Pennsylvania Church Holds Bizarre 'Gun Commitment' Ceremony

Attendees were encouraged to bring AR-15 rifles, the same assault weapon used in the Parkland school shooting. 

A Pennsylvania church held a commitment ceremony this week as many attendees exchanged or renewed wedding vows while worshipping their favorite weapon–an AR-15 rifle.

The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, also known as the Sanctuary Church, had the event Wednesday (Feb. 28). 250 worshippers attended the church sporting white gowns and black suits, with crowns and tiaras bedazzled with bullets. Attendees were required to bring their unloaded guns, where they were zip-tied at the door. The ceremony brought caution to local institutions like an elementary school, who switched campuses the day of the event.

“Blessed couples are requested to bring the accoutrements of the nation of Cheon Il Guk, crowns representing the sovereignty of Kings and Queens, and a ‘rod of iron,’ designated by the Second King as an AR15 semiautomatic rifle or equivalents such as an AK semiautomatic rifle, representing both the intent and the ability to defend one’s family, community and ‘nation of Cheon Il Guk,’ ” the church’s site says.

The Associated Press reports Rev. Sean Moon, the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, held the ceremony partly in honor of President Donald Trump, who sided with his viewpoint of arming teachers with guns. The event took place on the same day Parkland students returned to school after the mass shooting that claimed 17 students and members of the faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Feb. 14.

Tim Elder, Unification Sanctuary's director of world missions, shared with reporters the ceremony was for the couples, but the AR-15's were viewed as "religious accoutrement." The church believes the guns aren't weapons per say, but the "rod of iron" used to protect God's children. Their reference stems from the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

The Unification Church has always caught headlines. Their late leader was a self-professed messiah who held mass weddings for strangers in the '70s. Often viewed as a cult, Rev. Moon has used the bible to lead a conversation on the intersection of guns and religion. The mass marriages continued, with one highlighted in 2014.

“Family Federation is all about healing and reconciliation. We host events to promote inter-religious dialogue, responsible civic leadership, and marriage blessing ceremonies. Rev. Moon’s teachings are all about bringing people together so that we bring joy and happiness to God, our Heavenly Parent and feel fulfillment ourselves. Bringing weapons into any of that seems completely contradictory to me,” Rev. Iwasaki Shota of the Pennsylvania branch of the Unification Church, said in a statement.

One worshipper claims they shouldn't be chastised for their beliefs. "We as good people, we strongly believe in the Second Amendment," Sreymom Ouk said. "So showing the rod of iron, which represents, for our church, it's the AR-15, and it represents that you can protect against evil with that rod of iron in a sense."

The event follows a “President Trump Thank You Dinner” the church held last weekend.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Dr. King's Childhood Home Sold For $1.9 Million To The National Park Service

The two-story Atlanta home that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his formidable years has been sold. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the yellow and brown house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta was sold for $1.9 million to the National Park Service.

Will Shafroth, CEO of the National Park Foundation said it was hard to place a dollar amount on the location where a lot of Dr. King's character was molded.

"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

READ MORE: New Book Details Dr. King's Teenage Years And His Alleged White Girlfriend

Continue Reading
Kevin Winter

Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

READ MORE: Big K.R.I.T. Drops Surprise Gospel-Influenced 'Thrice X' EP

Continue Reading
Douglas Grundy

Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Dec 10, 2018 at 12:43pm PST

READ MORE: Nicki Minaj Plans To Sue 'Daily Mail' TV Host Jesse Palmer

Continue Reading

Top Stories