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A Texas Church Massacre and the Illusion of Armed Salvation


#1

A Texas Church Massacre and the Illusion of Armed Salvation

Robert C. Koehler

We need to start envisioning a world beyond mass murder: a world where rage and hatred are not armed and, indeed, where our most volatile emotions can find release long before they become lethal.


#2

Who would Jesus shoot? (WWJS)


#3
"Imagine"

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


#4

Not all who buy guns do so out of fear, of course, but Koehler is spot on to mention the psychological effects on a person who does carry a gun for self-defense. It does make a person more suspicious and decidedly more negative in outlook concerning others. Hardly the state of mind to have when attending a church or school or any social function with a goal of creating cooperation and openness. On the surface, this may appear to be trivial concern, compared to the horrific carnage we’re seeing, but do we really want a society where more and more people walk around sizing each other up as a potential enemy? It’s the very antithesis of a free and open society. It is a step back, not forward.


#5

According to the latest insanity coming from the NRA and its slimy political operatives it appears that the big mistake Jesus made was not carrying a large magazine firearm. He would of shown those Romans right?
Gee, how could an omniscient God not know to be fully armed at all times?
Maybe some creative individual can make the image of Jesus on the cross with a gun tucked in and an NRA ad tacked at the top.


#6

During W’s illegal invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq, one of those outfits that prey on the sentimentality of wholesome apple-pie Christian America came up with a Teddy Bear figurine outfitted just like the US stormtroopers that were kicking down doors and terrorizing Iraqi citizens. A “cute” little Teddy outfitted in camo, helmet, boots, goggles, automatic weapon, radio - barf.

I’m sorry (not) if I might have offended any that served in the great “liberation” of Iraq (can’t understand why those ragheads aren’t more appreciative - our ongoing destruction has been so complete and beautiful in its awesomeness.)

No, really, I am sorry now. As the flag-waving patriotic bullshit reaches a crescendo, my rage tends to boil over.


#7

That’s why the term ‘reptilian brain’ is used so frequently these days.

Kill or be killed. A very common outlook.


#8

Well and concisely stated, except I never considered the concern about a society of free-floating mistrust between its people to be trivial in the least - such a dysfunctional society is the stuff of nightmares to me.

Trust from another person starts with showing trust. The trust won’t always get returned and the result of a more overall trusting society will only come gradually - like therapy for a long-neglected chronic conditions. You might find me odd, but I go out of may way to do small trusting gestures like leaving doors unlocked and even keys in the car I keep parked in the back of the house. And in particular, I refuse to adopt the “avoid this-or-that neighborhood” paranoia of white suburban USAns.

And the sick-sick-sick idea feeling the need to carry a gun to feel secure in public (or even in ones home FCOL!) totally freaks me out.

And no, I’m not a pacifist - I fully understand that carrying guns, as part of an armed militia for survival and liberation is sometimes necessary - such a the Colombian FARC-EP, the Kurdish PKK, the Timorese, FRETELN, the Vietnamese NLF etc. That is a totally different situation. As a socialist in his 60’s, had I been born in Colombia, I would only have avoided death at the hands of a capitalist-sponsored paramilitary death squad by fleeing to the forests and joining FARC-EP.


#9

" Guns are a symptom of fear."

If true, then the US must have a lot of fear!


#10

An empire built upon military conquest is always fearful and created its own reason to be fearful.
Eventually, all those pissed off barbarians stormed Rome.
How many nations are pissed at the US?


#11

I used to sing this as a lullaby to my son from infancy to toddlerhood…and he remembers the lyrics and can sing them (in tune and on key) to this day! I hum this Lennon “prayer” to myself when stressed or feeling particularly skeptical about the current administration’s cruelty. Thank you for reprinted it here…to appropos!

IMAGINE!


#12

Timeless wisdom from the soul of a beautiful human being. I miss him! I always will!


#13

Haplessness is a warm gun


#14

The problem is that most, or very many, Americans do not trust their compatriots. On a recent visit to the US I was visiting my brother, who lives in a brand-new Cleveland suburb where all the suburban homes, with their manicured lawns, look exactly alike. So much, in fact, do they look alike that when I went out for a walk one day I got lost, unable to distinguish one street from the next. (The ambiance reminded me of nothing so much as the old 60s UK TV series, “The Prisoner.”) Finding myself disoriented, I did the logical thing and asked the first suburbanite I came across for directions. The mistrust and suspicion in the woman’s eyes were palpable. Now, mind you, I’m a slender 63-year-old, well-spoken, polite male, with anything but a threatening appearance, but I suppose that by now they’ve read so much about dangerous “quiet types,” that I too could be seen as a potential danger. And, being who I am, in spite of the fearful woman’s reply (or perhaps because of it, since it was fairly vague) I promptly got lost again, and had to ask for directions again. Same reaction, this time from a man (his expression seemed to say: “Who is this guy, what’s he doing here, what does he want?”)

I am convinced these people are conditioned to behave this way. By the TV, by the news, by the constant ads and reminders, everywhere–in airports, train stations, city subways–which say: “If you see something, say something.” Messages programming us to fear one another, rat on one another, fight one another, and, when the moment comes, to kill one another.

Fear kills solidarity and instills passivity. The historic examples–Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Fascist Spain–are many. The US’s membership in this dark club has the added distinction of atomizing the solitude down to very small competing groups–elites, brotherhoods, militias, micro-identities–when it’s not whittled down, as it is in the majority of cases, to the single individual, and, if one is lucky, his or her family. The one, against the amorphous many.

And, all too often, it is at this zero degree of the social animal, that the individual buys a gun.