A new Louisiana law (House Bill 1272) allows people with concealed gun permits to carry weapons inside church buildings. The bill, which goes into effect on August 15, "also requires that the head of the house of worship announce either verbally or in a weekly newsletter to the congregation that its members may be carrying weapons." (from Politico.com)
In light of this requirement I write this letter:
An Open Letter to the people of my congregation
Grace & Peace in Jesus Christ!
As you know we live in a dangerous world. Threats foreign and domestic are in constant battle to rob us of our way of life. Many of us wake up on Sunday mornings unsure about attending worship, fearful of what might happen to us and to those that we love.
In response to these and many other threats (some that we don't even know about yet) our state legislature in their infinite wisdom has decided to allow people to carry concealed weapons inside church buildings. We all know the importance of security inside churches for many of these threats to our native land originate with a hatred towards our religious way of life.
I invite all of you to our first "Bring Your Gun to Church Sunday," this Sunday at 10 am. After the "passing of the peace" we'll be blessing all guns for the work of God's kingdom.
Peace, Br. Juan
I am thankful that all United Methodist Churches are officially gun free zones. I wonder why our legislature believes that our churches need to be places where people carry guns?
I pray that we recognize the irony of weapons in a house of worship. I pray that God's people continue to denounce violence as contrary to our way of life. I pray that we continue to find ways to respond lovingly to those that do choose violence in our communities and our world. May fear, real or imagined, not distract us from the risky work of God's kingdom in the world.