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Georgia gun ban misfires: The Church of England Newspaper, May 9, 2014 June 2, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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An American bishop has banned the possession of firearms on all church properties following the enactment of a state law permitting churches to regulate handguns in churches. On 28 April 2014 the Bishop of Atlanta, the Rt. Rev. Robert Wright issued a pastoral directive to the diocese stating: “My judgment, charge and directive – as the ecclesiastical or governing authority, of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, is that with the exception of on-duty law enforcement officers, firearms are not permitted in church buildings or on church property.” Issued in response to a Georgia law which permits licensed gun owners to bring firearms into the state’s churches, provided that an individual place of worship allows it, the bishop’s letter extends the ban to all church property – including rectories.  Canon lawyers believe the bishop’s letter oversteps his authority. Allan Haley noted the statute makes the “governing authority of the place of worship the entity to decide whether guns shall be allowed.” However, the “governing authority of a parish is it’s rector and vestry, not the bishop. Even the cathedral is governed by its dean and not the bishop” under canon law, he noted. What the bishop has done here is assume authority that he does not have under the national canons, and which the statute does not grant him,” Mr. Haley said.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 98, May 10, 2014 May 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church News, Anglican.TV, Church of England, The Episcopal Church.
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Published on May 10, 2014

Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe. Please donate athttp://anglican.tv/donate

Story Index
00:00 Peace over Repentance
14:29 Symptoms vs. Disease
22:36 Submit or Die
28:30 Legal News with AS Haley
37:08 Peter Ould on the Anglican Communion
46:35 Closing and Bloopers

Keep guns out of church, pleads Kenya’s archbishop: Church of England Newspaper, November 8, 2013 November 11, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya has denounced a call by Mombasa clergy that they be given guns to protect themselves from the depredations of criminals and Islamist militants.

“As church leaders, we should be on the forefront preaching for peace and reconciliation. Churches are places of worship and not a battlefield,” Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said on 1 November 2013.

On 20 October 2013 a pastor at a Pentecostal church in Mombasa was shot to death in his church’s sanctuary. At his funeral church leaders called upon the government to protect ministers – or give them the means to do so.

The call to arms received the cautious support of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), which last week issued a statement saying it supported the right of clergy to bear arms, if they complied with civil laws concerning the registration and use of guns.

However, Archbishop Wabukala told the congregation gathered at Bishop Hannington’s Teachers College in Mumias, guns were no guarantee of safety.

“AK47 rifle will never secure anyone’s security. I beg to differ with my fellow pastors because even if they are issued with guns, how will they protect themselves from a mob. They should ask Kenyans to repent and live in peace,” the archbishop said.

It was the responsibility of “government to provide security to all. No single person can protect himself. We need everyone to be protected regardless of their position in society.”

“The murder of the pastor was wrong; the attacks on churches should be stopped. All places of worship should be respected whether it’s a church, a mosque, a temple or even a traditional shrine. We should be tolerant with those who don’t believe in our religion because we are all Kenyans,” the archbishop said according to an account of his sermon printed in The Standard.

Canterbury gun control plea: The Church of England Newspaper, January 13, 2013 p 5. January 21, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Connecticut, Crime, The Episcopal Church.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined a chorus of American church leaders calling for stricter gun control laws in the United States following last month’s Connecticut school shooting.

In his final “Thought for the Day” broadcast as Archbishop of Canterbury on BBC Radio 4, Dr. Williams acknowledged that by itself gun control will not end violence, but their strict regulation would curtail it.

“A week after the horrific killings of the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, most of us are still struggling to get our minds around such a nightmare,” Dr. Williams said, adding that “nearly 6,000 children and teenagers were killed by firearms in the USA in just two years.”

The problem of “gang culture” was not unique to America, he noted, but “in the US, the question is, of course, about gun laws, one of the most polarising issues in American politics.”

