Question of the Day: What’s First in Your Heart: God, Family or Guns?

God, guns and family bumper sticker (courtesy allexpress.com)

“More and more Americans are moving away from organized religion and toward all manner of alternative spiritual paths,” baptistnews.com asserts. “And newly published research suggests that guns may be replacing God, scripture and community for many in the U.S.” Wait. What? . . .

That largely means white adult men mostly in rural areas who have experienced, or fear they will experience, economic hardship, according to a study titled “Gun Culture in Action” by Baylor University scholars Paul Froese and F. Carson Mencken.

The pair found that Americans in that population group reported the highest levels of emotional, moral and even spiritual attachments to their firearms.

Froese and Mencken created a scale measuring how safe, responsible, confident and patriotic gun ownership make survey respondents feel. Feelings of control over fate, value to family and community, and respect also were examined . . .

Greater attachment to guns also indicated lower levels of participation in church or other religious communities, he said.

“They may say they are religious and Christian, but if you dig down, they are less likely to go to church, to read the Bible or be attached to a religious community.”

Are you picking up what he’s putting down? That people who love their guns are less likely to love God? What’s first in your heart: God, family or guns? Or is it impossible to separate this trinity?

comments

  1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Sounds like psychological projection from people who have replaced faith in God with faith in the State.

    1. avatar Brandan says:

      I’m an agnostic and most of my friends are various shades of nonbeliever. The other day I suggested to one of my quite liberal friends that the left, as you say “replaced faith in God with faith in the State.” He flew off the handle. For all it’s issues religion can have a moderating influence on people…at the very least because it removes the possibility of an earthly utopia. Remove this theological restraint, pair it with an unhealthy dose of postmodernism then you may give free reign to nutbags who think it’s possible…and who’ll kill whomever stands in their way.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Brandan,

        “Remove this theological restraint [that only the Almighty Creator can bring utopia on Earth], pair it with an unhealthy dose of postmodernism then you may give free reign to nutbags who think [utopia on Earth] is possible…and who’ll kill whomever stands in their way.”

        Wow, that is incredibly profound and incredibly succinct — and most importantly it is true! Well said my friend.

        1. avatar Brandan says:

          @uncommon_sense Thank you sir. Utopianism kills, be it at the hands of a Nazi, a Commie or an Islamofascist for that matter. At least the bible has Matthew 22:21 and Romans 13, but that’s a whole another diatribe.

          Accepting human limitation is a requirement for peace amongst rational people.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        free reign to nutbags who think it’s possible The very foundation of the Obumer and newage progtard doctrine.

        1. avatar Brandan says:

          @Neiowa
          Which is the eternal problem with democracy: it empowers the mob.

      3. avatar Mad Max says:

        Very good.

        If the liberal statists/Government would just fully support the Bill of Rights, it would be the nearest thing to Utopia that could be obtained (in this life).

      4. avatar Billy says:

        It was tried in Miranda, didn’t turn out to well

  2. avatar Hal J. says:

    #1: Family.
    #2: Guns.

    God? Not even on the list, given that I’m an atheist.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      It’s a big tent, nice to have ya’… and we promise you God will never insist we throw you out.

    2. avatar Mr.Savage says:

      couldn’t have said it better myself, I made one of those door to door preachers second guess his own religious beliefs once I laid out how I saw the “facts”, talking to burning bushes usually means you crazy, or hallucinating right?

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      Agree, except I am not an atheist per se. Given the size of the universe and our total insignificance in that vast realm, if there is a God, he she or it simply doesn’t care what happens to us on this insignificant little planet on the edge of a galaxy. We are on our own. At the same time, I reject the existentialist belief that life is meaningless; life it what you put into it, and if nothing really matters, then we should each do the best we can with the skills that we have for the betterment of ourselves and others.

  3. avatar BLoving says:

    The People of the Gun that I know are some of the best examples of God’s children I know. Conversely, I’ve had the misfortune of meeting some truly loathsome humans who knew nothing else about me yet hated me the moment they learned that I was armed. 🤠

  4. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I’m not religious but the remaining two leave a false choice. All three are a false choice. I don’t see why you’d have to put any of them in an order of priority.

