Okay. Okay. The sheer political incorrectness of it is funny. You have to admit. A Pennsylvania church that the local press calls “controversial” has announced that it will be holding a rifle-blessing ceremony.
World Peace and Unification Sanctuary (aka Sanctuary Church) says that the service is intending to “bless” the AR-15s of couples, singles, and families who would like to pray that they be better prepared to protect their country, homes, and loved ones. The church is a part of the sect belonging to the founder, Sun Myung Moon. Moon was a Korean religious leader who claimed to be a Messiah and was outspoken on political and cultural issues, which probably explains the reason behind this odd decision to bless rifles at a time of national dialogue on gun rights in the wake of a tragic school shooting. He founded the Unification Church and then bequeathed it to his children, who are prominently displayed on the church’s website.
The AR-15 blessing ceremony will be on February 28, and they will bless rifles and the cult has told the public they may bring in a $700 certificate to be blessed if they don’t yet have a rifle but intend to purchase one. So then their rifle can be blessed in advance. So that’s handy.
The cult states, “If unable to purchase and legally transport such a ‘rod of iron’ because of laws barring the purchase of such weapons, or other reasons, couples are invited to purchase a $700 gift certificate from a gun store, as evidence of their intent to purchase a ‘rod of iron’ in the future.”
The church president said in an email, “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, ‘We are inviting local and state police to be on the premises so that everything goes safely.”
The church has an affiliate ministry, “Rod of Iron” (a gun group) that is hosting a “President Trump Thank You Dinner” on Saturday at a local Best Western Hotel. A gun manufacture who happens to be Reverend Moon’s brother-in-law is sponsoring the event. It’s unknown if Trump’s overtures to possible gun control measures and his unconstitutional ban on bump stocks will be thanked at the dinner as well.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has claimed that the Sanctuary Church is a hate group and “cult with an anti-LGBT agenda,” but they pretty much say that about everybody is a hate group, so it’s hard to know whether or not to take that seriously. In the meantime, whether we’re talking pets or guns, “blessing” random objects is not really a thing.