Sandy Hook memorial (courtesy espiscopaldigitalnetwork.com)

Last weekend, Lola took an entrance exam for an Episcopal school in Austin Texas. The school doors were locked. Security was tight. I didn’t see any “no firearms” signs at the entrance (which could have been awkward). When I told the administrator in charge I ran the world’s largest firearms blog, she was non-plussed. As were several prospective parents. So I guess they have a “we’ll ask, you tell and that’s about it” policy. But that’s more than a bit misleading. Further up the food chain, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council recently reaffirmed the General Convention’s support for the “restriction on the sale, use and ownership of guns.” Interestingly, anglicancommunity.org tries to insert a little wiggle room into the church’s forthcoming civilian disarmament-themed Walk for Peace, prayer rallies and general anti-gun agitation . . .

Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian T. Douglas, indicated that during the upcoming House of Bishops meeting, time will be given over to reflecting on this issue; one which, for a country where people have the constitutional right to bear arms, is not clear cut. Connecticut, for example, is not just the state where Sandy Hook Elementary School is located, it is also one of the oldest and biggest gun producing regions in the United States; so much so that the Connecticut River valley has been known as the ‘Gun Valley’ since the 19th century.

That said, this . . .

These, and other initiatives such as New York diocese’s petition for better gun control and Primate Bp Katharine Jefferts Schori’s Senate Testimony on gun violence, are clear evidence of The Episcopal Church’s commitment to challenge gun violence in the USA.

In her testimony, Bp Jefferts Schori wrote: “I urge lawmakers to press for comprehensive and universal background checks for firearm ownership, regardless of where and how a gun is purchased; for bans on the availability to civilians of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; and for policies designed to better regulate the manufacture of guns. The Episcopal Church also supports the highest level of accountability for violation of all existing laws pertaining to violence in our midst.”

This focus on challenging gun violence comes only a few months after the Anglican Consultative Council—the consultative group comprising Anglicans and Episcopalians from around the world—added to the fourth mark of mission the call: “to challenge violence of every kind”.

Well, on that point, I think we all agree.

Whether the leaders of the Lone Star State private school where Lola’s applied are more in sync with the Consultative Council or local firearms culture remains to be seen. Hopefully.

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67 Responses to Episcopal Church Lobbies for Civilian Disarmament

    • Can’t entirely agree with this, as some issues are “political” secondarily to them being religious in nature. If a church says it is anti-abortion and anti birth control and this or that or the other thing because of religious reasons and these issues happen to be highly political, I don’t think you can hold that against them. Religions always weigh in on issues of the day, which are usually politicized. When people who’s faith is extremely important to them learn about something and want to know if it’s good, bad, moral, etc, they will seek guidance from their religion.

      In the religious context if violence or implements of violence are completely against a given religion, I would expect that religion to be vocally opposed to firearms and anything else that is often used as a means for violence.

      I would agree that these religious should not go out of their own purview and actually start pushing the issue for society as a whole — i.e. lobbying and demonstrating and attempting to assist legislation. However… I think it’s their right to do so. Call it proselytizing.

      • The vast majority of churches at this point re simply private enterprise. Money making operations.

      • I’d say it should depend on the church. If the church is issuing public statements regarding political policy and / or telling their congregation how to vote, they should lose their tax exempt status.

    • I’m tired of people saying stuff like this.

      Its nothing more than government stupidity that some how Churches aren’t allowed to talk about politics, but other non profits are allowed to.

      There’s nothing to tax anyways.

    • The church baa like sheep. They will be slaughtered by the wolves later, like all the other times in history they pushed leftist idiology that enlarged ‘Big Gov’.

    • Good luck with that, pinkos.. Methinks the Texas AG will look as kindly on this as he did on the whole gun show kerfuffle..

  1. Serious question – why do religious groups of all stripes feel the need to push civilian disarmament when history shows that these same religious groups are the first ones to be wiped out when things go south?

    I understand the non-violence part, but I don’t understand the intentional disarming and weakness projected by statements above. Besides who is for violence other than Hollywood and Statists with dictatorial dreams?

    Illustrating Chicagoland Idiocy, Mayhem and Stupidity at heyjackass.com

    • The Pope banned peasants from owning crossbows so they couldn’t take out their kings’ knights.

      If the people are helpless and scared they’ll turn to the churches and governments for help. That means money in the church’s pocket and more power.

    • Just don’t paint with too wide a brush. My religious group is very fond of firearms and the God-given right to self defense. It is a theological point for us. Since man is made in God’s image, it is a holy and right thing to defend that image in the innocent from evil people who would mar and kill that image in another.

