Jesus was not an NRA member

While Jesus was clearly not a member of the National Rifle Association, many Americans might be under the impression that Moses was.

Charlton Heston and his famous defense of gun ownership have done a lot to cement the idea in our mad gun culture that unfettered gun ownership is a positive value, even a religious value.

Heston: “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

Heston’s pose with this rifle has a striking resemblance to Heston’s famous pose as Moses parting the Red Sea.  Oh, the power of image.

Heston as Moses

We need an equally powerful and emotionally compelling image to counter Moses/Heston and the ways guns have been imprinted on the American people as an emblem of freedom and even “Christian” values.  Yes, you have to see Moses as representing “Christian” values for this image to imprint, but surprisingly it’s not the biggest contradiction we face.

As I watch the Senate dithering around over getting to a vote on a fairly weak background checks bill, I have to applaud those citizens who are working to change the positive image of guns in our society.

Moms Demand Action has done it. They have released a new video that gets right to the heart of the pain and the cause.  It’s the guns.  It’s the ammo.  It’s the shooting.  It’s wrong.

I support Moms Demand Action (love the #strollerjam).  This is the counter-messaging we need. It is deeply faithful and effective.

 

 

About Susan Thistlethwaite

I am a Professor of Theology and former President of Chicago Theological Seminary; I blog here, at the Huffington Post, and at other venues. I am a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. I am interested in what I call "public theology," or how deeper meaning is made and contested in the public square.
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