Thursday, 19 April 2007

Apocaholics and gun nuts


Two items caught my eye in the January-February Journal; one an ad, the other comments from the leader of a major splinter ministry.

The ad provides the title for this posting. You probably have to be as old as me to recognize the name Gary Alexander, another of high profile writers who didn't survive the traumas of the 1970s. Alexander was also responsible for a major booklet on the End Times theme, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1973).

Alexander's post-WCG career has apparently had it's colorful moments, and I believe you'll find some of the details chronicled in old issues of John Trechak's Ambassador Report. Now Gary is back as a self-proclaimed "apocaholic."

In 1990, I woke up to see that the world is getting better by almost all metrics - and I became richer and happier by sharing this good news with others.

I'm willing to bet from the tone of the ad that ol' Gary is actually trying to sell life insurance or some other plan to make a buck, but I still like the idea of an "Apocaholics Anonymous" group.

The second item was a report by Dixon Cartwright on a gathering of the good and the great in Lexington. While the serfs were amusing themselves at the Winter Family Tournament in December, the elite were gathered at an invitation-only conference. Nothing wrong with that, and the lineup included some of those in the independent wing of the COG movement with a proven record for integrity.

Among them was Ronald N.R.A. Dart.

Speaking of the Brookfield LCG killings, Dart opined: To me, I still to this day can't understand why three guys didn't just tackle him [murder-suicide Terry Ratzmann] all at once.

The former Armstrong evangelist went on: it almost seems like sometimes we've been spiritually castrated.

I have a 12-gauge and a 9-mm handgun in my house, and, if some guy breaks into our home and threatens my wife and me, he will go back down those stairs head over heels
In the wake of the recent killings in Virginia it's not difficult to imagine the opinions Mr Dart will be offering, but I can only wonder if the aging preacher would pause to afix his toupee first before grabbing the gun. I'd wager he'd be far more likely to shoot himself in the foot than face a life-threatening home invasion in his neighborhood. Then again, church members were fueled on fear and insecurity, so maybe it's no wonder if the preachers have fallen victim to their own nightmare rhetoric.

Then there's the ludicrous situation where LCG's Richard Ames jumps in to offer trite commentary on the Virginia tragedy: From Columbine to Kosovo, and from Blacksburg to Baghdad, our world is mired in violence, pain and suffering.

Blacksburg to Brookfield Mr Ames, remember Brookfield?

35 comments:

Ripley said...

Went and checked some other XCG sites re: the Virginia Tech rampage. On Pack's and Flurry's there appear the predictable assignments of blame, those that have always flowed from COG pens. In so doing, they seem defy the scriptures they claim to profess, which place blame for evil squarely on the shoulders of "the adversary," the devil.

Instead, they make proclamations, then lay claim to being the repository of the solutions to man's ills.

Why not just some empathy, some concern, some Christian charity? No, there has to be a "we-told-you-so" tone.

Really irritating.

I'll give WCG some credit on this one. On their page is information about why God allows suffering. It appears to have been posted pre-Virginia, and one assumes they chose to leave it there in the aftermath.

Always interesting to see how these chaps view the world, and try to shape the views of others.

Corky said...

Guns for protection? What happened to "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek", "resist not evil", "overcome evil with good", "do violence to no man" etc?

A lot of people think that they can defend themselves and family by carrying a gun but that's not really so. More than likely, having a gun will cause a person to get killed rather than the other way around.

People are not as brave as they think they are when it comes down to a shootout with a criminal.

A criminal is likely a psychopath and doen't give a s**t and the average person does, so the average person is at a great disadvantage to start with.

Most folks are far better off without a weapon when it comes down to it. Guns'll get you killed if you don't know what you're doing. Even trained policemen get killed - think about it.

clcreek said...

You usually have some interesting content. But this time you seem to be just flinging shit about. Sometimes you disappoint me.

Your current commentary on the killings is no better then the comments from the people you are belittling.

