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Thread: Religion and Open Carry

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    Regular Member Vitaeus's Avatar
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    Religion and Open Carry

    Cut and paste to move this discussion to another thread:

    I wish to have a discussion on this topic, not an exchange of insults, agreeing to disagree is the most likely end, but I would like to walk a bit and talk about this.

    Being armed is acceptable as long as you cover it up? A church is a private institution so restricting carry is permissible, but it is a voluntary association. Would it not make sense to find a place of worship that doesn't cause you to change your normal, legal behavior? In this and a couple other discussions lately the idea of cover up to (insert reason here) when the carrier is not legally required to seems to be at odds with normalizing (is that a word?) Open Carry. This is not to say that covering up cannot be someone's choice, I am curious as to what makes it a better choice, if it is not legally required.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Personally, I cover up at church because I figure that you never know when someone might be coming in there looking for a life changing experience with God. If that person happens to be a hopalaphobe and leaves after seeing my gun, I just don't want to be the reason for anyone missing out on that type of experience. That being said, I do wish that I didn't have to worry about irrational people coming in my church, because sometimes it would just be easier to OC.😃
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    Personally, I cover up at church because I figure that you never know when someone might be coming in there looking for a life changing experience with God. If that person happens to be a hopalaphobe and leaves after seeing my gun, I just don't want to be the reason for anyone missing out on that type of experience. That being said, I do wish that I didn't have to worry about irrational people coming in my church, because sometimes it would just be easier to OC.
    In my opinion, by definition if they're coming to your church, they are irrational.

    Zing.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Warning: the following is from someone who sees the same problems existing in organized religion as they see in organized labor. Grains of salt are available on request for those who did not bring their own.

    Seems to me that it all depends on the match between the LAC and the church. Does the church see LAC carrying openly as somehow not meshing with eccesiastical issues (social ones come later - stay tuned)? That may require the LAC to decide which is more important - religion or RKBA. I'm not necessarily knowledgeable about even the major (not just Christian, and not just Western) religions but I fail to see where carrying conflicts with what I know of their teachings. There are a few that seem to disapprove of the possession of weaponry as well as self defense, so it is not "correct" to say all religions support some variation of RKBA.

    Now we come to the specific congregation, and possibly to the branch they occupy on the tree of the specific religion. Trying to avoid arguments here, but if the congregation has problems with an object as opposed to my behavior with/about that object then I'm not going to be a "good fit" with them. I'd rather avoid prolonged discussion/debate about the evils of inanimate objects - especially with those who seem to be convinced that the object itself is "bad". So even if there is no ecclesiastical conflict I am not interested in going through an internal debate over the values I feel confident have been arrived at reasonably, rationally, and logically over the course of my life. If belonging to some church is important to me, I want to belong to a church that can accept all of me without insisting that I change beliefs or behaviors that are not related to the religion itself. If there is a part of me they cannot accept and that is not because I somehow violate the teachings of the religion (not te notions of the congregation) then I am better off seeking a better social fit - and (as those that know me might add) so are they.

    If it seems impossible to find that "fit" and engaging in formalized collective religious activity is that important that doing without is morally/socially painful, then forming a congregation of like-minded folks might be the solution.

    But I'm fortunate, in that I have already alienated everybody who thought they could/should want to change my beliefs and values to match theirs. That is, for those that missed the subtly, different from my deciding to make changes because I wanted to.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Just reiterating what I said in the other thread. For me, I'll CC in church. Not to do so just seems crass to me. Like wearing an offensive T shirt, talking loudly during the service, making out with my wife in the back, etc. None of these actions are unlawful or even "wrong," but IMHO do not belong in a place of worship, or at least any of the places of worship I've been to.

    I'll also say that depending on the church (big C or little c, the building its self or the greater congregation), there's often a need to separate the politics from the theology.
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Always carry: Luke 22:36
    Have a BUG: Luke 22:38

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    Regular Member WOD's Avatar
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    As I posted in the other thread, I would ask the person leading the flock, if I could address the flock before or after the service, for their consensus. If you choose to interact with a group, association, league, PAC, etc. etc., if the rules or policies specifically do not address the issue, then, as a responsible and reasonable individual within said group, I should get a group consensus, or group conscience. Then and only then, can I be truly informed as to what course of action I need to take. If the group accepts me totally for carrying and whatever flaws I possess, then so be it. If they cannot accept the totality of me, and my flaws, then I am free to seek another affiliation. It isn't difficult, and chances are, I will find out if the people I choose to interact with, actually walk the walk.

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    Wow, tombrewster421, Metalhead47, and carracer make me wish this forum had a Facebook style "Like" button. Here's my take on the issue, coming from 25 of my 26 years both attending and serving in a (Protestant, Evangelical) church.

    OC (Or any lawful carry for that matter) and religion in general: It's true that the Bible says not to kill, and handguns pretty much have one purpose. However the strong are also called to protect the weak from evil, and God called up men to defend their families, their countries, and their own lives by killing others. I don't see any moral problem with killing someone who is threatening to kill myself or my family.

