Watching the video below, I thought Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert was making an absurdist joke. Because no one is sure, the clip got more than a million views and some unwelcome attention online. Despite the fact that she was joking, Relevant Magazine, a Christian website, found it “pretty troubling.” MAGAs in Congress believe some comically absurd things, so it can be difficult to determine whether they are being absurd on purpose or by accident.
Boebert told an audience at the Charis Christian Center that “Twitter trolls” who advocate stricter gun laws “like to say: ‘Oh, Jesus didn’t need an AR-15. How many AR-15s do you think Jesus woulda had?’ Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”
The audience chuckled in response since Boebert was clearly joking. But as jokes go, it’s a pretty troubling one. We know from the Bible that Jesus agonized over the cross, pleading with God to “take this cup.” And yet, Jesus told Peter to put away his sword when the Romans came to arrest him, reminding him that “whoever lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” Of course, being one with God, Jesus hardly needed a sword (let alone an AR-15) to escape his fate, but he chose obedience out of his love for humanity. It wasn’t that he didn’t have enough firepower to defend himself. It was that he loved the world too much to put up a fight.
Jesus wasn’t the only biblical reference Boebert made at the event. She also addressed cancel culture, saying it “has been here since the very beginning. Cain canceled Abel. And guess what, it wasn’t with a big, scary AR-15, it was with a rock. So I don’t think it’s a firearm issue, I think it’s a heart, a sin issue.”
A strong advocate for gun rights, but one who sometimes borders on gun fanaticism, is another reason some perceive Boebert as being a bit serious. During congressional hearings, she displayed her AR-15s and photographed her 4 kids with assault rifles. She named her restaurant “Shooters Grill,” campaigned with a Glock on her hip, and displayed her Glock on the campaign trail.
If there is anyone who might believe that Jesus shot his way out of the Garden of Gethsemane, it would be her.
Michael Price is a Founder and editor for ThinkCivics. He has been writing about politics, government, and culture for over a decade. He has a BA in Political Science and an Masters in Public Administration.