Anonymous said...

The parts of Armstrongism which had their roots in the Quaker religion were very prominent during my years of attendance. Military service was forbidden, WCG members could not work in law enforcement, or do armed security work, and I really don't recall much of anyone having handguns, as they were seen as only having one purpose, namely the taking of human life. IIRC, you weren't even to contemplate blowing the Germans away when they were supposed to arrive sometime between 1972-75.

The AC campus security guards were unarmed while I was a student. We certainly did not have a gun club at Ambassador College, although archery was taught at SEP. WCG Farmers sometimes had hunting rifles and shotguns.

I was a bit surprised to learn through archival Ambassador Reports that HWA had armed bodyguards during the final years of his life, as I am also somewhat surprised that Ron Dart seems to be recommending pistols and shotguns for home protection. It's not that I think there is anything wrong with exercising our Second Amendment rights, it's just that this seems to be a bit of a paradigm shift for the ACOGs.

I understand perfectly why people did not tackle Cho. When guns start going off, particularly the 9 mm variety, people are paralyzed with fear, unless they have military or police training. There's a tremendous difference in the relative accuracies and stopping power of, say a 22 caliber revolver as compared to a 9 mm Glock, possibly loaded with hollow points. You might get away with disarming the guy with the 22, but the odds of successfully doing this diminish radically as the caliber of the gun increases.

Senor Dart has selected an excellent weapon for home protection. You don't even need to aim a shotgun, just point it in the general direction and it will maim or kill. Plus, the sound of a shotgun locking and loading is an internationally recognized sound, one that of and by itself will often send criminals scurrying!

Anonymous said...

>>>> Most folks are far better off without a weapon when it comes down to it. Guns'll get you killed if you don't know what you're doing. Even trained policemen get killed - think about it. - Corky<<<<<

I've thought about it, I'll keep my guns for protection, thanks! When Cain killed Able should there have been a prohabition of rocks? Rocks & guns don't kill people, stupid, evil and dumb people kill people.

Anonymous said...

A couple of months ago I went through the "gee I need a pistol" thing. I must have looked at hundreds and I have to admit, they have an appeal. I only like the look of a western six shooter for some reason. Must be a reincarnation thing.

At any rate, I looked, I held (feels good), I pointed, I went back and often. I asked why do I need it and for what? Would I shoot someone with it really or shoot myself first? How often could I shoot holes in a paper target for a hobby? (Once) Did I really want to spend $500 I don't have on something I don't really need and can't really afford?

I decided no I don't and bought a Boston Radio. Sounds nice doesn't take up much room in the apt. It is small enought to throw if I have to.

Anonymous said...

I did learn with a home shotgun it is best to load birdshot first incase it's your kid coming thru the window, shot second and finally a slug. Compassionate shooting I guess...

To say our hearts and thoughts are with the families of the victims of a brain gone wrong would be an understatement to say the least.

Anonymous said...

LCG acts like the Milwaukee massacre never happened. Like a strong, courageous leader, RCM took cover when news of the slaughter broke and he hid. He flew in under the radar on a stealth mission to attend the slain minister's funeral but didn't attend all the victims' funerals --as if that would be beneath him. Now, he's cavorting in China on a "last hurrah" sight-seeing fling with his wife like they did a year or so ago in Europe. At least HWA met with China's leaders when he went there. It's as if the Merediths are cramming in all the expensive overseas trips they can before he retires or expires. Perhaps they're visiting all the "brethren" in China or on a "fact-finding" mission like Doug Winnail claimed he was doing his extravagant four years in Europe. Air fare and hotel costs don't come cheap. Would they care to divulge how many tens of thousands of dollars were spent on these junkets?

charlie kieran said...

Well then make a contribution and show us how it should be done, clcreek. Dazzle us with your wit, wisdom, and insight.

