As a returning resident to the area, The Paducah Sun's March 5 article concerning Lone Oak Baptist Church's effort to "reach out to rednecks" by giving away guns arrested my attention.
For much of the last 10 years as a pastor in Brooklyn, N.Y., I have been involved with a similar program. The difference is that as local congregations, our churches, in conjunction with the local district attorney's office and the New York Police Department, implemented a program to buy back guns with no questions asked in order to keep instruments of violence off the streets. These guns were coming into New York City from gun-tolerant states in exchange for drugs to these very same areas. The resulting bottom line being, urban areas became infested with guns and gun-tolerant states became infested with drugs.
When we see constant news stories of mayhem in our communities, and how the nation's school zones have been turned into war zones, both far and near (i.e. Heath High School), I feel the last thing that a normal child of God needs is to embrace a growth in personal armament.
While I understand that wildlife and outdoor sports are traditional in local culture, I must say that I am shocked and appalled, as well as amazed and not amused, that The Lord's House would be transformed from a "House of Prayer" to give away weapons of destruction under the guise of evangelism. After all, what does one hunt with a handgun other than trouble and another human life?
The WPSD 10 o'clock news report on Wednesday evening stated that no one has raised concern over this issue, but I must admit that I have not only a spiritual concern, but a personal concern as well, being a survivor of local gun violence. I was chronicled in your newspaper as being shot while working at a branch of Citizens Bank in 1971, merely because of the color of my skin. May I also say that although found guilty in McCracken Circuit Court of the crime, this "redneck" was nullified by the jury and did not spend one day in state prison. As a person, I'm not hating about it, but as a Christian I continue to pray about it.
It is my hope that we who claim Christ as Savior, and our community as our sanctum and safe haven, will reject and oppose any further gun giveaway initiatives.
REV. DR. ORLANDO McREYNOLDS
First Missionary Baptist Church
posted on: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:41 PM
Title: Guns in Churches
I totally and completely agree with Rev. Dr. McReynolds. And let me say that my husband does own a deer hunting rifle. But if getting a gun is the only way to get him to church then I would rather he not go. Many agree but are afraid to speak up as the folks that think this is great are pretty hateful to those who do speak up. And this also makes me wonder about their Christianity.
Steven D. Gossum posted on: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:01 AM
Title: Well said
They honor HIM with their lip's, but their heart's are far from HIM.