Members of the Seventh-day Adventist church family mourn all loss of life, but especially cry out against mass violence such as took place last night in Thousand Oaks, California, very close to our headquarters for the western United States, the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Our hearts are shattered for those who lost family and friends last night and for those who will suffer greatly as a result of this senseless violence.
As a family of faith, we pray for healing for all who have been affected. But as much as our prayers go up and our hearts go out to those who have been devastated by this horrific event, we cannot stop there.
We call on our fellow communities of faith and the clergy who lead them to provide a comfortable, safe environment in which people can grieve and recover. We ask them to help facilitate the difficult conversations that can no longer be put off — conversations about why this is happening and how the violence that is wracking our country can be addressed.
As a faith community that convenes in public worship and service, we call on our national and local leaders to do better at keeping the rights of individuals secure by ending the threat that weapons of mass murder pose to all.
We believe that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). May this be true for all those grieving and saddened at this time of loss.
Daniel R. Jackson, president, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Ricardo B. Graham, president, Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Velino Salazar, president, Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
This statement originally appeared on the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists website.
There is a politician who physically hit, assaulted someone (a journalist I believe). Trump, at a rally a few days ago referred to that politician as “My kind of guy.” Isn’t it a green light from the President of the United Stated of America allowing and encouraging the use of violence against other people?
With this kind of leadership in the WH, we can expect many more victims of violence. Hopefully none of us or our families will be in that crowd. Because then, receiving “thoughts & prayers” won’t help much!
Many churchgoers don’t care what the bible advises.
“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” 1 Pet 2:17
I left work later than usual last night and saw a whole bunch of anti-Trump protestors, at a busy intersection… and several police vehicles were around to make sure things didn’t get too far out of hand.
So many naïve , ignorant, media victims play back seat driver, Monday morning quarterback and have no idea how sensitive & complex running a country of over 300 million people with a complex economy, political, social, mess that has to be dealt with.
Even God can not fix an individual, family, country or planet like this without their cooperation.
Considering the number of bartenders in the Country, I think that the NRA will be immensely happy with your suggestion. They will actually suggest an AK47 instead of a mere shotgun; it’s more effective (… to their bank accounts, which is the only thing that actually matters…).
But, if they want this approved by the politicians, they better hurry up, it needs to be passed still this year. Because after Jan 3rd, things are going to change radically; the party will be over! So said the people.
In order to resolve (or at least ameliorate) this serious problems we need the concurrence of several fronts. Nobody is exempt of responsibility. I mentioned the President because I can envision the power of a decent President who would show good character in working hard (along with the Congress… - good luck!) to at least control the sale of firearms with background checking, being strong on the mental health issue, and prohibiting having an arsenal at home. This would be great, a good start at least.
But, for such a thing to happen, we first need a President who does not endorse violence, who does not support leaders in other countries that use violence against their own people (ex., Russia), a President who has a good character and mental stability. I am not sure how close we are right now to such conditions…
I am personally against the 2nd amendment, because it is vague. Having a pistol for self defense is one thing, and should be very strictly regulated for cases where endangerment can be demonstrated. I don’t have a firearm, I don’t need one, I don’t want one. What for, if not just to shoot people?..
But, on a second thought, I am thinking of buying a firearm now. A military tank, to park it on my front yard, so that nobody will ever thing about messing with me. Legal, and effective!..
The problem isn’t the guns, it is the mental health of the person using one. That ex-Marine was mentally ill. Some say he had severe PTSD, which is just a pre-existing mental condition that has been exacerbated by the experience of combat. Millions of soldiers in previous generations have fought and returned home to live normal lives without suffering it before, so PTSD is a modern problem not seen before on the current scale. It is also a deeply spiritual problem where a growing faith in God helps people learn to deal with their root problem(s) that have been compounded by the experiences of war.
The vast majority of guns in America (99.99%) are owned legally and used safely for sporting purposes or personal defense so saying weapons are a threat is a falsehood written in bright neon because it is the user who decides if and when a gun is fired, not the gun. So our problem is with the users. The crime rate is low in large areas where significant numbers of homeowners are armed and criminals know that breaking into a home is at the risk of losing their life. It was the arrival of good guys with guns that put an end to the carnage at that night club, But in areas where gun ownership is low, such as in areas of Chicago where years of gun control laws have kept the law-abiding from defending themselves, the carnage continues on a large scale because the criminals do not fear that their potential victims will defend themselves.
There you go again, mixing whatever issue is current with your Trump Derangement Syndrome.
No, the 2nd Amendment is not vague. It ends with a clear statement that the rights of the citizen to keep and bear arms “shall not be abridged.” Even devoted Democratic law professor Alan Dershowitz says it that is the most specific statement in the entire Constitution.