Anonymous is right. For home protection you will be far better off with a shotgun. People find it very easy to miss with a pistol even at distances of 3 yards. Factor in the nervous jitters involved in a human to human confrontation and well...

The WCG was largely silent on ownership of guns from what I can remember, however I can confirm what anonymous posted about not serving your fellow man as a doctor, EMT, Paramedic, policeman, fireman, etc. I always thought it was an incredibly stupid policy. I can't imagine that the town of Mt Pocono and the Pennsylvania Highway Patrol donated all of that overtime spent directing traffic for feasty poeple. So there is obviously a need for Police and Security during the FOT or other Holy Day. We had a lady get hit in the head with a blade from a ceiling fan during services and another guy have a heart attack...Services went on and the police and ambulance responded to take the people to the hospital.

Hmmm. Guess it was better to call the ambulance and avoid a lawsuit than to risk the laying on of hands and have it...not...work.

I'm getting off topic and I apologize.

Douglas Becker said...

My wife and I will will not be attending the annual "Hope and Recovery Conference" this year for the mentally ill, their families and mental health professionals this year. For one thing, the entry fee has gone up over five years from $20 to $45 -- even though Dr. Frederick Frese will be the afternoon keynote speaker, but there is also something else clear: There is no recovery from mental illness, only lifetime treatment, and often not much hope.

It should be very clear that in the case of Terry Ratzman, the Virginia Tech incident and the shooting in the Tacoma Mall over a year ago, mental illness is involved. The problem with these incidents is that people try to make sense out of them when there isn't any way to do so. Mentally ill people are irrational. What they do makes no sense -- or more accurately, makes sense only to them.

The best way to explain this is the temporary insanity all of us were subjected to under Herbert Armstrong. So much did not make sense, but we all rationalized it to try to fit into some sort of framework to deal with it. The truth probably lies in the fact that Herbert Armstrong under the covers lusted for a better life: We provided it, and for the most part, Herbert Armstrong neither knew us or cared about us -- he only cared about what he experienced. It was all about him and his work, not about us or the world. He might not have even been aware of his own motivations and rationalized them thinking he was doing the world good, while only doing himself [and occasionally his family] good.

As we move on to Ronald Dart's statements, this is just another complete disconnect from the supposed religion brought to us by Jesus Christ. We should be glad 9mms were not available in Christ's time, or the clearing of the temple might have taken on an entirely new complexion -- if we were to assume that it were the Christ of Ronald Dart's persuasion. Conscientious Objectors, turn the other cheek, allowing yourself to be harmed for the sake of others -- even as Jesus gave his life on the stake for the sake of cult leaders who carry guns -- is not compatible with the hawkish violence proposed by our illustrious Mr. Dart.

One only need to examine Scripture to get the gestalt that God hates violence and that is the explicit reason given for the Flood of Noah's time. It is also the case that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because they were gay, but because they were violent and were attempting to do violence to Lot and the angels of God. OK, you might not buy the Bible, but at least acknowledge the theories of the Bible supposedly the basis of the church of gods.

Unfortunately, mentally ill people should not be executed, but they should be treated -- it's not their fault. Unlike criminals who make choices for themselves, with mentally ill people, they just don't have choice, understanding or control when they go unstable. Unfortunately, the Virginia Tech incident sets back the cause of helping the poor mentally ill people because it polarizes society to first find a reason and then a solution. There is no rational reason, save for the fact that the poor man was mentally ill and could not cope with his situation. The solution is vigilance and treatment, but unfortunately the mentally ill are an open embarrassment to society to be swept under the rug and ignored until an extreme even happens yet again. "Just go away" is pretty much what most people would want, but these are real people, most of whom could be treated, but won't be.

If the religionists want to blame someone, they should take a careful look at their own deliberate insanity. They aren't just mentally unstable from distorted perceptions, they are violent and their preachments give us all a view of their violence. [If God the God of the Bible really exists, they should be in abject fear of being destroyed by Him.]

