A letter writer on Dec. 19 summarized the “social fabric” problem we have with guns with these words in an imagined response to a student’s prayer: “Dear concerned student, I’m not allowed in schools. God.”
The writer raised some important questions, not the least of which are, which God is left out rather than let in? Judaism, Christianity or Islam? And what should teachers teach what God would say about each in how to deal with guns?
Should current Palestine be the model for the role of firepower in a biblical context?
What is the basis for a Christian interpretation and teaching on guns?
One could start with these words of Jesus: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him (Peter), “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt. 26:52). “Jesus said (to Pilate), “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest” (John 18:36). Are these words relevant?
Or, perhaps the writer wants some generic prayer to start every school day or class. Perhaps the following exchange in a political cartoon from some years back suggests an answer. One little boy walking to school says to another, “Maybe before we go to class we need some kind of prayer.” “Asking for what?” the other boy asks. To make it through the school day without getting shot!” — the first boy answers.
I have some doubts this prayer is all that God wants.