Target: Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood
Goal: Condemn irresponsible gun giveaway by Kentucky churches
How do you entice nonreligious Southerners to attend church? A gun giveaway, of course.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention is hosting “Second Amendment Celebrations” in its churches and giving guns away as door prizes in an attempt to “point people to Christ.”
According to organizers, the purpose of the weapon giveaway is to lure Kentucky’s abundant hunters and gun enthusiasts as an “outreach to rednecks” who would be unlikely to be influenced by more traditional outreach methods. A service at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paduch, Kentucky is expected to draw in about 1000 visitors, who will be treated to a steak dinner and the opportunity to go home with one of 25 handguns, rifles and shotguns.
Although the organizers of these events stress that the weapons are only to be used for protection and hunting and that winners will be subject to a background check before being allowed to take their gun home, many are rightly concerned that this event is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Rev. Joe Phelps, a pastor of a Louisville church, said that Jesus preached, “Put away the sword.” Another Kentucky pastor, Nancy Jo Kemper, said that “Churches should not be encouraging people in their communities to arm themselves against their neighbors, but to love their neighbors, as instructed by Jesus.”
Regardless of the hypocrisies associated with preaching peace while handing out free weapons, such flippant treatment of firearms is irresponsible and encourages them to be seen as toys or entertainment devices rather than dangerous weapons.
Sign this petition to encourage the Kentucky Baptist Convention to stop hosting these irresponsible events and to treat weapons with the caution they deserve.
Dear Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood,
News of the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s plans to give away guns in an attempt to lure nonreligious hunters and gun enthusiasts to church is very concerning on several levels. Not only does this event run counter to the teachings of the Bible, it is also entirely irresponsible and inappropriate to give free weapons away, regardless of your insistence that they are strictly for hunting and protection or the requirement of a background check for the winners of this raffle. Equating firearms with door prizes encourages people to view them with less caution than they deserve.
I am writing you to encourage you to stop this irresponsible giveaway and try to reach out to non-churchgoers in a more appropriate and theologically consistent manner.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons