The Kentucky Baptist Convention’s self-proclaimed “outreach to rednecks” celebrates the Second Amendment to the US constitution, which gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms.
This right is also enshrined in Australian common law with inherited rights from the Magna Charta reflected in statutes held in force by Imperial Acts in all states.
Around 1000 people are expected to attend the seemingly irreligious event this Thursday, where they will have the chance to win one of 25 handguns, rifles and shotguns.
A pamphlet distributed by the church says it aims to “point people to Christ”.
Chuck McAlister, an ex-pastor and hunting show host who runs the events, said the last year’s outreaches had succeeded in extracting 1678 “professions of faith” from men who attended.
McAlister’s boss, Paul Chitwood, the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s executive director, said the initiative has been a success.
“It’s been very effective,” he said.
But other men of the cloth have questioned the events’ connection between guns and religion.
Reverend Joe Phelps, pastor of Louisville’s independent Highland Baptist Church, said it was ironic that the church was using weapons to lure converts when Jesus himself allegedly once said “put away the sword”.
“Can you picture Jesus giving away guns, or toasters or raffle tickets?” the reverend asked.
“He gave away bread once, but that was as a sign, not a sales pitch.”