United is a special case, giving, as it were, very bad advice to those who are mentally ill -- advice which will at its extreme will lead to the same kind of violence and tragedy which we have already seen. If a person is mentally ill, they need treatment, not "happy thoughts".

As for David Pack's circle of protection: You never know when the Universe is going to kick back on you your own doings. Apparently there is such a thing as Karma, particularly for those who believe in Galatians 6:7. Uh, doesn't Proverbs say something about having delight in the tragedy of your enemy? Mr. Pack needs to withhold his glee over the misfortunes of others, lest he be in the embarrassing situation of attempting to explain why bad things happened to him -- if he survives them, that is.

Isaiah said so very well, "there is no peace". Perhaps it was a prophecy of the violence of the church of gods today.

PG said...

While Ambassador Security did not carry guns, there were guns locked up in a gun cabinet on campus. Plus there was a gun cabinet for students who brought guns to Pasadena!

GTA's body guard in the mid 70's carried a gun to services. He boasted about it to many people.

Several times over the years when things got bad on campus with lay-off's there was always a real fear that certain individuals would come on the campus with guns and use them. There were some real weirdo's the church hired at times. And some got really weird the longer they worked there.

lussenheide said...

The history of the COG is one of pacifism going back to A.F. Dugger's request of President Lincoln during the Civil War to be declared a "Peace Church" and exempt from military service and draft. Both the COG and the 7th Day Adventist Church had roots and early leadership going back to and connected with a movement called "Christian Connexion" (yes with the "x"). Both Gilber Cramner, founder of the COG 7 Day and Joshua Himes, early SDA leader were ministers of this "Christian Connexion" movement. This movement was pacifistic and advocated idealistic progressive social change including abolition of slavery.

HWA persisted with a pacifism policy for the WCG. It also matched his Quaker roots quite nicely as well.

However, the COG split in 1978, and the forming of CGI, created a much more militant group. The amount of guys in CGI who were southerners who liked to hunt and fish was much higher than their urban WCG cousins.

GTA liked to hunt and use guns. He also had served in the military. Ron Dart served in the military and hunted squirrel et al back in his Arkansas youth.

So the CGI brethren were a different subset than the WCG and this legacy continues to this day in the church.

The question of the use of "lethal force" is a difficult one. To take another's life is serious business.

I grew up as a white kid in the heart of East Los Angeles. I'm no stranger to the streets. However, I will disagree with Corky's post... there is a time to fight and a time to kill. Generally, it is better to run, and it saved my neck many a time. This is fleeing evil, but when trapped, and pushed comes to shove, one has every right to do what has to be done.

A shotgun aimed in the appropriate direction can deliver a lot of justice quickly. I don't claim to be macho, but I do not lose one nights sleep by the ending of existence of a sociopath whether by my hand or someone else's.

Lussenheide

Neotherm said...

There is a spirit that connects all fundamentalists together. It is the spirit of being a bully. This attitude is easy to find among evangelicals and Armstrongites.

What these fundamentalist use to bully others is Biblical scripture. They talk about Hell, the Tribulation and the End of the Age with great energy and enthusiasm. And through fear they hope to capture and enslave the hearers.

What I find to be revealing is that seldom have I ever detected a spirit of love in these declarations of present or impending diaster. I find, instead, a spirit of resentment and a desire to harm. I believe that Armstrongites view with glee the misery recounted daily by the news media.

The attitude of the bully actually permeated Armstrongism. I have been around many of the leading men in the WCG who were at Big Sandy in the Seventies. The word "bully" describes them accurately. They were people who fully leveraged themselves using the hierarchical structure of command. Another phrase that comes to mind is "loveless". When interacting with these people I never got a sense that they motivated by love.

While this is an extradinarily strong proof that Armstrongism is a non-Christian cult, it is also a very personal experience that does not serve well to inform everybody. You had to be there.

