To the editor: As an evangelical Christian who does not own a gun, I am appalled at the idea of believers being encouraged to bring their firearms with them when they go to church. ("At a church security seminar: Guns, God and 'get those heads up' when you pray," May 22)
The gun lobby has once again crossed the line by suggesting, if not demanding, that there's got to be a new "god" in the church that wields ultimate power over death. His name is "gun," and "he" alone knows what's best for you and your safety.
We are to believe that somewhere hidden in the authoritative word of God, we are remiss if we now come to worship unarmed. And all the while, with our eyes wide open during prayer and our minds far removed from God in case a shooter begins opening fire, we pretend to worship Him, instead really worshiping the guns that we believe keep us safe.
We don't have to get too far into Scripture to know that God hates idols, and let's be honest — for those who preach the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment, guns have become idols.
Christians, it is time to examine your faith. There is no place for an idol in a house of worship. Do we truly believe that guns in church will save us? Certainly not from the wrath of God.
Richard Roth, Huntington Beach
To the editor: Conservatives say it's because we give our kids Ritalin instead of beatings and took prayer out of public schools. Liberals say we need a new assault weapons ban, ignoring the fact that the overwhelming majority of killings committed with firearms involve handguns.
Others say we should block school entrances and exits, ignoring that Dan White shot the mayor of San Francisco and Supervisor Harvey Milk in the heavily guarded City Hall.
We live in a country with more than 300 million guns in circulation. Accept that a stranger can end your life in a second for no reason, and there's nothing you can do about it except hope it happens to somebody else.
Gary Davis, Los Angeles
To the editor: Many Christian denominations are concerned that they are losing membership. Your front-page story about armed churchgoers is not encouraging.
There's nothing quite like having armed guards at the sanctuary where you go to worship the prince of peace. It gives attendees a sense of confidence in the almighty.
Surely this is contradictory indoctrination.
Darrell Waterman, San Bernardino
To the editor: It seems that some Christians are allowing themselves to be manipulated by their fears, causing them to abandon key elements of the faith in the name of vigilantism.
Those who teach Christians to bring guns with them when they worship use straw men to make their case. In your article, they chided attendees that they needed to be armed because God would not keep them safe.
Christianity does not offer a promise of protection in the world. On the contrary, Christians are promised trouble due to their faithfulness.
There was implicit denigration of our Muslim neighbors in the quote about "a bullet from a Methodist." Raising the irrational fear of the other who is different may be effective in selling guns and tickets to seminars, but it is not ethically sound.
Craig A. Repp, Rancho Santa Margarita