Responsible Gun and Bell Ownership

By David Waters An Assembly of God pastor in Kentucky is encouraging his flock to bring their guns to church … Continued

By David Waters

An Assembly of God pastor in Kentucky is encouraging his flock to bring their guns to church June 27 to pay tribute to the Second Amendment, learn about “responsible gun ownership” and enter a chance to win a free handgun.

Meanwhile, a Catholic bishop in Phoenix was given a suspended jail sentence because his tolling church bells violated a local noise ordinance. The judge said the bells could now be tolled for only two minutes on Sundays and religious holidays.

Guns in church: legal. Tolling church bells: illegal. What’s wrong with this picture?

Church bells are a vestige of our pre-wireless, pre-electricity days. They called parishioners to prayers and worship, they marked births, weddings and deaths, and they were the only way to gather an entire town. They were used for sacred and secular purposes.

A judge in Phoenix didn’t see much purpose in the bells at Christ the King Cathedral, which rang every hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Neighbors complained to the city about the noise. A judge gave Bishop Rick Painter a suspended sentence of 10 days in jail and three years probation. The judge also restricted the bell-ringing to no more than 60 decibels for two minutes on Sundays and specific religious holidays. Painter plans to appeal, quietly I hope.

Guns followed church bells by nearly a thousand years, although people had been finding ways to kill each other long before the first bell tolled. Jesus never encountered a gun, but he did order his disciples to disarm and not to resist his arrest or crucifixion at the hands of the authorities. As far as I know, he never preached a sermon on “responsible sword ownership.”

That won’t deter Pastor Ken Pagano from hosting gun appreciation day at New Bethel Church in Louisville. “It’s just a celebration we’re doing to coincide with Fourth of July. There are people who own firearms and do so responsibly and enjoy them as a sport, maybe like golfing or bowling,” Pagano said. Because golf clubs don’t kill people; golfers do.

Pagano is calling the event “Open Carry Church Service.” What next? Open Bar Church Service to encourage responsible drinking? Open a New Pack Church Service to encourage responsible smoking? How about an Open Mic Church Service to help the congregation find someone who’s familiar with the gospel?

“We need to change the culture of violence in this country,” Rev. Art Suggs, pastor of First Congregational Church, told NPR in April. The church is in Binghamton, N.Y., where a gunman killed 13 people and then himself in a shooting rampage in April. The killer used two handguns — a 9 mm and a .45-caliber — for which he had obtained a permit more than a decade ago.

The Sunday after the shootings, First Congregational rang its bell 14 times, once for each gun victim. According to the CDC, about 250 Americans are wounded or killed by guns each day. What if every church bell rang for every gun victim every day?

Think of the noise that would make.

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  • CalSailor

    USAPDX:Which law? How do you find guns in God’s law? You have heard it said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I SAY TO YOU: do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.Peter, when Jesus was arrested, took his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. And Jesus said to him: put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword [take up violence and weapons] will perish by the sword.Guns have no place in church, let alone being worshipped by a pastor who SHOULD know better.Pr Chris

  • usapdx

    AND WHICH IS IN COMPLIANCE OF THE LAW AND WHICH IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW? I WHOULD SAY ONLY ONE STONE NEEDS TO BE CAST.

  • spidermean2

    Those gun owners in the church are the people who protect America and the world. The Church bells are NOISY and a sign of hypocrisy. For as long as those bells are disturbing their neighbors, they should not be allowed to toll. If they really want to toll those bells, sound-proof their building and toll them inside their church. David Waters, how would you feel if you have a house near a church which toll its bells every hour. Why are you so stupid?

