My last article was about how the proliferation of weapons in public life from concealed carry laws in all 50 states is an antisocial, social norm. This one is about how religion being conflated with weapons in America has turned into another anti-social norm and an enabler: Not all religions, but a form of perverse revisionist Christianity unique to America.
This conflation of weapons and religious perversion is well-represented in this statement by Former U.S. Army Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin: "The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe ... I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword. And I believe now - I've checked this out - I believe that sword he'll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15. And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don't have one, go get one. You're supposed to have one. It's biblical."
So in this unique American version of fundamentalist Christianity, the Lord has cleaved society into at least two camps: Those who will do the slaying and those who will be slain. What better reason to own an automatic weapon, as General Boykin urges, than to be on the side of those doing the slaying, in the name of Jesus, of course?
Conflating guns and religion intensifies my concerns about the proliferation of concealed carry weapons in public life more than any other variable.
"Don't worry," I'm told by readers who support concealed carry. Those who apply and are licensed are stable, well-balanced people. I assume that means they trust the government to verify the applicant's mental stability, meaning the applicant has no record of mental illness. And somehow that extends to those guns getting into the hands of the mentally unstable, who since Sandy Hook, have been responsible for 44 more school shootings.
Last year, "Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness." But at this point, fundamentalist Christian fervor is not legally considered a mental illness, although we've seen that someone caught up in an ecstasy of self-righteousness with a gun in hand can be just as aggressive and unstable as a committed mental patient.
We live in a country where a large minority want to have their religious beliefs overrule the laws of the land and insist our second amendment rights are sacrosanct, no matter how antisocial they are. Remember, an "antisocial norm is that which assaults the well-being and survival of much of the population and undermines the social bonds."
Now we have a former high ranking government official, a three star general, promoting the idea that we should all have automatic weapons because Jesus and the Bible want us to be ready to kill fellow citizens in the name of God.
Not worrisome enough for you? It gets worse: According to "Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) this week [who] warned Americans to remember that God "wrote the Constitution" based on the Bible.
"I think we got off the track when we allowed our government to become a secular government," DeLay explained. "When we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it's based on biblical principles."
You put it all together. This faction wants a theocracy of gun-toting citizens, waiting for the second coming with weapons drawn in a country with over 300 million guns.
What could possibly go wrong? You don't have to wait for an answer. Just read the daily news.
Robert De Filippis