While the mouth is the principal weapon among these people, I am not surprised that Dart would reach for a shooting iron. It is all in the same spirit. And besides, Armstrongites have advocated the exermination of Native Americans, Maoris and other indigenous peoples for years. While they would probably not lift a finger to accomplish it, the spirit of murder is still present.

If this blog is now being moderated, how did clcreek's tawdry bit get passed through?

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

"One only need to examine Scripture to get the gestalt that God hates violence and that is the explicit reason given for the Flood of Noah's time."

Pretty darn violent response to violence eh?

"It is also the case that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because they were gay, but because they were violent and were attempting to do violence to Lot and the angels of God."

Hey don't forget the offer from Lot to rape my daughters who have not known a man..

They weren't gay and gayness is not the issue in the story of S and G no matter what one has been taught. . It was a hospitality tale that has 'just Lot' offering his daughters for group rape as long as personal guests aren't bothered. Very Middle Easternish. One does not offer a woman to gay men. It was alphamaleness over "hey, you guys better not be here for trouble..we treat people like you like women...we abuse them"

Also...the only real detailed accounting of Sodom's sins comes from the prophetic traditions of Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel. For Jeremiah, the sin that brought the wrath of God down on Sodom was the worship of other gods — idolatry. For Isaiah, the failure that tipped God's hand was oppression of the weak and vulnerable. Ezekiel continues this theme by accusing Sodom of having too much wealth and not enough concern for the poor (16:49). They know nothing of the gay theme...that was made up by Evangelicals who don't understand the setting and stop just before we have to see Lot's counteroffer.

All that to say that the God of the OT and certainly of prophecy and Revelation is darn violent and hates it not. He rather seems to love it. He motivates with it. Personally I would hold explanatory seminars as to what is bothering me as God and have nice luncheons for humans.

Anonymous said...

How is that one crazed human,who murders a few dozen in cold blood, is labeled mentally ill, nuts, crazy, disturbed and demon possessed, (and may be all or some of that) and yet a God, or a people of this God, that descends unexpectedly upon others doing the same only a lot more of it from towns to whole planet, gets the label of "God is Love"?

No wonder our culture is screwed up

Jared Olar said...

The anonymous comments about the violence of God seem to partake of a fundamentalist-style literalist hermeneutic very much like that which Armstrongists use when they read the Bible.

Jim M said...

Douglas Becker, as usual, you are on target. Unfortunately, a few years back our American Government deemed that those mentally ill are unaffordable to the American People henceforth the majorities were released to the streets of mainstream America.
What price have the Americans paid now!

A UCG member said...

corky said... More than likely, having a gun will cause a person to get killed rather than the other way around.

You want to back that up with some evidence, Corky? I carry. I have a much better chance of saving myself and others by carrying a gun than if I don't have one.

More people are murdered with fists and feet in America than are murdered with guns.

More children under the age of 5 die from drowning in buckets of water than die from gun shots.

I can provide links if you want.

Here's a thought experiment for you: I'm 5'6". Say Mr. 300 pound, 6'6" criminal wants to rape and murder me? How are my chances if I'm armed with a gun, compared to my chances without a gun? I prefer the armed option.

There's a tremendous difference in the relative accuracies and stopping power of, say a 22 caliber revolver as compared to a 9 mm Glock, possibly loaded with hollow points. You might get away with disarming the guy with the 22, but the odds of successfully doing this diminish radically as the caliber of the gun increases. [...]You don't even need to aim a shotgun, just point it in the general direction and it will maim or kill.

This is the kind of garbage that people who don't know much about guns blather. Magic hollow points! Magic 9mm!

What's the average shot spread at 15 feet of an 12 gauge with improved modified choke loaded with 3" 000 buckshot? It ain't much. While I prefer and recommend a 12 or 20 gauge pump as a house gun, shotguns are not magic wands.

A .22 in the hands of someone who knows what he's doing is far more dangerous than your average criminal moron with a 9mm loaded with JHPs, FMJs, or JSPs.

