Fred Hiltz has taken his cue from protesting teenagers and denounced USA gun culture. It’s no surprise, since Anglican clergy seem to have difficulty digging up an original thought of their own and the higher one ascends the ecclesiastical totem pole the deeper one must excavate before hitting coherent thought.
Hiltz has grave concern over gun violence, leaving the impression that he is unwilling to fritter his limited reserve of concern on less conspicuous forms of violence: violence against the unborn, for example which claims the lives of almost 1 million babies per year in the USA.
Predictably, Hiltz offers a political solution – the church is, after all, more interested in politics than religion – rather than a Christian solution, namely modification and, I’m sure, eventual scrapping of the Second Amendment. Western Anglicanism, for the most part has given up on heaven or hell in the afterlife and is focussing what little energy it has left in cheering on socialist utopianism with carefree disregard of the resulting nastiness when the goal is attained.
Clerical distaste for guns can quickly dissipate when personal safety is in jeopardy: TEC’s first homosexual bishop, Gene Robison, was protected by armed guards during his consecration. Anglican gun culture at its finest; perhaps the guns were blessed beforehand.
What is remarkably notable in the aftermath of this recent shooting in Florida is the tremendous resilience of the young people in standing up and speaking out with grave concern for the gun violence that is tearing apart families and communities. While some people note that many of the shooters have serious mental health issues or have links with terrorist groups, and that needs to be acknowledged, many others are asking deeper questions about “the gun culture” across the United States. Some question an all-or-nothing approach to the Second Amendment in an age of automatic weapons. Some question why many Americans so vehemently defend that right. Some question the measures around gun control and the extent to which they can be enforced. Some question access to semi-automatic weapons that can fire dozens of rounds within seconds.
One young man reminded a rally in Florida, that addressing these issues was not about being Republican or Democrat, but about being human. These students are speaking out with a courage and conviction that cannot go unnoticed. Their cry for reform will not pass soon as some might expect and others might hope. Many Americans are joining them and crowding the roads to places where legislation is considered, including those to Capitol Hill in Washington.