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SUPPORT THE SECOND AMENDMENT---BLACK ROBED REGIMENTS

As Clergy, We Join Together In Support Of The Following Statements

We recognize and support the Constitution of the United States as the highest law of the land and the charter document of our nation.  We believe that, just as our respective scriptures govern our faith and faith communities, that the Constitution must be the law by which all other laws are judged.

The Supreme Court has determined that the 2nd Amendment protects a personal right to own firearms "in common use" in both the Heller and McDonald decisions, including handguns - the most common murder weapon.  We therefore believe that the bans on other kinds of firearms likewise in common use, which are used in far fewer murders, clearly violate the 2nd Amendment.  Gun rights are as much civil rights as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and all the other rights secured in the Constitution.

We believe that if the 2nd Amendment can simply be ignored, that our 1st Amendment religious  freedoms can likewise simply be ignored.   We are concerned that current efforts to control firearms, no matter how well intended, will create a precedent enabling this or a future administration, to violate any or all of the rights of the people at will.  Freedom is, in many ways, more dangerous than oppression - but as Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

We recognize that not all gun laws violate the 2nd Amendment.  The Supreme Court recognized this in the landmark Heller v. DC case, stating "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."  We recognize the reality that the full scope and limits of the right protected by the 2nd Amendment is yet to be defined.  That said, we believe that no person should be deprived of their rights under the 2nd Amendment without due process of law.

We deplore not only "gun crime" and "gun murders", but all crime and all murders.  We know the impact of murder very well, because we console the families and conduct the funerals.  We are far from insensitive to the human cost involved.  While some laws (within constitutional limits) may be helpful, we believe that the root of the problem is in the human heart and soul.  By definition, criminals are law breakers.  They can and will break the law to obtain firearms.  Jamaica banned firearms in 1972 and today is awash in illegal firearms and has a murder rate 12.5 times that of the US.  We fear that laws that prevent the law abiding from obtaining firearms will increase the murder rate and the suffering.

As we look at the recent mass shootings, we see problems that run much deeper than firearms.  In nearly every mass shooting we see a failure of our mental health system.  We also see a failure to recognize that evil exists in the world, and therefore a failure to prepare for it.  We believe that the answers to this problem are found in these areas, rather than unconstitutional gun bans.

We recognize the human right of both individual and collective self defense.  Man was created and given the gift of life.  Our faith traditions recognize this and allow for the protection of this gift by the use of force - including deadly force, when absolutely necessary.  Our history provides countless examples of situations in which the government was either unwilling or unable to protect people - from black citizens under threat from the KKK to store owners and others during the LA riots.  While we believe that the use of defensive force must be avoided when ever possible, we believe that it is immoral to compel law abiding people to be defenseless.  

We believe, as do a majority of our fellow citizens, that the 2nd Amendment serves as an important deterrent to tyrannical government.   We agree with Judge Alex Kozinski, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who wrote "The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for re-election and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.   Fortunately, the Framers were wise enough to entrench the right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitutional structure. The purpose and importance of that right was still fresh in their minds, and they spelled it out clearly so it would not be forgotten."  We believe that Judge Kozinski is right. 

For all of the preceding reasons, we stand together in support of the 2nd Amendment.

Note: The clergy below are expressing their support as individual citizens, they are not expressing support on behalf of their churches, denominations or any other entity. 

Rev. R. Vincent Warde, Ordained Elder, Free Methodist Church (Ret.)
Wm. Thomas Howie, Pastor of White Stone Ministries in Meridian, ID
Mike Brinkmeier, Pastor, Promise Land Bible Church, Mountain Home, AR


(If you are a clergy person who would like to add your signature to this document, please email your title and church or religious affiliation to clergy2ndamendment@douloscomputer.com)

(You can also submit your information by commenting on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clergy-in-Support-of-the-2nd-Amendmen...)
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  1. An Open Letter To My Fellow American Clergy Persons


    Imagine that you received a letter from your state government informing you that religious expression outside of private homes and religious buildings was now a crime.  Imagine that you are now required to have a license from the government in order to preach in your church or other religious building.  Imagine that in order to possess a Bible, a Koran or a Torah you would have to have a license from the government and provide proof that you have purchased a $1,000,000 insurance policy.  Imagine that your denomination’s schools were required – under threat of criminal prosecution - to admit people who do not agree with your denomination’s doctrine.  Imagine that this same law requires your schools to hire teachers whose doctrine and practice conflict with your beliefs.  Imagine that religious instruction of anyone under 18 is forbidden.

    Last of all, imagine that when you and your congregation protest these laws, pointing to the plain wording of the 1st Amendment, the response from the government is, “We don’t care what that says, we will pass and enforce any restrictions on religion we want to”, or “The 1st Amendment allows reasonable restrictions on religion – we consider these restrictions reasonable.”

    We all know that religious freedom has is under attack – but so far the plain wording of the 1st Amendment has prevented the outrages described above.  However, there is another constitutional right under attack and suffering equally outrageous violation: The people’s rights under the 2nd Amendment.

    The plain reading of the 2nd Amendment clearly protects a right to keep and bear arms in exactly the same way that a plain reading of the 1st Amendment protects freedom of speech, the press and religion.  The Supreme Court has twice ruled that it protects a personal right to keep and bear firearms in “common use” by the public.  If government can simply ignore the right protected under the 2nd Amendment, they can ignore any right protected by the Bill of Rights, INCLUDING FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

    You may not like guns.  You may think that they should be heavily regulated or even banned.  If that describes you, I plead with you to consider the implications of such laws.  The Constitution provides a way to accomplish your goal: Repeal or amend the 2nd Amendment.  By supporting laws that violate it, you are sowing the seeds of your own destruction. 

