MNGOP Rep. Tony Cornish says Jesus would pack heat if he were alive today

jesuscornish.jpg
Image by Tatiana Craine
Father, Son, and Holy Glock?
Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, is the stanchest pro-gun legislator in the state, and today, nobody was more outspoken in opposition to a bill that would mandate universal background checks for guy buyers.

SEE ALSO: Rep. Tony Cornish wore a semi-automatic rifle pin to today's gun control hearing [PHOTO]

At one point during this morning's hearing, the question of "what would Jesus do?" came up. And Cornish offered this interpretation of scripture: "I think that if Jesus was around today, he'd protect his family with violence if they had to."

Cornish's comment echoes an argument made in a January National Review opinion piece written by David French entitled "The Biblical and Natural Right of Self-Defense." From that piece:
In Mosaic law, God obviously continued his mandate of the death penalty for murder (as well as for blasphemy and other crimes) -- but not for all killing. He specifically carved out an exception for the defense of one's home: "If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him . . ." (Exodus 22:2). There was bloodguilt if the thief was killed during the day, however. Note the grace that God gives the citizen in the midst of the fear and ambiguity of a nighttime invasion -- even a "thief" (not a rapist, not a murderer) can be killed at night, but in the clarity of day, the "thief" (again, not a rapist, not a murderer) should not be killed...

While the New Testament certainly removes from the individual Christian any justification for vengeance (leaving vengeance to God's agent, the state) - lex talionis (eye for an eye) was always a rule of proportionate justice, not self-defense. In fact, Jesus's disciples carried swords, and Jesus even said in some contexts the unarmed should arm themselves. The sword's use was only specifically forbidden when Peter used violence to block Christ's specific purpose to lay down his life.

The idea that one is required to surrender his life -- or the lives of his family, neighbors, or even strangers -- in the face of armed attack is alien to scripture. There are many examples of martyrs surrendering their lives in the face of evil, but such an act is highly contextual and in response to the individual call of God on a man (or woman's) life. I know of no precedent for the idea that we are called to surrender the lives of others (such as our spouse, children, or neighbors) in response to deadly attack.
But would Jesus object to having the government run a background check on him before he buys his AR-15? That question seems more pertinent than whether or not he'd protect Mary Magdalene with violence if push came to shove.

And with that said, here's some background (via Forum Communications) on DFL Rep. Michael Paymar's controversial proposal to expand background checks:
[Paymar] said he tried to craft legislation acceptable to rural lawmakers who support guns. The National Rifle Association opposes his bill and Paymar said he is not sure rural lawmakers can cross the NRA on this issue.

When Paymar released his bill [earlier this month], he was surrounded by police officers, but no sheriffs.

Police chief representatives said they support the universal background check that is required for anyone who wants to obtain a pistol or semi-automatic weapon. The only exception would be a weapon transfer within a family.
A committee-level vote on Paymar's bill is expected this evening. Cornish claims he has enough votes, including a couple from DFLers, to kill the bill.

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26 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

As former NRA President J. Warren Cassidy once told a reporter, "You’d get a far better understanding if you just approach us as if [we are] one of the world’s great religions.” 

That's about the only explanation for why anybody, even someone as silly as Tony Cornish, would say such a goofy thing about Jesus Christ.  And it's actually a very insightful comment to describe the thinking of those in the gun culture.  You can't discuss practicalities with them; any more than you can discuss practicalities with any religious true-believer.

The only option for those of us who deal in rational decision-making is to avoid all such people.  They won't be reasonable because they have decided not to be reasonable, and they have put all their intellect to work in derailing reason. There won't be any negotiation or discussion with them.  It's going to take the rest of us to come together amongst ourselves to reach any kind of rational decisions relating to guns. 

All these discussions about "assault weapons" and high-capacity clips are trivia compared to the real gun problem in America; the incredible prevalence of cheap handguns, inside and outside of legal channels of distribution. 

I long ago concluded, from the NRA's own guidelines and advice, that I can't safely or usefully own a gun for personal protection.  I could do it for hunting or sport shooting; for those purposes quick access isn't necessary.  But hunting and sport shooting are not interests of mine, so I've made the rational decision not to own a gun.