      I carry in the pulpit. I carry everywhere it is legal to do so. I am not the only one in our church that does so. We have church shooting events. Several of us have taken combat pistol training from a local former LEO who is a huge pro-2Aer.

      Some religious groups and individuals are in favor of stripping us of God-given rights, but not all by any measure favor such sin.

    • I’d like to take a moment to point out some info about the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church & Anglican Communion as general info for this discussion.

      The Anglican Communion is the collection of national Anglican Churches across the globe (i.e. Church of England, Anglican Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church, Anglican Church of Australia, etc.). While each individual national Church has a hierarchy, the Communion as a whole is organized more like the United States under the Articles of Confederation. That is each National Church is free to join or leave the Communion and while the Archbishop of Canterbury (head of the Church of England) is the head of the Anglican Communion, his control over the individual national Churches is limited. It is different than the more strict hierarchy of the Catholic Church. The Episcopal Church over the past 10-15 years has strayed from the common beliefs and pushed the boundaries in the liberal direction, so the fact that they come out in favor of gun-control and gun-confiscation is no surprise to this former Episcopalian.

      That said, there is no reason for any religious group to be against tools of self-defense, and in particular any group claiming to be Christian should go reread their Bible.

  2. How can these hypocrites be demanding that government do something about weapons and violence? Aside from the point noted above about violence in the bible, and I recall a particular battle where Yaweh Himself supposedly slew 40,000 men by throwing rocks at them from the clouds (!), It seems to me the proper route of attack for these religious folks is to pray to God for protection and then trust to His mercy. I guess their faith is not as strong as they say.

  3. Well, Anglocin community, thanks for re-affirming the reason why I don’t go to your churches any more.

    I’m Christian, I believe in God, but I will not support a church who doesn’t support me.

  4. The church is a far leftist church which support gay marriage which all other US churches oppose they are so far left they are not a mainstream church in the USA, in ways of views. Don’t forget they in with the British state owned Anglican Church which helped the Limeys disarm in the 1990s so ignore them the Baptist and other churches are with us ignore them.

    • Actually the Texas Episcopal Diocese came out against support of same sex marriage and distances themselves from the east coast dioceses that does support it.

  5. I didn’t think you could bring a gun to a school in Texas, whether it’s a religious school or not. Be very careful carrying in different states if you aren’t familiar with the laws.

    • Not to be flippant; but don’t “think”. Read. No 30.06 sign needed.

      http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/InternetForms/Forms/CHL-16.pdf

      Prohibited : PC 46.03 (a) (1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution

      and .. PC 46.035 (b) (6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.

      • Okay sorry… Churches must post a sign. A little buried but:

        PC 46.035(i) Subsections (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6), and (c) do not apply if the actor was not given effective notice under Section 30.06.

    • At least the beer’s cheap, the women are shaved, and the barbecued meat is delicious.. Any stupid pinko stuff I can ignore or shoot.

  6. The Episcopal Church in the US has basically split, as has the Anglican church in England. There is an old and a new, roughly corresponding (in my view) to Conservative and Reform in Judaism. Since I live in a community 2/3rds Episcopalian/Presbyterian, 1/3 Jewish, and grew up here, the doctrinal parallels are striking. As for guns and churches, who can forget the time George H.W. Bush launched the war to liberate Kuwait…and his own Methodist Church publicly condemned the war as morally wrong. As for (please provide a phonetic transliteration)’s comment above, I have frozen my image of Britain forever: In this image they call a slightly darker color “khaki,” have a 30-03, .375 H&H,, and Purdey in the gun room, and have the full-on British Disease which Germans unfortunately shun, defined as the aspiration to succeed so that they can go do nothing whatsoever but drink, shoot, ride, and f@@@ out at their country place. It is an extreme and anachronistic image, but preferable to thinking of Manchester as it is today, so I’ll keep it. Pepperidge Farm philosophy, indeed.

  7. And the current Military and police forces do such a good job of protecting church goers from violence the world over!

  8. This reminds me of a write-in to the SL Tribune’s opinion page last week. It’s not worth a link to, but the gist of it was it’s writer wondering aloud why the Mormon Church hasn’t made a public statement about being pro-gun control, what with being a church with gay and abortion standpoints, and they DO have those all powerful “gun free zone” signs in some of their institutions….

