You know how Jesus– the almost unwavering pacifist– wants children to be heavily armed? We don’t either, but Ignite Church in Joplin, MO is leading the charge in seeing Jesus’ unspoken, probably unthought-of dream come true! The church recently, in an attempt to plant some butts in the seats on Father’s Day, gave away a couple of AR-15 rifles.
Each father in attendance received a ticket in the drawing, and if he brought his kids–each one of them was entered, as well! There was even a bonus ticket if he brought along his own dear old dad. Isn’t that sweet?
“We thought instead of a lot of small things, we’d give away stuff the guys were interested in,” said Heath Mooneyham, Ignite’s tattooed and mohawked lead pastor.
The church says the giveaway was part of an outreach program to males 18-35, an age range that Ignite definitely feels should be armed — oh, and they’re missing out on Jesus, too! “That’s the biggest black hole in our society,” Mooneyham said.
Ignite has been taking great strides to attract kids outside of arming them with semi-automatic weapons. Services begin at a later-than-average time — 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. — and the green and black themed church plays loud rock music.
In a YouTube video promoting this completely sensible Father’s Day event Mooneyham calls one of the rifles, a Black Rain Ordinance AR-15, the “Lamborghini of guns” then adds, “So get your butts to church. If you’re late don’t cry to me that you’re a pansy and you cannot set your alarm, alright? You’re a big boy. You got big balls between your legs, you’re a dad right?”
Not everyone thinks that using guns to appeal to the youth is particularly healthy. Steve Urie, who runs another nontraditional church, feels that the gun giveaways do more harm than good. “I think giving away weapons, with all the violence in this country, gives way to new violence,” he said. “I don’t think it’s just nontraditional. I think it’s careless and reckless.”
He added, “There are other ways to attract young people. If it takes an assault rifle to hunt, that’s not a sport.”
Despite the senselessness of representatives of a religion supposedly based in peace and love giving away something that exists only to do harm, one proud winner is ecstatic over his good fortune. Dan McCain, the church band’s lead guitarist, said that, “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.”
Mooneyham doesn’t care how many school shooters he arms, as long as it brings people close to Jesus! “If we get people in the door, we get to preach the gospel,” he said. “If we can get more people to follow Jesus, I’ll give away 1,000 guns. I don’t care.”
“It doesn’t enter our minds that we’re potentially harming society by giving away a gun,” Mooneyham said.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Baptist churches’ Outreach to Rednecks program once again buys attendance with the promise of a chance at a shiny new Second Amendment Stick.
Forgive us for saying this, but if you need to give away FABULOUS PRIZES…of DOOM to get people to subscribe to your zany belief in magic and flying bearded genies, how valid is that belief system?