    OC at church: As I said in the other thread, the problem I have with open carry in church is that church is supposed to be a safe, welcoming environment, where anyone can walk in off the street and feel instantly welcome. I really liked what tombrewster said on the issue, and consider my right to carry secondary to the potential salvation of someone who may be 'scared' of guns. However I do think this is a personal choice, and while (if I was in a leadership position at a church where this issue came up), while I would explain this reasoning to the person requesting to OC, ultimately I would leave it up to them; I am not going to restrict someone's lawful right.

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    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    Please excuse my cluttered post, it's late and I work very long hours... the questions are mostly rhetorical...

    So wearing a gun openly, in public, is different than wearing one openly in a church? I am finding it hard to understand why one has to change their mode of self defense when in a church.

    Isn't the idea of being a Christian, possibly even a member of other religions, about letting your "light shine", ALL THE TIME? According to some interpretations of the Bible, we should be worshiping or praying every chance we get, not just at church. Do we cover up to worship or pray throughout the day, everyday?

    If some of you would not carry openly in church due to "religious" respect/reasons, why are some of you carrying out in public?

    What about evangelizing. Have you ever done so while carrying openly? Going back to "letting your light shine" thing, a form of evangelizing, where you go about your daily business showing others what Christ/God has done in your life... are you not carrying openly then.

    Weren't we all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights? Should I have to "give up" the rights given to me by God, himself, to enter an establishment where people congregate to worship this very same God?

    Carrying openly, is not a sin. It is a way I choose to carry a tool used for self defense. For me, church does not change that. I will not change, or pretend to be someone I'm not while at church.

    The way I interpret some of what I have read about open carrying in church, it seems some think carrying openly is not appropriate during church service. If it's not appropriate at church, then should you be doing that same thing outside church? Aren't people who usually do the "right" thing at church, and not the rest of the week, everyday, called "Sunday only Christians".

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    Activist Member golddigger14s's Avatar
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    Although I don't go to church, I do believe in God.

    Here is a link to a shooting in Colorado: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316378,00.html

    Also a snip about Alvin York our most decorated soldier:
    Alvin Cullum York (1887-1964) ended the First World War as one of America's most famous soldiers, with fame and popular recognition assured following a remarkable act of courage and coolness in October 1918.

    Having grown up in poverty the young York honed his skills as a crack marksman, a useful talent for use in hunting food for himself and his family - and one put to high effect during the war.

    Despite his remarkable reputation for bravery and the win-at-all-costs attitude displayed during his wartime service York was and remained a pacifist. Following a religious conversion in 1911 - he became lay deacon of a local pacifist sect - he declared himself a convinced pacifist.

    Consequently with the U.S. entry into World War One York initially returned his draft papers before they were summarily resent to him by the draft board, at which stage he was drafted into 328th Regiment, 82nd Infantry. During training however he was convinced by his battalion commander, Gonzalo Edward Buxton - a fellow Bible student - that the Bible sanctioned active service.

    Once in France the semi-literate York earned lifetime fame for his part in an attack in the Argonne Forest against German machine gun positions on 8 October 1918. York, an acting Corporal, led 17 men in action against a German stronghold, the aim being to secure the position and return with German prisoners. from: firstworldwar.com.

    My point is that guns and religion don't have to be seperate. I did 21 years in the Army, and never had to point a real/loaded weapon at another being (4 legged or 2 legged). I hope I never have to point a weapon in anger, but if required to protect people I care for then the safety comes off. One well known quote goes something like this: "An American soldier does not fight for America, apple pie, or the president. He fights for the guys in his fox hole."

    My next trip to a church is this Saturday for my brother's service. I will not be carrying a gun mainly because I will be in CA. Would I have a gun if permitted? That's a tuff question, I'm almost glad CA made the decision easy for me.
    "The beauty of the Second Amenment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." Thomas Jefferson
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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carsontech View Post
    .

    The way I interpret some of what I have read about open carrying in church, it seems some think carrying openly is not appropriate during church service. If it's not appropriate at church, then should you be doing that same thing outside church? Aren't people who usually do the "right" thing at church, and not the rest of the week, everyday, called "Sunday only Christians".
    I think you may be misinterpreting what's been said. I don't think anyone has suggested covering up in church for reasons of religion (at least in this thread), rather for reasons of that specific community. You ask if it's not appropriate in church, should one be doing it outside of church? Getting frisky with my beloved wife is specifically blessed by my God. But I don't think it's really appropriate at a public worship service, do you? Go look at the other examples I gave. You see what I'm getting at here? There are plenty of actions that are spiritually "good" yet not always appropriate at all times in all places.

    As someone mentioned, some church communities even frown on jeans & t shirts in church. That is not an issue of theology, it is an issue of that specific community. Such a church does not expect or demand its adherents to dress in a suit & tie all day the rest of the week.



