Would it be a classic pearl handled six shooter? A double barreled shotgun with a hand carved stock? An AK-47 semi-automatic assault carbine with laser sights? Or would he simply strap a belt of ammo over each arm and tote a machine gun, Arnold Schwarzenegger style?
The image of Jesus carrying a gun goes against the ideals of love, forgiveness and redemption that define his biblical characterization, yet we have entered a phase in American public life where those willing to spout this same type of ideological incoherence for political gain wear their ignorance as if it is a badge of honor.
The tenets of Judeo-Christianity revolve around a very progressive minded set of spiritual beliefs, yet the most ardent followers of Christianity in America are likely to be some of the least tolerant people socially and politically.
A healthy, well educated population is seen as a necessity by business gurus around the country, yet our own American corporations fight tooth and nail against sharing any of the responsibility for any of the costs for these privilege.
Practically our entire nation awaits each new technological breakthrough in communication or entertainment devices with baited breath, but very few of us are willing to endure the academic rigors and master the scientific disciplines necessary to ensure our ability to keep delivering these electronic marvels to the marketplace.
People who were against the political machine now run it. Those who thumbed their noses at authority now want their children and grandchildren to—gasp!—straighten up and fly right. People are naturally more conservative as they get older, but I’ll have to take my hat off to Lee Atwater & Company, who did a fantastic job of reading their tea leaves and divining what all these Christian Coalitions popping up everywhere in the eighties and nineties were really saying about society. People are afraid. Many feel that they have strayed too far from the fold. And multitudes now seek forgiveness for the sins of their youth.
A lot of the rhetoric from our politicians these days may make sense in theory, but slimming our government back down to its eighteen century functions will be harder than putting toothpaste back in the tube. I can't think of any society in history that has been able to peacefully make such a radical reduction in the role its government plays in its citizen's lives. Frankly, there really isn’t anything about eighteenth century living or the ideals of the time that appeal to me. As one commenter on a blog described the early years of the U.S. of A., back when the ink had just dried on the Constitution:
“we had no schools, no hospitals, no emergency services, no air force, no universities, no freeways, no sanitation, no passports, no mail, and no rail.”
Although my original question—what kind of gun would Jesus carry?—may seem ridiculous, it is a perfect example of the kind of twisted logic we are perfectly willing to employ in our everyday lives, doggedly coordinating contradictory evidence into a plausible narrative in order to continue believing in things that make no sense at all...
...especially when it comes to politics.