Chuck Baldwin, a right-wing pastor who has his own radio show, appeared on fellow activist Sheila Zilinsky’s podcast over the weekend where he made a rather unusual claim: If you’re a True Christian™, you better have an AR-15 or something pretty damn close to it.
Citing a passage from 1 Timothy, Baldwin asserted that every adult has “a duty to provide for your family, but you cannot provide protection for your family without being equipped to do so.”
“Therefore, you must have the means of self-defense,” Baldwin said. “And in our society today, that means a firearm in the similitude of an AR-15. Without that, you are not in a position, you are not even able to protect not just your family and your house, but your neighbors, your community around you; that we, as a community of people — that’s the militia — are given the God-given responsibility to protect our communities. That is a biblical requirement.”
Baldwin called on pastors to preach sermons telling their congregations that “if you are not prepared to defend your family and your neighborhood and your community with the force of arms, you have denied the Christian faith and you are worse than a heathen.”
Yes, it’s just like our Founding Fathers said: Every family needs a semi-automatic rifle to get on God’s good side. Turning the other cheek is for idiots.
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind as you listen to that.
1) Notice that Baldwin doesn’t say that prayer will help. Protection can only come from a weapon, never from God directly.
2) He’s not alone. In fact, Right Wing Watch compiled this video of Religious Right activists making gun ownership synonymous with their faith:
That level of delusional thinking in these people is frightening. They act like the Second Amendment is the Second Commandment — that it’s a clear dictate from God. Not owning a weapon (or, God forbid, calling for gun safety measures) is considered blasphemy.