Would Jesus Pack Heat?

Tennessee legislators just voted to allow handguns in bars and restaurants, although the legislation maintains a ban on drinking while carrying a gun. I’m wondering how this is going to work.

In Arizona, the Senate has approved a bill allowing patrons with permits to bring concealed weapons into businesses that serve alcohol. Almost 40 states have passed similar laws.

And in my home state of Kentucky, Ken Pagano, Pastor at the New Bethel Assembly of God Church, recently reached out to gun worshippers, packing the pews by allowing his congregation to bear arms in the sanctuary.

Pagano, a former Marine, added a raffle to what wasn’t supposed to be a religious service–this was a Saturday evening event–but the minister raised his arms skyward and said a prayer. Many of those present weren’t members of the church but attended the celebration simply to show support for firearms in church, firearms almost anywhere. In fact, the raffle prize was a gun.

To the crowd, Pastor Pagano said, “You have become my parishioners. I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you.”

One person spoke up and said he thought “everybody should carry a gun.”

The “Homeland,” this terrority handed by George W. Bush to Barack Obama truly is the Wild West, a place where us vs. them is now the national mentality. So mix your favorite firearm with your alcohol of choice and toss in a dose of Bible thumping. Shake well and say your prayers. I have a feeling we’re all going to need them.








Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com