(RNS) Some will find this column sacrilegious. What is truly a sacrilege is our devotion to an Object that keeps killing us and our children.
Early in the morning we rise to greet You, O Gun Almighty. With all due reverence we bow before You.
You alone are great. Mighty are Your deeds. Awesome is Your power.
There is no one like You. In You do we place our trust.
With one press of Your trigger, we unleash Your power, a power almost too great to imagine.
Power to pierce flesh and shatter bone.
Power to bring down the strongest man.
Power to end the most vibrant life.
Who can fail to bow before Your great power?
Who are we that You should entrust Yourself to us?
We do thank You for delegating Your power to us, mere mortals.
However weak we are in body or in mind, when we hold You we share in Your great power.
However insignificant we are, when we hold You we are great indeed.
We too gain authority over life. We too can bring death with the mere press of a trigger.
We are grateful, O Gun Almighty, that with the exception of just a few bad humans, we can be trusted with Your great power.
There are doubters, O Almighty Gun.
They do not trust You as we do.
They certainly know Your power, but they do not trust Your goodness as we do.
They claim that You make us less not more secure.
But we know, O Gun, that only in You can we find true security.
They claim that it is too easy for people to get access to You.
But we know, O Gun, that only when everyone has access to You will we find true peace.
They claim that You kill, and often kill wrongly.
But we know, O Gun, that it is not You that kills, but instead we who kill, and certainly we who kill wrongly.
They claim that we would be safer if there were fewer guns.
Be we know, O Gun, that it is only a well-armed society that is truly secure.
And so we implore you, O Gun, to strengthen your priests and ministers as they pursue Your work in the world:
May they find success in weakening Gun control efforts.
May they find success in deflecting blame from You after every mass killing in which people wrongly use You.
May they find success in securing the right to bear arms in all public places: schools, churches, malls, airports, bars, restaurants, streets, movie theaters, train stations, buses, airplanes, post offices, city halls, and everywhere people gather.
May they find even more success in funding and electing legislators who will faithfully serve You, O Gun.
When we doubt, O Gun Almighty, strengthen our faith in You.
When the number of killings rises, strengthen our faith in You.
When children are murdered in large numbers, strengthen our faith in You.
Though You slay us, yet will we trust in You.
As for me and my house
As for us and our nation
We will trust in You alone, O Gun Almighty.
(The Rev. David Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He is the author or editor of 20 books, including "Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust," "Kingdom Ethics," "The Sacredness of Human Life" and "Changing Our Mind.")
LM/MG END GUSHEE