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    #1 God
    #2 family
    #3 firearms

    Now here is the wrinkle: my devotion to God, family, and the sanctity of human life DEMANDS that I be armed in order to defend my faith, my family, and my community from evil doers — evil doers that are just as certain as day-and-night.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      ^^Bingo!

    2. avatar JJ48 says:

      Agreed. I do think there are some people who value guns a little too much, to the point of worship, but the same can be said of literally anything.

  6. avatar Joe R. says:

    No faith in fake news.

    Even Baptist fake news.

    How much grant $$$$$ did the research element receive for that study? Were there other funders?

  7. avatar Voimakas says:

    Rural white male here.

    Family, guns. No god since I’m an atheist.

  8. avatar Roman of Texas says:

    1. God
    2. Family.
    3. Guns.

    All things given, I will use #3 to protect #2, and defend my faith #1. Crusader style.

  9. avatar Old Air Force says:

    #1 God
    #2 Country
    #3 Family
    This order is not negotiable in my mind or heart. Guns are intertwined throughout all three.

  10. avatar Specialist38 says:

    God, Family, Church. Things I love.

    Guns are things that allow me to protect those I love.

    Long live the Republic.

  11. avatar Alex T says:

    1. God
    2. Family
    3. Guns

    Without God there would be no family to defend with my guns.

  12. avatar Publius says:

    Well, seeing as how I stopped believing in imaginary friends at a very young age, one of the three doesn’t even apply.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Publius,

      Are you sure that God is nothing more than a figment of mankind’s imagination? Have you seriously examined the claims and evidence of people who believe in God?

      Let’s be honest on one point:
      (1) Either an Almighty Creator who has always existed created everything.
      — or —
      (2) Everything came from nothing.

      Sounds like you are going with number (2). Just realize that if number (2) is true, there is no intrinsic or lasting value or meaning in anything — and there is no reason to be kind to anyone or anything.

      1. avatar Cloud says:

        Hence his over zealous hostility to the idea that God exists.

      2. avatar Voimakas says:

        Why only those two options?
        EG: time has no end and no beginning. There was always something and there will always be something. There was never nothing, we just don’t know what WAS before a certain period.

        Also, INRE your if…then statement for #2 : only a god defines value for people, places, and things? Why?

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Voimakas,

          “EG: time has no end and no beginning. There was always something and there will always be something. There was never nothing, we just don’t know what WAS before a certain period.”

          First of all, available evidence shows that there was a beginning to everything. Nevertheless, even if everything existed forever, there is no intrinsic nor lasting value to anything. And that means I can give myself license to rape, pillage, and plunder if there is no intrinsic or lasting value to anything.

          Anyone can put forth any explanation of anything and everything. And all such ideas are pure speculation/fantasy until there is evidence to support them. While it might be entertaining to speculate that everything has existed forever, that is contrary to the available evidence.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Voimakas,

          “… only a god defines value for people, places, and things? Why?”

          Without a timeless Almighty Creator, there is no intrinsic or lasting value to anything. You could claim that human life is of intrinsic and lasting value. I could claim that human beings are a pox on planet Earth that destroy animals — and killing all human beings as fast as possible is of intrinsic and lasting value. From nothing more than a logical perspective, we cannot both be right. (Human life is sacred on planet Earth and should be preserved, human life is a pox on planet Earth and should be extinguished. Both cannot be true.)

          Saying it another way, without a timeless Almighty Creator, “might makes right”. That is why human slavery was “right” in our nation until 1864 (or thereabouts), and “wrong” after that. It should be apparent that human slavery cannot be both right and wrong.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Exactly who created your “creator”, and what makes you think so? Conversely, you may be explaining that you can believe in an invisible friend, billions of years old, sitting on your shoulder, has existed forever, but you cannot believe the universe which you can see and touch has simply existed forever. Enjoy the delusion, but no thank you for me.

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Larry in Texas,

          Since you are big on what we can actually see around us, the universe that we see around us clearly shows us that it has an origin and has NOT existed forever. (Astronomical observations show us a finite size/edge to our universe.)

          What else can we see? Tens of thousands of partial/complete Biblical manuscripts in their original languages dating all the way back almost 2,000 years. Note that those manuscripts have no substantive errors, are first rate historical records with corroborating secular records, and were hand copied at GINORMOUS cost. The sheer number of copies, their accuracy, reliability, and expense make it clear that the authors were convinced of what they wrote. Do you really think it is wise to dismiss such reliable records without careful examination yourself?

