Oakland church

Swords Into Plowshares

Dear Skyline Community Church members and friends,

For some, the issue of gun control today can be summarized as a “policy debate.”  For me, it’s not.

The epidemic of mass shootings in the United States is a moral and religious catastrophe. The voice of the prophet Isaiah, echoes through the ages, “The people walked in darkness, living in a land of deep darkness.”

I believe that God’s heart was the first to break among all of our hearts last Friday, in the unfolding horror of the second deadliest school shooting in American history, as twenty-eight people were killed in Newtown Connecticut, including twenty children.

I believe that God is weeping with pain right now. Weeping with these parents whose children were just executed, weeping with the spouses and relatives of the staff and weeping with the whole community. I believe that God is weeping with this country as well, weeping over the darkness, the blindness, the moral stupidity of this country that is weakening gun laws instead of strengthening them, and buying more guns despite an epidemic of mass shootings in places like schools, movie theatres, and malls.

The voices of the prophets echo through time, “Keep watch, stay awake, Prepare yourselves”  It’s a call to action, not only to personal action, but also to social  and civic responsibility.

Don’t tell me that this isn’t the time to talk about guns. This is the season of turning swords into plowshares, and assault weapons into instruments of healing.

Don’t tell me that we only have a week to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis. We have a crisis of far greater proportion. 50,000 more innocents could be killed if we delay another year.

Don’t tell me that it’s almost Christmas.

Don’t you remember, how Jesus’ birth was accompanied by the mass murder of innocent children? Murdered by a paranoid King, who massacred children that he perceived as a threat to his power?

In chapter 2, Matthew writes,
As it  was spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
She could not be comforted, because they are no more.”

We must hear their voices now, the voices of those crying now, at the slaughter of the innocents.

The gun lobbies, not only the National Rifle Association funds the legislators who pass more and more permissive gun laws that lead to tragedy after tragedy.

What is needed is immediate legislative action to ban the kinds of weapons typically used in these mass shootings. Even gun owners  who hunt realize it is ridiculous for these type of weapons to be sold in this country. Who hunts with an assault rifle?

A visibly shaken President Obama seemed to disagree with his press secretary in saying that despite the politics, we as a country need to act. There have simply been too many deaths from mass shootings.

“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

Amen, Mr. President. Now let’s all act.

As Jesus said, “You are the light of the world, You are the salt of the earth”.

I encourage You, to join me,  in signing this petition:

Click here to tell the President to send legislation to Congress to renew the ban on assault weapons and to require all gun buyers to undergo an immediate background check.

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