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Guns and Christianity panel discussion set

Published 5:16pm Friday, January 11, 2013

The gun control debate has been one of most talked about topics in the nation in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in December.

Local leaders and personalities across Madison County plan to address the issue in an open panel discussion on Jan. 19 called “God vs. Guns: Faith, the Second Amendment and the Gun Control Debate” at 5:30 p.m. at First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville.

Discussion moderator Kenneth Anderson said that the panel hopes to bring together people of faith, Second Amendment advocates and everyone in between to seek common ground.

“As a community in the ‘Bible Belt’ we can come together and examine these issues,” he said. “People talk quite a bit about religion and also strong proponents of the Second Amendment.”

Many residents tend to be turned off when religious and political topics are discussed. However Anderson said that despite being created by The Rev. Debleaire Snell, pastor at First Seventh-day Adventist Church, the even is non-denominational or political.

“Pastor Debleaire began sparking the discussion of where Christians and guns go together among other topics last fall,” he said. “This discussion will be non-denominational, will not politically affiliated and is going to be a discussion that relates to humanity itself.”

Panelists include D. Scott McLain, managing broker, Coldwell Bank Commercial, David Person, USA Today Board of Contributors member and host of WEUPTalk, Dr. Kenneth Sullivan, clinical psychologist, The Hearth Psychology & Counseling Center LLC and Mike Brown, Consultant, MDB Consulting Agency.

Anderson said that the panel discussion will not be jumbled with rhetoric and that the sole purpose is to extend a discussion already going on and to come to a more peaceful solution to the debate.

“This is just an extension of a dialogue going on in society today,” he said. “People of faith are not only members of society but also gun owners as well. This will be a healthy environment and the goal is to find common ground and find practical discussion forums.’’

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