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There Were AR-15 Guns Blessed in a Pennsylvania Church

Even though the mass shooting at Parkland happened on Valentine’s Day, killing 17 children, there are a lot of people in the United States who do not want change. They want to keep their semi-automatic weapons, which poses a threat to society as a whole.

Image Courtesy of Yahoo

In Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, a part of the Unification Church, held a ceremony that led a nearby school to cancel that day. Hundreds of couples were told to bring unloaded AR-15 rifles to the ceremony. All of the participants wore crowns (some of these crowns had ammunition rounds in them) and indeed did bring their weapons of mass destruction. Reverend Hung Jin Moon led the ceremony, blessing about two hundred and fifty couples along with their weapons. They drank holy wine and repeated their wedding vows, all as they were carrying AR-15 rifles. This event happened on February 28, just two weeks after the Parkland shooting. For an event like this to happen so soon is completely insensitive and frightening, for a school had to shut down during this ceremony.

In a statement, Moon said that the Floridian school staff should have been armed during the shooting so that they could have protected “God’s children.” He believed that if the football coach who helped the students was armed, he, as well as many other children’s lives would’ve been saved. The Unification Church was founded in the 1950s and has been described as a cult ever since. Reverend Moon, the son of the founder, has strong beliefs that these rifles symbolize the “rod of iron” in the book of Revelation. The “rod of iron” is meant to defend families and communities. Not to be biased or anything, this sounds pretty ridiculous to me (I’m just trying to be as PG as possible). Reverend Moon calls himself the “Second King,” demanding that everyone should follow his orders and arm themselves to protect their families.

The exchanging of wedding vows should be a happy and peaceful ceremony. Never in a million years would I imagine that a church would have the nerve to bless semi-automatic weapons with these couples. Yes, they were unarmed, but the mere fact that they were even allowed in a public place is despicable. On top of that, where did all of these people get these terrible weapons? It is incredibly dangerous for these kinds of rifles to be accessed so easily. I would not want to be in a room full of those weapons; they were designed to kill people and I do not want to feel as though I am in danger in a church of all places.

Outside of the church, protesters held sign that read phrases, such as “Worship God, Not Guns.” They were all opposed to the blessing of guns, for they are opposed to the use of guns, not for hunting, but for murder. Here, we can see that there is still hope. People are still fighting.

The divide between the nation is becoming bigger and bigger. People are becoming angrier, others more defensive. People want to take the right to bear arms away, while others are stuck in the past. But, one thing is for sure. This country needs change and blessing AR-15 rifles is a step in the wrong direction.

Diane Nguyen

Drexel '21

Diane Nguyen is a Drexel University senior from Boston, Massachusetts. As a Global Studies major and Criminal Justice and Chinese double-minor, she is interested in human rights, specifically immigration and environmental law. She also hopes to volunteer for the Peace Corps and be a part of a nonprofit organization that helps child sex trafficking victims recover from their trauma.
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