          Be honest: you see a universe of finite size/age and speculate that it somehow existed forever without any evidence. I see a universe of finite size/age and I have evidence that an Almighty Creator takes credit for creating it. And yes, the Almighty Creator somehow has existed for eternity. The fact that I cannot wrap my head around that does not mean it is impossible. I don’t understand how nuclear submarine works, does that mean nuclear submarines are impossible?

      3. avatar Mark N. says:

        If number 2 is true, life is what you make of it. For the vast majority of us, we are born, live, die, and are completely forgotten within a couple of generations. What is important is that you live your life to the fullest extent of your capacity. You make and achieve your own goals. Do you think that God is necessary to the life cycle of an ant or a worker bee? Each works with great industry for the benefit of the hive, and that is their purpose, no more. So devote yourself to the betterment of your condition and the ones you love, and your life will be fulfilling, as much as we can make it so.

        1. avatar JJ48 says:

          The main problem with that point of view is that a person’s meaning, then, is completely subjective. Ok, so improving your lot and your family’s may be a good purpose for you, but what if someone else decides on something different? What if someone else decides that their purpose in life is to bring as much harm to as many people as they can before they die young? Without an objective standard, how can we say they’re wrong?

          Please note, I’m not suggesting that anyone would disagree with such action being wrong. Rather, I’m curious as to how you could even classify something as right or wrong to begin with. Whether a particular action is right or wrong is often rather easy. What it means for something to be right or wrong is usually a bit tougher.

      4. avatar Publius says:

        I think the endless amount of good people who die while your imaginary friend does nothing is pretty solid proof he doesn’t exist. But even if you ignore that, there’s still the fact that religion is for people who are scared of the unknown. You’re afraid of dying and choose something so irrational as an invisible friend with magical powers over accepting that you’re going to die eventually and that’s it.

        If you truly believe that you have an invisible friend with magical powers, then you have no need for a gun because he’ll protect you from harm…but you carry a gun because you know that there is no magical being looking out for you. Your actions betray the fact that you know your beliefs are a load of shit.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Publius,

          “I think the endless amount of good people who die while your imaginary friend does nothing is pretty solid proof he doesn’t exist.”

          Clearly, your standard of “good” is different than God’s standard of “good”. And to say that God “does nothing” ignores the fact that God provides abundant resources for all of mankind every day. (Any resource shortfalls are localized and it is mankind’s fault for failing to share resources from areas of abundance.) It also ignores God’s provision for our eternal existence.

          “If you truly believe that you have an invisible friend with magical powers, then you have no need for a gun because he’ll protect you from harm … but you carry a gun because you know that there is no magical being looking out for you.”

          God gave us free-will. Why? Without free-will, we are nothing more than puppets and we cannot love Him nor other people. Constantly intervening, micromanaging, and altering human decisions, actions, and consequences — such as ‘magically protecting me’ from an attacker — is not consistent with free-will. While God intensely desires that we use our free-will only for good, obviously some people use their free-will to do bad things. Therefore, we exercise wisdom and our free-will to arm ourselves in case we have to deal with the consequences of another person’s free-will to do us harm.

          Looking at it from a slightly different angle, God intensely desires to work in tandem with us, as partners if you will. That being the case, God gave us the resources that we need to defend ourselves — our strength, dexterity, vision, knowledge, and raw materials (such as petroleum, wood, aluminum, iron, copper, lead) — and we work those resources to be able to defend ourselves. Thus, effective self-defense is the result of God working together with us.

  13. avatar How_Terrible says:

    Family and then guns. I really don’t give two shits about God, and I damn sure don’t expect some all knowing magical sky being to solve my problems for me.

    1. avatar Cloud says:

      You sound bitter. Maybe take a look at what Jesus has to offer. Perhaps he can help bring you some peace.