  • InterfaithNation

    Nice Precedence. Nice Article.It is Urgent that “GUN(s)” [a Privilidge, not a Right anymore] be taken away from RELiGIO-FINATICS & their SYSTEM)s)! Interesting; That All “MINARETS” also should be forbidden to Blast [hence “PSYCHiC DRiVING…”] over the community/Umma by Electronic induced Koranic/Sharia Sermon’s over Loud Speakers in “ANY” SECULAR State!.So what is good fior the DiNG, should also apply to the DONG or Gong’s!Explanation: The very Existence of a Sermon-blasting-Sermon’s minaret [Over & Over & Over & Over & over & Over………] is “PSYCHIC DRIVING”. It is a form of PUBLIC-BRAiNWASHING!Hence the Naturing/massaging of potential [Islamic/Religio] ‘MATYRES” , aka Potential FINATIC Jihaddists & more!Note: Evem in MADRASSAS’ & also in YASHIVA’s & in PAROACHIAL or SATARDAY/SUNDAY Schools & in ASHRAMS/TEMPLES etc.. thatthere therein is directly practiced a form of “Psychic Driving.”i.e., If a pius JEW really believes that HE/SHE is as if be Special or Tribaly endowed and “god(s) Chosen-People” (and not YE) SiN-DROME, then Houston, We gots a Problem. Reality: WE [i] US art All “NATURALLY SELECTED” & never was Tribally, CULTurally nor as if SECTionally as if really Be “Better Than YE (because their/MY-god said so!.???Soo, IF U.S.A. based “CHURCH(s) Industrial Complex” want to meddle into America’s “SECULAR-STATE” POLiTIC(s), then time TO-FORCE (Congress wise) the “American Rifle Association” to Mandate [Peace Be Upon Mr. Charlston Heston, aka “MOSES”] That,”CHURCH(s) should not Allow Guns in Place of Worship. Only in their Homes or otherwise by Law!

  • InterfaithNation

    “G U N S & C H U R C H E S”: What a great Title!, Song?

  • Paganplace

    My opinion on church bells is they can be charming, irritating, or Gods-awful annoying, (particularly when they’re blasting syntheisized bell sounds) …much depending on the implementation. But I’ll say this: if anyone else was making over-a-hundred-decibel clangy noises on an hourly basis in a residential neighborhood, they wouldn’t last a day at it. Some neighborhoods are basically *ringed* with competing churchbells seemingly trying to outdo each other, and people tend to put up with it…. I’m sure some of the very same churchgoers would be the first to complain if someone had a party in the same neighborhood once in a while. As for the guns thing, that just seems insane, particularly when conservative Christian leaders are trying to tell their followers they’re surrounded by ‘Pagan’ enemies.

  • persiflage

    Guns are a plague on the nation….there is no up side to an armed citizenry, although the NRA lobby up on The Hill must be feeling a distinct sense of satisfaction about now. The 2nd ammendment run amuck – and big time. Essentially the law is now allowing an armed and thoroughly unorganized militia to develop unchecked. I don’t know about you, but I’m mighty doubtful about the mental stability of the guy next door….the one that already has a closet full of guns. Any one of these good citizens now has the potential to knock off a cheating girlfriend and maybe a bothersome neighbor or two – or how about that obnoxious idiot sitting on the next bar stool …. and on and on. Will this prevent the random stalker killing, or the slaughter of entire families by some whacked out estranged husband/father? Nope – they’re already armed and dangerous. On the wisdom of arming the general public – The chances of saving a church full of congregants, an office or factory full of workers, a public school cafeteria or a classroom full of students, from some deranged madman is mighty slim (and of course it’s always some psycho male doing the killing). Maybe what we really need is more diligent psych testing when the warning signs of raging insanity appear. Sure thing – let’s give the rest of them guns and permits to carry wherever……..in fact, let’s make it a requirement. Every citizen over the age of 18, regardless of gender, must have a registered firearm – or lose their right to vote. This growing gun pandemic is anything but an effective innoculation against the rampant homicidal behavior of mass murderers and random killers – quite the contrary….what this is doing is potentially creating more, and lots more, of the same.

