Why do people who claim to be “pro-life” oppose stricter gun laws?

January 30, 2013

“When Patriarchy Trumps Theology”
Carol Howard Merritt, in her Tribal Church blog for the Christian Century puzzles over the contradictory thinking of those Christians who claim to be strongly for life and yet object to stricter gun laws. “How can this be?” she asks, “If life is the most important thing in a political and theological belief system, why would you support the death penalty, support wars, and oppose gun violence prevention?” (italics hers). Read why she believes patriarchal beliefs about male headship might provide the clue to understanding the puzzle. Merritt says, “Because Evangelicalism was so closely tied to patriarchy, I left the Evangelical movement. Yet, I still identify as ‘born-again.’ Being ‘born again’ reminds me of a Holy Spirit Mother who gives birth. It reminds me of the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit broke the bonds of patriarchy, so that women and girls began to prophesy and see visions.”

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.