“Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.
There is evil prowling in the world — it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children."
- Rick Perry
First of all, let me say a few things about Rick Perry's statement. I think we can all agree that the young man who murdered the kids of Sandy Hook was disturbed. Whether you think that source was entirely of the physical brain or that there were spiritual elements, I don't particularly care. The state is concerned with the physical aspect of things. So from that perspective, we should be pursuing greater access to mental care and better treatment of those suffering from a mental illness. I can't imagine why anybody would disagree with that.
However, when a man like Rick Perry says that we should do nothing about the guns themselves, I have an issue. I'm a man of faith as well. I believe in prayer. However, I don't expect everyone else to believe in it. Further, I don' think the Bible believes that Christians should stop at just saying a prayer, either. Which makes Rick Perry's statement fly in the face of a verse such as this:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.The Bible isn't a book about just praying and hoping everything works out. The Bible is about being active about faith. Any claim by a government official appealing to faith should, in my opinion, be suspect. I don't believe it's appropriate in almost all cases, as it usually seems to be a method of political pandering. Especially in the face of the sort of tragedies we've seen this year, though, a government leader claiming to be a Christian should at least know that his faith is based on more than just prayers. The Bible says do something. Be proactive. Help make things better. If we can pass laws that help prevent future tragedies, why wouldn't we? Rick Perry should think about these sorts of issues more carefully before going around talking about prayer and faith, and hiding his inaction behind those veils.
- James 2:14-17