(Are those enough magic voodoo incantations for you?)

Sorry if I rant, but I get really sick of ignorant people blathering about subjects where they have no knowledge, for instance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ospNRk2uM3U

Anonymous said...

"A lot of people think that they can defend themselves and family by carrying a gun but that's not really so. More than likely, having a gun will cause a person to get killed rather than the other way around."

I wonder at what point did we humans lose the instinct for self preservation. Maybe it was around the time that we started viewing the criminal as a victim, and the idea of using violence to defend ourselves as something base, unpalatable, unsophisticated, and downright mean. Can you imagine Ogg tossing his spear out of his cave because he thought that it would do more harm than good when he was attacked by a rival gang of neanderthals? I think not.

We see whole nations with this mentality, which is paramount to slow suicide (Europe). We live in a world populated by people who would like inflict harm on us. Some of these people are mentally ill. Most just take pleasure in inflicting harm on others. You could apply this to a national level, too. The choice we have is whether we want to defend ourselves. How badly do we want to live?

I intend to live. And if that means that I am viewed as some kind of freak, the so be it.

Paul

kscribe said...

Anonymous said...
You don't even need to aim a shotgun, just point it in the general direction and it will maim or kill.

But it is hell on the wall board!

kscribe said...

Anonymous said...
I wonder at what point did we humans lose the instinct for self preservation. Maybe it was around the time that we started viewing the criminal as a victim....

Some reasoning maybe that people are afraid of the police. Being charged with murder is not too fun of a prospect! Then again how much fun would it be to watch your wife and daughter getting raped and their throats slit? It is a value system. Family over political believes, or the political believes over family...
It is just that simple. Of course we can apply that to religion also!

Mel said...

Wow! Dart's proclaiming himself to be quite the(possible) ass-kicker. (Heck, maybe he's got lazer-beam-shooters in his paid-for-by-tithes toupee.)
I suppose that his comments shouldn't surprise me, since he rode the coat-tails of GTA, who preached a version of Jesus who was mucho-macho didn't take no crap from anyone.
Ya'know the Jesus who is going to have a sword sticking out of his mouth and doing a mass-slaying.

I just KNOW I'm behind in my Bible studies when I forget just how deep the blood's gonna be.

Ahhh... the memories from a church I once attended...

~Mel

Douglas Becker said...

I wonder at what point did we humans lose the instinct for self preservation.

Can't speak for humanity, just for the church of gods: We turned off our instinct for self preservation when we adopted the framework of sacrificing all our resources and our families in order to provide Herbert Armstrong with a comfy life replete with silver stands with gold insets of the Zodiak. This selfish man and all the selfish men to follow him as leaders and ministers of the church of gods "switched off" or radar for predators and we became prey. It has been a struggle in the last half of life to cease to be the host to the parasites.

The quick bottom line is that in all this, the church of gods is a War Zone where there is no peace.

Neotherm said...

One of my cousins was shot dead just a few weeks away from getting his Ph.D in Chemistry. A custodian at the University thought my cousin and other people were plotting against him. The custodian was mentally ill and had been mainstreamed when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California.

Why was he permitted back into society? Money. Why was he able to buy a hand gun? Money.

Selling guns is a business, a big business. And there are forces that want no interference with this business. So they cloak themselves in the flag and make arguments about how we will lose our essential freedoms if we don't have guns. These primitives do not seem to understand that there are thriving democracies in the world where gun control is much more stringent than here.

One can always make the argument: there are more people killed by "fill in this space with whatever" than by guns. How does that make guns not a problem? It just means we have lots of problems, including gun control.

I am surprised that a UCG member would advocate carrying arms (therefore, I doubt the authenticity of that post). This UCG member should discuss this with his minister so he can get promptly disfellowshipped and get on with his life.

