Friday, December 14, 2012

An Immoral Society: The National Rifle Association

wSome ultra-conservative bishops have attempted to ban lay Catholics from participating in various social action groups.  For instance, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, the soon-to-be retired leader of the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, announced more than a decade ago that he was excommunicating Catholics who joined Voice of the Faithful or Planned Parenthood.  He said that membership in such groups was incompatible with Catholic life and values.

The National Rifle Association has, in recent decades, demonstrated that it is a dues-collecting lobbying group on behalf of the gun industry.  It no longer takes on celebration of hunting and outdoor life as its chief concern; instead, it seeks to ensure that as many people as possible can buy lethal weapons that may, in some instances, lead to mass destruction.

Unfortunately, the NRA is likely to come out in the next few days and rattle off that maxim, "Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People" -- completely ignoring the fact that this organization has sought to make Congress cower and avoid any reasonable gun control measure, with the end result of people such as the killer of schoolchildren in Newton, Connecticut being able to get their hands on too many guns, and too much ammunition.  The NRA makes mass killings possible, if not likely.

This is the time for the U.S. bishops to take a firm stand and announce that Catholics should not participate as members in a death-dealing organization such as the NRA.  The bishops should also call on Congress to reject campaign funds from those lobbying groups that greedily protect the small arms industry at the expense of Americans' safety.  Yes, guns are a moral issue:  you cannot support a right to unlimited gun ownership, by any nut or rageaholic anywhere and everywhere, and claim to be a moral person.  Christianity is profoundly incompatible with gun-pushing and the worship of firearms.

The church is supposed to be counter-cultural.  Our culture embraces guns.  The NRA is at the center of gun-worship.  Why are the bishops not willing to openly denounce the NRA?

1 comment:

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