Since then I've had all sorts of gun evangelists tell me I should own a gun in my house even though I've demonstrated quite clearly to all of them that to do so safely with young children would prevent me from being able to use it in timely self-defense.   They still can't accept that there is ever a circumstance where a family man shouldn't have a gun.  I'm sure they could never acquiesce to any measure that would get cheap handguns out of the hands of kids and criminals.  So they will never be a part of the solution to the problem that they deny even exists.  And they won't see anything absurd about bringing Jesus into the discussion.

WilliamJ83
WilliamJ83

"You're a funny guy Judas..  That's why I'm going to kill you last." - Jesus  *Starts blasting*

mplstim56
mplstim56

It's worth noting that when Jesus was "struck in the face," by an official in the high priest's presence, who then said "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" Jesus didn't simply turn the other cheek, but showed some cheek, perhaps, or moxie, by retorting: "If I said something wrong, tell me what I said wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 

(Matthew 18, verses 19-24.)


So, was He ignoring His own advice to His disciples? Or perhaps demonstrating He had a pay grade that allowed Him to answer back, not just turn the other cheek, in a way His followers could not?

 Or was He showing that what He meant by "turning the other cheek," was something more subtle, as in "if they do it once, dare them to do it again and demand they give a good reason??"  

In other instances that not-so-Good Friday when he was hit by soldiers, it was reported in all four gospels, He did not reply, did not strike back; but it's also not reported clearly that He "turned the other cheek" each time, either... fwiw.... 

It would have been easy for fakey scripture writers to fill that handy detail in to make Him appear "consistent;" i.e., an interesting argument for the historical reliability of the Gospels....they don't read like fiction.

   The Gospels make clear He was capable of violence: the way He threw the money changers out of the temple, overturning their tables and yelling, seems to come out of left field.....or right field...(don't get cute) ...anyway, it appears to have been a pretty physical altercation .....(and interesting He didn't simply set people on fire or blow them up, again, as a fiction writer might have been tempted to write.)

If nothing else, the Gospel accounts show us He lived life that was as complicated and nuanced as ours in many ways.....no easy answers, no easy paths, ..... 

Whatever, .. no side in the debate about guns should lay claim to the "real" Jesus to the exclusion of other sides..... can't see Jesus shooting a gun? well, probably can't see Him flying a jet, driving a car or a host of other stuff we all do daily.... not sure what all that means......

    But as the prophet said in Hezekiah 14:6: "Lock and load, mo-fos!" 

(Bible joke; you can look it up. er.. that is, you can't. )

gynnady
gynnady

let's not forget that among those death penalty-worthy acts in the OT were working on the sabbath, wearing clothes of mixed fibers, and children defying their parents.  according to this theory, JC would have capped the asses of any number of republicans just on those grounds.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

WWJC

What would Jesus Carry

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

There is no biblical record of the Lamb of God ever packing cold steel.

Megan Duffy
Megan Duffy

Is that because he hung around prostitutes?

Onan
Onan

Who would Jesus cap?

Geoff Forgie
Geoff Forgie

Don't worry I'm sure this Tony guy is 100% correct...remember these people talk to god on a daily basis.....

Matt Touchette
Matt Touchette

I am against gun control and against any argument based solely on a religious basis. In fact, most 2A supporters do not use religious arguments (at least not solely so) to defend their freedom to own a firearm.

Ray Anderson
Ray Anderson

The real issue here is not (WWJD) it's gun control.Our so called representatives need to work on some new/updated laws for people that are gun happy & stop trying to justify owning a gun through religion! In other words these desperate people that are trying to hang onto all their guns/gun rights STOP trying to use religion as your scapegoat. Whatever happen to keeping religion & Government separate??

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Jesus would carry a gun?! What a pathetic god...

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

But what pistol would he carry? Advertising agencies eagerly await this answer!

Todd Ray
Todd Ray

yep, the real problem with politics and religion.

Feargal Ledwidge
Feargal Ledwidge

Actually - hes right. In Luke 22:36 - Jesus said "But now the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag; and the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one." A gun is just the modern equivalent to a sword

Brian Mazur
Brian Mazur

if Jesus had a gun, he'd still be alive today

Nick Twist
Nick Twist

I know a guy named Jesus that owns a gun...

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