At my age you don’t really expect to have to re-evaluate yourself to see if you’re not the person you think you are after so many years. Today I’m having to do just that. I was of the opinion that I may write with passion sometimes but always with compassion.  That was turned on it’s head this morning when an American who may or may not be a Pastor ( calls himself Pastor Z)  accused me of being vitriolic.

Like many other people across the world I’m full of sorrow at the loss of life this weekend when a ‘madman’ shot and killed so many children in America. I saw a post by Pastor Z who suggested this was all down to prayers being taken out of schools. I begged to differ in that it may not be the main reason, but that the growth in the availability of weapons might have aided it and since the NRA are against any bill to regulate arms nothing would change. He suggested in another post that I am vitriolic and that the NRA are mainly born again Christians. ( Which actually suggests to me that they weren’t very Christian originally) and that is why I attacked them. In actual fact I have no problem with whatever their religion is, just that they promote weapons in an already crowded market place.

I agree with him that children are growing up now without learning morality. He feels I am anti Christ in rejecting the idea that not having prayers in School may be the only answer.As a matter of fact I believe that Jesus existed and certainly wish people would live according to some of his teachings. In my mind the main problem children have been facing and face today is a breakdown in the family because both parents are having to work. I think children learned more and better when there was at least one parent in their home at mealtimes and at the end of the school day. Children left to their own devices are being taught different lessons through the use of video games which are often violent and movies the same.

To revisit my vitriol as regards guns though, I maintain they are too readily available. The boy/man who shot his mother and then all these heroic teachers and the children stole his mother’s guns. But why did she have so many and who needs automatic weapons at home? How many times have we heard of a child accidentaly shooting a friend, a brother or sister because they used a real gun to play with? My suggestions that obviously upset the Pastor so much are…

1. No gun is released to a permit holder until the police have checked there is a gun safe in the property.

2. Restrict guns to One per household or One per adult in the household.

3. NO automatic weapons in private hands.

4. Gun club weapons to be kept at the gun club.

5. Hunter’s weapons to be kept safely until the season starts..except for farmers etc.

I’m sure other people could improve on this . Personally I know that even though I’d like to see no guns in private hands it won’t happen. The same needs that applied when the constitution was written no longer exist and I’m sure the Founding Fathers would agree it’s a different world altogether now.

Mental illness is also a problem . Many of those who commit these atrocities have a mental illness. There doesn’t seem to be enough help available for them but in some instances they’re not known which raises a question of ethics for me. Should the priests who know of a killer or someone with the urge to kill be allowed to break the confessional? Should the psychiatrist who knows a patient to be capable of killing be reporting it to the authorities? I think yes. For me, other people’s safety comes first. I wonder how many lives would be saved if the authorities had known about a potential killer and could have removed the guns from the house first.

Lastly I’m going to confess that The good Pastor and I have had a run in before. He believes homosexuals are abominations. That people like Hitler can be forgiven their sins but that homosexuals cannot. I’m not even going to dignify this with a response here but I’m sure you can all imagine what I said. I ask you to believe me though when I say it was not vitriolic. I’m a much more reasonable , even tempered person. Mind you, I could get vitriolic I suppose with a person who didn’t apply reason, was intransigent and certainly was Un-Christian…………….





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20 responses to “Re-evaluation

  1. To me there are so many different reasons that these kinds of crimes are committed and I agree, mental illness is often a factor, but to suggest that children not praying enough is completely ridiculous.

    Australia is a country with good gun control and very few prayers in schools and we are not known for our habit of mass killings. I think that Pastor Z is just looking for a way of forcing his religion on people and not paying attention to the facts.

    Don’t doubt yourself David, I doubt you were vitriolic, sometimes people can’t bear reasoned argument against their beliefs and immediately overreact. I can’t imagine a person with the kind of beliefs that Pastor Z touts is ready for discussion, he would only be looking for agreement.

