Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hired Guns at Church


I realize I'm not "up to date" on all the new trends & whatnot going on in the world. I don't have my finger on the pulse of pop culture and that sort of thing. I still can't figure out the fascination/obsession with Facebook to the point that 'facebook suicide' is an actual phrase. I don't have time to do that, what with 900 loads of laundry each day and homeschooling a small army, my time is spent elsewhere, and better spent elsewhere.

I do read the news though, and try to stay up to date on what's happening around the world, even though I may sit here and shake my head in sadness or disgust. Which is what happened when I read this story yesterday about the shooting tragedy in Colorado. No two ways about it, it's a horrible thing. What really caught my attention was this blurb in the article:

"The gunman was killed by a member of the church's armed security staff before police arrived, Myers said."

Okay. The gunman was stopped before he could hurt anyone else. That's a good thing, even though he had to be killed for that to happen. But let's back up this modern-era truck for a moment, shall we? Let's look at this part a little closer: "church's armed security staff".

I thought about this last night and had to admit to myself that I am so completely out of touch with the times we live in, because this surprised me. I'm sure it doesn't surprise a lot of people who live in big cities and may even have a security detail on staff at their own church. Maybe even an armed one, for that matter.

South entrance is secure - over... roger that!When I think of professions and types of businesses that need armed security staff, I immediately think of banking/financial institutions, top ranking government officials, mega-malls with armed security, and such things like that. It's a bit of a stretch to get my imagination around the idea that a church, a place where believers gather to hear the word preached, sing songs of praise to the Lord, and have wonderful fellowship with one another and eat fried chicken, lasagna and apple pie at monthly potluck lunches would need a security detail of Rockos and Vinnies positioned at strategic locations around the perimeter of the building with loaded weapons. I mean... I know it's not 1950 and we don't all attend church in a building that looks like this one, and we certainly don't all live in Mayberry - but growing up I did (attend a church that looks almost exact like this), and oddly enough the one I call home now, looks very much like this one as well. I just have a hard time picturing the need for armed security to secure such a location.

While I would agree and admit that my own personal and very subjective experience certainly shouldn't dictate the norm, I still have a bit of a rough go with the idea of armed guards at church.

So what do you say? Does your church employ a crew of Rockos and Vinnies? Are they armed? Do they attend services too or are they strictly on staff to guard the church? Am I completely out of touch with reality to think this sounds bizarre?


Commenter GrammaMack left this link in the combox, to a Toronto Star article today regarding the aspect of church security, in the wake of this horrible tragedy in Colorado. I would encourage you to read it, and share your thoughts on this. I've also noticed a few folks coming in from the google search phrase "guns in church" so I would encourage your feedback as well. It's a new time we're living in, and it's not very encouraging.