Guns for the godly: a growing US trend?

Guns for the godly: a growing US trend?

A WHILE back we reported on a church gun giveaway at a church in Kentucky. Today we learn that a similar event took place at the Ignite Church in Joplin, Missouri on Fathers’ Day.

The brainchild of Heath Mooneyham, Ignite’s lead pastor, a raffle for two semi-automatic rifles made by Black Rain Ordnance in Neosho and described as the “Lamborghini of guns” was intended to attract a specific demographic group: males age 18 to 35, who don’t find churchgoing attractive.

Heath Mooneyham

Heath Mooneyham

In fact, said Mooneyham:

That’s the biggest black hole in our society.

The gun raffle formed part of Ignite’s efforts to lure younger people into the church. Other “attractions” are  Sunday morning services that start later than at many other churches, and has loud rock music. The pastor, who has tattoos and a short Mohawk, and says of his congregation:

We’re just duds dudes.

Church members have gone on hunting trips and outings to gun ranges as a way to create bonds, and the gun giveaway was done in the same spirit, Mooneyham said.

Still, the giveaway sparked some heated response online. One comment on the church’s Facebook page was:

God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR!”

Another person wrote:

I literally cannot believe you are giving away assault rifles on Father’s Day … That is seriously messed up.

Steve Urie, pastor at the Joplin Diversity Fellowshipsaid he shared those sentiments.

I think giving away weapons, with all the violence in this country, gives way to new violence. I don’t think it’s just non-traditional. I think it’s careless and reckless.

Like Mooneyham, Urie leads a non-traditional church that is open to LGBT worshippers and does not specify a denomination. He said they meet in parks, play and sing modern music, and meet from time to time in the homes of members. He insisted:

There are other ways to attract young people. If it takes an assault rifle to hunt, that’s not a sport.

Dan McCain, who owns a local guitar shop and plays lead guitar for the church’s band, was one of the two AR-15 winners. Pictured at the top of the page with the other lucky winner, John Pliler (left) he said:

I was very happy to win the rifle. I’ve never won anything in my life, so it was exciting. I enjoy hunting and target shooting. I haven’t had the opportunity to hunt in a while, but hope to change that this season.

McCain said he didn’t believe the gun giveaway sent a bad message.

Firearm ownership does not equate to violence.

Mooneyham said the goal is to get people to church.

If we get people in the door, we get to preach the gospel. If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.

The AR-15 is not a fully automatic weapon, but it can discharge rounds as quickly as its operator can pull the trigger. An AR-15 was one of several guns used in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman killed 12 people in a movie theatere and a similar style of rifle was used in Newtown, Connecticut.

Mooneyham said:

I despise the term ‘assault rifle’ Whoever coined that phrase has to be misinformed. The appearance of things — I think that’s our story as a church — don’t let the appearance of something stop you.

He also referred to the biblical story of Cain and Abel.

People are crazy, period. Murder has been going on since the beginning of time. The first murder recorded in the Bible was with a rock.

And the Father’s Day giveaway was cheered on by churchgoers, not criticised, he said.

It doesn’t enter our minds that we’re potentially harming society by giving away a gun. It’s just our nature, where as if you have a church where it’s 75- to 85-year-old women, they would give away a nice quilt, and they’d be excited about it. That’s how excited our church got about the AR-15 because that speaks our language.

In 2011, Ignite Church also drew national attention when it sponsored billboards featuring provocative photos of couples to tout a series about marriage and sex. The series discussed how married couples ought to have more sex to avoid vices such as pornography and adultery.

Mooneyham concluded:

It’s easy to not like us. It’s not hard. You don’t need to go out and find ammunition, we’ll just hand it to you — we give away guns and talk about sex.

Hat Tip: Penigma


19 responses to “Guns for the godly: a growing US trend?”

  1. remigius says:

    Ignite Church? That’s just asking for trouble.

