In an email sent to supporters before Thursday night’s manhunt began in Massachusetts, the Family Research Council attempted to appropriate recent tragedies as arguments that support their social conservative positions. Referring to the Republicans’ Senate filibuster of the gun safety bill, FRC’s Tony Perkins claimed that tragedies like Newtown and Boston — as well as the shooting at its headquarters last summer — are the result of “sexual liberalism” and the lack of Christian influence on society:
In the aftermath of horrible tragedies like Newtown, the government desperately wants to do something–even if that something is the wrong thing. There seems to be this notion, at least among liberals, that more laws will protect us–but as we all witnessed in Boston, that isn’t necessarily the case. The government can’t make us safer until it recognizes that the problem isn’t the instruments of violence–but the environment of it. Stronger background checks wouldn’t have prevented the deaths of three people at the finish line on Monday, any more than it would have stopped Floyd Corkins from walking into our lobby and shooting Leo Johnson.
If Congress wants to stop these tragedies, then it has to address the government’s own hostility to the institution of the family and organizations that can address the real problem: the human heart. As I’ve said before, America doesn’t need gun control, it needs self-control. And a Congress that actively discourages it–through abortion, family breakdown, sexual liberalism, or religious hostility–is only compounding the problem.
Of course, some will say–and I agree–that transforming the culture is the church’s job. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place at the table for Christians in the gun debate. Not only did Jesus tolerate weapons, he instructed His disciples to buy them! In Luke 22:36, we read, “He said to them… if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” Jesus did rebuke Peter for being too quick on the draw (John 18:11), recognizing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal-but spiritual.
Perkins’ endorsement of weapons and retaliation seems to be doing much more to contribute to an environment of violence than same-sex couples raising families or women making decisions about their own bodies.