You’re Here To Pray, So Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?
A bill in the Arkansas state senate would allow churches to decide whether to permit their congregants to bring guns to the pews. As it is now, firearms are allowed everywhere in the state except bars and houses of worship.
“I believe it would disturb the sanctity and tranquility of church” said Pastor John Phillips, a bill opponent who was shot twice in the back as he finished a service 23 years ago. If a church opts out, “Do you want ushers to stop you at the door and frisk you?”
The bill’s supporters say the issue isn’t gun rights but a constitutionally protected right for churches to set their own rules. Opponents say worshippers should be allowed to pray without worrying whether the person next to them is armed.
Nathan Petty, a pastor at Beech Grove Baptist Church in Fordyce, has presented to legislators a petition from 40 preachers who support the bill.
“It’s not about gun rights, it’s about church rights,” Petty said. “Is it right for the state to make that decision for the church?”
Philips says that when he was attacked there could have been fatalities if there had been more guns present. Perhaps Mark DeYmaz of Little Rock’s Mosaic Church put it best: “A good shepherd would not allow a wolf near his flock.”Click here for reuse options!
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