When I think about this question, the first thing that comes to mind is the passage from the Beatitudes, in Matthew Chapter 5: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” I have to confess that I remember this mostly because of the scene from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” in which the people in the crowd are having a hard time hearing Jesus and ask whether he said, “Blessed are the CHEESEmakers.” Hilarious.
In any event, I have alot of preconceptions about what a “peacemaker” is, and about the role of violence in making peace. So, I had to take a second look when I saw a bumper sticker on the window of a car I was following the other day that said “God bless our troops…” No problem there, but what followed struck me: “especially our snipers.” God bless the snipers? I never thought of that.
I had a similar reaction when I saw the following picture posted on the Gun Free Zone blog:
It is a striking visual image. Now, I am the first to admit that I have no idea who God blesses and who she doesn’t. But if these rifles are going to be used for good, rather than for evil, by peacemakers rather than warmakers, why not bless them?