Guns in church.
Few would guess it, but guns in church are a huge issue for religious gun advocates. In fact, it's so important that the Wisconsin Catholic Church has decided to weigh in.
And it wants parishioners to leave their guns at home. This is in spite of the state's new concealed weapons law.
That law is actually what prompted local bishops to speak out. On Monday, Wisconsin residents gained the right to carry concealed weapons. Some 80,000 applications were downloaded that morning alone.
Individual parishes will be allowed to choose whether or not to ban guns in church, according to Reuters. But the Catholic bishops wanted to remind attendees that churches are sacred spaces. In an official statement, they also stated that "violence, destruction, and murder are antithetical to the message and person of Jesus Christ."
State law does not ban guns in churches or other places of worship. But churches are private property and thus can require visitors to leave their weapons at home.
This decision did not have to be left to Wisconsin's churches, mosques, temples and synagogues. Concealed weapons laws in Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Dakota outright ban guns from religious sanctuaries.
However, Wisconsin may not have banned guns in churches because a number of these laws are facing legal challenges. In fact, the 11th Circuit heard oral arguments on Georgia's gun-church ban just last month. That lawsuit was brought on behalf of a Baptist reverend who wants gun protection during late nights at the church.
As strange as it is, guns in church seem to be the issue du jour.
- Thousands download applications on first day of Wis. concealed carry law (Associated Press)
- Gun Laws (FindLaw)
- New Louisiana Law Oks Concealed Guns in Church (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)