are created equal. Science tells us that the opposite is true, in scientific terms no two people are created equal.”

    You do know the word equal has multiple meanings, right?
    Equal as they meant it is equal value or worth, not genetic identity.

    This is self evident to you, right?

    There are many ways of ‘knowing’ something outside of the scientific method.

  13. I like a couple of things in here. First, he says that he can’t think of any industry as impervious to suffering–apparently he’s not heard of those making hard drugs, as well as those making cheap liquor and cigarettes, all of which kill far more people than do guns. He also claims that there are no mass stabbings–so apparently he’s not been reading news reports out of China and elsewhere.

    “Like”, here, of course means “I find the author’s arguments to be idiotic.”

    Really, the central problem with his thesis is that he doesn’t understand Roman culture of Christ’s day. Only citizens–a minority of people–had recourse to the courts and appeal for protection. So then, even more than now, people had to be able to defend themselves–and thus assumes that passages that may have referred merely to mild crimes against one’s self were to be seen as admitting big crimes against self and others.

    Christ doesn’t give us this choice, though, noting that the one who wishes to rob the strong man must first overcome him (self-defense), that His disciples need to have swords, and of course the entire Old Testament, which describes the God-given role of each adult male in the Israeli militia, and likens prophets to watchmen on city walls.

    Really, if Christ wanted us to unilaterally disarm, He ought to have not only told us specifically to get rid of swords, but also to get rid of defensive features that permeate architecture of the time. He didn’t, and hence I conclude that he’s overstating the impact of the passages from the Sermon on the Mount quite a bit.

  14. Nerdie: always the gentleman.

    Thank you, I try to be polite when confronted with complete idiocy, and transgenderism is idiocy of the first order. I believe that the science of DNA is pretty well settled and proven, and denying that science and accepting an alternate perception completely at odds with reality is unwise at best.

    But, hey, I’m ok with folks doing what they want. Just don’t expect me to join in the parade or ask me to pay for it.

    And yeah, I’ve had to deal first hand with coworkers who’ve undergone the change. I tried to change the name, but often failed given I’d called them by another for 8 years or so. As for pronouns, I simply stopped using them in reference to that individual. I didn’t particularly care that they underwent the change, though, as they were as useless an engineer before and after.

  15. Equal has one meaning: ‘the same.’ 4+2=6 means that 6 and 4+2 are the same, though they obviously appear differently. What the founders probably referred to (in terms of equality) was that unequal legal rights were created by men, not God. In jolly old England, your legal rights did vary by the circumstances of your birth.
    And the ‘creator’ might be nature itself, not the God of the Bible 🙂

  16. Let us recall here for a moment that the Declaration and the Constitution are Natural Rights documents.

    Further, let us recall that the Constitution is most emphatically not an enumerated rights document. It’s an enumerated powers document.

    It is not the government telling the people what rights they have. It’s the People telling the government what powers they have in order to protect those rights.

    So, “All men are created equal” is quite simply a statement that all men are equal in the eyes of the government and will be treated fairly and lawfully.

  17. Um, you can’t be “militantly Christian”, those two ideas are juxtaposed.

    In theological terms? Sure.

    In civil terms? A Christian who opts to defend Christianity from violent attack is a militant in civil terms.

    Beat your swords into plowshares, when your neighbor strikes you, turn your other cheek so that he may strike you there also. Christ=Prince of Peace…

    All noble ideals indeed. If turning the other cheek serves only to unmask a holster, it’s a sin I’ll ask forgiveness for some other time.

    so how exactly are you “militantly” Christian?

    Not sure it needs any more elaboration…

    I’d challenge any claim to adhering to Christianity which embraced conservatism because conservatism at it’s core talks about NOT helping those in need

    Sorry, Pen, that’s untrue. Conservatism is all about personal charity and generosity

    but rather telling them to get up off their lazy butts and get a job.

    Sometimes, yes. Nothing wrong with getting a job, if one is able to, is there?

    Christianity talks about HELPING those in prison, conservatism talks about making their conditions as severe as possible,

    For some conservatives, that’s true.

    Conservatism is, imho, faux Christianity, a faith of prosperity,

    Pen, all due respect, that exhibits a profound lack of understanding of what actual, classical American conservatism is.

    not of humility (Trump is a good example of that).

    Trump is not a conservative. Never has been.

    Lutheranism talks about self-reliance but even Luther (early in his spiritual life) himself decried any assumption that self-reliance meant those in need were inferior/stupid/lazy as an excuse to not help.

    As do conservatives. I mean, sure – you can find examples of arrogant presumpuous conservaties, just as you can find arrogant presumptuous liberals (“It’s ignorant to think people can spend their own money better than government can” – Larry Pogemiller). Individual opinions <> the entire group belief.