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    When I attend a church service, the reasons I OC are invalidated by my being there. What I mean is, I'm not likely deterring any crime, unless a BG sees me walking in or something. I'm also not there to educate people on firearms, but to be educated about the Gospel. As both of my main reasons for OC don't really apply at church, I prefer to CC so as not to distract from the purpose of the gathering. It's not so much living differently at church/home, as it is what I feel is appropriate for the circumstance.

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q-Tip View Post
    When I attend a church service, the reasons I OC are invalidated by my being there. What I mean is, I'm not likely deterring any crime, unless a BG sees me walking in or something. I'm also not there to educate people on firearms, but to be educated about the Gospel. As both of my main reasons for OC don't really apply at church, I prefer to CC so as not to distract from the purpose of the gathering. It's not so much living differently at church/home, as it is what I feel is appropriate for the circumstance.
    This.
    +3:16


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    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    In my opinion, by definition if they're coming to your church, they are irrational.

    Zing.
    This. + 3.14159

    But sticking on topic, I think whatever makes you the most comfortable, regardless where you are, is the correct thing to do. Do you feel better covering it up? Do that. Do you feel better continuing to OC? Do that.

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    Last edited by GuidoZ; 02-22-2012 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Added Pi. I love Pi!
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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Going from OC to CC because of the respect and affection you hold or your fellow parishioners but not when in the general public implies an antipathy to the rest of humanity whose feelings do not move you. There's a word for that, isn't there?

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim675 View Post
    Going from OC to CC because of the respect and affection you hold or your fellow parishioners but not when in the general public implies an antipathy to the rest of humanity whose feelings do not move you. There's a word for that, isn't there?
    Yes. It's called DISCRETION.


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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    In my particular state, one may not legally carry a handgun in a house of worship.
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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    In my particular state, one may not legally carry a handgun in a house of worship.

    I understand several southern states have laws like that. Any idea on their history?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    I promote carry where ever you can do so legally but when it comes to open or concealed carry it is a mode of carry and I choose how depending upon the activity I am participating in.
    Personally I choose to conceal carry in church as we are there to worship.
    • Being prepared is to prepare, this is our responsibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    I promote carry where ever you can do so legally but when it comes to open or concealed carry it is a mode of carry and I choose how depending upon the activity I am participating in.
    Personally I choose to conceal carry in church as we are there to worship.
    it's really refreshing to see the civility in this thread vs. "ZOMG if you cover your gun up you are letting the zen fascists win!!!" type stuff with a few choice ad homs thrown in

    REALLY refreshing and inspirational.

    i'd just like to kick in with my belief that i also respect the OP's choice to cover up in the church.

    imo, OCing *is* a distraction, at least for many people. like it or not, many people view it that way.

    if it's going to distract people, imo, it's inappropriate in church.

    again, this is not a RIGHTS issue. churches are privately owned (unlike those limeys, we don't have a state religion), and clearly whatever the church leader wants is as far as your rights extend there, but just from a "non distraction" angle, it seems the right choice

    in general, how people dress for church (and OC is part of our "dress), should never be about "look at me look at me". if i had a mohawk, i probably wouldn't spike it up for church. guys who have big muscles shouldn't use their attire in church as a means to show them off, and ditto for women's cleavage

    at least that's my opinion. it's not that god's a prude. it's just taht there's a time and a place to show that stuff off, and it's not IN church.

    and gain, it's great to see that people can disagree on issues without devolving to personal attacks and histrionics.

    i'm like tiny tim now. full of hope

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    See signature.

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    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    I would be interested in what Pistol-Packing-Preacher-in-PV's opinion is on carrying firearms, openly, while attending a church service.

    I believe he preaches the word while armed, as well as more than half of his congregation.

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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    In 2008, I OC'd to the Kitsap County Republican Convention that was held in a church sanctuary in Silverdale. The only comment I got was from a guy that was CC. He only wanted to point out where he was sitting. Of course, this was not a church service, but I assume there were members of the congregation in attendance. No objections from anyone regarding my OC.

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    Regular Member tombrewster421's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by country.hacker;

    OC (Or any lawful carry for that matter) and religion in general: It's true that the Bible says not to kill, and handguns pretty much have one purpose. However the strong are also called to protect the weak from evil,
    One little correction here. The bible doesn't say not to kill. It says not to murder. Self defense and justice are perfectly acceptable reasons to kill. I'm sure the confusion comes from an improper translation of the Torah.

    Thank you for the compliments by the way.
    Guns don't kill people, bullets do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tombrewster421 View Post
    One little correction here. The bible doesn't say not to kill. It says not to murder. Self defense and justice are perfectly acceptable reasons to kill. I'm sure the confusion comes from an improper translation of the Torah.

    Thank you for the compliments by the way.
    And a big correction: the bible repeatedly tells people to murder other people. E.g. 1 Sam 15, where "god" says to kill everyone, including women and children. It says to do so and it's clearly not in self-defense, but in revenge and aggression. That's not the only place, but it's one of the most clear.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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