Vox Day turned my attention to Rev. Robert Schenck: the founding president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, co-founder & president of the National Clergy Council, member of many NGO charities, an on-call member of the U.S. Senate Chaplain’s Pastoral Response Team [all per Wikipedia], a professional gun-banner and a race perjurer. [GQ’s two additions]
Schenck started out as a Jew and converted to Christianity in his teens. Okay so far, Messianic Jews are a thing, but then he converted to Reganism and later converted again to banning guns. I use conversion here in the religious sense because Schenck used it in the religious sense during this interview with NPR:
‘My Third Conversion’: Rev. Rob Schenck On Why He Took On Gun Control
Reverend Rob Schenck was once a high-profile figure in the militant battle against abortion, a master of provocative tactics such as displaying fetal remains and blocking clinics. Now, though, he’s parted ways with many fellow evangelical ministers and taken his pro-life message to the fight to reduce gun violence. … I asked what he and his brother were looking for when they converted.
ROB SCHENCK: You know, I think – as all people do – I was looking for meaning, something beyond the kind of two-dimensional existence that we all share. I was looking for some contact with the transcendent, with something beyond ourselves. But I was just as much looking for a surrogate family because at the time, my family was dysfunctional. And there was a lot of conflict and tension in my family. And it kind of left me feeling like I didn’t have a communal anchor.
So a Churchian, not a Christian. Not once while researching him did I find a declarative statement of faith in Christ Resurrected. He was ordained by Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination and once of the easier paths to ordination. However, he seems to identify primarily as a Methodist-Episcopal, from whom he received an honorary degree later in life. Pretty shallow theological roots.
But I digress.
SCHENCK: You know, I set up [my memoir “Costly Grace”] in three conversions. There was my first conversion to Christ, the Jesus I met through the Sermon on the Mount – this very compassionate, empathetic soul. And then I had a second conversion, and that was to what I call Reagan-Republican religion. And during that phase, I really lost that dimension of Jesus that empathized with others, that felt the anguish of others. And I had to be brought back to it. And that’s the story of my third conversion. … And those things, as well as others, would pull me across the finish line on calling into question my own evangelicals community’s passion for second amendment, unfettered gun rights. I thought that was really the sign of a deep spiritual failing in our community.
His third conversion was just in time to become a Never-Trumper. That seems to have happened a lot in Republican circles around 2015. Read more of the interview and make your own assessment.
A remarkably consistent theme in his biographies is upholding the Ten Commandments. Christians aren’t required to obey them along with the rest of the Mosaic Law… come on, they were brought down the mountainside by Moses himself. TWICE. They’re totally Mosaic Law. However, many “Judeo-Christians” absolutely worship them. I think that’s why Schenck made a big deal of them also, because it was a point his Jewish heritage and Christian pseudofaith could agree on.
As always, the critical point about Judeo-Christianity is that the Jews murdered Christ.
The Sojourners Article
In several places, I found an anecdote of Schenck’s that prompted my accusation of race perjury. The most complete version is in this article from Sojurner’s Magazine:
Should Christians Own Guns?
SITTING AT A DINING-ROOM TABLE full of fellow evangelical pastors, I asked how many were “carrying” (a euphemism for being armed with a concealed handgun). They all raised their hands. Then I asked, “What determines when you draw your gun and prepare to shoot another human being?” There was awkward body language and mumbling. After a few seconds passed, one older man said, “I’ll tell you what determines whether I draw the gun or not. It’s the man’s skin color.”
I was left speechless by the pastor’s jarring, blatant racism. Still, as respectfully as possible, I asked him to please clarify what he meant.
“Well, we got a big city nearby, and, you know, the black people there are always killin’ people. Now, if a colored man comes into this county, I know he means trouble because he knows he doesn’t belong here. That makes him more dangerous than a white man. That’s why I’d pull my gun.”
The man who was speaking, and the others nodding their heads in agreement, are my colleagues. I am one of them when it comes to a statement of faith—but not when it comes to race and guns.
This is total fucking bullshit. A complete lie, a FALSE FLAG to serve Reverend Schenck’s political ambitions. A roomful of white male clergy are all carrying concealed to a dinner party and ALL admit, with no dissent, that they carry specifically to kill “colored people” if they’re found where “he knows he doesn’t belong here”? Zero credibility. Even in its bad days the Deep South, where I presume this “story” took place, was never known for middle-aged white men gunning down random colored people for being “where they don’t belong”. If one single skinhead did that one single time, it would be national news.
Rev. Schenck is a bald-faced, race-baiting liar.
