While the kids in America are busy being amazing, and making America seem to begin to question their current gun control laws, one church seems to be doing the exact opposite, and is telling couples to bring their semi-automatic rifles to a blessing ceremony this week.
A church in northeast Pennsylvania is telling couples to bring their semi-automatic rifles to a blessing ceremony next week.
The event is meant to give couples an opportunity “to show their willingness to defend their familiars, communities and nation,” The Times-Tribune in Scranton reported.
It will take place at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pa., on Wednesday.
“All of the weapons in the ceremony will be checked to make sure they are unloaded, with a zip tie so that no bullets can be inserted,” Sanctuary Church president Richard Panzer said in an email, according to the The Times-Tribune.
(Panzer goes on to suggest that if the teachers were armed, then “many lives could have been saved”. Because when you go to school, you expect your teachers to have an AR15 to compliment their standard teaching supplies.)
Thankfully some news outlets aren’t shy in pointing out that unification church is often referred to as a cult. (One of which is The Sun).
But I do worry that this can be easily spun as an another case of the church in America, (and as such The Church), being pro-gun… While anti-gun marches have names like “March For Our Lives”.
I cant help but think that an event like March For Our Lives, sounds like something the church in America should be getting behind?
The priest at St. Susanna, Father Stephen Josoma, told Boston 25 News that the move is aimed at getting people talking and stopping gun violence. “There’s cities, nursing homes, coffee shops, military installations, churches, theaters,” he said, noting the locations of mass shootings that have taken place across the country.
Josoma said the idea came after he and his parishioners were “discussing the gun control issue and how it seems to be stagnated across the country.” He went on to state that “this is not the picture of Christmas peace we want to have in people’s minds for years to come. It can’t be this forever, it just has to change.”
The signs sit underneath a banner which reads: “If you only knew the things that make peace.” The priest said he hopes they will encourage people to “look with an open mind and an open heart and continue the conversation.”
The signs have proven controversial online, with one person taking to social media to say that “mass shooters don’t deserve that kind of recognition. Church is for holy people. We should discard these monsters in active volcanos.”
It seems that Bible verses can be spotted in many places. Cards, “inspirational” posters, Bibles, and now… a rifle.
Whilst I’m sure that being an English guy living in England, means I’m going to struggle to understand why online gun shopping is a thing, let alone why there would be a Bible verse “laser engraved” onto it, I do wonder…
Why is this a thing?
It seems this gun also comes with (what looks like) a badge with a cross, and text saying “If God Wills It”.
A Florida gun maker has launched an ‘ISIS-proof’ assault rifle, complete with a Bible verse and a symbol of the crusades. The firearm boasts three settings – ‘peace,’ ‘war’ and ‘God wills it’ – and has been condemned by Muslim groups.
The ‘Crusader Rifle’ was “designed to never be used by Muslim terrorists,” and is inscribed with Psalms 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”
Made by Spike’s Tactical in Apopka, Florida, the gun is also inscribed with a Knight’s Templar Long Cross – a Christian crusader symbol.
“Off the cuff I said I’d like to have a gun that if a Muslim terrorist picked it up a bolt of lightning would hit and knock him dead,” Thomas said.
The firearm – which costs $1,395 – appears to be a popular choice. According to Spike Tactical’s website, the ‘Crusader Rifle’ is taking up to two weeks to ship “due to overwhelming media response.”
The gun is also being proudly sold at Florida Gun Supply, a store that recently came under fire for declaring the premises a “Muslim free zone.”
“It’s not because we want to have war. It’s because our desire is the same desire as everybody else – we want peace. But unfortunately, if we want peace, we have to prepare for war,” Florida Gun Supply owner Andy Hallinan told RT’s Ruptly agency.
An interesting looking read available from Amazon.co.uk. Here’s at least the first part of the description:
Pacifism is a rapidly growing weakness in the Body of Christ today. Hardly anything pleases Satan more. Pacifism systematically weakens the church, culling believers out of the world early, and reducing the number of Christians on earth. Today’s churches often have women teaching men and it’s not the women’s fault. It’s because men are no longer leaders. Men are no longer Godly. Men no longer read Scripture. Men no longer do the job that God ordained them to do. Nowhere is that lack of leadership more insidious than when a weak, pacifist Christian male says he will step in front of his wife if a rapist and murderer ever tries to attack her and instead of mounting a physical defense, he will quote Bible verses. The response of a Godly woman to that would be, “I’d rather be defended than be second in line to a murder.” * A Godly man stops violence. An unGodly pacifist prolongs it. * A Godly man protects his little baby from physical harm. An unGodly pacifist would never lift a finger because it’s much easier and safer to be pious than to be a father and risk injury. * A Godly man knows that self-defense is not violence but it might have to be violent. An unGodly pacifist is never happier than when Bible verses are quoted while the innocent are maimed. Does “turn the other cheek” mean what the pacifist (and many Pastors today) say it means? Does it mean we are not to lift a finger to stop the innocent from being harmed? What does God really say about self-defense? What did God have to say to Jesus’ disciples who were packing weapons? (“Go get a few more.”) Sitting in a nice church building all fat and happy makes it easy to sit back and adopt a touchy-feely, girly, phony Biblical pacifist worldview in males. God has other things to say. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us both in the Heavenlies and on earth. The entire Bible is a battle manual.
The rest of the description… and the book itself (including the free Kindle version) is available from Amazon.co.uk.
The churches seek to draw in young “unchurched” men who are passionate about hunting and their second amendment rights. The Courier-Journal described the atmosphere at these events as a mix between a political rally and a prayer meeting.
“We have found that the number of unchurched men who will show up will be in direct proportion to the number of guns you give away,” McAlister said to the Courier-Journal. He claims that 1,678 made “professions of faith” at some 50 events last year, most of which took place in Kentucky.
Not all churches approve of this tactic for spreading Jesus’ word. Rev. Joe Phelps, pastor of Louisville’s independent Highland Baptist Church, commented, “How ironic to use guns to lure men in to hear a message about Jesus, who said, ‘Put away the sword.'”
Pastor Nancy Jo Kemper of New Union Church in Versailles called the events a “travesty,” adding, “How terrible it would be if one of those guns given away at a church were to cause the death of an innocent victim.” She said that the giveaway verges on bribery and “makes a mockery of what evangelism, to my way of thinking, ought to be.”
McAlister defends his gun-promoting strategy as simply, “affinity evangelism,” with hunting as a hook to catch Kentucky men. “So we get in there and burp and scratch and talk about the right to bear arms and that stuff,” he said.
I wonder what else churches could give away to attract people? Swords, to attract fans of sword fighting? Unstable nuclear material to attract people curious about bomb making? Helium balloons to fans of people with funny voices?
A few days ago, the Church Sofa lads were chatting about the possible things that may worry people about a Sunday church service. Whilst we were wondering if people were concerned if they would sit on a pew, or a chair, we decided to ask a random sample of people what worried them about a Sunday morning church service.
The list of results, were found to be intriguing and shocking:
Do I really have to be nice to my neighbor?
Strength of tea
After the service, do I go to the super market around the corner, or the one down the road?
Going to sleep during the first chorus.
The Church Warden.
Getting back ache from the pew.
Strength of communion wine.
Have I turned my phone on silent?
Does my neighbor have a bigger and better gun on him then I do?