    It wasn’t worth the time to respond, but I really wanted to challenge the author to do a little reading of his church’s history. I might not agree with everything the LDS religion stands for, but they’ll be the last church to disarm themselves- they know damn well what happens when a government comes after them. All that other crap we can hash out later- When it comes to this issue, I’m standing right alongside my Mormon neighbors, along with anybody else, affiliation be damned.

  9. They’ve actually been doing it for years. After the general convention in 2000 they adopted a resolution to get handguns and “assault weapons” out of the hands and homes of people. Text is here: http://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2000-B007

    After that convention the diocese in Utah made the churches put up big no gun signs with pics of a cartoonish Thompson SMG at the entrances. It said, “The Episcopal Church welcomes you, but not your guns”. It was ridiculous looking and I think it lasted a week before the priest took it down.

  10. America’s churches should be campaigning for pedophile control, not gun control. Unlikely though, since pedo control would put them out of business.

  11. Robert,

    As a lifelong Anglican (a.k.a. “Episcopalian”) I can report that the Episcopal Church is in the midst of an upheaval caused by a knock-down, drag-out fight between the Liberal/Progressive and Conservative/Traditionalist wings of the entire organization. The Episcopal Church (a.k.a. “TEC”), by their actions, has severed communal ties with the Global Anglican church. The Worldwide Anglican Communion has chosen to “no longer be in communion” with TEC (in other words, to ex-communicate them) because of the actions they’ve taken, under the guise of “modernizing” the faith. I am not at all surprised by TEC’s stance on guns. But I can assure you that TEC leadership do NOT represent a large portion of Episcopalians. Many churches across the country have chosen to disassociate themselves with TEC and form a new organization – ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) to give parishes that follow more traditional Anglican theology a home. The “mainstream” Episcopal Church’ national body is pretty far out from what most consider the “mainstream,” theologically speaking. Please don’t accept what they’ve said at face value, at least as it applies to all Episcopalians – or even the majority of us. If you talk to an ACNA-affiliated church, I think you’d find that most are are much closer in alignment to your own values (from a firearms perspective) than to that of TEC. When I lived in Amarillo, the Rector of our church concealed-carry under his vestments on Sunday. When a parishioner asked why, he said that the world is not a safe place, and if someone came into church intending to harm a member of the church, he felt it was his duty to help them to see God as quickly as possible.

    Don’t know what the school situation is in Austin (which is, of course, the most liberal of cities in all of Texas), but you might want to look around for a school that is a bit more theologically sound – or at least one that realizes “gun-free zone” is a euphemism for “target-rich environment.” Just sayin’.

    • Nice exposition. My township has both versions of churches and of Episcopal schools. When I was young Episcopalians were Old Testament folks, really. Today, they want to be New Testament only… or no Testament. I’m not sure why the ECA don’t just meet at the YMCA, frankly. I suppose they still like stone churches and good pipe organs, regardless.

  12. The bothersome meme is that somehow pro-gun folks are “pro-violence”, when, in fact, specifically the carry and self-defense crowd, are pretty vehemently “anti-violence”.

    The anti-gun crowd fixate on “gun violence” while hand waving away the “other”, IMHO equally disturbing occurrences of violence (whether knife, fist, beer bottle, assault, rape, etc.).

    And to quote the ever quotable Jeff Cooper: “One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.” This is a “pro-stick” stance, not a “pro-violence” stance.

      • A more ambiguous view: Cooper did some useful things in his life but his tough talk, so much admired, had little ground in rough experience. The late Jeff Cooper’s Wikipedia entry now refers to his being involved in “irregular warfare” during his Korean War stint, but that statement is recent and remains undocumented. He was a Marine officer through two wars but never made it to the front lines. He then spent more than fifteen years in Big Bear, CA, living as a substitute teacher and shooting pistols as his hobby. I admire the Gunsite setup he built, but never understood taking his preaching about a combat ethos seriously. It was all in the mind. He never was involved in front line combat. Shootouts? On what evidence? News? Police reports? The quote, therefore, seems like empty bravado. He suppressed, really, Fairbairn’s Isosceles technique, which has proven itself in national championships for decades. But wait, there’s more: The isometric ‘front and back’ pressure turned out to be inferior with the 1911 to the ‘four corners side against side’ pressure used by, for example, Rob Leatham or Todd Jarett. A doctrinaire attitude in technique froze the evolution of pistol technique for a time. Why celebrate that? I won’t even start on his politics, or his glorification of police and military authority (and fees).

