Some pastors are ditching the “politically correct” narrative on guns in the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, and are actually welcoming firearms into their churches.
Bishop Ira Combs, a black clergyman in Jackson, Mich., said that concealed weapons he allows in his church mean would-be attackers won’t be given the opportunity to commit a massacre like the one seen in Charleston.
Saying that guns in the right hands can make a congregation safer, Combs has adopted a security policy that ensures multiple worshippers are carrying concealed firearms as part of a sweeping security plan.
“All of us here are not going to turn the other cheek while you shoot us,” he told his congregation, according to Reuters.
The potential outcry from gun-grabbers and liberals doesn’t concern Combs, who says he is no stranger to controversy. As an outspoken advocate of traditional marriage, the church has come under increasing pressure from left wing protesters and gay rights activists in recent years.
And Combs isn’t the only pastor who thinks more guns will equal less crime. Allowing guns into houses of worship has been a growing trend among pastors who feel it is their duty to protect their flock.
In Flint, Mich., Pastor Theron Wiggins not only allows armed security in the church, but he himself carries a concealed weapon.
“They believe the angels will protect us,” he said of worshippers who are critical of his pro-gun stance. “Well, I’m one of those angels.”
A Catholic priest in Ann Arbor, Michigan, went so far as to advise his worshipers to get a concealed weapon permit and arm themselves. He even tried to offer a class to anyone who was interested, but the local diocese said he would have to have someone else coordinate it.
A minister in North Carolina, Franklin Pounders, said there is nothing “un-Christian” about allowing – or even encouraging – guns in church.
“The Bible says, ‘faith by itself – if it is not accompanied by action – is dead,’” he said.
Back at Combs’ church, congregation member Joshua Webb said he supports the bishop’s decision.
“In the times we live in today, it’s necessary,” he said.