The disturbing face of right-wing extremism – the manifestation of the volatile and aggressive fusion of conservative gun fetishism with radical Christianity – reared its ugly head in a small Pennsylvania town, where a local church had called for its congregation to bring their assault rifles to church for a “blessing ceremony.”
The images emerging from event in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, which was so unsettling that it prompted a local school to close for the day, paint a picture of an apocalyptic death-cult with more in common with radical terror groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda than anything resembling “Christianity.”
Wearing crowns of bullets in a horrifying parody of the thorns placed around Jesus’ head, the congregation of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary church dressed in white and sang the praises of the AR-15 assault rifle, which the pastor believes is the “rod of iron” referenced in the Book of Revelations, the apocalyptic biblical prophecies that Christian extremists believe will eventually result in the end of the world as we know it.
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Rev. Sean 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.”
In case one needed any more evidence that the American fetishism of firearms has gone too far, this ceremony and the pictures emerging from it hint a terrifying underbelly of radicalism festering in the backwoods of our nation.
How many more death-cults are out there? What could they be driven to do for their beliefs? Are our law enforcement agencies aware of what’s going on here? Where were they radicalized? We need answers. This is definitely not what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment.
All images are from the Associated Press.