27 December 2013

Guns in churches

When George W Bush became governor of Texas, he allowed people to carry guns in churches to protect themselves from the devil. Back then I found it completely absurd. And still I do.

I decided to look around and see what's up with guns and churches in the US. Here are a few findings.

(This posting is for the benefit of many non-American friends, especially Swedes, who doubt it when I tell them that religion and guns go hand  in hand.)

 Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church (New York Times, June 2009)

This guy is a pastor for the New Bethel Church in Louisville, KY and is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.” And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to “celebrate our rights as Americans!” as a promotional flier for the “open carry celebration” puts it. Rest of the story here.

Ark. House OKs bill allowing guns in churches (Fox News, February 2009)

The Arkansas House on Wednesday approved a bill allowing concealed handguns in churches, despite hearing arguments that lawmakers should put their faith in God, not guns.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, said she introduced the measure after a series of church shootings across the country. She said it would be up to each individual church whether to allow the concealed guns.
Pyle said at least 20 states have similar laws allowing churches to decide whether to permit concealed guns.
The rest of the story here.

Texas church offers firearms classes to defend against imaginary bands of Mexicans (AlterNet, December 2012)

The Times of London reports that several American  churches are now offering concealed firearms training in order to attract worshipers to their pews. One of these churches, Heights Baptist in San Angelo, Texas offers a particularly unusual reason why they are now training their parishioners to pack heat — in order to  prevent worship services from being disrupted by armed Mexicans: In Texas, where it’s legal to carry guns into any church without a specific no-firearms policy, Heights Baptist in remote San Angelo began offering concealed carry classes in June. The class was a response to security concerns among congregants. Pastor James Miller told NRA News:
“We’re about 150 miles from the border with Mexico and we’re very unsure about our insecure borders — about what’s coming into our cities.” 
“Personally, I feel more secure that should our worship time be interrupted by a life-threatening intrusion, that we would at least stand some kind of a chance in stopping either a mass killing or terrorizing experience.”
“Jesus advises his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. He instructed his people to be prepared to defend themselves.” 
Story here.

Guns in church (Huffington Post: a keyword search)

Guns In Church, The Debate Over Armed Preachers Heats Up 
Want A Gun? Go To Church
The Gospel Of Guns: How Churches Use Firearms To Attract New Members 
Louisiana Moves To Allow Armed Worshippers

When I lived in Texas I was afraid of people carrying bibles. I used to think that a bible in one hand is accompanied by a  gun in the other. I don't think I was wrong.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant