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Weapons and worship: Should Christians bring guns to church?

Anyone licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Texas can bring it into church — unless there is a sign on the door forbidding it. That's the latest version of Texas' concealed handgun law. Churches that want to be gun-free must post a notice.

"This puts churches in a conundrum, to say the least," said Charles Zang, assistant to the bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.
"This puts churches in a conundrum, to say the least," said Charles Zang, assistant to the bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.

From an insurance viewpoint, posting the signs may limit church liability if a shooting occurred. But liability is only one problem.

"I'm saddened that we even have to deal with such an issue," said David Roschke, pastor of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, which will post signs to send a message.

"It is not primarily for liability reasons but to say that violence and weapons of violence aren't welcome in this congregation and on this property," he said.

But at Zion Lutheran Church in Brenham, Texas, "we're not going to do anything," said Pastor Tim Christ. A law likely won't stop criminals from bringing a gun to church, he said, and law-abiding gun owners pose no threat.

"If they simply carry one in a purse or wherever, who cares?" Christ said. "Why make an issue of it?"

Nationwide, all but seven states and the District of Columbia have made it legal to carry concealed handguns, although licensing requirements vary.

Zang wonders how the issue will affect the idea of church as "sanctuary."

"What does it mean for the church when people so fear for their safety that they feel it necessary to carry a weapon for protection?" he asked. "And does the knowledge that others in the 'sanctuary' might be carrying a concealed handgun disrupt the safety others have come to seek?"


Comments

Ralph E. Franklin

Ralph E. Franklin

Posted at 3:54 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/8/2009

I go to church every sunday and my glock goes with me, an i legal



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