The Church Protection Act inspired somegood ol’ Bible bashing in the Arkansas Senate Monday, pitting a Godof love against a God of guns.
“My house shall be called a house ofprayer,” said Senator Linda Chesterfield (D- Little Rock), quotingMatthew 21:13 in opposition to the bill. “(The Bible) doesn’t talkabout violence. If there was one person who was anti-violence, it wasmy Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Senator Gary Stubblefield (R- Branch)was quick to defend the measure, using the same scripture quoted byChesterfield.
“Remember, Jesus said you’ve turnedmy father’s house into a den of thieves,” Stubblefield said. “Andhe went and started throwing money changers out and tables over.”
Stubblefield also quoted Luke 11:21,saying, “A strong man armeth, and protecteth his house.”
The concealed carry of firearms iscurrently illegal in Arkansas churches. Senator Bryan King’s (R-Green Forest) bill would let churches decide for themselves if theywant to allow concealed carry and who gets to do it.
“There are just situations here inthe real world that I think dictates churches are allowed to protectthemselves,” King said.
The bill drew sharp opposition from asmall but vocal group of Democrats who said allowing guns would putparishoners at risk.
“If (churches) can adopt the policy,they should have to adopt the liability,” said Senator StephanieFlowers (D- Pine Bluff) who ultimately voted against the bill.”There’s nothing in that law that requires them to adopt thatliability.
But in the end, the support for churchcarry was overwhelming
“I recognize when a train isrolling,” Chesterfield said. “And I’m about to get run over bythe caboose.”
Senators passed the bill 28-4, sendingthe debate over faith and firearms to the House.