Pastor Urges His Flock to Bring Guns to Church
By KATHRINE Q. SEELYE - NY TIMES
Added: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Sarah for the link.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ken Pagano, the pastor of the New Bethel Church here, is passionate about gun rights. He shoots regularly at the local firing range, and his sermon two weeks ago was on âGod, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.â And on Saturday night, he is inviting his congregation of 150 and others to wear or carry their firearms into the sanctuary to âcelebrate our rights as Americans!â as a promotional flier for the âopen carry celebrationâ puts it.
âGod and guns were part of the foundation of this country,â Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. âI donât see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.â
The bring-your-gun-to-church day, which will include a $1 raffle of a handgun, firearms safety lessons and a picnic, is another sign that the gun culture in the United States is thriving despite, or perhaps because of, President Obamaâs election in November.
Last year, the National Rifle Association ran a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign against Mr. Obama, stoking fears that he would be the most antigun president in history and that firearms would be confiscated. One worry was that a Democratic president and Congress would reinstitute the assault-weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
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