An outspoken and controversial Australian priest who makes a habit of bucking the norms of the religious establishment is speaking out against the gun culture that permeates throughout America.
In a message posted to his church’s billboard, the Reverend Rod Bower of the Anglican Parish of Gosford took a dig at the United States, saying, “WHEN WILL THEY LOVE THEIR KIDS MORE THAN THEIR GUNS?”
In a subsequent Facebook post, Rev. Bower laments the U.S. as a “society destroying itself from within,” and a declining empire that “can never be great again.”
“A culture that loves guns more than children has no future other than corruption, decline and death,” he added.
As The Washington Post points out, Rev. Bower comes from a country that has passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.
From The Washington Post:
Parliament passed strict gun control legislation in 1996, after a gunman opened fire in a Tasmania cafe, then hunted down more people in his car, killing a total of 35 and wounding several others. The National Firearms Agreement banned the possession, manufacture and sale of all semiautomatic firearms and pump-action shotguns other than in “exceptional circumstances,” notably military and police use. It also mandated that applicants wait 28 days from the time they obtain a permit to the time they buy a weapon.
Australia has not had a mass shooting, defined as five victims or more, since the law’s passage — a fact that many in the American media have repeatedly brought up, usually in the aftermath of another mass shooting in the United States.
Speaking to a New Zealand radio station last week, Bower said that he thinks the church should be more active in politics, not less.
“Politics is simply the way we human beings organize each other. So yeah, I think everybody ought to be involved in politics,” he said. “Religious leaders have a responsibility, I think ethically and morally, to speak into the life of the nation.”
“While I think the church always should be involved in politics … I think it should never be involved in government.”
Featured image via Kaye Harrison (PrecinctNews)