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Saturday, May 26, 2018

The NRA and Religious Liberty: An Attack on the Second Amendment is One Step Closer to an Attack on Religious Liberty

Image Credits:  wynpnt – CCO Public Domain Image – via Pixabay and dirtdiver38 – CCO Public Domain Image – via Pixabay
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, a 19 year old gunman opened fire and killed 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida.  Within days, a host of companies and agencies began either pulling support for the National Rifle Association or ending their discounts for NRA members.  In response to the backlash against the company, the NRA stated that the decisions of said companies are “an effort to punish our members who are doctors, farmers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, nurses, shop owners and school teachers that live in every American community.  We are men and women who represent every American ethnic group, every one of the world’s religions and every form of political commitment.”

First of all, let’s understand what the National Rifle Association is.  The NRA was founded in 1871 by two Union Generals who had been less than satisfied with the marksmanship skills of their troops.  The organization’s primary goal was to train rifle shooters to shoot to a scientific accuracy.  In 1903, NRA secretary Albert S. Jones encouraged all major colleges, universities, and military academies to establish rifle clubs for their students.  Today, more than one million of America’s youth participate in “NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, Royal Rangers, National High School Rodeo Association and others.” (NRA.org)

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During WWII, the NRA offered its ranges and developed training materials for government use. In 1960, the NRA introduced the NRA Police Firearms Instructor Certification Program.  Today, the NRA is a leader in civilian training.  The organization offers courses which teach accurate shooting of various types of firearms.  Anyone who accesses the NRA website can research gun laws pertaining to his or her state of residence.  A wealth of information is available to both members and non-members of the NRA.  The NRA continues to focus on teaching firearm safety and defending second amendment rights.

Some say the NRA shouldn’t lobby in Washington or that they spend too much money doing so.  The involvement of the NRA in politics is no different from any of the other companies who also lobby for any political interest that supports their cause.  The second amendment gives US citizens the right to keep and bear arms.  The NRA believes in protecting this constitutional right and they have every right to do what they need to do to protect it.

In case you’ve never read it, the second amendment states that United States citizens have the right to “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

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By now, you might be asking, “What does the second amendment have to do with religious liberty?”  Well, first of all we need to realize that the second amendment is not just an amendment saying that US citizens can keep and bear arms.  It also tells us the reason for an armed nation which is the security of a free state.  Our founding fathers knew all too well how easy it is for a government to suppress its people.  They wanted to give the citizens of the new nation a way to not only defend themselves against criminals but also against a tyrannical government.


I am in no way suggesting that our government is currently in a state of tyranny.  I believe that in spite of our faults, we live in the greatest nation on earth.  The problem is how quickly this can change.

The government officials who want to enforce strict gun laws or abolish the second amendment entirely tell us that this is in the best interest of our nation’s children.  I have raised three of my own children and I’ve taught and cared for hundreds of others.  Of course I want the very best for our nation’s youth, but the worst thing we can do for them is take away their right to arm themselves as adults.   Adolph Hitler once said, “The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

Of course the child is our most precious treasure.  That statement is not what bothers me.  What bothers me is the next sentence.  He was saying that if a government can falsely convince its people that they are working to benefit the child, they (we) will give up any liberty and suffer any form of suppression to support it.

An unarmed nation is in danger of suppression.  One of the first things taken from an oppressed people is their method of defense (firearms).  One of the next things taken from them is their religious liberty.

Adolph Hitler’s second policy under The Third Reich was to eliminate the Jewish population from Germany and then from the entire world during WWII.  It is estimated that at least 6 million Jews including men, women, and children died during Hitler’s reign over Germany.

An attack on the second amendment is one step closer to an attack on religious liberty.  First will go our guns (our weapons of defense) and then will go our freedom to worship as we please.

A few nights ago, radio personality Mike Gallagher said (paraphrasing), “People don’t want to admit that there is evil in the world.  We need to recognize that it does exist and when evil happens, we can either stare it down, run from it, or stand up to it.” (Mike Gallagher, Radio Personality)

In order to protect our second amendment rights and our religious liberty, we must stand up against evil.  One way to do that is to support the National Rifle Association.  They work hard to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  Supporting them is one small way we can work toward protecting our constitutional rights, including religious liberty.



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