      1. avatar How_Terrible says:

        I’m not bitter at all. I’ve just never seen the point in praying for someone / something else to solve my problems for me when I could be spending that time working to solve them myself.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        I am with Terrible, and I am certainly not bitter. Cynical, yes, but not bitter. Too many people have been slaughtered in their places of worship, too many innocents killed, despite their fervent prayers, to believe that God (or Gods) give a hoot. People of the Gun know full well that God Helps Him Who Helps Himself, and if you want to protect your place of worship, gun up, because your god is not going to strike down the evil sinner before he enters the door.
        The principle teaching of Jesus the Sacrificial Lamb (Which is what “Christ” means)is that one should lead a moral life (thou shalt… love thy neighbor, etc.) , and that unlike the dictates of the Old Testament (thous shalt not do any of these bad things), we actually have a choice in the matter. I choose to lead a moral life, and I don’t really need anyone preaching to me about it.

    2. avatar Joleolsen says:

      With all respect How_Terrible, those of us who do believe in God don’t believe in an “all knowing magical sky being that solves problems for us.” It is easy to knock down straw men.

      When I have an opportunity to talk to someone about their unbelief I usually don’t believe in whatever God the don’t believe in as well.

      I support you in your choice to believe or not in whatever conception of God you want to hold. But please understand that those who do believe often have a well reasoned belief in a God who is much more understood than your stated magical sky being.

      1. avatar Rex says:

        And we don’t believe in God because we’re weak and “need help” figuring out life. We believe because of the compelling evidence that a Creator exists, and because He requires this obedience from us. For those who bravely declare themselves moral… your standards are woefully low, and your delusion and pride are off the charts. Honest reflection leads to the realization that practically every thought we have is utterly self-seeking. In other words, sin. Make no mistake — ours is not an angry God hoping to punish you. Perfection, which is His standard, is higher than we an achieve; but His love (in sending his son to die for us) is just as high.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          To some of us, “compelling evidence” would include showing up on the evening talk shows to answer some questions and offer some evidence. Lacking that (which seems pretty simple for something which is supposedly “all powerful”), the idea is pretty clearly bunkum.

  14. avatar EJQ says:

    At the risk of being accused of blasphemy, guns are a hobby, and, if needed, self defense of me and family.

    Of course, in case of self defense, I’ll be praying that I hit the sum bitch. Or, preferably, make him turn tail and run.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      I’m seeing many more examples of blasphemy here to which the subject of guns is merely incidental.
      Who knew there were so many faithless ones in this audience who were just waiting for the opportunity to tell the believers here how silly we are?
      BTW, we don’t care. Your lack of faith does not diminish ours even a little bit, you’re still welcome here.
      🤠

      1. avatar Hal J. says:

        “Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing – with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place.”

        —Robert A. Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Still welcome here? My, aren’t WE full of ourself. I didn’t know that you owned this website.

  15. avatar clst says:

    God, through Jesus, (not religion) family, country and guns, in that order. The guns are to insure that I can worship as I chose, protect my family and my country if need be,

  16. avatar Nanashi says:

    “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
    “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”

    Sound like parts of the same thing.

  17. avatar AlanInFL says:

    Family, guns, & God. I’m a Buddhist. But Family first defended by guns and God will judge.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Interesting. I have been under the impression that Buddhist did not believe in a supreme being, instead revered something which could be described as “nature”. Is that wrong?

  18. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not really a fan of injecting religion into politics, especially gun politics.

    I would however say that, being an agnostic, since I don’t believe in an afterlife I tend to have a different view than many of the Christians that I know insofar as the fact that I cherish moments in life more than they seem to. Which is why I carry a gun; because I don’t think there’s a second chance and I like breathing to the point that continuing to do so is rather important to me.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Even plants have evolved defense mechanisms: thorns, bad flavor, toxins, etc.
      So you’re no different in your desire for self-preservation than any other living thing…
      🤠

  19. avatar Conservatarian says:

    1. God
    2. Family
    3. Guns

    Would use tool #3, to defend #2, while trusting #1. 1 and 2 are really part of the same unit, as Jesus restored it back together. #3 can still fail me, but #1 will never fail.

    “Trust in God and keep your powder dry.”