So you don’t believe you need a firearm? That’s OK. That is your choice. A whole lot of your fellow citizens have decided to own and carry in compliance with the law. Please, be fair and give them the same level of respect that you expect them to give you and your opinions. However, given your disrespect for President Trump, I have my doubts about your ability to do that.
i think there is a minor level of truth in this belief…but the larger level of truth, it seems to me, is the fact that all countries in the world presumably have the same levels of mental illness, and yet it is only in america that mass shooting are occurring on a regular basis…are we to believe that only america isn’t managing it’s cases of mental illness properly…
i think a more natural conclusion takes a look at the fact that only in america do people own guns in such astounding amounts…i recently drove through idaho and was shocked to see gun shops at the stop light intersections of almost roads i was driving on…i mean when you see more gun shops than mcdonald’s outlets, it’s a little hard to believe that this easy access to guns, unique in the world, isn’t related to regular mass shootings, which are also unique in the world…
Obviously, you’ve been swallowing the anti-gun rhetoric for a while because the belief that only America has mass shootings on a regular basis is just flat-out false. There are plenty of other countries where the levels of gun violence are far higher and mass shootings are more frequent. There are several reasons for this including a regulated news media that is prevented from reporting about them (India, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Laos, Bangladesh, Greece, Romania, Norway and Sweden being examples) or there just is no reporting or record-keeping to document them (numerous countries in Africa). Even the belief that Australia cut its’ murder rate by banning guns is untrue. The murder rate did go down for about the first year after the ban but quickly rose to the previous rate because people turned to using other weapons like knives, axes, shovel handles, hammers and golf clubs.
The advocates of gun control want you to believe the world will be safer without guns when statistics show the exact opposite because where the sales of guns and handguns, in particular, goes up is when you see crime rates dropping. How that happens is quite simple: criminals don’t want to take the risk of getting killed while burglarizing a home or business. I recently read about one neighborhood in Chicago, the “Murder Capital of America,” where several law-abiding citizens bought guns for personal defense and began shooting back at the gang members terrorizing the area. The result? According to police statistics the number of shootings in the area has been dropping steadily over the past six months.
Responsible gun owners don’t go looking to commit murder, the mentally ill do.
As for our mental health care system,I will tell you from my experience dealing with a daughter who is mentally challenged that we need a better mental health care system in America. We need hospitals where the severely mentally ill can live safely and receive the care they need so they are not a threat to society. We had such facilities before Liberals forced the shutdown of all but a limited number of facilities caring for the most severely mentally ill.
Here’s something for you to think about: America probably would not exist as the independent nation it is today if it were not for private gun ownership because two thirds of the weapons used by soldiers in the Colonial Army were personal hunting rifles. The Continental Congress did not have the funds to pay for the manufacture of enough weapons so they paid soldiers to bring their own, in part because those rifles were more accurate at greater distances than the rifles issued to soldiers. During that war the British sent a force south from Ontario to try and attack the Colonials but they were stopped by soldiers who felled trees across their path so their wagons had to stop, which made them targets for snipers in trees who shot at the British with their personal hunting rifles from distances greater than the best British weapons could reach.
Things like that are where the “well regulated militia” statement comes from. Has the situation changed? Definitely. But if you read the discussions about what became the Second Amendment in the Federalist Papers you will find that the larger concept supporting the Second Amendment is the right of citizens to protect themselves from the illegal and overbearing actions of an oppressive government. The authors of the Constitution had long, personal experience with the British arbitrarily seizing land and taking the food stores people had saved to eat until the next harvest, and even killing people who protested without fear of being held accountable. The argument can be made that we don’t have such a government today but we have come perilously close. For example, a few years ago there was a standoff in Nevada between federal agents and a small army of heavily-armed citizens who were defending a rancher who was the victim of an arbitrary and oppressive government agency. (The Bureau of Land Management was ignoring a legal lease on the land and trying to given the land to a rare-earths mining company, one of whose owners was the son of then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid.) Many of the weapons the citizens carried were higher-powered than what the agents carried and the prospect of a bloody confrontation forced the government to back down. The situation was finally resolved in court in favor of the rancher, but if it hadn’t been for armed citizens it would have turned-out differently.
I hear you! What has changed? The biggest thing I see is the way Liberalism has been teaching that you are not responsible for your decisions because you are a victim of what others have done or are doing to you. That is contrary to the teachings of scripture where we clearly see that God holds each of us responsible for our decisions and actions.
I agree with that. Not a lot of accountability, it’s always the fault of someone else.
Another thing is how parenting has changed. The home is now “child-centered”. It seems that the parents are ruled by their children, rather than the parents setting the rules and having expectations that the child should obey the parents. This very short article addresses what I’m referring to:
It’s a whole different ball game today on almost every front. Raising kids now is much more difficult, I think. So many negative, pernicious influences to deal with, and the influences are in all areas. I don’t believe in raising kids in a sterile environment, that’s not healthy, but now the environment is so much more toxic.
Yes, I do not support the right of civilians to possess heavy firearms, or an huge arsenal of arms in general. But, I am aware that the law allows it.
Trump: that’s correct, I have no respect for a person who behaves and speaks as he does. For me he does not represent the traditional American values - much less any Christian value. He was just lucky that there is an Electoral College system in place here, not a true democratic system.
I am a supporter of a straight Democratic system of election, in which manipulation can be very restricted. Demo = people. Majority of the population choosing their leaders, not minorities - this is what I support.
Enthusiasts of this total freedom to possess arms change their minds quite quickly when one of their own is executed with no reason. Yes, mental health is a major issue, but not the only issue. By the way, the honorable POTUS has done nothing so far to help with this issue. Well, he can always send “thoughts & prayers,” so… why would he do anything about it?
There are plenty of examples, other countries, where the law became very restrictive an crime declined. Apparently, for some people, decline in crime is not as important as having AK47s.
These are my positions on these issues. I understand that many people do not agree with my thoughts, and there is nothing wrong with it.
I also hope that it will be noticed that I was able to describe my thoughts without using the word “you” one single time. Not once. Which, for many people, is also a big challenge!
Come on Jeremy… don’t you understand how many dangerous people live in those areas? This why they have to be so heavily armed, their lives are constantly endangered. It must be very stressful living in those places…