Aldi Evangelicals

Evangelize 1. to preach the Christian gospel to 2. to convert to Christianity 3. to preach the gospel; act as an evangelist
Those church goers not heading home after Sunday services usually end up at a restaurant or grocery store. The Aldi shopper’s tee shirt identified her as one of the latter. It read: “I am protected by the good Lord and a gun.” Her evangelizing may be a badge of honor to her. Then again, the tee shirt slogan could just be considered cool, provocative. A lot of tee shirts are sold because, like bumper stickers, they say what the wearer wants others to read (the wearer is the billboard promoting the message). Either way, for evangelicals evangelizing is an active verb. Such evangelizing was what got W elected and re-elected. The evangelical electoral clout appears to have subsided with B Rock’s two subsequent victories. Recently Focus on the Family’s James Dobson rather tepidly embraced the Trump campaign. Analysis finds this to be in line with current polling statistics swirling around the two presidential candidates. Dobson probably proclaimed Donnie as born again because it was less distasteful than being with her. An Independent Lens documentary, Armor of Light, shows national evangelical leader Rev. Rob Schenck wrestling with the Christian gospel, political conservatism, and his fellow evangelicals’ embrace of guns and the 2nd amendment. It is the conjunction “and” in the tee shirt slogan that tripped him up, instigating the documentary. The dictionary gives several uses and meanings for “and”. The initial definitions cover connectivity related uses, such as “with”, “as well as”, “in addition to” or “added to”, “then”, “also, at the same time”. The meanings expand after that as the usage changes from one specifically concerning connectivity. These latter usages are totally inappropriate for our tee shirt evangelist. “With, as well as, in addition to” work just fine in place of “and”. “Added to” doesn’t change the meaning. “I am protected by the good Lord then a gun” is an insightful substitution (in the event the good Lord is distracted or preoccupied by more pressing concerns). Finally, “also, at the same time” appears to give the most appropriate meaning for the Aldi evangelical’s usage of “and”. This is where Analysis uncovers a slippage with the meaning of “evangelize” and its contemporary American usage. The original dictionary definition definitely implicates Christian religious belief and the gospel. Any SCOTUS style strict textual interpretation of the gospel readily renders an absence of guns, let alone 2nd amendment. Yet as Rev. Rob Schenck showed, his contemporaries evangelize the importance of “the good Lord and a gun.” Aggressive marketing, resulting in the ever growing increase in gun ownership, coupled with the continuous rise in the value of Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger, etc. stock may have more to do with evangelicals obsessing on the security and reliability of a gun (in the event the good Lord may be distracted or preoccupied by more pressing concerns). It is also what these evangelicals currently evangelize. To preach the gospel of the 2nd amendment, to convert infidels to the everlasting salvation of gun ownership may likewise be more about something other than protection or security. It just may be about creating and maintaining believers faithfully and zealously committed to the gospel of individual property ownership- bought, paid for, “and” yours to do with as you please because you own it.

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