A church in Florida is finally putting a warning sign outside its doors — finally, said atheists — but it has nothing to do with the way they manipulate you once you’re inside.
The River at Tampa Bay Church wants everyone to know that there are guns everywhere and they will shoot you in the name of Jesus if they have to.
Welcome to The River at Tampa Bay Church — right of admission reserved — this is private property
Please know this is not a gun free zone — we are heavily armed — any attempt will be dealt with deadly force — yes we are a church and will protect our people
A religion centered on the torture of its prophet wants you to know there are multiple ways to kill troublemakers on the inside.
I understand the sentiment — they want their congregation and strangers to know that what happened in a Texas church a couple of weeks ago would never happen there since they’re prepared to shoot back. But, somehow, the existence of a giant warning sign wouldn’t make me feel very comfortable in what’s supposed to be a sanctuary.
One pastor told a local reporter that the signs had been up for over a year, but they got more attention after Senior Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne posted the image on Instagram. And they don’t care if it rubs some people the wrong way.
“Would I rather ruffle a few feathers,” [Associate Pastor Allen] Hawes asked, “or do I want to count bodies?”
Those aren’t the only two options. The fear is that any heavily armed place, with everyone reacting in real time in the worst case scenario, will lead to much higher body count as everyone tries to play hero. Even if I were a Christian, I’m not sure I’d want to bring my family to a church where we’re surrounded by weapons. I wouldn’t necessarily feel more safe. But maybe my concern is the signs and the advertising of it all rather than the pastors having a game plan ready in case a shooter comes in their building.
It’s also a glaring contrast to the message being preached inside: “Jesus said we should turn the other cheek. Oh, and by the way, if a deranged gunman comes after us, we’re going to blow his brains out and hope for minimal collateral damage. Amen.”
By the way, the whole incident suggests God can’t protect those who pray for His help. Has this church just abandoned that whole idea? What’s the point of praying to God to watch over us when this church needs to warn everybody about its stockpile of guns? That may be the bigger story.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)