  20. avatar Ogre says:

    Family, Country, Guns, all intertwined. I’m an agnostic who senses that there probably is a super-powerful divine being out there somewhere, but why it would want to have anything to do with the mostly vile and vicious human population of Earth is beyond me. I was raised Lutheran, but they lost me as a teen after we kids in church confirmation class were told by our minister that the Catholics and the Baptists and all other faiths were going to hell because they didn’t believe exactly as Martin Luther prescribed for his church during the Reformation. Never could figure that out, since we all worship an essentially identical godhead, and all advocate for good. I’m pretty tolerant of others’ religions, as long as they don’t try to ram it down my throat. I’ll keep my powder dry for the three things I mentioned.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      “why it would want to have anything to do with the mostly vile and vicious human population of Earth is beyond me.”
      I think you’ve just answered the question right there: because we need Him. All too often we see the results when we imperfect beings act on our basest instincts without regard for his teachings. It isn’t pretty.

  21. avatar frimble@hotmail.com says:

    Okaaayyyy. What we have here is another unsolicited survey about gun ownership.

    Not gonna answer.

  22. avatar jwm says:

    Family. Nothing above my family. Of course, our guns are a part of the family.

  23. avatar Gregolas says:

    If guns cause one to have less faith in God (along with decreased church attendance) then why have I been employed and contacted to teach self-defense law to their armed security teams by over 30 churches over 9 years ? Several of the bigger churches have me back 1-2 times a year to train ever expanding teams. In addition, they listen to me teach for 3 hours on the Bible and self-defense. These are (mostly) men committing to be at worship and events through the week to protect the flock. Sounds a like a symbiotic relationship of God plus guns to me.

  24. avatar David says:

    God, family, and a host of other things before guns. But they are the best option to defend me and mine. I used to call myself an atheist but then God brought some things into my life that made me question that belief. And atheism and agnosticism are beliefs just like any religion. I soon found out it takes more faith to believe God doesn’t exist. I highly recommend those that have faith in atheism/agnosticism to read Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. God said, “Let us reason together.” Faith is not blind. Have a great life followed by a greater eternity!

    1. avatar Voimakas says:

      How is not having any faith considered a faith? A cup in a vacuum has nothing in it. It’s lacking in being full of anything. Atheism is defined as a lack of belief in a god or gods, not a positive belief that there is no god.

      1. avatar JJ48 says:

        You still have to start your worldview somewhere. It is simply impossible to prove, absolutely, everything we believe. At some point, we have to draw from axioms, and have faith that those axioms hold. Whether it’s God, or empiricism, or something else, we all ultimately found our worldviews on faith.

        1. avatar Voimakas says:

          Faith as regards religion and a deity is, by definition, disregarding the notion of proof being the reason you believe.

          One takes it on faith (without proof). And if proof existed, it’s disregarded because one takes it on faith.

          Faith in a religious sense is drastically different than faith in a system that has its roots in something that can be proven or has been proven in the past. EG: I believe that force = mass * acceleration. And I can prove it. Or it has been proven. And if something comes up that changes our understanding of physics as we know it, I’ll change with it.

          I’m not saying there is a god. I see no proof for one. I’m also not saying there isn’t a god. I see no proof there isn’t one. Since I lack a belief in a god, I’m an atheist.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I invite you to Pascal’s wager:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

          Of course, Blaise Pascal was a gadfly, dilettante, low information child of privilege with nothing much to recommend his writings. Pretty much a pusillanimous nobody.

        3. avatar JJ48 says:

          Would you agree with the following statement?
          Things which are unproven (or unprovable) either do not exist or are inconsequential.

          I should hope not, since that statement is itself unprovable. But then, where do you draw the line?

          Things get even murkier when we start looking at morality. I’m confident that most everyone on here would agree that cold-blooded murder against an innocent who poses no threat is wrong. But while we may be able to prove that someone has committed murder, how do we go about proving that murder is wrong?

          This is not meant to be a criticism of your beliefs, and certainly is not a refutation of them, but rather it’s meant to point out that we take many more things on faith than we like to think at times.

          As for faith and reason being at odds, I know there are a good many fathers of science who would disagree there. Their belief that the world had laws that governed it and that those laws could be known was premised on their faith that God upheld the world in a consistent manner and gave humans senses that were basically reliable, as well as a reasoning mind that could interpret what we sense.

