Saturday, June 6, 2009

Worshipping with Firearms????

I honestly was shocked when I read this article:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 5) - A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.

The New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., has invited gun owners to bring their handguns to church the Saturday before July 4th. Here, Pastor Ken Pagano sits in the church sanctuary and discusses the event

"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."
The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said.
He said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership. The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church.
Kentucky allows residents to openly carry guns in public with some restrictions. Gun owners carrying concealed weapons must have state-issued permits and can't take them to schools, jails or bars, among other exceptions.
Pagano's Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. The former Marine and handgun instructor said he expected some backlash, but has heard only a "little bit" of criticism of the gun event.
John Phillips, an Arkansas pastor who was shot twice while leading a service at his former church in 1986, said a house of worship is no place for firearms.
"A church is designated as a safe haven, it's a place of worship," said Phillips, who was shot by a church member's relative for an unknown reason and still has a bullet lodged in his spine. "It is unconscionable to me to think that a church would be a place that you would even want to bring a weapon."
Phillips spoke out against a bill before the Arkansas General Assembly that would have permitted the carrying of guns in that state's churches. The bill failed in February.
Pagano, 50, said some members of his church were concerned that President Obama's administration could restrict gun ownership, and they supported the plan for the event when Pagano asked their opinion.
Marian McClure Taylor, executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, an umbrella organization for 11 Christian denominations in Kentucky, said Christian churches are promoters of peace, but "most allow for arms to be taken up under certain conditions."
Taylor said Pagano assured her the event would focus on promoting responsible gun ownership and any proceeds would go to charity.
"Those two commitments are consistent with the high value the Assemblies of God churches place on human life," she said in an e-mail message.
Pagano is encouraging church members to bring a canned good and a friend to the event. He said guns must be unloaded for insurance purposes and safety reasons.
He said the point was not to mix worship with guns, though he may reference some passages from the Bible.

"Firearms can be evil and they can be useful," he said. "We're just trying to promote responsible gun ownership and gun safety."


Now don't get me wrong...I'm a 2nd amendment advocate, although I don't own guns myself. However, to specifically celebrate the 2nd amendment by outwardly bringing handguns into a house of worship; I don't know, does this seem off to anyone else???

On the lighter side of the news, Lori and I got the gazebo up in the backyard and I stole James' bicycle to get supplies at the drug store instead of driving. Man, did I have fun - haven't ridden a bike since about 11th grade, I guess. I may have to get my own bike and get myself back into shape with it.

Pax et Bonum,
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Daily Mass Readings
Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20
Tobit 13:2, 6-8
Mark 12:38-44

Monday, June 1, 2009


How ironic that, under the banner of “preserving life”, a man gets murdered in his own house of worship.

Dr. George Tiller, a high-profile provider of late-term abortions, was gunned down in his Wichita church, Reformation Lutheran, where he was serving as usher. The early speculation is that the suspect, Scott Roeder of Kansas City, Kansas was a “pro-life” activist.

How does one promote respect for the dignity of human life at the barrel of a gun??? Where does the cycle of violence end? Will it end when Scott Roeder is convicted and executed? Will it end with the next late term abortion? Will it end with the next clinic bombing? Will it end when Tiller’s replacement arrives at the clinic? Killing is wrong, whether it be by late-term abortion, gunshot wound, or lethal injection. If you want to characterize yourself as “pro-life”, you can’t simply pick and choose the lives you believe deserve protection. Every human being, from womb to tomb, from embryo to George Tiller, possesses an inherent right to life. It is not for us to judge whether someone is worthy of that right.

Some thoughts from people a lot smarter than me:

  • “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord” – Romans 12:19
  • "The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will acclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation...” – Pope John Paul II
  • “Did Jesus come only to the innocent, or is there a way that we can stand in the dignity of all human life, even those among us who have done terrible crimes?” – Sister Helen Prejean
  • “If one contends, as we do, that the right of every fetus to be born should be protected by civil law and supported by civil consensus, then our moral, political and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth.” - Joseph Cardinal Bernadin
  • “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • “Those who seek a pro-life culture must accept that we will never persuade all 300 million American to agree with us. A pro-life culture can only be built from the ground up, person by person.” – Congressman Ron Paul.

Pax et Bonum,

Daily Bible Readings
Tobit 1:3, 2:1a-8
Psalm 112:1-6
Mark 12:1-12

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Winds of Pentecost

We can't always see how the Spirit works in our lives. He nudges, breathes on us, urges us forward, waits for us to take our action. Wind - we cannot see it, per se, but we can witness its effects; the gentle movement of our hair in a light breeze, a palm tree bent over from the hurricane's gale, the flicker of a candle next to an open window.

The Spirit moves in these secret circles, stirring up the fires of our faith, breezing us into action, keeping us strong when we think our strength is gone. My faith had been lackadaisical for awhile (look at the inconsistency of my blogging!) In the last week, without planning much of it, I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, got enrolled in Brown Scapular, applied for the local Ancient Order of Hibernians division, brought my dad to Mass, and had a wonderful brunch with an old friend today.

I'm also excited because my dad and I enjoyed our outing so much that we are going attend a Latin Mass next week - something I have never experienced. Really looking forward to it!

The Spirit has breathed on the embers of my seemingly dormant faith and - for the time being - a cozy little fire is crackling on the hearth!

Come Holy Spirit!

Pax et Bonum,

Daily Mass Readings
Acts 2:1-11
Psalms 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7
John 20:19-23