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Brad Leeser, Moorhead , Published September 28 2013

Letter: They should read New Testament

I find it amusing and frustrating that from time to time pseudo-Christians attempt to use Jesus to justify imposing their idea of moral behavior on the rest of us. We have seen letters to the editor in The Forum saying that Jesus would want us to pay higher taxes in order to help the poor, when in reality Jesus put the burden squarely on us, personally, to help the poor. I don’t recall ever reading where Jesus taught that the government should dole out money to the poor for us.

At best, Jesus was ambivalent about the central government. Remember his classic line, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s?”

Now I see a recent letter to the editor from a Grand Forks reader who wants us to believe that guns and the National Rifle Association are condemned by Jesus. I don’t recall Jesus saying anything about firearms in Scripture. However, we know that his apostles had swords and knives.

The apostles were not told to get rid of such deadly objects, which we know have often been the instruments of violence and death. Jesus didn’t ask Rome to ban such weapons, even if the blade was over a certain length. Rather, Jesus told apostles not to “live by the sword.” I therefore assume it’s reasonable to extrapolate that those of us who are Christians can have guns with Jesus’ permission and blessing as long as we don’t live with a fixation on guns or use them improperly.

Any violence is certainly a tragedy, but most people use guns responsibly for hunting, sport and self-protection. We find that violence is less common when guns are legal. The old saying is true that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Perhaps we should outlaw cars instead, since many more people are killed in and by them than with firearms.

May I respectfully suggest before you start telling Christians what Jesus would want us to do about any political issue, that you first read the New Testament – maybe a couple of times.