    • Thanks Metan. I think he meant to say that morals have declined because prayers stopped in schools. These killings didn’t start until after the prayers stopped. I did point out that there’s a first time for every type of crime so it may not have been linked to prayers stopping.
      Like you we have gun control and very few incidents like this one despite dropping much religious education but that argument didn’t go down well. Indeed you’re right, he needed to get across that with prayers and his God things would be better. I doubt it.
      Thanks for not doubting me. I wasn’t vitriolic though that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of it. I just prefer reasoned argument. I always reckon that the one who starts shouting instead of reasoning has lost anyway.
      Big Hugs.

  2. I second every word that Metan said. Besides, I’m aggro enough to believe some people deserve vitriol….

  3. Catherine Johnson

    Good grief, stay away from that Pastor. I actually wrote a political poem but decided against posting it, yours covers it all anyway. My beef is that the President won’t risk losing all the votes From the gun toters so they’ll never be banned.

    • I put him firmly in the ranks of the church that goes to spoil funerals of soldiers and gay people Catherine, in the same mould as the Pastor who told his congregation hat boys as young as 4 should be ‘thumped’ if they stood in a gay way.Not the kind of churches I’d want in my neighbourhood or for anyone I know to attend. I may not share their belief in God but I’m 100% certain their God wouldn’t approve of them. Certainly Jesus wouldn’t if you believe his lessons. It’s a shame you couldn’t bring yourself to post your poem.
      Maybe the President won’t push to get gun control measures through but it’s a shame he won’t try since he doesn’t need votes again as he can’t stand a third term can he? But at least he’s spoken on the subject and said something must be done which is more than most. Hugs Catherine xx

  4. Methinks the pastor needs to look up the word vitriol. To accuse someone of being vitriolic simply because they have a view that is different from your own is the definition of a person that will not hear anything outside of himself.
    I certainly hope that your re-evaluation of self gave you proof that you are far from vitreol!
    Were I you, I’d refrain from entering into conversation with this “Pastor”. Whatever you have to say to him will obviously have no effect – he will simply refuse to hear/consider it.

    • I will probably do that in future Susan as you recommend. The problem today is that on Gather so many of the conversations are regarding the Newtown children and I was sharing my commiserations and opinions. Unwelcome opinions it seems.Because I don’t live in the U.S. I should probably keep my views to myself but sometimes there is an invitation to comment that’s too hard to resist.
      I think he probably called my words vitriolic to make his followers aware that our views don’t coincide. The silly thing is that many of them do, just not the cause and effect and of course the contentious gun issue. It’s the NRA he thinks I’m vitriolic towards when I actually only mention them once. I think he does them more of a dis-service than me by referring to them as born again Christians which makes you wonder what they were before in his opinion.
      Hugs Susan, I wish you a Very Happy Christmas.

      • Oh my, I think that what happened in Newtown has affected people all over the world.
        I live in the heartland of the US and I feel the same as you. We do need more gun control. At the very least there is no way that assault weapons should be available to private owners! It’s ludicrous to me. If there’s someone who wants to collect such weaponry so they can display, then they could be made unusable, otherwise, they have no place in the hands of the public.
        You have as much right to voice your opinion as anyone, Dave. And here in the US, THAT’s something we’ll uphold! 🙂
        Don’t let this guy get under your skin. His views are not that of the majority of Americans.

      • Many thanks Susan. I confess I thought it was the opinion of most Americans since gun control bills keep failing. I’m glad to hear the Sensate will look at making automatic weapon off limits again but only for new buyers. It’s a shame that it still leaves so many out there.Hugs. xx David

  5. If anyone is vitriolic, perhaps it is Pastor Z. I’m with Susan, disengage. Do not engage. You have much better places for your energy. Wishing you joy this holiday season.

    • Ha, he was certainly vitriolic in telling me I was. It gave me a laugh. I wonder what the modern church is coming to. I have disengaged.
      I return your wishes and hope it’s a wonderful time for you Sandell.

  6. It’s stuff like this that make Christians look bad. America is a land for all religions, unfortunately we have forgotten this fact. The Bible says to “pray continuously” and anyone can pray in their head. Why is a prayer out loud needed in a school? Did Jesus not scoff at the Pharasees who prayed loudly so everyone could hear? If I were someone from a different faith, and my child was forced to hear a different faith touted at school I would be upset. And I am a devout Christian, Im just not stupid and I can look at other person’s views. As to gun control, your list is perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately, it puts the little guy at disadvantage with regard to the gangs and other criminal bands who can get these weapons. So I am of 2 minds about this. I dont own a gun and never will, I would either have it taken or shoot myself in the foot, so why “tempt fate”? 🙂 If gun control could be for all–including the criminal sects, then it is the right thing to do. How does the UK stand on this?

