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A rector at a church in Australia sent a pointed message to the United States this week in the wake of the shooting deaths at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, The Washington Post reported.
On the marquee outside the Gosford Anglican Church, the Rev. Rod Bower posted the message, “When will they love their kids more than their guns.”
In a Facebook post of a photo of the billboard, Bower called the United States “a society destroying itself from within,” and “an empire in decline.”
“A culture that loves guns more than children has no future other than corruption, decline and death,” Bower wrote.
Australia’s gun laws are among the toughest in the world. The country’s Parliament passed strict gun control legislation in 1996, banning the possession, manufacture and sale of semi-automatic weapons except in “exceptional circumstances,” the Post reported.
There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since its gun control laws were passed, the Post reported.
In an interview last week with Radio New Zealand, Bower said the church should make statements about politics.
“Politics is simply the way we human beings organize each other. So yeah, I think everybody ought to be involved in politics,” Bower said. “Religious leaders have a responsibility, I think ethically and morally, to speak into the life of the nation.”
Bower did say, however, that while he believes the church “always should be involved in politics,” he added that it “should never be involved in government.”