when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for April 2016

So, if you watch national news you know about the religious freedom Bill passed by the MS legislature last week. Among other things, it protects ministers from “having” to marry LGBT couples and it protects bakers from “having” to bake a wedding cake for same.

Then just a few days ago, the Governor signed another Bill– one that allows folks to carry guns into churches (couldn’t we already?) so we could be safe while we worshipped. (Alas, another reason to be an Episcopalian–it’s hard to get us fired up over theological differences.)

When the church safety Bill was signed, the Governor had his Bible on his desk with his Glock right on top of it.

I am truly sorry, but I doubt any of us Mississippians will be able to go to church, safely or no, cause we’ll have to hike in. Infrastructure — legislature can’t have time for that.

Ok, back to fundamental rights and confusing labels in the next post.

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Oh yes.  Fool that I am, I am going to spend a few minutes on the Second Amendment.

To quote the Second Amendment, which is quite short:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“Liberals” and “Conservatives” and “Easterners” and “Westerners” have distinctly different views on what the Second Amendment means.  When I started this series of blogs, I reminded you that “labels are for soup cans” (Thank you, George Sr.).  They are for soup cans.  But we blatantly label others and ourselves, without thinking, and I am going to rely on these labels a bit today.

Liberals and Easterners may very well tell you that the Second Amendment is all about state militias.  Remember, the framers of the Constitution were all about being able to rise up against oppression.  (That’s one of the reasons they were so glad that George Washington stepped down after two terms — no tyranny there!)  So, like:  the army, navy, air force, marines and the national guard (and coast guard — we can go on) can have weapons and our state militias — the guard — can save us for the tyranny of our oppressors.  Limits like this keep guys out of the hands of unsavory people (hopefully) and lessen gun violence (hopefully).

Conservatives and Westerners are going to tell you that the Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms — all people.  That’s because conservatives believe that they may need to bear arms some day — probably to root out the liberals, or better yet, ISIS.  Westerners do actually need to bear arms most days.  I grew up in Texas.  Rattlers are dangerous dudes.

The fact is that the Second Amendment doesn’t make good sense to 21st century Americans.  Does it mean that we need a well regulated (and well armed)  Militia?  Does it mean that all of us have a right to bear arms?  Does it mean that only militia men can bear arms?  Gun control advocates argue that the first phrase is the most significant.  Gun rights advocates say that the reference to “the people” means just what it says.

Before we look at the Supreme Court’s most recent entry into the guy foray, let me suggest that guns have become a “hot button” for many because of the extreme gun violence in our country.  A valid concern, but it is my belief that gun violence is not gun expression; it is violent expression.  The underlying cause of gun violence is our adherence to life in a violent society.  How do we change that?

Stay tuned to the blog to understand the Supreme Court’s recent announcements on the Second Amendment.


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