McCain’s Sacred Violence

Gun rights activists in DC
As many of you may have read, the Supreme Court today made the tragic decision to overturn the hand gun ban in Washington D.C.

I’ve written here before about America’s view of the gun as holy. So I shouldn’t have been surprised by Senator McCain’s response:

“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly.”

But it made me wonder. What other things does McCain see as a sacred? A little hunting on Google news turned up only two other recent invocations of the term by McCain:

“As a father, I believe there is no more sacred responsibility in American society than that of protecting the innocence of our children.

“That there is a judge anywhere in America who does not believe that the rape of a child represents the most heinous of crimes, which is deserving of the most serious of punishments, is profoundly disturbing.” responding to the Supreme Court’s rejection of the death penalty for child rapists

See any interesting parallels? Once you get past the rhetoric, McCain’s view of the sacred seems to mainly revolve around the right to kill people, either by the death penalty or by fire arm. It is a devastating indictment of what our country’s understanding of spirituality has come to.

To be fair, the other use of the term by McCain in my news googling in which he used the term when criticizing Obama’s promise to renegotiate NAFTA. Apparently free trade is sacred too.

Comments (8)

  1. dave

    Well… unfortunately Obama’s statement on the gun issue was “we don’t have a position” and his statement on the death penalty for child rape was that he disagreed with the Supreme Court and that he thought child rapists should be killed.

    Ugh.

    Reply
  2. somasoul

    I think everyone should own a gun. Guns prevent crime. Washington DC’s violent crime rate has gone up since the handgun ban 30 years ago. It has never, but once, since gone below pre-handgun ban numbers.

    Recently in Baltimore a handgun owner and owner of a drycleaner shot a man (he’ll live) who had robbed him once? twice? Nope, three times prior! The fourth time he was on the receiving end of a handgun. The owner did what was needed to protect himself, all without taking a life.

    If you want to be a pacifist I say that’s GREAT! But when you disarm innocent people using government (the most armed, most brazingly murderous instition in history) and leave the public helpless in violent neighborhoods then I have a problem.

    Oh, one more thing. If saying owning a gun is the promotion of violence (which it probably is) then isn’t banning them the promotion of violence as well?

    Let me explain. Government exists to enforce laws. Government is, in it’s very essence, an institution that we authorize to use violence to protect its laws, its borders, and its interests. So, in effect, by having a ban what you saying is: “Use violence to get guns off the streets.”

    A call for a ban is, therefore, a call to CAUSE violence. A call to lift the ban merely gives folks choice as to whether or not they wish to cause violence at all.

    Reply
  3. gyakusetsu

    ..and just how do you think agents of The Sword attempt to prevent people from obtaining and using guns? With threats and use of violence, of course!

    As pacifists, we must remember that every new restriction made by The Sword is violence. Any time we rely on The Sword to enforce something, instead of handling it through direct action, outreach, missions, evangelism, etc. we are advocating the way of violence, instead of the way of Jesus.

    Reply
  4. lukelm

    That just seems to roll right together rhetorically for some reason, “sacred” and “right to… (insert something dreadful.)” There seems to be an ancient god of war and tribal identity that McCain is calling upon, some early version of Jehovah. And people tend to want to say something really bad when they start invoking “sacredness.” Is that because it’s a dichotomous way of talking about divinity? It always must imply something unsacred, something profane?

    It’s an interesting jump, actually, the association that McCain seems to be following to arrive at this gun-right as being sacred – from “inalienable rights” – a declaration of natural law – of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that the creator has built into humans – to extend this association of God’s order to the entire constitution, to the bill of rights, and then to move from an expression of natural law to language of sacredness of the individual rights themselves. God gave us free speech – it’s sacred. God gave us guns – they’re sacred.

    Very very strange society, the sacralizing of the agents of death, of the power to inflict death, really. Associating worship with the power to kill others.

    It pretty much makes me physically sick.

    Reply
  5. Equa Yona

    Regarding McCain: he will declare sacred that which will bring in the votes. Does he really believe that gun ownership is a ‘sacred’right? I think so. Right wingers likely do believe that the US and its founding documents are worthy of worship.
    Should people be allowed to own handguns in DC? Why not? If you can buy them anywhere in the US the bad guys are going to get them. Pacifism as public policy doesn’t fly in the good ol’ US of A. And frankly, prohibition is really a failed policy as evidenced by the war on drugs. Or for that matter by the level of handgun violence in DC, necs’t pas?

    Reply
  6. somasoul

    “..and just how do you think agents of The Sword attempt to prevent people from obtaining and using guns? With threats and use of violence, of course!

    As pacifists, we must remember that every new restriction made by The Sword is violence. Any time we rely on The Sword to enforce something, instead of handling it through direct action, outreach, missions, evangelism, etc. we are advocating the way of violence, instead of the way of Jesus.”

    I thought I was alone in my little crusade here! The ban is, in and of itself, a violent act. Whereas the absence of a ban allows a person to choose to be peaceful!

    “Right wingers likely do believe that the US and its founding documents are worthy of worship.”

    That’s a nice stereotype. It’s one that creates division, not unity. It’s a sweeping generalization that undermines and provokes people. As an advocate of peace we should keep our words………..well, peaceable. Am I wrong here?

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Random acts of blogging… « chris nickels

  8. John

    “Sacred” violence!!!

    Wash your mouth out.

    Reply

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