Ben Witherington has been giving waffling answers on gun ownership. Sometimes he takes a hardline pacifist position:
Me personally I don’t think Christians should ever use lethal force against another human being, but that’s just my view.
At other times he denies that he was advocating a total ban on the private ownership of guns.
But here’s another plot twist:
Hi Ray: I am indeed saying no gun toting of concealed weapons in public. I’m saying fine to have them at home, but not in a public place, not in a restaurant, not in a theater, not at the car wash etc. Why not?…Secondly, I don’t believe in public deception, which is what this amounts to, and is not a Christian position.
i) Deception and concealment are not interchangeable. Sometimes concealment is deceptive, but sometimes not.
If the window in my bathroom is opaque, is that deceptive? If I have curtains in my bedroom, is that deceptive? Is privacy deceptive?
ii) BW3 is also assuming, w/o argument, that deception is not a Christian position. But that’s disputable. For instance:
iii) What about off-duty policemen who carries a concealed revolver. Is that unchristian? What about an FBI agent who carries a revolver under his suit jacket. Is that unchristian? What about sky marshals who dress like civilians and carry concealed revolvers. The whole point is to blend in with the other passengers. Is that unchristian? What about an unmarked police unit. Is that unchristian?
iv) Moreover, there’s such a thing as military deception. For instance:
If BW3 takes the position that deception is never a Christian position, then this is a supporting argument for pacifism. But in that case he needs to come clean about his wholesale objection to self-defense.
BW3 has a habit of speaking off-the-cuff with great confidence. He makes snap judgments without considering the counterarguments. He speaks with great moral conviction, but he doesn’t put the intellectual effort into acquainting himself with the issues or thinking through his position. He’s a moral charlatan. Think before you speak. Do a little research. Anticipate counterexamples.