What Would Jesus Do with a 9mm Glock?

Posted on April 6, 2011


Author: Stan Moody

As legislators struggle with the effectiveness and human dignity issues surrounding lifetime sex offender registries that, under the Adam Walsh Act, would run the gamut of 189 categories from pedophilia to urinating on the sidewalk, there emerges a contingent of leaders pushing for harsher distinctions.

In a word, these leaders seem to love registries that not only make permanent the exile status of offenders of many types but remove whole families from the forgiveness loop.

What List Are You On?:

Several weeks ago, I published an article, “What List Are You On?” With tongue in cheek, I referenced the 800,000 or more nationwide who are presently on the sex registry. I poked fun at a bill before the Maine legislature, LD 760, “An Act to Establish an Animal Abuser Registry.”

I suggested that if these registries continue to develop and grow, they will serve 2 purposes – to give those on registries political voice and to give those of us not on registries a feeling of moral superiority masked as public safety. One consideration might be to merge the registries and create a PAC.

Drunk Driver Offender List:

Along comes the latest list – a website that would permit Mainers to see if any of their neighbors were convicted drunken drivers. It would include names, addresses and pictures.

This is the brainchild of Rep. Richard Cebra (R-Naples), whose bills this session have included an act to allow concealed weapons in the State House, an act to nullify Federal laws (states’ rights advocacy) and an act to require people who register to vote to provide proof of citizenship, a takeoff from the “birther” movement.

Mal Leary of Capital News Service quoted Cebra as saying, “People need to know about drunk drivers that might be living next door and taking their kids to soccer practice.” Whether you are left wing or right wing, it seems always to be about the safety of latchkey kids.

Religious Twist:

I served with Rich on the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He seemed like a pretty nice guy. I wondered what happened to him that he suddenly wants to make lists and bring a gun to the State House presumably to shoot sex offenders, animal abusers, respectable drunks and liberals with or without full citizenship. It struck me that there might be a religious twist in there somewhere.

A quick Googling of Rep. Cebra, and I found that he is a member of the Windham Assembly of God, although his religion is listed as “Lake Region Vineyard Church.” On the surface, there didn’t seem to be much of interest there.

Further digging, however, uncovered what appears to be a startup Vineyard church in Naples, affiliated with the Vineyard USA denomination. Taking a look at the beliefs of Vineyard USA uncovered some interesting information.

“Culturally Relevant Mission”:

Prominent is the statement of their “culturally relevant mission.” It describes an on-going dialogue that determines whether they are going to be a “…small set of backwater, culturally-irrelevant churches or a community of churches that really do make a difference in the world.”

As pastor of one of those backwater, culturally-irrelevant churches, it occurred to me that I may, like Jesus, be a candidate for another one of those special lists of marginal people.

What I found next was much more interesting, however:

We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus, knowing we are sinners whose standing before God is utterly dependent on his mercy. This mercy can only be truly received inasmuch as we are willing to give it away…We believe that ministry in Jesus’ name should be expressed in concrete ways through the local church. The poor are to be served as though we serve Jesus himself. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a church expressing the love of Christ in a local community.

I got it! In order to minister to the poor, the outcast and the outsider, you have to be able to find them! What better way than with a list or an obituary that identifies the loved ones of those shot in the lobby of the State House?

If only Jesus had had a 9mm Glock!

Project Vote Smart
• Vineyard USA, 5 Core Values