US Gun Laws: the children are crying out

Mar 28, 2018 by

Chris Sugden Church of England Newspaper March 29

                  Salute the idealism of the children who have been protesting against the United States’ gun laws since the thirty first school shooting since Columbine in 1999. Naïve and hopeless some might say. But might there not be another explanation for their actions.

                  I have written to and spoken with four prominent and leading conservative Anglicans from the Anglican Church of America in the days following the Florida shooting. I asked, bewildered, why when secular columnists and others were calling for at least a ban on the sale of the bolt-ons that give rapid fire, the voice of the church in this debate was silent. I asked if they would speak out. The following reasons were given:

  1. “The Church is divided on the matter.” Yes, my good and dear friend, but the church has been divided on many things and still is. But yet churches and their leaders speak out on church dividing matters as same-sex relations and nuclear arms as they have in the past on issues such as apartheid over which the church was divided in South Africa.
  2. “The culture of the United States is particular on the matter: outsiders do not understand the culture.”  How often did we hear this response from South African Christians in the 1970s and 1980s when some of us as students closed bank accounts with Barclays and boycotted South African fruit over apartheid? Twenty years later apartheid was consigned to the rubbish heap of history.
  3. “It is a symptom of a deeper problem- the breakdown of the family in United States society. All the perpetrators were fatherless.” This avoids dealing with the issue in front of us by claiming to deal with a deeper seated issue which will take decades to repair.
  4. “Bearing arms in self-defence is part of our constitution”. Yes, and that applied in the age of the single shot musket, not in the age of the multi-repeater firearm.

So it is no wonder that with the Church silent, God is now using a different mouthpiece to address the situation – children.

How often in world history have major changes come about because children and young people called “Halt” – the Initifada in Palestine, anti-apartheid protests in Sharpeville, the Student Riots of the 60s. These were movements of young people and of children.

“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings have you ordained strength because of your enemies that you may still the enemy and the avenger”, Psalm 8.2 quoted by Jesus in Matthew 21.16 in response to the children on Palm Sunday.  God cannot get his church to speak, so now He is speaking through children,

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