    • Since you can probably only shoot with one hand at a time I think you’d only need one gun so if Gun Control allowed one gun you should be OK as regards the gangs. But more needs to be done about the gangs. A concerted effort to either rid the streets of all their weapons or to make it illegal for the gangs to be out on the streets together. You’d have to really define gangs or there would be all kind of difficulties with other groups.
      As for the prayers in schools you’re quite right. In any multi-cultural society you could offend someone by favouring one religion over another. You can pray at home and in your church but why not have a multi-cultural service at school if there must be a service that offend no-one.Christian parents will let a child know they are Christian so they don’t need school to emphasise it.
      The UK’s stance is to have a total gun ban except for people with a licence to hold a shotgun for hunting and getting rid of pests like farmers- I don’t man the farmers are pests, I mean for them to get rid of pests.We have minor problems of some criminals using guns and some street gangs too but it’s not a major problem and the police are pretty good at getting them. We don’t need and don’t want guns ourselves.
      Have a Wonderful Christmas. xx Hugs

  7. America’s tenet is Liberty outlined in The Bill of Rights. There are 10 Amendments: some providing specific freedom and protection, some restricting government, and the 2nd Amendment oft quoted abridged as “the right to keep and bear arms.” However, language oft neglected is the “reasoning” of the right: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state . . .” which proponents avoid. The language was lifted from the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Common sense suggests that societies and circumstances were different than they are today. Proponents again, fail to mention it. America’s become a nation of entitlements, interpretation, and individualism. For a modern society these actions purposely enervate the Bill of Rights. That is, until an Amendment which protects the self-interest of a narrowly defined population is challenged noting that their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment may renounce the 9th Amendment. What malarky! I say let them buy guns but regulate ammunition; redeploy veterans to protect “gathering places;” get tough with the supply chain by levying fees and taxes for right to profit from deadly weapons; and finally, hold the supply chain partially responsible for the crime with steep fines and incarceration. Our society has fractured like a broken windshield. An “I-centric” population ignores the propriety of a society. The moment divergent citizens applied “discrimination” as a violation of their rights our society splintered. Freedom as a right promises conflict; today, money trumps everything, even my right to live free from the fear of death caused by a trigger happy maniac.

    • Your reasoning is perfect. It would be excellent to limit the amount of ammunition. I still would amend legislation to make automatic weapons illegal and I’d make that retrospective because no-one needs that type of weapon. I’ve heard today that the automatic weapon should be kept as it’s the best way to deal with a tyrannical Government, and the Constitution allows for the populace to protect itself from just that.Is anyone going to suggest that the current Government falls into that category despite the fact that the President has to leave when his term of office is over and no way would the U.S. Army allow any different.The gun lobby spout so much BS. Your solution would work given a pass by the Houses but the howl from the NRA would be mighty. I wish you coud get your idea to the appropriate ear.I just hope there isn’t enough money to trump your right to live free from the fear of a nutter taking your life.

  8. Food Stories

    Certainly a multifactoral issue … I like your suggestions!

  9. I dislike people like that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes certain people are spoiling for a fight if anyone disagrees with them. These were shocking events and it is a shame that not enough people want to put measures in place to 1) help people and 2) control the means to do these things.

    Maybe living here in the UK where guns are not as widely available it clouds the issues.

    • I’m sure you’re right Pete and my judgement is clouded by living here compared to a place like America where they’re used to guns. I still think it’s logical though to say “Keep your guns as the Constitution permits, but ban semi automatic weapons” ( I’ve been corrected and informed that automatic weapons are already banned). Some argue that they have the weapons because they are for use against a Tyrannical Government. There’s so much vehemence against Obama that I’m sure some are planning a civil war.
      No doubt I’ll run into him again in the future if he keeps posting rubbish.

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