Last month, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, wrote a letter that asked Americans to toss our Second Amendment rights aside and rally for peace.
He wrote, in part:
Let’s voluntarily set aside our rights in order to witness the truth that only peace, and never violence, is the way to build a free society that is lived concretely in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities, our nation and our world.
But, is becoming less dangerous, less capable of defending ourselves, the right path to societal peace?
The Cardinal’s viewpoint is clear: peace can only be achieved through a united commitment to nonviolence. To build a society without violence, we must voluntarily disarm, respect each other’s differences, and listen with open hearts.
It’s a beautiful idea, but in practice, does it strip us of necessary safeguards against oppression and tyranny? And beyond that, could it leave us defenseless in the face of everyday violence, unable to protect ourselves and our loved ones from truly violent offenders?
Enter Dr. Jordan Peterson’s interpretation of “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Peterson flips the script on the typical interpretation of “meek.”
Meek doesn’t mean weak or passive, according to Peterson. Rather, it describes those who are capable of force but choose to keep their weapons sheathed.
Watch this brief Youtube video to hear Peterson explain it:
So, the question becomes: Are we preserving peace by removing the capacity to wield force, or are we eroding our ability to protect ourselves and those we love?
The debate isn’t just about gun rights; it’s about balancing personal freedom with collective safety. It’s about maintaining the ability to protect ourselves while still fostering a society that’s safe and respectful of all its members.
Peterson’s stance implies a certain degree of responsibility and self-control: to be dangerous but not harmful.
Cardinal Tobin’s proposal is one of non-violence, urging us to be kind, understanding siblings of one human family.
In my opinion, I’m sure the Cardinal’s disarmament plea sounds noble to some. But in a world where people like Dahmer or Hitler exist, it’s not practical. Prayers won’t stop such villains. Good folks with the ability to fight back? That’s a different story.
“Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:38 ESV)