Who would Jesus shoot?

Remarks by Steve Friesen at Gun-Free UT rally on  24 August 2016

We’ve heard about different aspects of the weaponized campus problem—public safety issues, political issues, insecure masculinity issues. But most discussions downplay—or ignore!—the religious aspects of this controversy.

The major players in favor of guns in classrooms are all outspoken white male conservative Christians—all men, all white, all Christian.

There’s Brian Birdwell, author of the law, state senator from Granbury, and lifelong white guy.  What does he say about gun rights? Birdwell says they are “Rights that are granted by God…”

Or Jonathan Stickland, state representative from Bedford. Stickland says, “The Second Amendment doesn’t come from a government institution, a bureaucracy or a politician. It comes from God almighty.”

Or state senator Charles Schwertner who says, “No one should be forced to surrender their God-given, constitutional right to self-defense just because they set foot on a college campus.”

The other prominent supporters of weaponized campuses are also outspoken Christians: Gov. and white guy Gregg Abbott; Lt. Gov., white guy, and former talk radio personality Dan Patrick; and Attn. Gen. Ken Paxton, also a white guy coinicidentally and currently facing multiple felony charges.

So here’s the problem.  These white guys are committed Christians, but their politics contradict what Jesus actually said.  Would a gun-loving Jesus say things like, “Love your enemies” and “Bless those that curse you” (Lk 6)? Of course not.  Would a good Texan Jesus forgive his executioners while he’s dying on the cross (Lk23:34)?  Of course not.

So how do we deal with this disconnect between our Christian politicians and the actual teachings of Jesus? The solution is simple. We just need to rewrite the Bible.  Jesus was wrong, but we can make him fit Texas politics.  We’ll rewrite the gospels.  Call it the “Revised Texas Version” of the Bible, what Jesus really meant to say.

For example,

  • In the old Bible, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  In the Revised Texas Version Jesus says: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for power, and never get their fill.”
  • In the old Bible, Jesus says: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”  In the Revised Texas Version: “Blessed are the merciless, who show no mercy.”
  • Old Bible: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”  Revised Texas Version: “Blessed are the purely heartless, for they will see NRA funding.”
  • Old Bible: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”  Revised Texas Version: “Blessed are the Colt .45 Peacemakers, for they shall the weapon of God.”

But it’s not just these blessings that need adjustment.  What about the teaching from Jesus in the old Bible called the Golden Rule? “In everything, do unto others as you would have them do unto you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Mt 7:12) In the Revised Texas Version the Golden Rule will be: “In everything, do to others before they do to you; for this is state law, and it profits the gun industry.”

Or what about this Jesus saying from the old Bible? “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.” (Mt 5:38-39)  That can’t be the real Jesus.  He’s not conservative enough for Texas.  Here’s the Revised Texas Version, “And Jesus said, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a Glock G43 for your backpack.”

But revising the Bible won’t be enough.  We also need to change our worship services. So in closing, please bow your heads with me as I recite the Lord’s Prayer in the Revised Texas Version.

Our Father who art in heaven, hollow-point be thy bullets.
Thy kingdom come, with many guns on earth
That send bad guys to heaven.
Give us this day our daily threat,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we shoot those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from dildos.
For thine is the pistol, and the ammo, and the bloodshed forever.