“And there is one thing often said by defenders of the American gun laws that ought to make us think about wider questions.  ‘It’s not guns that kill, it’s people.’  Well, yes, in a sense.  But it makes a difference to people what weapons are at hand for them to use – and, even more, what happens to people in a climate where fear is rampant and the default response to frightening or unsettling situations or personal tensions is violence or the threat of violence.  If all you have is a hammer, it’s sometimes said, everything looks like a nail.  If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target,” the archbishop said.

Last week the Bishop of Olympia, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel joined the Bishop of Washington and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in calls for the government to review gun laws.

The Seattle-based bishop wrote that in the United States, “gun violence is a slow growing cancer which we have had the luxury, by and large, to ignore or at the very least show little attention to. Sadly, it has taken the loss of 20 of the youngest among us, the ones with the least power, to get our attention.”

“Up until that tragedy in Connecticut, we were starting to get used to school shootings. Will we get used to this too?” he asked.

Bishop Rickel joined Dr. Williams in rejecting the arguments put forward by the hunting and shooting community.  He stated the National Rifle Associations “solution is not surprising: arm more people. That solution grows out of a belief in the inevitability of a heavily armed society, which they have helped create. We are now the most armed nation in the world.”

The bishop said he was “not against the end of all guns. That, at this point, is probably unrealistic. But, I am very much for rational regulation of them.

Dr. Williams observed that “if it’s true that if all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target.”

The “control of the weapons trade is a start,” he said, towards ending the violence.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper-

Archbishop of Canterbury calls upon America to enact strict gun control: Anglican Ink, December 22, 2012 December 22, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Connecticut, Crime.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected the argument that “guns do not kill people, people kill people” stating the Connecticut school shooting was facilitated by the easy access to firearms permitted by U.S. laws.

In his final “Thought for the Day” broadcast as Archbishop of Canterbury on BBC Radio 4, Dr. Williams acknowledged that by itself gun control will not end violence, but their strict regulation would curtail it.

“A week after the horrific killings of the schoolchildren of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, most of us are still struggling to get our minds around such a nightmare,” Dr. Williams said, adding that “nearly 6,000 children and teenagers were killed by firearms in the USA in just two years.”

The problem of “gang culture” was not unique to America, he noted, but “in the US, the question is, of course, about gun laws, one of the most polarising issues in American politics.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

American church boycott of Starbucks begins: The Church of England Newspaper, February 17, 2012, p 6. February 23, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) has joined anti-gun activists and victim’s rights groups in calling for a boycott of the Starbucks chain of coffee shops in the U.S. to begin on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2012.

“While states have rightfully forbidden weapons inside taverns for decades, Starbucks is alone among major retail outlets in allowing customers to bring their gun(s) – open or concealed – into its coffee shops,” said the Rev. Jackie Lynn, EPF executive director.

For two years the Seattle-based chain of coffee shops has been the target of anti-gun activists after it refused to ban meetings of gun owners groups (with weapons) at the store’s California locations.  With over 17,000 stores in 55 countries, including over 12,500 in the United States, and over 700 in the United Kingdom as of 2010, Starbucks has sought to cultivate a progressive image and has advertised its support of green and fair-trade issues.

But the chain has declined to take a stand on gun control.  In a 2010 statement released after activists picketed the company’s Seattle headquarters, Starbucks stated that it recognized gun control aroused “significant and genuine passion” among its partisans, but added that it was unfortunate that “advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions.”

The company’s policy was that it complied “with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. In this case, 43 of the 50 U.S. states have open carry weapon laws. Where these laws don’t exist, we comply with laws that prohibit the open carrying of weapons. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.”

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue,” the company said.

The EPF found the company’s argument unpersuasive.  “We know guns and alcohol don’t mix. Why allow guns and caffeine? We stand with the National Gun Victims Action Council, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and many other groups working to reduce gun violence in the United States,” Ms. Lynn said.

The EPF said it would support the “multi-faith and secular boycott” until Starbucks “forbids weapons in their coffee shops noted now for a mellow ambiance within a favorite meet-up spot and casual web-surfing without the fear of saying the wrong thing to someone packing a Glock pistol who is at a neighboring table and finishing her third espresso.”