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Bring Your Sidearm to Church Day

June 2nd, 2009 by admin · 48 Comments

There’s a church in Valley Station that is promoting Independence Day by encouraging its members to bring a gun to church, and to bring a friend with a gun to church. You can enter a raffle, for just a dollar, to win your very own handgun. And local gun shops are invited to come, TO CHURCH, and stand before the congregation and do a commercial about their stores.

Now all this activity is being promoted through a mail campaign that an alert South End reader told us about. You can find details on the New Bethel Church website.

Is anyone else out there disgusted by this?

New Bethel Church, on Valley Station Road, is calling the June 27 event “Open Carry Celebration” in celebration of the 1st and 2nd amendments. If you go, you’re supposed to openly carry you sidearm, securely in a holster. Oh, you’re supposed to leave the ammo at home. Wonder who’s gonna be checking the guns at the door to make sure no one brings a loaded weapon?

Last week, a doctor was shot while attending church services in Wichita. There have been church shootings throughout the country. But at New Bethel, Pastor Ken Pagano thinks it’s a good idea to encourage members to bring guns to church.

Tags: Bad Behavior · Death · Dixie Highway · Religion · South End

48 responses so far ↓

  • 1 James Red // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Noted with irony: The font used on the New Bethel web ads is “Bleeding Cowboy.”

  • 2 Raoul Duke // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Why are you so scared of guns? Many of us pack them daily, you never know about it and we never do anything weird. Get a grip. It’s a tool like a hammer, drill or stove.

  • 3 Matt Jarvis // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    This is great. Open carry is a right protected under the Kentucky Constitution. We need to exercise this right more. I open carry often. How is this disgusting? Open carry deters criminals.

  • 4 Lou Robinson // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    What better way to worship The Prince of Peace.

  • 5 Kyle // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    At least we have the Southern Belles to dispel common Kentucky stereotypes.

  • 6 David Harpe // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    They should have used a pregnant woman for their ad…then it would be trendy.

  • 7 Scott Dickens // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Perhaps if someone at Dr. Tiller’s church had been armed (other than the murderer), his tragic death would have been avoided. I’m not advocating weapons in church, but I can’t condemn a congregation that wishes to attract new visitors with a 2nd Amendment promotion. You might be surprised to know that there are peace loving, moderate Christians with concealed carry licenses (although in Kentucky you don’t need a license to carry a firearm openly).

  • 8 Michael // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    If I may quote the Dixie Chicks …”Praise the Lord and Pass the ammunition.”

  • 9 charlton // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    How funny would it be to set off some firecrackers in the church during the height of this event? It would be chaos! Woo hoo! I think Drudge may pick this up. I was worried that all Kentucky had to offer was the Creation Museum. I totally underestimate Kentuckians!

  • 10 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I wonder how many mis-fires they’ll have during church services? LOL!!!

  • 11 Carter Burger // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I was about to echo Scott’s thoughts. If someone in the church that Dr Tiller was attending had of been armed, perhaps he would be alive to day. Look over the past 15 years or so and see where shootings like this have taken place and what do they have in common. Virginia Tech or Columbine High School. The First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois and the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church in Clifton New Jersey. And most recently a hospital shooting in Columbus Georgia.
    They take place where firearms are banned. Shooters know they will not be met with resistance. Gun laws only take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. Criminals, by their very nature, do not abide with society’s laws.

  • 12 Stephen Ulrich // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Maybe the pastor has the congregation studying Genesis 27:3
    Now then, get your weapons—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me.

  • 13 Willie Loomis // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    God works in mysterious ways. Nothing like
    inviting people to bring their “false idols” into the house of worship.

  • 14 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    CB says: “If someone in the church that Dr Tiller was attending had of been armed, perhaps he would be alive to day”.

    -Perhaps more people would have died as well.

    Putting guns in the hands of a non-professional and adhering to the “Wild Wild West Theory” is not the answer.

  • 15 David // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I bet the assailant would have been less likely to have shot the doctor if he knew the whole church were carrying weapons.

    It’s the same old thing people have said for years. If you take away guns the only people who will have them are the crazies and criminals.

    We are all sitting ducks. Nothing new here folks just keep the line moving and we will wait for the next incident.

  • 16 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    SU says: “Maybe the pastor has the congregation studying Genesis 27:3″.

    Maybe the pastor and the congregation should study Mark 11:15.

  • 17 Gordon // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    While I support the right to carry, openly and concealed, and I am a Christian, this still strikes me as bizarre. I don’t see a mission in this. Christians are supposed to dedicate their lives to serving others.

  • 18 Stephen Ulrich // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Sirico, I would also include Mark 11:16

  • 19 Carter Burger // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Then you tell us Sirico, what would you do? I offered a solution, You say my way won’t work, yet you offered nothing. So tell us, wise one.

