Is there a Bible-based theology that justifies an emphasis of personal defense and deregulation of gun sales and ownership? Not really, says a panel of activists who fight for good gun regulation out of their personal religious motivations.
You have to love the twisted slogans and logical fallacies some come up with to try to push a political agenda under the cloak of The Cloth. No, Jesus was not a member of the NRA for obvious reasons: There was no Friends of the NRA chapter in Judea some 2,000 years ago. Nor there is a Bible-based theology that justifies deregulation of gun sales and ownership the same way there is no Bible-based theology that explains the correct tune up procedures for a Harley Davidson Electra Glide: Neither existed in biblical times.
However, there is plenty of material regarding self-defense and it is even doctrine. From Exodus 22:2-3 : “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” to Luke 22:36: “..But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a sack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
In Judaism we see Maimonides (Laws of Shabbat 3:23) : “It is a mitzvah for all Jews who are able to come and help defend their brethren to do so, and it is forbidden to delay their coming until after Shabbat.” We also have Sanhedrin 72a:“If someone comes to kill you, arise and kill him first” and Choshen Mishpat 125:1: “If one sees that someone is pursuing him with the intention to kill him, he is permitted to defend himself and take the life of he who is pursuing him.”
The Catechism of Catholic Church states in 2263: “The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.( St. Thomas Aquinas.)” It also says in 2264: “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.”
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Heck it even goes as far as common defense in 2265: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”
Maybe these “Men of the Cloth should be reminded of Matthew 23:
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Harsh but necessary words for those who play politics under the umbrella of God.