How many guns would Jesus own? One? Five? 12? 25?
What about Martin Luther King Jr.? Or Mahatma Gandhi? Or Mother Teresa? Or Pope Francis? Or the Dalai Lama? Or Cesar Chavez?
How many guns will we protect over the lives of black and brown people? Our children? Our elderly?
How many racists will we excuse as mentally ill while we frantically outlaw teaching our children about systemic racism and the evils of the supremacy of whiteness?
The shooting in Buffalo, New York, was terrible. So was every shooting before that where radicalized men commit mass murder in the name of white power. Most of these shooters would describe themselves as “God-fearing Christians.” The evil union of white evangelicalism and white nationalism is on full display.
So I ask again, how many guns would Jesus own?
Professor Gil Bailie says, “There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used…Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was. The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they thought of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.”
It’s past time to reckon with our truth: white supremacy is a system of violence that costs us all. It’s not sanctified by God. It’s not justified by sound religion. We must do all we can to expel this cancer among us, not through radicalism of sides but through reconciliation in Love.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said in Matthew 26:52, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” I suspect he’d feel the same way about guns.
We are in this together,
Rev. Cameron Trimble
Author of Searching for the Sacred: Meditations on Faith, Hope and Love