    And secondly, what does Mark 11:15-16 have to do with this? People were defiling the temple by using it as a marketplace in preparation of the Passover. How does that compare to defending oneself and fellow worshipers from evil in our society?

  • 20 Steve Coomes // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    To answer the tired and much-abused question of “What would Jesus do?” I have strong doubts he would advocate “drawing all men unto me” via a weapons promotion at church.

    Once again we have proof that some Christians often choose the example of man rather than the example of Christ.

    It’s one thing to have concealed weapons borne by select persons at churches were pastors have received death threats, but encouraging worshipers to bring their own–even brandish them? That’s nonsense.

    Paul wrote at length on how to behave in worship services, and I don’t recall him telling folks to come armed.

  • 21 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    CB says: “You say my way won’t work, yet you offered nothing”.

    -Law enforcement (ie. more police, better laws, etc.) and education.

    Gunfights in front of someones house should not be an option.

  • 22 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    CB says: “And secondly, what does Mark 11:15-16 have to do with this?”

    -The House of God is supposed to be a place of prayer not an open market. (And local gun shops are invited to come, TO CHURCH, and stand before the congregation and do a commercial about their stores).

  • 23 Carter Burger // Jun 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    “Law enforcement (ie. more police, better laws, etc.) and education. ”

    Let’s ask George Tiller how that’s working out for him and his congregation. Again, laws only take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

    “The House of God is supposed to be a place of prayer not an open market.”

    It is. Nothing was said about selling guns in church. However, if a gun welding terrorist walks into a church, you expect the congregation to simply sit there like sheep and be shot?

  • 24 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    CB,

    -Again, the Wild Wild West Theory will kill far more innocent people than criminals. I don’t see how anyone could justify that idea.

    CB says: “Nothing was said about selling guns in church”.

    -Please re-read the article. It says “And local gun shops are invited to come, TO CHURCH, and stand before the congregation and do a COMMERCIAL about their stores”.

  • 25 Bruce Maples // Jun 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Lots to say here, but most of it wouldn’t do any good. I’ll just post the story that this immediately reminded me of:

    “Their Reality Has Lapped Our Satire”

  • 26 Just me // Jun 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    David Harpe, you took the words right outta my mouth.

  • 27 45king // Jun 2, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Sirico – “-Again, the Wild Wild West Theory will kill far more innocent people than criminals. I don’t see how anyone could justify that idea.”

    Look to the Department of Justice for justification:

    Self-defense with firearms

    *38% of the victims defending themselves with a firearm attacked
    the offender, and the others threatened the offender with the
    weapon.

    *A fifth of the victims defending themselves with a firearm
    suffered an injury, compared to almost half of those who defended
    themselves with weapons other than a firearm or who had no weapon.
    Care should be used in interpreting these data because many aspects
    of crimes–including victim and offender characteristics, crime
    circumstances, and offender intent–contribute to the victims’
    injury outcomes.

    * Excludes Homicides

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/hvfsdaft.txt

    BTW, I agree with you about turning the temple into a marketplace. I think the event is a bad idea.

  • 28 Sirico // Jun 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    45king,

    -I don’t doubt your stats however, my augument isn’t about the attacker or the defender/victim, it’s about the by-stander. There would be far more innocent people killed/injured due to miss-fires, collateral damage to bystanders in gunfights, etc, than criminals.

    I don’t think people pack’n guns around is an answer to some of today’s problems.

  • 29 Jeff // Jun 2, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    A gun is not a “tool” like a hammer, drill or stove. That is a gross mischaracterization. And I’m not at all surprised that there are Christians packing heat. That is very much a logical extension of the paranoid, delusional and rabidly fearful Fundamentalist mind-set. And Tiller might be alive today if someone in his church had been packin’heat? So Christians who carry guns ,can read people minds, such that they can identify & shoot assailants before the assailants get off that first shot? That makes sense.

  • 30 Crutnacker // Jun 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Bruce,

    ‘Nuff Said

  • 31 Crutnacker // Jun 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Or maybe not. I’m not sure what I find more disturbing, the event or the fact that their website promoting has more effort put into it than most businesses put into their entire web presence.

    WWS&WD?

  • 32 Notso // Jun 2, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    “I don’t think people pack’n guns around is an answer to some of today’s problems.”

    Not to all problems, but no doubt to some of them.

  • 33 Tex Tucker // Jun 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Sirico, I can draw and fire from concealment in less than two seconds, so unless Tiller’s murderer was sitting next to him in church, I would have had a better than average chance of stopping him before he could get a shot off. And if my state allowed for open carry that time frame would be reduced still. Your “wild west” cries seem to forget that that era was far less violent per capita than we have today. Most people who take the responsibility to arm themselves are better shots than the police who are supposed to, but not obligated to, protect us. So your “collateral damage” argument also goes out the window. You really should get some viable statistics to back you up before you post so that you don’t seem so ignorant.