      2. avatar Jon says:

        Those are actually the same thing. Lets put it in math terms (and standard English)
        lack = negative
        belief = positive
        negative * positive = negative

        positive = positive
        belief = positive
        no = negative
        positive * positive * negative = negative

      3. avatar David says:

        I could go round and round with you but this format isn’t conducive to that Voimakas. A lack of belief that there is a God equals the belief there is no God. Agnostics believe there might be a God. And that vacuum you speak of isn’t as empty as you think. Just because some have chosen to believe there is no God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. Unless you know everything you can’t rule out that there is a God who loves you and sent His Son to pay the penalty for my and your sins so that we may have fellowship with Him forever. The rest is details. Just because you don’t understand or choose to be willfully ignorant doesn’t mean it isn’t so. Kinda like liberals refusing to believe that a gun is the best way to protect yourself from those who would harm you.

        1. avatar Voimakas says:

          Since I don’t agree with your premise that lack of belief (I hold no thoughts about there being a god) equals (I hold this thought: there is no god!), we probably won’t get a good conversation off the ground anyway. You’re not going to give me proof that there is a god and I wouldn’t change your mind one way or the other IF I could provide proof that there isn’t (or that it’s not the one you currently worship).

          You can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist. An agnostic says either there is or isn’t a god, but they cannot definitely say since there’s no proof.
          * I believe there’s a god, but I don’t know for sure.
          * I believe there isn’t a god, but I don’t know for sure.

      4. avatar JimDandy says:

        The “lack of belief” argument is the intellectually lazy way of trying to get around saying that you believe there is no God.

        1. avatar ironicatbest says:

          There is no proof of God, replace God with Creator and there’s world’s of proof. I call the Creator, God and I love him, her, it for letting me live on His earth.

        2. avatar Voimakas says:

          You can keep trying to force me into that box so you can say “he believes there is no god” but I simply won’t go.

          I don’t believe there is a god.
          I don’t believe there is not a god.
          I don’t have a belief about god/s, period.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          If there is but a single god, that creature is without gender, as in, “it”. Except, of course, for the story that it gambols with pre-teen girls now and then, and is capable of impregnating them, without benefit of clergy.

  25. avatar Swarf says:

    More and more people are moving away from religion, for sure. But that doesn’t mean any of them are moving away from God by any means.

    More and more people are realizing that religion is there to control people while picking their pocket, and actively interferes with their conscious contact with the spiritual.

    God doesn’t need religion, and neither do I.

  26. avatar little horn says:

    stupid, loaded question.

  27. avatar former water walker says:

    GOD,family and guns in that order. Guns are a distant 3rd. I’ve only been into firearms for 7years. They are merely tools to me and not magical talismans.

    1. avatar JJ48 says:

      I feel the same way. Guns are tools that can be very useful and very fun, but I don’t have a relationship with guns the way I have a relationship with God or my family.

  28. avatar AKM Sarah says:

    1. Family
    2. Guns
    Glad to see there are other non believers in the gun community.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      You are in good company. Most of the TTAG staff, myself excluded, are godless heathens.

      And to that end, and to answer the question, God first. And next to him, no second place.

  29. avatar Dave says:

    Family, guns, & last on a long, long list of every other possible thing… A theological boogey man I neither believe in nor want anything to do with.

  30. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Sunday mornings is when I commune with the Universe/God/Great Spirit/Creator.

    I just happen to be on the range firing at the same time. Not only am I wondering why I can’t get this .308 round to go exactly where I want it to, but also pondering those life questions of “Are we (humans) alone?” “Will we (humans) kill ourselves off with nuclear weapons?” “Why is there so much sorrow in the world?” “Where was God when X happened?”

    I don’t have any answers but it is a time of perfect peaceful contemplation for me and maybe thats all it’s meant to be. A way to bring inner peace to the individual not a congregation.

    YMMV

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Yup, I have an open invite to many people to shoot on Sundays. Like the good book says “remember the Sabbath and keep it holey.”

  31. avatar Rex says:

    Which God? Jehovah, Zeus, Thor, Allah, L Ron Hubbard? Man has created as many gods as he has models of guns!

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Why, Crom of course! All other so called gods are just heretic’s idols.

  32. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    My heart is filled mostly with blood and I have more of an emotional attachment to my edged weapons than my firearms but I carry the guns first. Top priority is right vs wrong, then family, then friends, then other things.

  33. avatar DrewR says:

    As with the other non believers here it’s family first, then I’m going to ad friends, then guns somewhere I’m the top five, though I’d have to think what the other two are. I’m not interested in getting into a debate about belief here, as this is a gun blog and not a religious discussion board.

