The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is one of the most popular weapons in America. It has been the weapon of choice for several mass murderers and is also favored by members of a church near Scranton, Pa. In a ceremony that reportedly attracted followers from as far away as Europe, South Korea, and Japan hundreds of gun-toting believers came together at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary. Some even wore crowns of bullets while participating in wedding ceremonies and communion.
The attendees of the armed ceremony, under the leadership of the Reverend Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, have adopted the AR-15 belief from the Bible. The youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon argues that citizens should be able to protect each other and all of “human flourishing” because “God has given his children the right to keep and bear arms. AR-15s are biblical according to the pastor of this Pennsylvania church. His theory is based on Revelation 2:27, which reads:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (KJV)
The AR-15 has been a source of controversy for many years. The National Rifle Association estimates there are some eight million variations in circulation, and says they are so popular that the “AR” should stand for “America’s Rifle.” These style rifles have been used in almost all of the deadliest shootings in recent history. A partial list includes the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, San Bernardino shooting in 2015, Pulse Nightclub shooting, and the Texas church shooting, Las Vegas concert shooting and the most recent is the Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Americans love this firearm. The problem that many people have with the admiration for the AR-15 is that it was never created for citizen housing. It was designed for military combat. The AR-15 along with a 30 40 or 50 round magazine can and is designed to kill people in mass. Even more than this is the fact that access to these deadly machines is way too easy. Many people are simply requesting that the gun laws get revised to ensure a more strict process of acquisition.
While some scream assault rifles must be banned in America, this Pennsylvania church as ruled them as biblical and the weapon of choice. During Wednesday’s ceremony, a nearby elementary school decided to cancel all classes for fear of danger. Reportedly, attendants were advised to place a zip tie into the receiver magazine well of each weapon to assure that a clip could not be loaded. However, the surrounding community was not comforted by this action.
The church, which has a worldwide following, encouraged couples to bring the weapons to the event. During the ceremony, Moon prayed “for a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by Almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing” He added:
We pray they would stand as kings and queens with their crown and rod of iron.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, men in dark suits along with their brides-to-be adorned in white brought dozens of AR-15s to a religious ceremony. Members and friends of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary joined forces to honor the AR-15 as the weapon of choice. This is not the church’s first ceremony featuring assault-style rifles, however, following the deadly shooting in Florida it seemed to garner a different level of attention. Regardless of the controversy, the AR-15 is the biblical rod of iron according to the Pennsylvania pastor.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
National Public Radio: AR-15s Are Biblical ‘Rod Of Iron’ At Pennsylvania Church
NRA Blog: Why the AR-15 is America’s Most Popular Rifle
Bible Hub: Revelation 2:27
Top Image Courtesy of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary – Pastors
Other Images Courtesy of Katesheets’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License