I picked up the Tribune, and my mouth fell open at the headline on the bottom of the front page. It was 1993 and I was living in Chicago. The paper made an editorial decision to not only report the cold hard facts of the homicides in the city, but to tell at least one story each day exploring the details of the childish accidents, domestic violence, and premeditated revenge. Reading the heart-breaking articles, seeing the innocent faces, and feeling the deep wounds—the stories seemed to pierce the city. The narratives changed me. I had been an Evangelical Christian, a born-again believer, who supported gun laws. But after seeing the harm that they caused every day, I could no longer hold to my political stance.
It’s been twenty years and I haven’t wavered in my position, and each time I read about a new shooting, I become more resolved about gun safety. Scriptures make me long for the day when our “swords would be beaten into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks.” I cannot think of a more beautiful urge--our tools will be used feed one another rather than kill each other.
Oddly, today Public Religion Research just came out with a report that says that 64% of evangelicals who say “pro-life” describes them very well oppose stricter gun laws.
How can this be? If life is the most important thing in a political and theological belief system, why would you support the death penalty, support wars and oppose gun violence prevention? For many people, the term "pro-life" ought to lead to pacifism, so this system of ideals seems completely perplexing.
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