Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad Timing

At best, it's just a case of horrific timing.

The picture is the latest cover of one my denomination's weekly magazines. We received it in the mail Tuesday. The point of the cover and article is how a church has used paintball as a way to get kids interested in the church who otherwise might never have stepped into a church.

Of course, with the Virginia Tech tragedy very much fresh in our minds, prayers and tv screens all I saw was an adult and a child, both smiling - both holding guns.

What is it with our country's love affair with guns? This is nothing fresh or new. I am not taking on any kind of new angle into the debate. In fact, I think
Bowling for Columbine was largely about the roots of America's obsession with guns.

I'm afraid that this is not the place to read anything profound on the topic and certainly I have no solution but I just had to write SOMETHING since that magazine came in the mail - and I am sure they are going to take a LOT of heat for it - and I've been home sick and channel-surfing and been stunned by just how much gun violence is on television.


St. Casserole said...

I agree with you.

When my OUTLOOK arrived, I was stunned to see the camo clad cover. Geez! I don't care if paintball does bring people to church: it involves HITTING! Is there no end to violence, no matter what the level it is?

Your post earlier about signs of the apocalypse stays with me. The VT situation if overwhelming to me. I think of my chaplain pal there who will have this event as the marker event of her ministry there.

Songbird said...

Perhaps it will raise conversation about what kinds of activities are appropriate for drawing children, youth and families to church. What is the theological case for paintball or bowling or you name it? (Not that I haven't taken youth bowling...)

will smama said...

st cass, I had a similar reaction and I have thought of your friend often.

I remember doing a lot of thinking about the programs that we offered when I was a Youth Director and why. I came up with because now it is up to the youth to decide whether they want to go to church or not whereas even for many in my generation, your parents brought you - it was not an option.

reverendmother said...

Though I hadn't made the connection (good call, ws), I was disturbed by the picture and the article.

And yet I also am thinking about the recent article in the Century about the "Why Men Hate Going to Church" thing. Is this some kind of corrective to the perception that church is too feminized? What *would* Jesus do? Ugh ugh ugh. I don't know. Can't they go rock climbing instead?

Lorna said...


oh and RM - miapappi (revgal) is a rock climber ... just so you know :)

Quotidian Grace said...

Paintball isn't a benign activity. A few years ago a young man was killed by a paintball gun while participating in an activity with his church youth group at a local "paintball arena" (a business like a bowling alley but for paintball indoors). Needless to say, our youth groups haven't done paintball since.

will smama said...

Wow, QG, I hadn't heard of that before.

I think I would have been surprised either way to see paintball on the cover - at least posing with guns - but certainly in light of the news this week it immediately impacted me.

Gord said...

war games at church???????

Who could think this is possibly appropriate?????????

THen again, as I think about some Presbytery and Conference meetings I have been at.....

Purechristianithink said...

I know a kid who came home from a paintball birthday party with bruises where the paintballs hit him.

I did take my old youth group to the Laser Tag place a few times, when that was new and they all wanted to do it--but I felt queasy about it.