    Of particular concern are the battles taking place in many states such as New York, California and Colorado.  These battles are being lead and financed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  His anti-religious bigotry is well known.  This is the same man who banned clergy at the memorial for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.  The same man who threw small struggling churches out of New York public school buildings they had rented for years.  He did praise a decision to allow an Islamic center to be built near Ground Zero – but the Greek Orthodox Church obliterated on 9-11 has faced years of city government opposition to it’s rebuilding on or even near the site.

    Then there are Bloomberg’s well-known attacks on personal freedom.  No sodas over 16oz., bans on salt in restaurant food, and worst of all: Stop and frisk.  If you are a young minority male, you can expect to be stopped and physically searched with little or no “probable cause” several times each month – a direct violation of the Bill of Rights.

    Now this same man is spending millions upon millions of dollars to hire lobbyists and give money to lawmakers in any state that has the slightest chance of passing new gun control laws.  His approach is simple: Tell state lawmakers that they can either vote for his bills – literally written by his lawyers – and have his support, or they can listen to their constituents and vote against them, in which case Bloomberg will throw that same money behind their opponent in the next election.

    Are some of the laws he supports constitutional?  Yes, but many are questionable and many, many more are clearly in violation of the 2nd Amendment as applied by the Supreme Court.  What is his goal?  Simple: Disarm as many Americans as possible.  I do not know what Mayor Bloomberg’s intentions are, but this greatly concerns me.

    I am asking you to join with me in support of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Many years ago, Martin Niemöller penned his famous statement about how civil rights were lost in Germany:

    First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.

    Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

    My fellow clergy: They are coming for gun owners – and if they succeed in disarming the American public, a great deterrent to tyranny will be lost.   The time to speak out is now. 

    I urge you to follow this link, review the statement and email me at clergy2ndamendment@douloscomputer.com in order to add your name to the statement.

    You can also add your name by commenting on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clergy-in-Support-of-the-2nd-Amendmen...
     
     

    SHERIFF BRIGADES

  2. As Clergy, We Join Together In Support Of The Following Statements

    We recognize and support the Constitution of the United States as the highest law of the land and the charter document of our nation.  We believe that, just as our respective scriptures govern our faith and faith communities, that the Constitution must be the law by which all other laws are judged.

    The Supreme Court has determined that the 2nd Amendment protects a personal right to own firearms "in common use" in both the Heller and McDonald decisions, including handguns - the most common murder weapon.  We therefore believe that the bans on other kinds of firearms likewise in common use, which are used in far fewer murders, clearly violate the 2nd Amendment.  Gun rights are as much civil rights as the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and all the other rights secured in the Constitution.

    We believe that if the 2nd Amendment can simply be ignored, that our 1st Amendment religious  freedoms can likewise simply be ignored.   We are concerned that current efforts to control firearms, no matter how well intended, will create a precedent enabling this or a future administration, to violate any or all of the rights of the people at will.  Freedom is, in many ways, more dangerous than oppression - but as Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    We recognize that not all gun laws violate the 2nd Amendment.  The Supreme Court recognized this in the landmark Heller v. DC case, stating "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."  We recognize the reality that the full scope and limits of the right protected by the 2nd Amendment is yet to be defined.  That said, we believe that no person should be deprived of their rights under the 2nd Amendment without due process of law.

    We deplore not only "gun crime" and "gun murders", but all crime and all murders.  We know the impact of murder very well, because we console the families and conduct the funerals.  We are far from insensitive to the human cost involved.  While some laws (within constitutional limits) may be helpful, we believe that the root of the problem is in the human heart and soul.  By definition, criminals are law breakers.  They can and will break the law to obtain firearms.  Jamaica banned firearms in 1972 and today is awash in illegal firearms and has a murder rate 12.5 times that of the US.  We fear that laws that prevent the law abiding from obtaining firearms will increase the murder rate and the suffering.

    As we look at the recent mass shootings, we see problems that run much deeper than firearms.  In nearly every mass shooting we see a failure of our mental health system.  We also see a failure to recognize that evil exists in the world, and therefore a failure to prepare for it.  We believe that the answers to this problem are found in these areas, rather than unconstitutional gun bans.

    We recognize the human right of both individual and collective self defense.  Man was created and given the gift of life.  Our faith traditions recognize this and allow for the protection of this gift by the use of force - including deadly force, when absolutely necessary.  Our history provides countless examples of situations in which the government was either unwilling or unable to protect people - from black citizens under threat from the KKK to store owners and others during the LA riots.  While we believe that the use of defensive force must be avoided when ever possible, we believe that it is immoral to compel law abiding people to be defenseless.  

    We believe, as do a majority of our fellow citizens, that the 2nd Amendment serves as an important deterrent to tyrannical government.   We agree with Judge Alex Kozinski, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who wrote "The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for re-election and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.   Fortunately, the Framers were wise enough to entrench the right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitutional structure. The purpose and importance of that right was still fresh in their minds, and they spelled it out clearly so it would not be forgotten."  We believe that Judge Kozinski is right. 

    For all of the preceding reasons, we stand together in support of the 2nd Amendment.

    Note: The clergy below are expressing their support as individual citizens, they are not expressing support on behalf of their churches, denominations or any other entity. 

    Rev. R. Vincent Warde, Ordained Elder, Free Methodist Church (Ret.)
    Wm. Thomas Howie, Pastor of White Stone Ministries in Meridian, ID
    Mike Brinkmeier, Pastor, Promise Land Bible Church, Mountain Home, AR


    (If you are a clergy person who would like to add your signature to this document, please email your title and church or religious affiliation to clergy2ndamendment@douloscomputer.com)

    (You can also submit your information by commenting on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clergy-in-Support-of-the-2nd-Amendmen...)
     

    BLACK ROBED REGIMENTS

BLACK ROBED REGIMENTS
 

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