  • 34 Sirico // Jun 3, 2009 at 1:59 am

    TT says: “You really should get some viable statistics to back you up before you post so that you don’t seem so ignorant”.

    -Ha! You mean like all the statistics YOU supplied us with? (Your “wild west” cries seem to forget that that era was far less violent per capita than we have today). lol. Where are YOUR statistics???

    TT says: “Sirico, I can draw and fire from concealment in less than two seconds, so unless Tiller’s murderer was sitting next to him in church…

    -Tiller was killed in the churches foyer (not the church itself) where he was serving as an usher and distributing bulletins.

    You know TT, you really should get your facts straight before you post so that you don’t seem so…wait for it….. ignorant. Once again, ha!

    BTW, the collateral damage argument still stands. TT you have done nothing to dispel the argument. You seem to want to forget that we no longer live in the “wild west”.

    If every root’n, toot’n cowboy in our city carried a gun around, our paramedics couldn’t keep up with the incoming calls. lol!

  • 35 Tex Tucker // Jun 3, 2009 at 9:25 am

    From “Frontier Violence, Another Look” In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
    Compare that to Texas high point of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 in 1981 from the Texas Law Enforcement Uniform Crimes Statistics, and you will see a 1700% increase in murder since the “Wild West” we could do much worse than to those “crazy” times.
    This is one of those times where you should take every possible opportunity to shut up, or I will take the time to find and report and slam you on every aspect of your argument.
    Criminals don’t fear the police, for they are readily identifiable and few in number. If you have any doubts Google Kennesaw, Ga. and you will find a town that after passing an ordinance REQUIRING every head of household to own and maintain a gun has had 25 years without a gun death.

  • 36 Robert // Jun 3, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    This is going to be a celebration of the 1st AND the 2nd Amendments. Our Creator, as part of the natural state in which He created us, has given us certain rights. Foremost is the right to defend ourselves. Our Founders recognized that natural, preexisting right and codified it as part of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t grant that right to us, it simply is an explanation of a right that we all are born with.

    Our Founders and the rest of the colonists often used churches to meet and discuss matters that didn’t pertain to worship or religion. Even today, many churches have gyms and meeting halls that are used for gatherings of both religious and non-religious nature so this doesn’t bother me at all. If this is a celebration of a natural right given us by our Creator, why wouldn’t you use a church to hold the event? A church is one of the primary places we go to worship that same Creator!

    This goes to Charlton, Jeff and Sirico and all the naysayers in this discussion. I find the name calling and hyperbole used by some here to be rather tiring.

    If you disagree with guns, you have the liberty to not own one and I respect that. Please respect my decision to own guns as it is my freely made choice as much as yours is. If you disagree with this event, you have the freedom to not attend and I’ll respect that and refrain from calling you names. In return, I’ll ask for the same consideration from you.

    Care and politeness is too often left out of our political discussions these days and it contributes to the coarseness and the polarization of our society.

  • 37 Anthony // Jun 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Robert,

    You make many valid points, but I wish to clarify one of your points. Our foremost right is the right to life. Our Creator gave us life, and no one has the right to take that away; therefore, its reasonable to derive the right to defend human life from our right to life, but that is still a derivation of the fundamental (and foremost) right.

  • 38 blackgunowners.org // Jun 3, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Sounds like a great idea. I wish church carry was legal in Georgia.

  • 39 Govenor1 // Jun 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

  • 40 DC Wright, USMC Retired // Jun 4, 2009 at 12:22 am

    The writer seems to think packing weapons to church is a bad thing. I would strongly disagree. ANYONE packing a firearm ANYWHERE is not only exercising a basic human RIGHT, but is also contributing to the safety of his or her community and boldly declaring his or her intent of doing just that. However, my personal policy is that for those who so vigorously dislike firearms, not only will I not argue with you, but I will respect your decision and not ever come to your rescue should someone realize how helpless you’ve made yourself and decide to cause you harm. Fair enough?

  • 41 Mad Dawg // Jun 4, 2009 at 12:26 am

    ***
    Putting guns in the hands of a non-professional and adhering to the “Wild Wild West Theory” is not the answer.
    ***
    Just having a pistol is not the answer. Having a pistol, practicing, and thinking about it IS the answer.
    We can’t outsource self-defense. When one consults the data, one finds that an armed citizenry is a deterrent to violence.
    “Wild West” is mostly a phrase the timid use to avoid thought. Real gun fights tend to be at close range and quickly resolved.
    Aquinas puts his treatise on Just War in his larger treatise on Charity. TO be armed and ready to defend oneself or the defenseless is an act of love. My family needs me not to be dead — not yet anyway. And those too irresponsible to bear arms needs those who take up that burden to protect them. It’s that simple.

