“. . . do not resist an evil person.” (Jesus of Nazareth, quoted in the Gospel According to Matthew)

The following is my response on Facebook to the following news story from the Texas Legislature.

In Texas, it soon could be legal to bring a gun to college

I wish I could say this is unbelievable. But since carrying a gun seems to be the norm out here in the wild west, I guess all I can do is pray for a retirement home in the UK. I would like someone to explain this to me on purely ethical grounds without resorting to the 2nd Amendment. Why is this acceptable as a matter of morality without the childishly petulant, “I have a right?”

Saying that anyone – especially a college student in class – is safer if people are toting guns is absurd.

An acquaintance pointed to the incident of a “mad gunman” being stopped on the campus of UVA. (This was, of course, a hoax–which so much “evidence” of the need for guns is.) How many millions of students spend how many millions of hours per year in class and on campuses without any incident? One lone “mad gunman” (even if it were true) being stopped does not justify the danger of a kid sitting in class next to a gun-toting vigilante.

BUT EVEN THAT IS NOT THE POINT! My hope that someone can explain the MORAL truth behind “open carry” still stands. At best it is expediency, not morality. It is expedient because we know that we have failed so miserably at creating equality (in race, in economic opportunity, in gender, in religion) that we perceive, perhaps rightly, that some people are angry and disenfranchised enough to be violent. And we have also failed so miserably at caring for people with emotional problems that we need to be ready to shoot them when they lose control.

It’s the worst kind of utilitarianism. It has nothing to do with “Thou shalt not kill,” or “love justice, do mercy, walk humbly with your God,” or “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.” We have, according to Antonin Scalia, the constitutional right to be gun-toting vigilantes — ignoring not only the moral injunctions of the tradition most of those who speak the loudest for the right espouse but also the moral philosophies of all civilized societies.

Being “in the right” means being willing to forgo that “right” for the sake of the greater good.

“No more let sin and sorrow grow . . .” In which I don’t post the most objectionable thing I’ve ever written

I wrote a little piece about how much I dislike the fighting over what to call Christmas. It was inspired by my reading a review of Sarah Palin’s so-called Christmas book which begins, apparently, with her story of buying her husband a gun for a present last Christmas right after the tragedy of Sandy Hook. She bought it as an act of “civil disobedience” because of the anti-gun talk coming from Washington at that time.

So Christmas is now the Feast of the Incarnation With Guns.

I’m not going to post the mean, cruel, and vituperative piece I wrote.

Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Google_Art_ProjectRead my post about depression. I will not be depressed this Christmas any more than that undercurrent of depression I carry with me all the time.

But I do want to say this. Why is everyone in this country so determined to be mean to everyone else these days? Especially in the name of religion? or capitalism–which for too many people seem to be synonymous.

For God’s sake. If I can try to spread a little joy, why can’t the rest of you–the ones who don’t need Prozac and Lamictal? What the fuck is wrong with us, anyway? I was going to put a photo of Da Vinci’s “Madonna and Child” I took at the Hermitage this summer in St. Petersburg. I decided the Rembrandt “Return of the Prodigal Son” (which I also saw there) would be more appropriate. It shows both the profligate son and the self-righteous brother.

Merry Christmas.

No more let sin and sorrow grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of his love
And wonders of his love
And wonders and wonders of his love