Dart, like most Armstrongite ministers, advocate a heroism that he himself probably would not engage in. Tackle the gunman. Sure, if you are a lay member and expendable. Dart will compose a nice sermon for your funeral. Perhaps, tackling the gunman would be possible and prudent if one were familiar with the circumstances. But Dart is apparently issuing an unqualified opinion.

Remember that Armstrongite ministers are trained to lay burdens on other people that they themselves would not lift a finger to move.

When will comment moderation end?

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Mr UCG. "sick" "Ignorant" "blather"
"voo doo?" No really, how do you feel about it? Some are more prone towards "gunness" and others, not so much. But might make a good sermonette in UCG if they like the explanation...

Byker Bob said...

Right after Brookfield, there was a kind of side discussion on one of the ACOG related forums on the topic of firearms. Everyone had just about as many opinions as are normally found in the political or religious topics.

I doubt that most people who buy a shotgun for home protection know about chokes. Unless you have an olympic sized livingroom or master bedroom, my guess would be that your basic Walmart shotgun is going to do the job, although hopefully you'll never need to use it.

On handguns, I prefer a 38. There is modern technology (at a price)to help a person with recoil on the bigger caliber guns, but I find that I'm able to be more accurate with my 38 at the shooting range than my buddies with the bigger Glocks, because my weapon doesn't kick as hard. Less kick also means less fatigue, and longer sessions at the range. Most guys have seen too many Clint Eastwood movies and some (at least the urban types) make their gun choices based on that.

My personal preference also runs to the revolver as opposed to the semi-automatics. I hate ejecting brass all over the place, and I know when I've unloaded my six shooter that I don't have to worry about it still being chambered. I can see where a semi-auto could be of great value in military or police activity, though.

BB

Corky said...

I see I need to amend my post:

(Guns for protection? What happened to "love your enemies", "turn the other cheek", "resist not evil", "overcome evil with good", "do violence to no man" etc?)

By this I mean folks who are claiming to be a followers of Jesus who, by his own words above, was a pacifist.

(A lot of people think that they can defend themselves and family by carrying a gun but that's not really so. More than likely, having a gun will cause a person to get killed rather than the other way around.)

By this I mean that if a person is not well trained in the use of a gun, they shouldn't think that they are capable of handling a situation requiring it.

(People are not as brave as they think they are when it comes down to a shootout with a criminal.)

This I know from experience - not from a criminal encounter but enemy soldier encounter.

(A criminal is likely a psychopath and doen't give a s**t and the average person does, so the average person is at a great disadvantage to start with.)

I'll let that stand, I think it is self-evident.

(Most folks are far better off without a weapon when it comes down to it. Guns'll get you killed if you don't know what you're doing. Even trained policemen get killed - think about it.)

The key here is "if you don't know what you are doing".

I can and would defend myself with a gun - if needed. However, I'm trained in the use of firearms and other weapons that most have never even heard of and I am experienced in the use of firearms to kill other things than bottles or cans or paper targets.

I do know what I'm saying. Guns are dangerous in the hands of people who are not trained. And, talking about shooting someone is not doing it. I've done it and it's not what people who have not done it picture in their inexperienced minds. It's horror and it is far beyond frightening.

A normal person will freeze up the first time a killing situation arises - that's fear and if you are untrained, it'll get you killed.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Becker said: "It is also the case that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed because they were gay, but because they were violent and were attempting to do violence to Lot and the angels of God."

Hmmm, must be reading your own version Doug. The men of Sodom clearly said "Bring them out that we may know them [carnally]". Every credible source recognizes that these were homosexuals seeking to sexually rape these angels (which they just thought were exceptionally good-looking dudes). They were a group of predatory homosexuals (not unlike a number of Catholic priests these days), and God killed them as an example "to those who afterward would live ungodly". Yes, violence may have been an issue too, but face it--predatory homosexuals were killed by God as an example--a warning--to everyone else. Deal with it dude.

