Sunday, June 07, 2009


Some of you saw this last week, but I just stumbled across the story:

A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.

New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.

"We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms -- without that this country wouldn't be here."

The guns must be unloaded and private security will check visitors at the door, Pagano said....

As an ex-Catholic, I've got to say that not only did I never attend a church service packing heat, I never attended one that you apparently aren't allowed to attend if you aren't packing heat (or accompanied by someone who is). Nor did I ever attend a church service that was actually a free show-and-tell presentation from local merchants:

In Celebration of July 4 and our rights as Americans, New Bethel Church will be hosting an Open Carry Celebration for all who support 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. It will be held on Saturday June 27th, the weekend before July 4th. It will begin at 5PM and picnic food will be served. We are asking responsible handgun owners to attend this service openly wearing their sidearm. This will be a Cold Range Carry meaning handguns must be unloaded and in a secure holster.

Area gun store/firing range owners will be invited to attend and tell about their services. There will be patriotic music and short presentation concerning responsible gun ownership and 2nd Amendment rights.

There will also be a raffle to win a handgun. All that is asked is that you bring a sidearm, a friend who has a sidearm and a canned good for local food bank.

I also like the way the logo of the event suggests corporate sponsorship (see the lower left and right corners) -- this for, let me remind you again, a church service:

The Knob Creek Gun Range, by the way, advertises itself as the "Home of the Nation's Largest Machine Gun Shoot & Military Gun Show," where as The Wall Street Journal reported a few years ago,

The special draw ... is to be able to go full auto--something heavily regulated since the 1930s--with some of the most impressive hardware on the planet. I knew this was serious when I walked through the main gate and the first range offered flame throwers for rent--$65 for regular grade; $125 a squirt if you wanted to upgrade to Napalm.

You just know this isn't going to be the last time New Bethel Church is going to have a gun-based service. And you know the ante is going to be upped -- eventually these folks are going to feel their 2nd Amendment rights are being infringed if they can't actually use weapons at the service. And the affiliation with the host of this hardcore gun show has got to mean we'll eventually see napalm for Jesus as part of worship. No?

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