Luis Sosa had a question. And then another. And before long, the 20-year-old pharmacy student in Puerto Rico had several different questions in his head, which made their way on to his twitter profile, each as an “open question to all U.S. Christians”. One night two weeks before Christmas, Sosa blasted a tirade of ten taunting tweets on twitter in twenty minutes, each one posing a distinct one-sentence question to ALL United States Christians.
The thought-provoking questions, which even challenged the U.S. Constitution, touched on a range of topics: racism, gun control, immigration, religion, politics, and climate change. In an exclusive interview with the movement to End Stand Your Ground, Sosa said he wanted to address his questions “mostly to young, maybe college-aged Christians like me, so they could really analyze if their current world view aligns with Jesus’.” Sosa described the response he received from the twitterverse as tepid.
Sosa said he has traveled to the mainland and has a desire to come here, but he said, “I found these sorts of things disturbing in the U.S. Christian community:
being overzealous with guns, carrying guns in church, talking about killing trespassers, denying climate change, bailing out big business because socialism is ‘of the devil’, the confederate flag ‘worship’, even slavery and institutionalized racism in the past, and these things really irked me to the point where I was asking myself: ‘Why do they believe this?’.”
Perhaps thinking of a recent article on how Australia had instituted gun reform around the time he was born, Sosa began by taunting Christians in America about gun control:
During the interview Sosa told me, “Gun law here is rather strict, and a judge from the Circuit Court of the municipality of Salinas declared Law 404 unconstitutional according to the FEDERAL (U.S.) Constitution, but it is currently in (the) appeals process. I fear that things may get more violent here if the regulations are eliminated.”
Earlier this year, in response to a lawsuit brought on by gun advocates, Puerto Rico’s commonwealth court abolished all its regulations and licensing for firearms, making it legal to do, well – just about anything you can legally do with a gun.
Sosa has strong feelings on gun control, and said “I believe gun laws should answer to common sense, common sense being that no law-abiding citizen needs an automatic rifle. Common sense being that the only excuse to shoot someone is in the presence of very real and mortal danger. Common sense in that mass shootings are not just because of “mental health problems”. Common sense in that legal background checks should be instituted to buy a small magazine handgun under a .38 caliber after an appropriate waiting period.”
In 2014 Puerto Rico had its lowest homicide rate in 15 years.The island had 681 homicides in 2014, down from 1,164 three years before, according to Fox News. The decline in gun deaths did not go unnoticed, and ironically, is not attributed to any surge in gun sales, but partly to efforts by the FBI to take charge of cases involving armed felons.
One particular question that caught my attention was about “stand your ground” laws.
Sosa pointed out that one instance in the New Testament where a Christian ‘stood his ground’ was when Peter attacked one of the soldiers arresting Jesus, yet Jesus did not praise Peter for it, but reprimanded him (Matt 26:52).
Sosa said that, “Republicanism does not have as much of a stronghold (here) on Christianity as in the States; we may be morally conservative, but in regards to guns and economy, we have a true ‘smorgasbord’: Socialists, Democrats, Capitalists, Republicans, heck, even some Communists for good measure. We do not let our political ideologies influence our faith; we let our faith influence our political ideologies.” Sosa’s other tweets implicated Donald Trump, racism, and climate change.
In his final tweet of the series, Sosa gave the touching reason for his twitter tirade:
(By the way Luis – we U.S. Christians are sometimes confused also.)
We’d be extremely interested in answers to any of these questions. They’re still open. Please feel free to leave your answers below. Luis is still waiting.