  13. Back in the day, violence was challenged with a sword. These days, I recommend challenging violence with a firearm, preferably a long gun such as an AR-15. Personally, I’m EV Free, and I pack inside church. Our threat assessments indicate that the next mass shooting is more likely to occur at a church (again) than at a school (again). Historically, signs don’t stop mass shooters in schools or in churches. Anyone who does not understand or repect those facts is unfit to offer advice regarding tactics, safety, or challenging violence.

  14. I went to an episcopal school in Dallas. This Anti gun attitude would not have gone over well there as 90% of the parents of children at that school were probably gun owners.

  15. We are at war, yet the liberal brainwashed believe nothing is wrong with thousands getting slaughtered every year. Now we have another asshat bitch looking to take away rifles. I don’t tell the church how to run their business…… Randy

  16. The job of the Church is to win people to Christ and develop mature followers of Christ.

    If the Church you attend preaches something other than “I am the way and the truth and life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6) then they have fallen from the faith and you need to go elsewhere.

    • Y’know, the Hebrews have it right. While “Thou shalt not kill” is in there, so’s “If a man comes to slay you, slay him first.”

      Funny how the latter bit went the way of pork in that thar New Testament.

      I’m neither Christian nor Hebrew, and that’s all I’ll say on that subject, other than that I don’t see the Earth as a disposable trash can.

      However, I do appreciate sense when I see it, and Judaism does tend toward the pragmatic.

    • The Anglican/Episcopal Church has been known for radical, extra-biblical teaching for many years. If it were me, I’d run from this as fast as I could. I’ve spent time with Austin Episcopalians and hope I never have to do that again. They were the least “Christ-like” people I ever met. Non-churched folks included!

  17. Looking to enroll Lola in an Austin school? Does this mean you’ve already moved or have definate plans for the move?

  18. RF,
    Are you saying that the folks at the school were befuddled and confused by your occupation? If they were upset and at a loss for words, maybe it is not a good school for your daughter. Sounds like they are in lockstep with their Episcopal Bosses.

    • Not to tell you your business, but you might consider the possibilities of your child being shunned for the “sins” (Sarcasm) of the father. These antis, church goers or not, have acted like a bunch of ankle bitters. You probably have already considered this, but.. just sayin’. Just goes to show ya, nothing, not even Texas, is unified on the gun issue. Could be all those Californian liberals immigrating to Texas, to beat taxes back home or to find a job.

  19. This is why the Mainline churches have been losing members, while other churches are growing rapidly.

    My son went to an Episcopal school in San Antonio, and there was none of this gun control crap. A girl a few years ahead of him was a national skeet competitor. San Antonio is shotgun sports mecca. But the non-minority population of San Antonio is not nearly as liberal as that of Austin. I hope the move works well for you, if that’s what you’re doing. The summer heat WILL kill you, but it’s a very fun city if you can ignore the lefties, and at least some of the lefties there have more common sense than lefties elsewhere.
    The only Austin Episcopal school I’ve seen is St Stephens. It’s location in the hills is pretty.

  20. Weeelll… While the Episcopalians might be the American arm, overall the Episcopal is a part of the Anglican, or Church of England…

  21. im a agnostic.

    They can FOAD.

    My rights are enumerated by the Constitution and every man is born inherently free. Not a supposedly “all knowing, all powerful” fictional character succumbing to petty human emotions like jealousy and anger.

  22. This is the Anglican church founded so that the King would be allowed to do something that peasants were not allowed to do, right? Get a divorce?

  23. Regarding religion and civilian disarmament – I prefer Clint Eastwood’s logic in the movie Gran Torino. When the priest asked him why he grabbed his M1 Garand to deal with a gang on the street instead of calling the police, he replied “Well, I prayed that they’d come, but nobody answered.”

  24. Self defense is natural God given law. Crawl into mama bears den and you will die from her protecting herself and her young. The same is true for as a mother goose protects herself and young as best we can. Gun grabbers and communist politicains want to declaw us so we are obiedient sheep. At the same time they are protected by unliited firepower.

  25. I would like to remind everyone the John Danforth, yep, the guy appointed to investigate WACO was a Episcopal Minister, and true to his RINO blue blood roots, he found that the government was not at fault. You see, people like Danforth truely believes the government can do NO WRONG. He totally swept all the evidence under the proverbial rug. His handling of the hearings was absolutely disgusting, and this was EXACTLY the reason he was chosen to chair the hearings, he was the feather in the G-man’s hat and would allow the cover up to fade from the public eye. I will not forget, they murdered innocent men, women & CHILDREN. Please, remember the victims of Waco.

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