Rob said...

neotherm said... I am surprised that a UCG member would advocate carrying arms (therefore, I doubt the authenticity of that post). This UCG member should discuss this with his minister so he can get promptly disfellowshipped and get on with his life.

Be surprised all yo want. I know a good number of fellow UCG members who are avid shooters. My first year of NRA membership was purchased by a fellow (then) WCG member back when I was in college.

I doubt I would get disfellowshipped. I don't carry into services, that's really all they ask. Everyone at church knows I like and own guns. I know a lot of guys in the church who hunt. I bought a subscription to Guns & Ammo for the grandson of one of our local elders. You'd be surprised how many of us like to hunt and shoot.

When will comment moderation end? With this, I agree! Several comments have shown up earlier in the thread (including neotherm's) after the last time I checked it. They're showing up out of order. Only one or two posts have spawned a free-for-all! We're not children, we can take it, and you always have the option to delete.

Douglas Becker said...

seeking to sexually rape these angels

Rape is violence.

Nevertheless, later Scripture speaking of the Jews and Israelites as Sodom and Gomorrah in Ezekiel 16 speaks of the sin of Sodom as being pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness and not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 6:16-19 mentions pride again plus six other things, including violence: "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. "

Not that anyone in the church of gods takes these things seriously, mind you -- being idle curiosities to be discussed as the latest new thing not unlike the Athenians and strangers which were there spending their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.

Neotherm said...

Rob:

When I was an Armstrongite, I owned rifles and shotguns. I do not mean that the mere ownership of these weapons was against Armstrongism. They can be used for sport and recreation.

What I mean is that Armstrongism strictly prohibits the use of any weapon against another human being. This is why I spent two years on the 1-W program in Big Sandy. Conscientious Objection was and still is the official position of Armstrongism.

So go to an Armstrongite minister and tell him that you intend to use your guns to shoot people if you feel it is warranted. Then you will get disfellowshipped.

If it were not for the policy of conscientious objection, Armstrongism would have long ago degenerated into just another white supremacist group or a Branch Davidian type "church".

-- Neo

Rob said...

neotherm said... So go to an Armstrongite minister and tell him that you intend to use your guns to shoot people if you feel it is warranted. Then you will get disfellowshipped.

I guess I don't know any Armstrongite ministers then.

My mother-in-law was asked not to carry into services by the minister. She was not disfellowshipped. Also, a friend of mine who is an elder's son carries, and has carried at church with his father's knowledge. I've even discussed concealment options with that elder and his son.

neotherm, you don't know everything that you think you know.

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law was asked not to carry into services by the minister. She was not disfellowshipped. Also, a friend of mine who is an elder's son carries, and has carried at church with his father's knowledge. I've even discussed concealment options with that elder and his son.

At which point, a reasonable person would ask themselves, What the devil is going on over there in COG land that would require all these weapons? Is this an inner-city thing or are you folks planning a good-old-boy hunting party in the parking lot? (grin)
I guess I'm showing my age, but as a 60's military vet and a long time COG member... well, I'm puzzled.

b^2

Rob said...

Boston Blackie said... At which point, a reasonable person would ask themselves, What the devil is going on over there in COG land that would require all these weapons?

All what weapons? First we're quivering pacifists, now we're Branch Davidians? Just because some few of us take the rational precaution of carrying? I simply cited some examples to disprove neotherm's assertion that carrying would get you disfellowshipped.

Anonymous said...

Neo - It is another catch 22. armstrongism is not really against killing your fellow man, no matter what the means. They are against you doing it for any entity other than Jesus. (...If my kingdom were of this world than my servants would fight...)That is their justification for the CO status anyway.

So watch out if one of the latter day despots in charge of the end time work start talking about how God has revealed to only 'him' that it is time to fight for God.

"All rise, take up your hymnals and sing out load, Onward Christian Soldiers"

All that aside, I don't ever remember firearms being an issue at all in the WCG.