As previously reported, last month Arkansas adopted the Church Protection Act that removes the absolute ban on carrying handguns in houses of worship and leaves the decision on who may carry a concealed weapon into a church up to each congregation. The Arkansas Times reports this week that the change has been greeted with mixed feelings.
Faith Assembly of God minister Nic Horton says that the new law will allow smaller, rural churches to provide security by arming a few specific trusted parishioners. He says that allowing churches to make that kind of decision is "the real meaning of the separation of church and state." However Presbyterian minister Marie O'Connell has a different perspective. She complains:
I have to take time out from pastoring and teaching and preaching to work on an issue that was a non-issue before the government decided they wanted it to be an issue. It's a perfect example of society imposing on religion, and religion having to consider: What does this mean? What does this mean for what I believe?"