In this section, we’ll explore the commonalities between historical supremist movements and modern day religious liberty legislation. We’ll also talk about how religion can be used to truly liberate, instead of suppress, people in our country.
Story: Gun Rights as Religious Liberty?
“Cheryl” loved her nephew. She was in the hospital the night he was born and remembered how hefty he was as a baby. “Travis” was now 22, working a good job for the state doing road repairs during the summer months and snow removal during the winter in their part of Wyoming. It was a tradition that the entire family would gather at Cheryl’s mother’s home every Sunday after church for dinner. It was something everyone pitched in to help and they looked forward to it, until the arguments over the gun began.
Cheryl’s three children would run around their grandmother’s home playing “hide and go seek.” By the time Travis arrived at the house, he entered with his pistol strapped to his side. Cheryl told Travis that she didn’t mind him having his gun, but was uncomfortable with him having it around her children. Unmoved, Travis would rattle off that it was his right to carry his firearm whenever and wherever he chose. This back and forth would continue for weeks. One Sunday, Travis told Cheryl that it was his God-given right to carry his weapon.
“How do you figure that?” Cheryl asked with exhaustion. “God supports the US Constitution and the 2nd Amendment is a part of that. We have a biblical obligation to preserve life!” Travis shot back [pun intended] with authority in his voice.
After weeks of listening to Travis’ ranting based on the Conservative talk-radio justifications about how “the enemy” wants to come and take away our guns and “freedoms,” with resignation in her voice, Cheryl said, “So basically you are telling me that in order for me and my children to continue to come here on Sundays, we are just going to have to suck it up and deal with your right to “open carry.”
“No, that is not what I am saying!” replied her nephew defensively.
“Yes, that is exactly what you are telling me. Each time I tell you I don’t feel safe with you carrying your gun where your cousins can see it and possibly have access to it, your ‘rights’ will always trump my feelings for safety.”
With that, Travis was silent. In fact most of the family kept silent during dinner. The next Sunday, Travis skipped the family dinner and Cheryl wondered if she had lost the relationship with her nephew. The following week he returned without his gun on his side, but with a box. His grandmother asked him, “What is it that you got there? “It is a ‘gun safe’. I am going to start keeping my gun locked in here when I come over on Sundays. Would it be alright if I kept the safe here in your bedroom Gram?” Travis replied. At that, Cheryl smiled and she loved her nephew more than ever.
Questions: Held Hostage
- Have you felt captive by someone else’ political views? If so, how did you handle the situation? Would you do something different the next time it happens?
- Do you agree with Travis that God supports the US Constitution? Why or why not?