06 Nov

Counting the Cost of Freedom…

Living here in the United States is a blessing. Living in the freedom provided by God through Jesus Christ even more so!

I was in the process of researching for one of many other things on my mind this day when I learned of the latest mass MURDER in a small town near San Antonio, Texas. I don’t know about you but I’m somewhere between complete outrage and total numbness. Wasn’t it less than a month ago that 50+ people died when another human, for reasons not yet determined, took his private arsenal to a hotel room and killed people???

Earlier this week, right here in my neck of the woods, a self-described supporter of ISIS ( a supposedly ‘religion oriented” terror group), rented a truck and mowed down a crowd of people enjoying the afternoon on a bike path. The victims of today’s shooting spree were in CHURCH!

As I have written before, I’m not against owning guns. Our Bill of Rights says that is one of the many freedoms we have. per a few different interpretations. However others may disagree. That is neither here nor there in this discussion. I get that in many parts of the U.S. a gun may be necessary for protection. This is especially so in a small town like Sutherland Springs, TX. Rural areas, including much of the Midwest are also likely to need a form of protection as properties are often very far apart. Farms need to protect themselves and their livestock from wild critters whether they have four legs or two. (I just finished re-reading “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote where an entire family was murdered by two small time ex-cons in very rural Kansas)

All that being said, over the history of the country, our governing leaders have provided conditions to protect us from ourselves while still able to exercise the freedoms we have. Keeping in mind that our governing document, The Constitution, was written before television, the internet, social media etc. so forth and so on. As technology and innovation brought us the current marvels, so too did our elected government create legislation to regulate these things as well as commerce, the food we eat, and how we travel. These acts are/were created to keep us safe from dangerous things. We need a license to drive a car, just as a doctor needs one to practice medicine. There are laws about the criteria needed to sell beef, chicken, and other livestock. Regulations about what a business can and can’t do and yes, different states have different laws about the types of guns allowed and who and what it takes to get that freedom. Sadly, abuse of these laws as well as any kind of common sense safety-minded regulation has gone by the wayside.

Personally, I blame our Congress who has chosen to serve the gun lobby instead of the people they were elected to protect. The lobby-aka the NRA and gun manufacturers- make sure to contribute to politicians who are more concerned about keeping their jobs than actually doing what they were hired for. What’s really sad to me is so called “Christian leaders” support this dereliction of duty. These have chosen a Master other than Jesus to serve and THAT is sin in my book. It’s in THE BOOK as well. Jesus said “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Luke 16:13 ) He also warned us about those who profess to be believers and followers of Jesus in word but not in deed. In Matthew 7:15–23 Jesus warned us about false prophets ( think Falwell, Franklin Graham, Huckabee, etc) who are more interested in schmoozing with political leaders than they are in preaching God’s Word. In my view they are just as bad, if not worse than the hypocritical leaders in Jesus day. They, more than any other, were singled out by Jesus! No less than 18 verses (NIV ) in the Gospels he points to them as part of Israel’s biggest problem! (Chart Bible Search for hypocrite)

I’ll be honest… I’m not sure exactly what to do. Unlike the leaders of Jesus’ day, we choose our leaders by voting. This coming Tuesday many states are holding an election of some kind whether its for a federal position (Senate) or other legislative or executive office. Whether state, county or local-get out and vote for someone who is willing to be courageous enough, who has enough moral and personal integrity to say NO to all the lobbyists and to perhaps even take a chance on being replaced and turning their back on the mammon that it seems is inherent in government “service”. If you don’t have an election (and even if you do) call your Congress person and Senators in Washington and tell them you’re tired of the insanity which is senseless mass murder.

Again, I’m not calling for banning guns. But how about FEDERAL extensive background checks, fixing the loopholes in gun sales by private sellers and gun shows. RESPONSIBE and SENSIBLE universal federal regulations for EVERY gun owner. And maybe – even limiting the number and type of guns one person can own. These are just suggestions. Other countries do it and it seems to work. I don’t want my America to be known as “The MURDER CAPITOL of the world”.

As I leave you with these thoughts, here is a very old song that still has much meaning. I know, my age is showing 😉.Hope you’ll take the time to digest the thoughts in this post and the words and music here.