The following writing of Fr. Victor Clore, pastor of Christ the King Church, Detroit, on the timely topic of GUNS in the U.S. is copied from the parish bulletin THE BROADCAST of June 12, 2022.
I grew up in the country. We all hunted – pheasants, rabbits, raccoons – which was a sport, but it had the added purpose of adding protein to our diet. When we turned 12, every boy and some girls got our first gun. Usually it was a .410 caliber pump-action shotgun, which did not have such a hard kick-back that it would knock you on your butt. We all joined the NRA at that point, which was a gun safety organization. My father taught gun safety in the 4-H program.
Taking care of your gun, carrying your gun, cleaning your gun, all involved religious rituals, more exacting than serving Mass. You knew a gun was dangerous and accidents could happen. Once in a while you did hear about an accident. Usually when you asked about how it happened, it turned out to be a city-slicker who thought it would be fun to go hunting, without knowing how to be careful.
Guns for hunting, of course, are not automatic rifles, submachine guns or assault rifles. These guns are of no use for sport or even for self-defense. The current craziness over the “right” to possess any kind of gun is idolatry. As Jesus said, “You cannot worship two masters: God and Guns!” [OK, he said you cannot worship God and mammon, which is a unique word that implies grasping for wealth, or for your own pleasure rather than the good of others.]
The current cult of guns is clearly mammon worship. It may have its origin in affliction, and it may involve jealousy and anger, and judging by the perpetrators, it involves a deformed character seeking revenge and notoriety, which is why it leads to violence.
The psalm response in today’s Mass states: “You have made humans a little less than the angels.” Actually, we can degenerate into a lot less than angels. The solution is in John’s Gospel at the Last Supper. “I have much more to tell you.” “The Spirit of Truth will guide you to all truth.” The Spirit will glorify Christ. Everything the Creator has belongs to Christ, and the Spirit is taking what is of Christ and endowing us with Christ’s truth and love.
This is a much more profound entitlement than the Second Amendment. God is not finished with us yet. Holy Wisdom is still delightfully playing in God’s presence all the while and finding special delight in the human family. Despite this affliction of gun worship that is contaminating us, we are called to be people of good character, and people of hope. And hope in Christ will not disappoint.
Fr. Victor Clore
Christ the King Parish: We are Christ the King Parish, a richly diverse Christian Community in Northwest Detroit. We are on a journey of Discipleship with Jesus, seeking conversion, reconciliation and renewal. We reach out in welcome to all the people within our neighborhood, proclaiming the good News of Christ the King, building community, celebrating together, serving one another’s needs and the needs of all our neighbors.
Rev. Victor Clore – Pastor
Fr. Clore has been a parish priest in Detroit since 1966, always serving in racially integrating city parishes. His pastoral specialty is blending Holy Scripture and Human Psychology. He has taught at local Catholic colleges, and supports everyone’s participation at Sunday Mass, lay leadership, and a parish school that gives our children a good start.