Friday, May 3, 2013

A spiritual look at gun violence

From New Hampshire-

For the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, the newly appointed bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, a bumper sticker he spotted said a lot. It read: "Guns don't kill people. Religion kills people."

Hirschfeld was joined by the Rev. Geoffrey Black, national president of the United Church of Christ, Monday evening for a panel discussion exploring a spiritual response to gun violence, held in the Congregational Church of Exeter.

The panel was moderated by Kathy Brownback, the Vira I. Heinz Distinguished Professor of Religion at Phillips Exeter Academy.

It was part of a free lecture and film series by We the People exploring issues at the intersection of current events and religion.

Ironically, in preparing their opening remarks, both leaders chose a passage from Gospel of Matthew: Chapter 26, Verse 52, where Jesus, on the night he was betrayed by his apostle Judas, said, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

"Long before guns existed, the sword was the gun of the day," Black said.

As a member of the coalition Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, Black joined four dozen other faith leaders to petition both the president and Congress for increased gun violence prevention measures.

"The issue of gun violence takes on many forms," Black said. "(They are) suicide, domestic disputes, situations like Newtown and accidents with guns in the home. Firearms tend to have this impact in our society, and we haven't come to grips with it."

More here-

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