  • 42 Mad Dawg // Jun 4, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Sirico (again)
    ***
    There would be far more innocent people killed/injured due to miss-fires, collateral damage to bystanders in gunfights, etc, than criminals.
    ***
    You know this how? These days misfires are so rare as to verge on non-existence. You’d be amazed at the engineering of the modern handgun. Hollow points rarely pass through the target. And my experience is that amateurs are more careful and less likely to fire wildly than police are.
    We drill, man! We practice. Those of us who have been in situations where the “bad guy” presented a weapon would just as soon never be in such a fix again. But we are ready. (I showed the guy my gun, as I checked around and behind him. I aimed at his head. He changed his mind. We both lived. I’m glad I had a gun.)

  • 43 Mad Dawg // Jun 4, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Jeff:
    ***
    That is very much a logical extension of the paranoid, delusional and rabidly fearful Fundamentalist mind-set.
    ***
    A robber comes into a woman’s house in Ky. and shoots her three children before her eyes. He had been previously slapped on t he wrist for armed robbery elsewhere. True story.

    I assume you fasten your seatbelt. Are you paranoid?

    I’m not paranoid, and if I’m awake, I’m armed, wherever it’s legal.

  • 44 gutshot // Jun 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    “Is anyone else out there disgusted by this?”
    Disgusted by free citizens exercising their constitutional rights? No,never. What would digust me is that the government or the press would attempt to intimidate people into not exercising their rights. Carrying a gun in KY is constitutionally protected behavior.

  • 45 Robert // Jun 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    What amuses me about those who disparage us law-abiding gun owners is the name calling they are so quick to dish out to anyone who does nots hare their beliefs.

    “That is very much a logical extension of the paranoid, delusional and rabidly fearful Fundamentalist mind-set.” Is typical from the Left.

    What truly upsets them is that there are people who are able to take care of themselves without being babied along by the government It upsets them that they and the people they elect can’t control other citizens.

    The Left always prides themselves on “standing up for the little guy” and that they are “tolerant” and “pro-choice”. My message to them is: I AM that “little guy”. I’m a construction worker and an electrician.

    You want me to be tolerant of your views but when I disagree with you the name calling starts. The “tolerance” never goes both ways.

    And yeah I’m “pro-choice”. I choose to not be a sheep in a world of wolves. I choose to arm myself; not as an offensive means but to defend myself, my family and other innocents nearby who might come in harm’s way.

    You see, we respect the views of the non-gun owners. It is their right and I would not presume to belittle them or try to change their minds. It sure would be nice however if we were accorded the same consideration.

  • 46 Sirico // Jun 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    That is very much a logical extension of the paranoid, delusional and rabidly fearful Fundamentalist mind-set.

    Robert,

    -Why do you feel a need to strap on a gun? Do you feel fearful or defenseless in public without one? If so, why?

    Robert says: “It upsets them that they and the people they elect can’t control other citizens”.

    -Who are “they”, and what do you mean when you say “they” are trying to control you and other citizens?

    Robert says: “What amuses me about those who disparage us law-abiding gun owners is the name calling they are so quick to dish out to anyone who does nots hare their beliefs”.

    -No one that I am aware of is calling you names.

    Robert says: “You see, we respect the views of the non-gun owners”.

    -Ah, the topic of this thread was “open carry” your gun to church, not gun control.

  • 47 Tex Tucker // Jun 6, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Sirico, you seem to like statistics, so here you go.
    There are approximately 300,000 sworn peace officers in the U.S., and assuming they don’t work 24/7, splitting into three shifts would leave 100,000, but wait they don’t all work 7 days a week so with a 40 hour work week, sick days, vacation time, and training, we have about 55,000 on duty cops at a time. The population of the U.S. is approximately 305,000,000, and the Washington Post says last year we topped 1 prisoner for every 100 people, that’s over 3,000,000 prisoners and that doesn’t include the ones we haven’t caught yet. And you wonder why one might be fearful when we are in public, 1 cop for every 5540 of us, c’mon even you have to admit they can’t protect all of us right? And the highlight of all of this is, these crimes are happening in “gun free zones” schools, churches, post offices, and courthouses. Don’t worry I’m not going to ask you to carry a gun, you obviously aren’t up to the responsibility that many of us are. So please just go away, you bother me kid.

  • 48 Robert // Jun 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Sirico ,

    I arm myself not because I am fearful but because I am prepared for the possibility that some crook might attempt to deprive me of my life, liberty and happiness.

    Do you not keep a fire extinguisher at home? Do you not carry auto insurance? Do you not keep extra money in savings and extra food in the house in case your boss tells you you can only work 20 hours this week, not 40?

    No it is not fearfulness my friend but confidence and prudence.

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