Regarding the Rev. Dr. Gaye W. Ortiz, who takes issue with Georgia’s new gun law on guns in churches (“Clergy oppose gun law,” May 23): Why should churches have such a need to have government controlling them? Statists would enjoy having governments control everything in their lives, but is that what churches enjoy? After all, there’s nothing in our Constitution regarding the “separation of church and state,” so let the state take over. All would be perfect, right?
In truth, Georgia’s new law allows churches to regain control and make their own decisions regarding guns. The Baptist Congress of Georgia was represented at the hearings on the bill. They were very outspoken about keeping the government out of their churches. They acknowledged some churches would not like guns in churches, but they were encouraged the state would be returning that decision to the churches, rather than making the decision for them, and treating churches no differently than any other private business.
How much more control would Dr. Ortiz like the government to have in her church? Allthis law accomplished was returning autonomy to the church proper. Her church likely has a kitchen in some sort of recreational hall. Should state and local inspectors be able to shut it down after a sanitation inspection? Should they close a church because it might not be wheelchair-accessible? What if it’s customary, as it is in some churches, to dip the host in wine and offer it to a child during communion? Surely that must break some law. What happens when the majority of citizens see the need to tax properties that churches own elsewhere (real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.)? Those revenues would go a long way toward paying off the national debt.
You might think twice about how much government control you want in your church. On the other hand, some churches welcome this law because it merely states clearly that the government should not interfere and tell them how to run their churches. Meanwhile, give thought to how many signs have ever kept criminals and the insane from entering “gun-free zones.” Nobody can legislate morality.