N.C. Council of Churches Posts Billboard Suggesting Opposition to Gun Control Violates Second Commandment
By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
April 13, 2018
MEBANE – The North Carolina Council of Churches, a theologically and politically left-leaning statewide ecumenical organization, has put up a billboard on 85/I-40 near Mebane that suggests opposition to gun control initiatives is idolatry.
The billboard features an image of pistols, an assault weapon, and ammunition clips lying in a bed of bullets. It touts the support of 18 denominations and 6,200 congregations in North Carolina and pits the Second Commandment against the Second Amendment, saying, You Shall Not Make for Yourself an Idol, 2nd Commandment.
The Second Amendment states, [T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In a press release, Jennifer Copeland, Executive Director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, said, “Right after God commands God’s people not to follow other gods, God commands the people not to have any idols. Idols can assume a lot of guises in our world that we don’t immediately understand as idolatry. For many of us, guns have become the symbol of safety, the idol we turn to because we ‘believe in them’ to keep us safe. Meanwhile, statistics show exactly the opposite, with the presence of guns actually making us less safe…This makes guns a false idol. To this end, the Council is trying to reframe some of the contentious issues in the public discourse by reminding people of faith of the guiding principles found in our scriptures and our creeds. As people of faith, we should always guard against those things that become more important to us than the God who calls us to abundant life. How much more so, should we call out the idols that hold out false promises.”
“Quite frankly, I was incensed by the billboard,” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, “not because I trust in guns more than I trust in God, but because it imposes a sense of false guilt.” Creech added that if the message of the billboard and Copeland’s statement were taken to its logical end, then one might also argue that to have a military or a police force is idolatrous.
“It is possible to make idols of all of these,” said Creech. “Our ultimate trust for safety is in God. This is true. Nevertheless, I believe a better understanding of Scripture on issues of self-defense and gun ownership is more consistent with the message, ‘Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.’”
Read Dr. Creech’s statement about the billboard on Facebook here
Statistics actually show that gun-control laws do more to increase crime than reduce it. New Jersey, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. are good examples.
In 1966, New Jersey adopted what was deemed at the time as the most stringent gun law in the nation. Two years later the homicide rate had increased by 46% and the robbery rate had doubled.
The murder rate tripled from 2.4 per 100,000 in 1968 to 7.2 in 1977, after Hawaii adopted a series of restrictive gun measures.
After Washington, D.C. enacted significantly restrictive gun control laws, the murder rate has increased by 134% at the same time the murder rate nationally decreased by 2%.
A review of published studies on gun control released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that its evaluations “could not find any statistically significant decrease in crime that come from such laws.”
Creech added the statistics cited in the press release by Copeland have been debunked over and again. “For instance, the number of children killed by guns is cited by the Council and indeed it’s tragic. But these statistics should be understood in the light of other statistics that have shown more kids are killed every year in bicycle accidents than guns. And what about the millions of crimes either stopped or prevented by guns each year because of the right to own them?” said Creech.
Copeland claims that “[n]o one in the gun violence prevention collaborative wants to repeal the 2nd Amendment.” Creech says Copeland’s statement that she and other clergy like herself are not seeking to repeal the Second Amendment cannot be trusted.
“The Bible teaches self-defense is a fundamental God-given right. We see it in the Old Testament. It’s endorsed by Jesus and supported by the apostle Paul in the New Testament. It’s a necessary deterrent and protection against government tyranny, as well as to violent crime,” said Creech.
The North Carolina Council of Churches intends to keep the billboard up for four weeks. Later they say they will introduce additional billboards in various places across North Carolina throughout the summer.