  • InterfaithNation

    Mahabarrrr Mr. KHAN (King) & CO.,:Can Obama (Our SECULAR King&Queen) contemplate the Possibility of “PARDON’ing [Forgiving] some or all of them so-called [sentenced & not sentenced?] Religio Possesed Finatic JIHADDIST [Killers?] sometime in the future, based on “GOOD BAHAVIOR” or REPENTANCE? Note Below is recycled material from both Saly Quinns Spool & the Sister “Slate” Blogg!Something Interesting recently happened. In the News [Channel 7 et al] the otherday, in New York City [Bronx?], there was a black [ex Christian turned Muslom Armed with a Baseball-Bat ROBBER, aka TERRORIST?] man attempting to Robb a genuine Muslom {Pakistani? or Yemenite?] DRUG PARAPHANELIA shop Owner; whom turned the Robber around via a sudden draw of a Shot Gun , thus startling the would be Terrorist/Robber & sent him FREE (in Violation of His Fiduciary? “PUBLIC DUTY”? with a generous gift of $40.00 Cash & some. Note: This was also Catured on Video. So,Was this A Great Show Of Compassion??? NO! NO! NO! Tell Ye why: Islam sais that Atomic Bombs is “HARAM” (not Kosher/Hallal/Dirty) & is thus Non-Islamic/Sharia like. And so the Question is; What is a ISLAMIC Business man doing Selling NON Islamic DRUG PARAPENELIA?? Is [biz] a front for laundering/washing illegal blood money via DRUGS such as Heroin or Hashish (imported from Afghanistan/Pakistan/Cashmere/Turkey/Lebonon etc..) by ISLAMIC Couriers whom make their connections in the MOSQUES of America????Why do, in NEW YORK & USA, do American YEMEN & Pakistanian Biz folk seem to be in the Grocery Store MONOPOLY sell Crack-Pipes & HAM & LIQUOR & DICE, Poker Cards etc…??? And THEN “REPATRIATE” those Mixed ill-gotten HARAM gains with some legal stuff back to Pakistan/Afghanistan, India, YEMEN, CHINA (yes Chinese also sell alot of Drugs in their & our Umma/community too) etc..!!?? You should see their acquired KINGDOMS/Assets that these so called peace loving? Muslom/Islam biz owners accumulated Abroad!Note: The NYC Park Ave RICH & the L.I. HAMPTONS Famous have peanuts compared to some of these “Me No Speaka American [English]” Dual Citizenites & their Illegal Foreigners (Un-American’s from “The Abroad”) working here!

  • bigsprgs

    The irony here just SLAYS me. The name of Pagano’s church is New Bethel…Beth-El = House of God!!!I read about this in the Louisville Courier-Journal a couple of days ago. Pagano was in the Marines and he’s a police chaplain…would probably tell Jesus himself to “Drop and give me 20…”

