Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) joked this weekend about Jesus Christ using an AR-15 assault weapon to defend himself rather than face the Crucifixion.
Appearing at an event in Colorado Springs organized by the Charis Christian Center, Boebert said that “Twitter trolls” often challenge her about the contradiction between Jesus’ well-documented pacifism and her own support for gun rights.
“They like to say: ‘Oh, Jesus didn’t need an AR-15. How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?’” she said, to laughter in the crowd. “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”
By most reckonings, it’s unlikely Jesus would have tried to resolve the situation through violence even if he’d had modern weapons with which to do so. Actually, that’s sort of the point: Christians believe Jesus chose to die on the cross to free mankind from its sins, thereby allowing believers to ascend to heaven.
The Gospels ― the parts of the Bible’s New Testament that tell the story of Jesus’ life ― say Jesus allowed himself to be arrested by authorities and sentenced to death by the Roman official Pontius Pilate. When soldiers came to arrest him, Jesus told the disciple Simon Peter to put down a sword he wanted to use to defend him, and then healed the wounds Simon Peter had inflicted on a Roman soldier.
“Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword,” Jesus told Simon Peter, according to the Gospel of Mark.
“My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight,” he told Pontius Pilate during his trial, according to the Gospel of John.
Congress is in the midst of a renewed debate about gun control, following a racist massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and the slaughter of more than a dozen children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. While a bipartisan deal on gun violence is expected to attract significant GOP support in the Senate, House Republicans, including Boebert, have largely lined up against the compromise.