We Need a Letter-Writing Campaign to Seminary Staffs

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Our good friend Jerry over at Grumpy’s Grumblings has another compelling post out that I’d like to share. With the recent gun violence again at center stage, Jerry’s unique perspective as a lifelong evangelical shines a troubling light on the gun worship that exists far too often in that community. I’ve included an excerpt and a link at the end to continue reading on his site. Thanks Jerry!

I appreciate and applaud Coach Steve Kerr’s emotional and impassioned discourse—prior to Game 4 of the Western Conference NBA finals—about the Texas school shooting. Kerr is, he said, “…tired of the moments of silence. Enough! There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR 8, which is a background rule that the House passed a couple years ago; it’s been sitting there for two years. And there’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold onto power.”

Kerr is right, of course. Republican senators refuse to vote on the bill because they want to hold onto power—and money. But, Steve, holding onto power and money is what politicians do. After all, while $174,000 annually is nowhere near what a professional athlete in a major sport makes, it’s still more than three times that of the average American worker’s salary.

Getting elected to Congress—House or Senate—is like hitting the lottery. Beyond that generous salary, according to ThoughtCo, “there is currently no limit on the amount of non-salary income members can retain from their investments, corporate dividends or profits.” And, while “members of Congress are strictly prohibited from earning or accepting income that may appear to be intended to influence the way they vote on legislation,” simply by virtue of their influential standing, they are able to generate loads of income beyond their $174,000. So, Let’s face facts: Those 50 senators are following base human nature, which all too often is selfish. No amount of pleading or browbeating will convince them to give up their cushy, lucrative positions of power.

How can we persuade the millions of white evangelicals who believe they need guns to protect them from an evil federal government that their fears are unfounded?

Many or most of those 50 senators Steve Kerr referenced are from conservative—Trumpist— districts or states. Those Trumpists believe “the establishment’s” systems are stacked against them, hence they cannot win at the ballot box. As many of them see it, then, their only alternative is armed insurrection—much like what they attempted on January 6, 2021. So, to them, the innocents slaughtered in the numerous mass shootings are just unfortunate collateral damage in a war for the heart and soul of the nation. And rather than prompting them to rethink their views on gun ownership, the slaughter has only reinforced their resolve.

Consequently, the efforts of reasonable Americans to change the votes of intransigent Republican representatives and senators will continue to prove futile. The way to change the votes of politicians whose primary goal is to remain in their cushy jobs is to first change the hearts and minds—and, subsequently, the votes of those who keep them in office.

To continue reading, please click here: Grumpy’s Grumblings

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