  • InterfaithNation

    Correction:”… (yes Chinese also sell alot of Drugs in their (not OUR?) own community’s & elsewhere here too & then Repatriate Dollars to Hong Kong, Taiwan, MainLand etc..!!?? Set-up Shop, sometimes right off the Boat, Usually in the PoorestNeighborhoods! Note: Alot of the Dominican’s & Peurto Rican’s & Jamaicans & Nigerians sell or Condone to their Community’s Drug Problem.Important REVELATION (opposite Secret):With The Economy at almost 10% Un-Employement; that Drug Use & Prostitution , Robbery’s & even Murder Rates & Jail/Prison Over crowding will be the TREND; not a BULL or BEAR Stock Market.Note: The “Stocks/Portfolio Share-Holders” of America’s Publically traded & Private “PRISON Industrial Complex”, not “Military Industrial Complex” looks “BULLISH”, no Bull! —A-M-E-R-i-C-A needs Less Military or Quasi Police Personnel & More Jailers? or More Soldiers/Police & Less Jailers? Or Both Less Soldiers & Less Jailers & Hence Less Police??Note: With a highly Educated Society “Recidividism & Crime” drops like Fly’s! Soo, it is very real to see a major National Down-Sizing of It’s Military, Police & Jailers Industries!PS: Most Prison Personnel are “UNiONIZED”! Note: This is very Possible/Raechable: IMAGINE: If U.S. Jail Houses, aka PUSS HOLES, Phenomonanily experienced , say 10% reduction in Prisoners, will that translate into a 10% Pay Reduction for Jailers & or a 10% Pay/Wage/Salary Reduction?Hint: Oil Prices Went-Up to the Stratosphere & then Prices (via Over-all Economy) slowly spiked upwards. Now [Petro] Prices are back Down {under going an Equilibrium} to almost Earth, so where does that “Cost Of Living Adjustment” come-in?Point: COLA’s should also have a REVERSAL effect! Note: When a National Government Nationalizes a certain SECTer/Industry then It’s Capitalist Union Party’s, if any previously, should be Abolished [Automatically & Suddenly!].Hence: Seperation of “CHURCH” & STATE; Then Seperation of STATE & “UNION”(s)! Aka ORGANIZED Entity’s. One Is “Not For Propheteering” and the other is “For Profiteering”! So,OUR (not Their) Interstate Commerce laws & OUR (not Their) National Labor Relations Board should be Revamped!Big Question: HOW Much Money or Net Worth {TOTAL & Combined} Does the UNION(s)ORGANIZED Members of America, and the ORGANIZED Churches, Synogogues, Mosques, Temples, Places Registered for Worship, as a Whole Collectively have in the Bank? Includes Tangables & nontangible Assets therein?Note: The IRS has Over 1-Million ‘Tax Exempt’ Organizations registered. Trivia: Did Ye Knowth that Sweet Sweet “COMMERCE Intersate LAWS, Rules, Codes, Regulations are Over 1,Million Laws? More than Criminal Law! More than Civil Law!See see, What We [i] See?

  • ahashburn

    Pr Chris writes:Why? Do you want to create another gun free zone that allows a nutcase to be the only one armed and be able to shoot 10-20 people as a result?

  • djmolter

    What would we be saying if someone had shot the pastor of the bell-ringing church in protest?

  • CalSailor

    Pr Chris writes:This was a joke, right? We worship God in spirit and in truth. Any other worship is idolatry. In a great segment of the population, the idol of choice isn’t the golden calf of Moses’ time, but “guns”It’s still idolatryPr Chris

  • Paganplace

    Wow. Much madness here on this thread. How about… tune the darn bells? 🙂 Or, since they’re mostly just bad stereo systems with pigeon poop in the cones… …turn it down, man? 🙂

  • persiflage

    I personally have a great fondness for church bells. I think bell towers; automatically – Jimmie Stewart and Kim Novak fooling around in Vertigo (she falls), Charles Laughton as Quasimoto the hunchback, ringing the bells at Notre Dame before he jumps (love those gargoyles) and lastly, the Sunday church bells of my own childhood. Those were the days of real church bells of course – digital bells really leave something to be desired. Real church bells can be a purely secular pleasure. I can recommend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, their spectacular pipe organ music, and Gregorian Chants for exactly the same reason……..

  • Paganplace

    Well, Persiflage, as a New Englander, I have no problems with a real church-bell, which didn’t actually always or ever have to be ‘cathedral-sized.’ Never mind an over-amplified MIDI file or worn-out tape of ‘Westminster chimes’ (or just clangey bells. blasted at the neighbors louder than the average overpowered subwoofer driving by. Nothing sounds good overampllified. 🙂 And I believe if you’ve bought too large an actual churchbell, you can drape some hemp line over the crown of it to avoid blasting out the neighnors.There’s so much background noise in most urban environments that it doesn’t actually carry anyway. No sense blasting out the neighborhood over it.

  • Paganplace

    Also, don’t get me wrong, done with consideration, I’m happy to hear church bells. It just so often *isn’t.*

  • sspp1946

    What Catholic Diocese are you talking about the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phx. has a Bishop named Omstead.

  • usapdx

    THE STONE IS FOR BISHOP DING DONG.

  • stemstan

    djmolter asks: “What would we be saying if someone had shot the pastor of the bell-ringing church in protest?”