God’s Army Carries Guns and Enforces God’s Will
“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” There is a rich history of groups fighting for Christianity and for religious doctrine. A group of former police officers, soldiers, and concerned citizens are taking this literally in America.
They call themselves the “God’s Army.” Created by former NYPD detective Richard Tamayo, this group is patrolling the streets with police-type uniforms that read JESUS, carry weapons, and are designed “to protect and serve God’s Kingdom, by raising an army of missionaries that have taken to the city streets of the world, for God’s glory.” The group has around 50 members.
This group is similar to those like the Guardian Angels, but with a specific religious focus.
Not all the members of the group are armed. Some of their notable actions have been to use cameras to track abuse toward Christian undocumented workers in Arizona. Instead of supplementing local law enforcement, they seem to focus on providing additional support for Christians who are under threat. There have been no incidents of the organization clashing with police forces or abusing their role in communities.
However, the idea of an independent group of individuals carrying weapons and having a specific religious doctrine may create some unrest among some population members. It also seems like there is a bit of a double standard. If a Muslim group had a shirt that said “MUHAMMAD” and carried weapons around to protect Muslims, they would probably be arrested immediately.
The group seems to have a mix of approaches and the term “vigilante group” seems a bit of a misnomer. Additionally, the creator of the organization, who is also a pastor, seems to emphasis prior training of individuals in order to both carry firearms and to possibly avoid the type of problems that may be created by armed individuals enforcing their own interpretation of the law.
But at the same time, we are a nation of laws that are enforced by a secular police force. The danger of creating separate enforcement can lead to numerous issues. It can be modeled by other religious denominations to create their own police force, creating complications or possibly impeding police forces from doing their job. It can lead to the potential for discrimination or a lack of official oversight, which can make it a vehicle for some misguided individuals to use the organization to mask their own religious discrimination.
So if you see someone with a shirt that says JESUS and carrying a gun, they may be there to help you. That is, if you are a Christian.