Violence (including gun issues, domestic violence, etc)

Editor’s Introduction: Guns

The plague of gun violence in our country, highlighted by tragic mass shootings at schools and in other places, has sparked renewed attention on the presence of the approximately 270 to 310 million privately owned legal and illegal guns and their use in the United States. As the debate proceeds on current and future public […]

Gun Violence and Christian Witness

The statistics about gun violence in the United States are staggering–especially when compared to other countries. Day examines the role of American culture in the gun control debate and how Christianity is often invoked to support gun ownership. She also notes the potential within Chrisitian theology and the Christian community to work to end violence.

Keeping and Bearing Arms: Much More Than a Constitutional Right

The Second Amendment was not created in a vacuum. The Framers were responding to an already existing mindset about the natural right to bear arms. Klingfuss then moves forward through time, tracing the history of how this right has been interpreted in the American court system in the present.

To Own a Gun or not to Own a Gun, That is the Question

We know that guns are prevalent in many homes throughout in the United States, and we know that Americans have the right to own firearms. However, as Christians, should we? Based on Paul’s message to the Corinthians about eating meat, and Luther’s concept of Christian freedom, Jacobs argues that Christians should choose to not own guns in order to set an example for the community and to keep it safe.

Editor’s Introduction: Religion and Violence

This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics focuses on violence from several different perspectives. While one article explores the cause of violence as a religious phenomenon, another looks specifically at the Christian tradition. A third article centers on Martin Luther’s theological understanding of violence.

Christianity and Violence: Coming to Grips with the Bloody Threads in the Garment

Daniel Lee explores violence between religious communities in recent years and the Christian view of violence. He draws upon the wise words of peaceful leaders to bring a message of hope and a path to peace.

Is Religion the Cause of Violence?

William Rodriguez asks a scary yet important question: “Is religion the cause of violence?” Rodriguez uses Rene Girard’s assessment of the relationship between religion and violence to approach this controversial topic.

Demons of Violence: Searching for Theological Responses with Luther

Kirsi Stjerna uses Luther’s words to call Lutherans to respond to violence: “Of most importance is that we not stay silent but speak to matters of violence, to war and the other endless forms of violence.”

Review: From Jeremiad to Jihad: Religion, Violence, and America

John Carlson (an ethicist) and Jonathan Ebel (a historian) have brought together a rich collection of essays examining the intersection of religion and violence in America. An early goal of this book was “to show that September 11th was not the United States’ first experience with religion and violence,” through the expertise of scholars writing from within their own disciplines. They discovered that this multidisciplinary approach also brought “new and compelling insights into the complex historical and moral legacy of the United States.”

On Stand Your Ground: A Theological and Ethical Reflection

Benjamin Taylor offers a theological and ethical reflection on the “Stand Your Ground” law, examining its legal ramifications and its relation to Christian ethics. Taylor observes, “…although our country may stand divided for the moment, we do believe in the power of the reconciling love of the cross, the power which defeats death and gathers the people of God together once more.”