A Pennsylvania church founded by the son of religious leader Sun Myung Moon held a blessing ceremony for AR-15 rifles today.
“You have been raised up from Brutality, to kill the Brutals who multiply, and are legion,” explained Tim Elder, director of world missions. “To this end, Zardoz your God gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good!”
Whereas most religions seek to pacify their congregations, “the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals,” he continued. “Go forth, and kill! Zardoz has spoken.”
I am making up the quotes, of course, or rather stealing them from a very weird movie starring Sean Connery that seems very prescient these days.
But the ceremony really happened today in the “World Peace and Unification Sanctuary.” I am not making any of that part up.
In fact, the Associated Press had a photographer there, and a whole public school nearby was shut down for the entire day because we are living in a dystopian future where ignorance and violence are the true American gods.
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) February 28, 2018
Located in Newfoundland, the alleged church espouses a belief that assault rifles are the literal fulfillment of the “rod of iron” prophecy in the Book of Revelation. This is the part I am not making up.
Mr. Elder “told worshippers the ceremony was meant to be a blessing of couples, not ‘inanimate objects,’ calling the AR-15 a ‘religious accoutrement,” the AP reports.
And such lovely couples they were!
Before the ceremony, congregants reverently presented their heavenly weapons to a latter-day Levite for inspection. Only firearms deemed clean and well-intentioned are allowed inside the sacred safe space.
Some worshippers are arriving with assault-style rifles that are being checked for live ammo and zip tied. One woman had to return a clip to her vehicle at Sanctuary Church blessing ceremony @WNEP pic.twitter.com/Q2uNXCeB39
— Jim Hamill (@JimHamill) February 28, 2018
Then it was time for a patriotic drag show!
Then there was a cosplay contest, with the winners crowned king and queen! Okay, I am making things up again. But I am not making up this picture! These are people who actually exist.
To be clear, this was all very serious business. Such ceremonies protect all of us from the satanic radio waves that turn godless video game and movie enthusiasts into mass shooters.
But 41-year-old Sreymom Ouk — who attended the ceremony with her husband, Sort Ouk, and came with their AR-15 — said the weapon is useful for defending her family against “sickos and evil psychopaths.”
“People have the right to bear arms, and in God’s kingdom, you have to protect that,” she said. “You have to protect against evil.”
Remember, we have to respect that these people BELIEVE in what they are doing. We are not allowed to point and laugh and call them a cult. We all have to be politically correct about this, folks. Freedom itself is on the line here.
Indeed, there were a few haters outside the church putting their anti-gun bigotry on full display. They blame the people inside for making the community feel afraid, but we all know unarmed people like them are the real menace, amirite? They can’t even muster a little bit of inclusiveness for this marginalized community.
Lucky for all of us, someone uploaded video of the event so we can all experience the soothing call to worship. Forget church bells: a real 21st Century megachurch gathers its flock with the sound of semiautomatic fire.
Ha, ha! I am barely kidding. You can watch the Reuters video here, it is way weirder than that.
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Featured image via screengrab/Reuters