This article was originally posted on Guns.com
A planned blessing event at a small church in Pennsylvania that asked couples to bring an AR-15 or similar rifle with them took place peacefully, but with some protesters.
As detailed by Guns.com previously, the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church in Newfoundland planned its event not to bless the firearms themselves but rather to allow attending couples to rededicate their marriages to each other. The gun, seen as the “rod of iron” in the Book of Revelations by church leaders, is cited as a symbol that shows “both the intent and the ability” to defend ones’ family, community, and nation. In all, several hundred attended, with rifles in tow.
“The ‘rod of iron’ allows not only strong men, but also women and the elderly to have the ability to protect themselves and others from such predators,” said the church in a statement Wednesday.
As noted by the AP, “An attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch.”
Protesters and gun control advocates called the ceremony sacrilegious and picketed the event.