  34. avatar ORCON says:

    1. Family
    2. Guns

    Although that order can change based on the family member or gun in question. As for god, I’ve yet to meet a compelling arguement or convincing evidence in support of the idea.

    1. avatar David says:

      ORCON, try reading “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. He set out to prove there is no God and wound up discovering that the evidence supports the Bible and a Triune God. If nothing else you will have more knowledge to dazzle your friends!

      1. avatar ORCON says:

        David, thanks for that recommendation. I’m sure I will be utterly overwhelmed by the holy spirit. Bourbon is a holy spirit, right?

  35. avatar Jim says:

    Anyone who includes “God” with guns is a moron to begin with. Those things are not remotely related.

  36. avatar Voimakas says:

    Any idea why I can’t reply to comments that have replied to me? I don’t see a Reply link at all.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      You must be new around here. The system allows only couple of layers of responses, so our discussions don’t get too deep.

      1. avatar Voimakas says:

        New to commenting, yes. Not new to reading. Typically I prefer to lurk.

  37. avatar anonymoose says:

    Yeah, Baptists…the Christians who think the best way to get people into church is by removing everything that reminds them they’re in church, and think that “wine” in the Bible is a mistranslation of “Welch’s grape juice.” I used to go to a Presbyterian church in Cleveland almost every Sunday until they got a new woman pastor and put up some crap sign counting the local street thugs “killed by guns” out front. So I switched to a different church (ironically pastored by her husband, who doesn’t rail against guns), but I moved back to my hometown this fall because my mom got cancer last year. A coupIe of times this summer I took her to the church our family used to go to in the 90s, but she died a month ago. Since then I’ve been going there with my dad every Sunday. I’m not a fan of some of the SJW stuff the Presbyterians have been pushing in recent years, but as long as I don’t have to sit through a gay wedding or hear a sermon about the evils of inanimate objects, I don’t really care. I miss the old pastor at my old Cleveland church and the really great sermons he would give though. That guy really knew how to motivate people.

  38. avatar MLee says:

    Hard core agnostic for me, so it certainly isn’t god nor family, but I’m also a free thinker and with that I don’t subscribe to the choices provided. Personally, first in my heart is my own health, happiness, security and well being. For my happiness comes my pets. Then my weapons. But then, my weapons are part of my security
    so…………

  39. avatar Gary says:

    Why pay attention to anything coming off a university? The separation of State and “higher education” is non-existent in America. They continue to feel superior to God in matters of thought. A gun is a tool and nothing more. Judge a man by his works not his tools.

  40. avatar Andrew in TX says:

    God.
    Family.
    Country.
    Guns don’t make the list. They are just the stuff I use to protect, feed, and/or entertain my self, friends, and family. My taxes buy the gov enough guns that my country doesn’t need mine. And God is pretty good at taking care of Himself too, but I suppose He can use my guns any time He wants to.

  41. avatar Johnny108 says:

    1. Family
    2.This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
    My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
    Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…
    My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…
    My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
    Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
    So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!

  42. avatar HandyDan says:

    I stopped going to church when it seemed like every church I went in to was spewing leftist garbage. However, not going to church does not mean my faith is deminished. I just cider not to go to participate in a corruption of my faith.

  43. avatar ironicatbest says:

    My church doesn’t have that problem, it never ask for nothing and only gives. Its the Church of the Great Outdoors, and yah can’t beat that.

  44. avatar Jross says:

    Atheist so guns get my whole heart 😀

  45. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Family. Then friends (who are the family you choose). Then guns.

    God doesn’t exist.

  46. avatar Tony says:

    The entire premise here is garbage. This is nothing more than the advancement of the progressive anti-gun agenda. This is nothing more than another veiled attempt to portray the gun-owning American as mentally and emotionally unstable and therefore dangerous to public safety, and someone to be feared.

  47. avatar Scoutino says:

    I refuse to answer this clearly trick question.
    Seeing so many agnostics and atheists on this site it sure seems funny how gun owners are always portrayed as bible thumping god fearing church goers.

  48. avatar MindTheGAP says:

    I’d say Family then Guns. Those are the only two that are real so…not sure I understand the question.

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