This is why I’m deeply concerned about American evangelicals. I believe the increased presence of firearms among American evangelicals, including pastors that are now armed in the pulpit and ready to shoot into the congregation if necessary, signals a serious moral crisis in the church. Those who should be all about the good news of God’s saving love for humanity are instead being led astray by a popular gun culture that contradicts the teaching and model of Jesus and the apostles.
Schenck claims to be worried about clergy opening fire on their own congregations from the pulpit… why? Has that happened one single time in the American Church’s history?
White evangelicals, as a subgroup, have one of the highest rates of gun ownership and are least likely to support any type of gun regulation. We are also overwhelmingly Republican and politically conservative, making us particularly good recruitment prospects for pro-gun affinity organizations and lobby groups.
RAYYYYYCIST! Call the SPLC! The FBI! The Clinton Foundation! But I repeat myself….
This pro-gun enthusiasm presents us with a temptation to abandon our faith in the one true God and trade it for a neo-pagan, fear-driven, earth-bound religion. This theological crisis is why I agreed to become one of the subjects of a documentary film exploring evangelicals and the gun-culture phenomenon. Since its release in 2015, The Armor of Light, by director Abigail Disney, has been screened at film festivals and in theaters and churches, and it is part of a PBS primetime Independent Lens series on faith, deceit, guns, and power.
This appears to be a popular movie in certain circles. I haven’t seen it myself so can’t comment.
Again, there’s much more to be read in the linked article.
In another interview with NPR, this one in 2015, Schenck gives what I believe to be the closest-to-honesty reason for his gun-banning attitude.
On whether or not he owns a gun and why
I do not … on principle; I’ve made the decision not to own a weapon. There’s a lot of reasons for that. One is, I think it does create an ethical crisis for a Christian. Secondly, I don’t necessarily trust myself, and maybe more of us would be better off to question what we will do in the heat of anger, fear, or God forbid, depression. My own family has a history of gun suicide due to depression. I know depression runs in families, and I don’t want to take that risk.
A compelling reason I’ve heard why liberals fear gun-owning conservatives is that liberals tend to have severe anger- and impulse-management issues. If your average Trigglypuff carried heat then she’d be painfully tempted to use it at every perceived outrage. Naturally, she assumes everybody else is as deranged as herself. Thankfully not, but part of the damage that results in liberalism is believing that you’re the best of humanity. How can a Trump supporter be trusted with a gun if a guy as great as YOU can’t be trusted?
But that directly implies that Rev. Schenck is a liberal who infiltrated the Republican party in the aspect of moral & Christian guidance. Whether that’s true or not, Rev. Schenck today clearly twists Scripture into a violated-theology weapon of disarming white male Christians.
And closing on a fun note:
Leading evangelical spokesman, the Reverend Dr. Rob Schenck (pronounced “Shank”), a long-time Christian minister to top government officials in Washington, DC, and president of The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, appeared on Fox News Fox & Friends today to commend decisions by retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart for their change on gun sales.
Dick’s Sporting Goods will no longer sell high capacity, rapid-fire, semi-automatic rifles and Walmart has raised the purchase age for all guns to 21. Rev. Schenck, who holds an NRA life membership and votes on nominees to its board of directors, said today these actions are “morally courageous, highly ethical, and socially responsible decisions.”
He went on to say, “There is no need for these battle-field inspired weapons . . . they are the guns of choice for mass murderers and terrorists.”
Schenck adds to his televised comments, “I agree with the call by Dick’s CEO Edward Stack to outright ban assault style weapons. There are plenty of options for sports shooting and hunting. The AR15, AK47, Bushmaster, and other high-capacity, rapid-fire, semi-auto long guns are designed to hunt humans, not animals. They are fast becoming the weapons of choice for mass murderers and terrorists.
“In states like Arkansas, hunters understand this. For Duck hunting, you are limited to three rounds in your chamber. Add a fourth bullet when hunting a duck, and your gun will be confiscated, your hunting license will be revoked, you may even have to surrender your truck. Hunters understand that these restrictions are in their best interest.
“Why do we accept limitations on duck hunting, but not on human hunting? You can use three bullets to hunt ducks, but you can use an unlimited number of bullets to hunt humans. That’s supremely immoral.”
Heh, “fully loaded” must be cop-talk meaning “four bullets”. And supremely immoral! With apologies to Monty Python, “Three shells shalt thou have in thine shotgun, not four, not two, save that thou thenst jacks in a third, unless thine shotgun be’s a double-barrel shotgun…”