Church Cancels Gun Giveaway

Alternative title: The Downside of Trying to Be Relevant...
An Oklahoma church canceled a controversial gun giveaway for teenagers at a weekend youth conference.

Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event's organizers was unable to attend.

The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it’s a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

“We have 21 hours of preaching and teaching throughout the week,” Ross said.

A video on the church Web site shows the shooting competition from last year’s conference. A gun giveaway was part of the event last year. This year, organizers included it in their marketing.

“I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill,'” said Ross. “That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”

Ross said the conference isn’t all about guns, but rather about teens finding faith.
But you do know that they'll come for the guns, right? After all, that's what you're using to attract them.

HT to Street Prophets

7 comments:

cheesehead said...

O. My. Sweet. Lord.

Please tell me this is from the Onion. I'm begging you.

LutherPunk said...

According to the article and subsequent website, the church had a series of competitions for kids to compete in, including one for marksmanship. The gun to be given away - an AR-15 - is a pretty standard gun for these sorts of competitions. So, really, it is not all THAT strange given the context...

With that said, I have to admit to being a gun-owning, card-carrying member of the NRA. I just bought my 13 year old a new shotgun for small game hunting. Even with all that in my background, as a pastor, I can't say I would condone a gun giveaway as a promotion. I think the intent came from good motives, but really, who the hell gives away guns as a prize?!

Anonymous said...

Would I take my youth fellowship to an event that promotes a give-away like this? No and somehow I don't think the parents would allow it.
Would I attend the Catholic church who, every second and fourth Sunday after mass, draws raffle tickets for a $50 gas card? Good grief. Where are the marketing people? Who's in charge?

Coffeepastor said...

LP, I've read about churches giving away cars, iPods, and other extravagant gifts as marketing ploys. I see this mostly in that same light - another outrageous giveaway as part of a half-baked marketing scheme. Of course, a gun carries a much different stigma, whether safety is being promoted or not. And I'd ask the exact same question you would...a gun is one of THE most outrageous yet.

And I did think about my more NRA-friendly readers...many members of my own church are gun owners, and I know them to be nothing other than responsible with them. But still...is the church the place to be competing for such things?

LutherPunk said...

Hey, somebody is giving away gas cards? Where do I buy a ticket?!?!

A megachurch down the road from us gave away a car. A freakin' car!!! Of course, this is the same church that flies the Easter bunny in every year on a helicopter.

We can't compete with that...

Anonymous said...

They didn't sell the tickets. Everyone was given 1/2 if the ticket, other 1/2 placed in a basket. The priest drew out the ticket after mass.

Jeff Greathouse said...

My favorite from Alabama was when a yp in the area needed numbers to justify his worth ....

He spent $$$$$$$$ one night, everyone that came got a very nice MP3 playe.

Most of my students went to his group that night and then came back to ours *shakes head*