by Dr. Ed DeVries
As a young man, in the 1980s, Paul Blair was a local celebrity of sorts, when he played as an offensive lineman for Oklahoma State University. Then he made national news, when he was drafted by the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears. He had hoped to make national news again on Sunday, April 15th, when he led the Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma to host an “open carry” Sunday in recognition of the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Blair, who played for the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings from 1986-1990, became the pastor at Fairview in 2001 and quickly established himself as a leader of the “religious right.” He is a regular speaker at pro-life events. As the pastor of Fairview, he has preached several sermons during his 17-year tenure that were strongly supportive of conservative ideas and of the Second Amendment. This year, he led the church to actually practice what he had long been preaching.
There were approximately 350 people who attended the “Open Carry Sunday” services at Fairview with, according to Pastor Blair, “a substantial number armed.” When asked if there was any incident, Pastor Blair said, “No one was in any danger. In fact, it was the safest place in Edmond.”
In his opening comments for “Open Carry Sunday,” Pastor Blair, with a pistol holstered to his hip, reminded the congregation that America’s independence was born in a church yard. He told the congregation:
Although most are familiar with the midnight ride of Paul Revere, most aren’t aware that Revere was riding to Pastor Jonas Clarke’s house in Lexington. Two leading members of the Continental Congress, John Hancock and Sam Adams, were staying with Pastor Clarke. Early in the morning of April 19, 1775, the first shots for liberty were fired as the Minute Men of Lexington, led by Deacon John Parker and their Pastor Jonas Clark faced off against a vastly superior number of experienced British soldiers. We carry our arms to church this morning to honor their service.
Pastor Paul Blair @ Church with sidearm
In his sermon, Pastor Blair read Matthew 15:18-19, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies”
Commenting on the text, Blair said that, “Modern humanism says that man is the victim. If he didn’t have access to a gun, then murder wouldn’t occur. That’s not what the Bible teaches.”
He went on to say that: “Guns are not the problem; an immoral culture that denies God and His Word is the problem. We might as well blame cars for drunk driving, silverware for obesity and pencils for misspelled words.”
He concluded by saying that: “Twenty-three years ago in Oklahoma City, we saw terrorists use fertilizer and a rented truck to ruthlessly take innocent life. Over the past year, we have seen killers use trucks, bombs, cars, knives, clubs, guns and their bare hands. The common denominator is not the tool used, but the wicked heart of a man. However, modern politically-correct psychobabble wants to blame the sin on everything but the sinner.”
In answer to some neighboring liberal religious ministers who have been highly critical of Fairview’s exercise of their Second Amendment rights, Pastor Blair issued the following warning: “Read our nation’s history, even the history of the world, and you will see that religious liberty and civil liberty always walk in tandem. They go hand in hand. If either one stumbles, both will soon fall. If the Second Amendment falls, the First Amendment’s will soon follow.”
Pastor Blair went on to tell this reporter that, “Most Sundays, we exercise ourFirst Amendments rights to protect the Second and others. Sometimes, we exercise our Second Amendment rights to protect the First and others.”
You can read about Pastor Blair’s NFL career and political activities by visiting his personal website, http://paulkblair.com.
Dan Fisher, one of Oklahoma’s Republican gubernatorial candidates, has been highly criticized by the state’s news agencies for coming out in strong support of Fairview’s “Open Carry Sunday.” In response to Pastor Blair’s sermon he said simply, “Amen!, Amen!” When asked what he thought about “gun-toting preachers,” the gubernatorial candidate quoted Jesus, who told his Apostles in Luke 22:36, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Dan Fisher for Governor’s website is at https://fisherforgovernor.com/.