Doomsday, guns and Jesus Christ: Inside the ultra-right Rod of Iron Freedom Festival

Doomsday, guns and Jesus Christ: Inside the ultra-right Rod of Iron Freedom Festival

Thousands of self-avowed freedom fighters rallied in the Poconos to save America from tyranny. It’s like a county fair, except everyone has a gun. Here, the word “pandemic” is said with air quotes around it, and the politest name for a Democrat is “pencil-neck geek.” Anthony Fauci is a known communist, and Jesus Christ is an assault weapons manufacturer. Here, LGBT stands for liberty, guns, beer and Trump. This is the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival. Rod of Iron Ministries and Kahr Firearms Group — both with ties to the ultra-rich World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church from Korea known to some as the “Moonies ” — hosted the festival from Oct. 8-10 in Greeley. Just over 1,000 people live in this rural town in the northern Pocono Mountains, but more than 5,000 arrived for the weekend-long festival. It sprawled across the lawn of the Tommy Gun Warehouse and boasted an impressive lineup of speakers: Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for President Donald Trump; Dana Loesch, the former National Rifle Association spokeswoman; Pastor Sean Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah and messenger of Jesus Christ. They and other GOP figureheads rallied behind Trump and the Second Amendment at the third annual Rod of Iron Freedom Festival. Festival-goers stand in the rain to hear prominent conservative figureheads like Steve Bannon speak at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival. Hannah Phillips / Staff photojournalist To many here, they represent the last line of defense in a fight for America’s liberty. “There are […]

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