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Journal of Religion and Violence

Volume 7, Issue 3, 2019

Violence and the Christian Right

Brad Stoddard
Pages 255-277

God’s Favorite Gun
The Sanctuary Church and the (re)Militarization of American Christianity

This article analyzes the Sanctuary Church in Pennsylvania, pastored by Reverend Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, son of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon. It specifically addresses the church’s history and the theology that motivated “Pastor Sean,” as he is commonly called, to host a marriage blessing ceremony where attendees brought crowns and AR-15 rifles to church. It argues that this ceremony, and Moon’s theology itself, are extensions of the unique political, cultural, and legal battles increasingly common in the United States. It also explores the church’s critics who used the blessing ceremony as an opportunity to “save” the categories of Christianity and religion from being tainted by Moon’s martial theology.

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