    As far as renouncing rights, agreed you can’t renounce them – or rather, your renouncing them is irrelevant,

    Well, that’s the point of my post, now, isn’t it? 🙂

    you can say whatever you like, but that said, sorry Mitch embracing weaponry is counter to the tenets of Christianity, whether you agree or not is also,

    Check out Luke 22:36 and get back to me on that.

    those who brandish personal firearms as a thinly veiled threat about their willingness to use violence and not “turn the other cheek” and likewise threaten to shoot others in shows of vigilantism, is equally nauseating

    Where does that come from? Who is “brandishing” and “threatening” anyone?

    And, by the way, for the public record, I own no firearms – they utterly terrify me – and I could and would never shoot another person, even in self-defense, even if I owned one.

  18. Regarding Christ and being totally peaceful, check out Revelation 19:15, too. Plus, if per Matthew 16:18, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, exactly what is the Church doing to break down those gates? Why does Paul say “I have fought the good fight”, and why does he use the picture of the soldier’s life as a metaphor for the life of faith?

    Turns out, contra Penigma, that the “church militant” has been a fixture of Christian theology for centuries, maybe millenia. Maybe he’d do well to find a church where the leadership knows about little things like this and teaches them.

    And connecting it to conservatives? Gosh, good luck connecting distinctly Christian theology, even in its twisting by Penigma, to the millions of conservatives who are Jewish, Muslim, atheist/agnostic, and such. But even if one admits Penigma’s mistake, he fails because Romans 13 makes very clear that the king does not bear the sword (ahem) for nothing. We are supposed to be afraid of the wrath of the king. Sin, and crime, is supposed to have painful results.

  19. You want to see what a violent religion looks like, read the Iliad, the most important foundational document of Greek and Roman civilization.
    Everything is accomplished by force. There is no good or evil, per se, only power. Zeus rules the other Gods because he is more powerful than they are, and he is not hesitant to give other gods a beat down if he thinks that they deserve it. He flings Hephaestus out of Olympus and down to earth for taking sides against him. He hangs Juno in the sky in sky with golden chains for plotting against him. How did Zeus become king of the gods? He beat the crap out of his titan father, Kronos, and castrated him (guaranteeing no more brothers to dispute Zeus’s rule).
    It is important to compare Christianity with the competing religion at the time of its founding.

  20. It is important to compare Christianity with the competing religion at the time of its founding.

    Ahem, the competing religion at that time and place was Judaism.

  21. Pingback: In The Mailbox Leftovers: 08.30.17 : The Other McCain

  22. . . . it is worth mentioning that the OT has more in common with Iliad than it does with the NT. War and conquest, cities taken and pillaged, the men slaughtered, the women and children taken into captivity. In the Iliad, there is even conflict between priests and kings (Apollo takes the side of the Trojans when Agamemnon takes the daughter of a priest of Apollo, allied with the Trojans, as war booty). IIRC, the two texts developed at about the same time (800-400 BC).

  23. MP, that’s the dates of a lot of books of history and prophetic books. Even discarding the hypothesis that Moses was the one to write down the Torah, there are fragments of Torah at least a few centuries older than 800 BC. Plus, there are some historical references which suggest a much older date for portions of the OT.

    And most similar to the Iliad? Well, inasmuch as it’s narrative that isn’t obviously centered around one person, yes, but there are a lot of other hints and parallels in Scripture that connect OT and NT.

  24. Textual clues, like the names of Grecian kingdoms given in the text of the Iliad, indicate that the events of the Trojan War occurred in the 11th or 12th century BC. The poem itself is considered to have been composed about the 8th century BC, long before the “Golden Age” of Greek civilization (around the 3rd or 4th century BC). I was surprised to learn that the earliest complete copy of the Iliad dates only to about the 10th century AD. Still, the ancient Greeks wrote about it.
    Textual analysis of the OT shows a similar date of origin. I am hesitant to speculate further, because I have heard from a Hebrew scholar that the Torah in Hebrew was not properly translated when the KJV bible was written. The references to Christ were accentuated when they should not have been. I lack expertise in this and will not speculate further.

  25. MP, given that the Old Testament is written in a number of different dialects of Hebrew, and even has sections in Aramaic, I’ve got to question your source’s ability to determine that all 39 books of the OT date from the time you’re talking about, especially since most of the Prophets come from after the dates you mention.

    There are very real debates, and good ones, over how to approach the business of translation, especially in places where Christian theologians argue that it’s an early picture of the anointed one. But imposing a textual uniformity on the Old Testament really shows only that the scholar doesn’t understand some basics about those 39 books. Even the German form critics got this much.

  26. BB, yes to everything you’ve said, but I was not about to begin a debate about the accuracy of the KJV version of the OT with an Israeli poet who had been studying the Torah and publishing commentary about it for years. I’m good, but I am not that good. I was out of my league 🙂
    We did have an interesting exchange about an obscure angel named Anpiel, who was supposed to be the being God put in special charge of birds. She said my outlook was hopelessly pagan 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.