School officials told parents that their children will be relocated for the day Wednesday to accommodate a nearby church planning a wedding-like ceremony involving AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. [...]
The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, also known as the Sanctuary Church, is led by the son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-professed messiah from Korea who became a symbol of the 1970s cult wars by holding mass weddings for couples who often were strangers. Moon, who founded the Unification Church, became a player in a segment of the American conservative world through business interests including the Washington Times, and his son Hyung Jin Moon has woven gun rights into the religious community he leads in Pennsylvania, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and calls Hyung Jin Moon an "anti-LGBT cult leader."
The church's website calls for "heterosexual couples" who believe that Hyung Jin Moon is the representative and heir of his messiah father to participate in a historic "Perfection Stage Book of Life Registration Blessing" - either in Newfoundland or "at other locations via the Internet." The site calls the service at 10 a.m. Wednesday the "Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing" ceremony. "True Parents" was the term Sun Myung Moon's many followers called him and his wife. The SPLC site says "Cheon Il Guk" is the church's name for "a sovereign kingdom of heaven on earth" - that must be defended, "which is where the assault rifles come in," the center's site says.
"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 in a statement. Hyung Jin calls himself "Second King," the SPLC reports.
If couples can't bring the guns because of legal problems "or other reasons," they are "invited to purchase a $700 gift certificate from a gun store, as evidence of their intent to purchase a 'rod of iron' in the future," the church's site says. "These actions to participate with crowns and a rod of iron/gift certificate are signs of attendance, sovereignty and vigilance to protect God's coming nation."
You know, you can't have a strip club anywhere near an elementary school, but they'll let you put a church just anywhere.
Update: Most of the other articles left out the second half of the grift! They actually sell them the guns:
Hyung Jin "Sean" Moon is pastor of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in this small town in rural Wayne County, 120 miles north of Philadelphia. His brother, Moon Kook-jin, also known as Justin Moon, owns Kahr Arms, a firearms manufacturing company 30 minutes away in Pike County. [...]
Anyone without an AR-15 could buy one at Kahr Arms. "I actually purchased my weapon there yesterday because, although I have several rifles, I didn't have an AR-15," said David Konn, a follower who had driven from Florida earlier in the week. "I think it retails for $689." [...]
On Monday, Justin Moon told the Inquirer and Daily News that his firearms company, which has sold weapons to police departments across the country, was merely a sponsor of the Festival of Grace. He attends the church.
"We sell a few guns," he said. "That's no secret. That's my profession. I'm a gun manufacturer, so I support the Second and First Amendment."