  2. remigius says:

    And wot ‘appened to Disqus. Just as we get used to it , it is taken away from us. Oh, these crazy games you play with us, Barry.

  3. Broga says:

    These religious gun enthusiasts are deranged inadequates. They have decided, in their immaturity, that clutching a gun or shooting some poor animal is macho. They are mistaken. It exposes their deficiencies and emotional flaws and from any mature person must attract contempt.

  4. Bubba T Flubba says:

    Its tragic how the dangerously pious like to pose with firearms…..not much difference between the two lucky raffle winners and their brothers in arms…the feral islamic mobsters and murderers who infect Middle East and Africa.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Firearm ownership does not equate to violence.
    I give up. I really do. We are sharing the planet with people who are clearly on a completely different evolutionary plane.

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    Mooneyham said: “I despise the term ‘assault rifle’ . . . ”

    I can’t help thinking that someone who can get so worked up about a simple statement like could be quite dangerous with a gun.

  7. Stephen Mynett says:

    Adding the word that between like and could in the last post would be an idea. Any chance of an edit function Barry 🙂

  8. Trevor Blake says:

    God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR!

    The twenty five million men, women and children that the Bible says were killed by God or ordered to be killed by God might disagree.

  9. Barry Duke says:

    We’re working on getting disqus back., Stephen. No-one right now is sure why it suddenly buggered up. Technology, eh?

  10. Stephen Mynett says:

    Good point Trevor. It is also noticeable that even the Bronze Age goatherds had to rewrite their book to cover a “slight mistake” by their god. The oldest version of the Old Testament at Jerusalem University has the story of Moses receiving the commandments with the god saying “these are for us.”

    Obviously someone must have pointed out the murderous rampages of that lovely deity, so the following versions of the OT had him saying “these are for you”, thus saving the all-loving and powerful sky fairy from being shackled by the no killing bit.

  11. Stephen Mynett says:

    Cheers Barry, although disqus back will still not improve my proof reading. I can remember when we still had readers at the local rag I worked for, brilliant people with the massive pain threshold need to read and spot errors in the tons of bilge we wrote.

  12. tony e says:

    If ever there was a case for overcompensation its the above photos.

  13. 1859 says:

    It’s well known that guns are simply metallic penises. Brandishing a gun is brandishing virility. Men thinking with their balls and talking with their dicks. These types have been immature so long they might reach puberty when they’re 90 years old.

  14. barriejohn says:

    1859: When I first directed my bleary eyes at your comment (Mum’s had me up I don’t know how many times durimg the night) I read “Brandishing a gun is brandishing virginity”, and then I thought “Yeah – that DOES make sense really”!

  15. Paul Cook says:

    God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR!”

    Agree with Trevor. It’s seems that is all god does in the bible – exterminate, kill, maim, murder and hurt innocent people, I don’t know of many places where god exacts revenge for a legitimate reason on a people or person who was not innocent.

  16. barriejohn says:

    They are “twisting” the scriptures in the same way that those wicked imams are “perverting” the Koran and “radicalising” young Muslims. It’s quite plain what sort of a god these books are describing!

  17. barfly says:

    Assault rifles are military weapons made for and designed for one thing only to kill other human beings. Well what do we expect from the bible believers common sense. If this was to get people through the door try beer and sex. I would even pop in if there was a good drop of ale on the go and the opportunity for sex. I wouldn’t stop after the sex though. What does it say about the congregation then they would rather kill things than drink and have sex.

  18. Vanity Unfair says:

    God Does NOT Condone GUNS, VIOLENCE or WAR.
    Right. At least in the OT.

  19. MrApple says:

    “tony e” and “1859” seem stuck in the outdated notion that a firearm is a penile substitute. I am shocked at such open sexism. With women being the largest growing demographic of new firearm purchasers it would seem that the anti-gun crowd needs to relax on the sexism or at least come up with some new material.
    PS. If you think a penis looks like a firearm then you really need to hunt down some of the porn sites on the internet and see how wrong you really are.