BEDFORD, ALABAMA — In many ways, running a church is like running a business. There are usually a finite number of people in any given town, city, or berg that belong to one particular religion or another, and therefore just like competing coffee shops looking to serve everyone in town a great cup o’ Joe, churches must compete for customers, or members of their congregation as they’re known in this context. One church in Jemison, Alabama, however, may have just turned a friendly competition for churchgoers into a full-blown arms race, and a rival church in nearby Bedford has already taken up the mantle.
Rocky Mount Methodist Church made national headlines this week when it opened up a gun range adjacent to its temple. The pastor at Rocky Mount Methodist, Pastor Phillip Guin, converted a plot of empty land the church wasn’t doing anything with into a gun range. Though he told Fox News’ Elizabeth Hasselbeck that he never brings his gun into the actual house of worship, he did say that the holy gun range has been quite successful.
When Pastor Luke Westerman saw Phillips’ church featured on Fox News, he knew he had to act quick. His church, United First Baptist of Bedford, is just a few miles up the road from Rocky Mount Methodist, and the two churches have swapped congregational members many times throughout the years. But, Westerman told The Political Garbage Chute, the addition of the gun range at Phillips’ church meant that United First Baptist was going to have to one-up them, because as Westerman told us, “even though the Bible tells us to be humble, meek and pure of heart and not get sucked into the trappings of material things, we need money to survive as a church, and the best way to get money is to have cool things for people to do at your church when — you know, they’re not worshiping our Lord and Savior of course.”
Westerman submitted plans to the county commissioner’s office this week for a nuclear test range. The warhead testing facility would be adjacent to United First Baptist’s softball field and Sunday School buildings, and parishoners would be given a plethora of nuclear warheads to choose from. When asked where he’d acquire the materials necessary to build atom bombs, Westerman said he’d just made a deal with a wild-eyed scientist to build the bombs for him, and all we had to do was buy a bunch of old, broken pinball machines on eBay and have them shipped to his home out in Hill Valley, California.
“The good lord will bless us with an arms supplier, I am sure of it,” Westerman told us while adding, “and the caliber of Christ will compel us all to meet at United First Baptist’s very first nuclear test range. Because nothing says ‘turn the other cheek’ like setting off a nuclear explosion under the beautiful Alabama soil.” Westerman says that his crews are already busy digging the tunnels underground where the bombs will be tested, getting some design hints from some “lovely North Korean folks” they met at a Star Trek convention last year.
We asked Pastor Westerman how he squares Christ’s teachings of brotherly love and peace with building something that celebrates destruction and war. “You know, a lot of people might be confused why a religion based around someone nicknamed ‘The Prince of Peace’ would be putting up things like gun ranges and nuclear test sites near their church,” Westerman told our reporter, “but I mean, let’s be real. This isn’t exactly the first time that violence and Christianity have been mated. Hello, crusades and inquisitions much? So to me, this is like old hate for Christians.”
“We’re just thankful the Good Lord — and the taxpayers of the State of Alabama — have seen fit to give us the land we need to build our nuclear test range,” Pastor Westerman told us as he was ending the interview. “In these times we’re living in now, it’s so important for us to stay competitive with the other churches, even if that’s not exactly what Christ himself was about,” Westerman said, continuing, “After all, if we don’t have people coming here, we don’t get tithes and offerings, and if we don’t get tithes and offerings, I don’t get my second home in Florida. And if I don’t get my second home in Florida, the terrorists win. And if the terrorists win, Satan wins, and if Satan wins, I don’t get my second house in Florida! We cannot have that. Now, go with God…and get me some more money, Amen.”