It appears Jerry Falwell Jr. may not be alone in the US in his enthusiasm for bearing arms.

Last Friday in his Convocation speech Falwell encouraged the student body at Liberty University to apply for a concealed carry permit, allowing them to pack heat along with their lunch when they go to school.

It turns out that guns are just part of the culture in Mr. Falwell’s world:

In 2013, Liberty amended its gun policy, allowing students to carry concealed weapons in all university facilities except residence halls. Falwell said the university allows concealed carry because “God forbid one of these maniacs ever shows up at LU, I want our students to have a chance to protect themselves.”

“It seems many of these terrorist attacks are carried out in gun-free zones,” Falwell told TheBlaze. “The victims in Paris were like lambs going into the slaughter because they had no way to protect themselves or shoot back.”

Some commentators naively assumed Mr. Falwell might get a little kick back on his enthusiasm for firearms. But, no, according Falwell’s report following his Convocation address,

“I’ve never received more support or a more positive response from anything I have ever said in Convocation before”.

And true blue bible-believing Americans like Todd Starnes are lining in defense of Falwell Jr.’s comments:

I stand with Jerry Falwell, Jr.

And like the president of Liberty University, I am proud to call myself a gun-toting, Bible-clinging American patriot.

According to Starnes Christians like him

are slow to anger.

Bible and GunBut, it turns out there are limits to tolerance and the limit has been passed. Starnes goes on,

Over the past few years we have seen the Islamic radicals wage jihad across the fruited plain. We have seen the jihadists spill American blood on American soil. They have terrorized our people — from Boston to Fort Hood to Chattanooga to San Bernardino.

We have watched as the jihadists beheaded our brothers and sisters in foreign lands. We have watched as churches have been destroyed, parishioners crucified.

Slow to anger, indeed. But there is anger nonetheless.

President Falwell’s admonition was made out of prudence, not anger. The enemy is now beyond the gate. They live among us.

And should the Islamic radicals wage jihad in your town — I suspect most Americans would want to share a foxhole with someone like Jerry Falwell, Jr. — armed with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other.

Fear rules. And frightened people take comfort in knowing that, when provoked they have in their pocket the power to shoot to kill.

I expect that, because they carry their Bibles proudly in one hand, Falwell and Starnes are aware that the phrase Mr. Falwell used to refer to the victims in the Paris attacks, is taken from Isaiah 53:7 and was used by Peter in Acts to describe Jesus who

‘Like a sheep was led to the slaughter,
   and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
     so he does not open his mouth. (Acts 30:32)

No mention here of taking up his sword to preserve his life. But, unlike those who look to handguns for their security, Jesus seems to have placed his faith in God. And Jesus, understood the wisdom expressed by Pope Francis who, seems intent on following the pattern of Jesus and has said,

Francis on Fear

There is no place for fear, violence, anger, hatred, revenge, or disrespect in the Bible I read. There is room only for a vision of God as “love” (I John 4:8). And, as far as I can tell, love perseveres with patience and openness for a long time before resorting to violence for self-protection.