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Pennsylvania Church Plans “Blessing” Ceremony for Couples and Their AR-15s

There have been many reactions over the past several days to the horrific killing of 17 people at a Parkland, Florida high school.

The survivors of this incident are calling for gun reform, many politicians are offering up thoughts and prayers and the President wants to arm as many well-trained teacher as he can with concealed weapons.

Then there’s World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.

church pic

It wants to essentially marry gun holders and their AR-15s in a special “blessing” ceremony this week.

For real.

According to a press release from this controversial organization, the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the biblical book of Revelation.

It is there encouraging couples (only heterosexual couples, we might as well add) to bring the guns to a commitment ceremony Wednesday morning.

(The AR-15 is in the news because it is the gun used in the aforementioned Florida high school massacre; it has also been the weapon of choice used in the past by many other school shooters.)

If you can’t bring this gun in for the ceremony, the church implores its members to buy a $ 700 gift certificate from a gun store that can be blessed instead.


big gun

The church – which has been labeled a racist, homophobic and antisemitic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – is an offshoot of the Unification Church that was founded by Sun Myung Moon in the 1950s.

Oh, and it is also located a half mile from an elementary school.

This school has closed its doors on Wednesday in response and will bus students to a different location as a safety precaution.

This is how the church describes its gun ceremony on its website:

These actions to participate with crowns and a rod of iron/gift certificate are signs of attendance, sovereignty and vigilance to protect God’s coming nation of Cheon Il Guk.

They are also a Foundation of Faith and Substance to unite with the Second King who is advancing God’s providence at this time.

To not do so, if one is legally and personally able, would be a sign of great disrespect to the Second King of Cheon Il Guk and to True Father himself.

As the parable of the Ten Virgins spoken of in Matthew 25:1-13 explains, believers should be prepared internally and externally to receive the grace of the bridegroom’s arrival so they can be welcomed into the “wedding banquet.

dude with gun

Since this February 14 shooting, there has been a movement across the country to at least raise the minimum age for purchasing an AR-15 from 18 years old to 21 years old.

There’s also been a movement to outlaw purchasing of the gun entirely in some circles.

But the President does not seem open to this latter idea.

Richard Panzer, president of the church in question here, says this event was planned prior to the Florida high school tragedy.

“All of the weapons in the ceremony will be checked to make sure they are unloaded, with a zip tie so that no bullets can be inserted,” he says, adding:

“We are inviting local and state police to be on the premises, so that everything goes safely.”


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Best Man Proposes to His Girlfriend During Wedding Ceremony: Not OK

Weddings are beautiful, special, happy occasions, full of love and good feelings and just so much joy.

Except when they’re not.

And in a story shared in in Slate’s advice column, Dear Prudence, we see what happens when perfectly lovely weddings take a dark, scary turn.

A woman wrote in to Dear Prudence, asking for advice about a certain event that occurred at her wedding.

As she explained, “My husband and I started dating, got pregnant, had a child, moved in together, bought a house, and got a dog in that order.”

She wrote that in all that time, friends and family kept asking them when they planned on getting married, but that they just kept postponing it “to build better lives.”

After a while, they were able to afford a “huge blowout wedding,” and so they did.

Her now-husband chose his best friend, who she called John, to be his best man — and John was also able to officiate the ceremony. How special, right?

On the day of that great big wedding, “everyone seemed happy” and the guests were “overjoyed” that this moment had finally come.

The bride wrote that “the entire atmosphere felt moving” — in fact, it was so moving that John “stopped mid-ceremony to propose to his longtime girlfriend, ‘Jane,’ and reveal her pregnancy.”

Hold the damn phone.

The best man is actually performing the ceremony, and in the middle of everything, he stops to have his own moment?

This Joseph Duggar mother

Well, at least it can’t possibly get worse, right?

Ha ha, just kidding, of course it can.

This poor woman said that “I couldn’t even hear the vows my husband wrote or the rest of the ceremony over the noise of Jane’s happy sobs, her very surprised family who were also guests, and people seated nearby congratulating her.”

“Even the videographer cut to her frequently during the ceremony, and you can’t hear anything over the chatter.”

And when, when the best man gave his toast, “he apologized for being caught up in the moment, and then proceeded to talk about he and Jane’s future with nary a mention of us.”

… Well, surely it can’t get worse than that.

Except that “During the reception John and Jane became the primary focus of our guests. John even went out of his way to ask the band for a special dance just for him and Jane on the dance floor.”

This woman wrote into Dear Prudence to ask for advice on how to move forward, because she’s “shocked and angry” about what happened.

And honestly, it’s a miracle that she isn’t shocked and angry and in prison awaiting a murder trial.

Her husband, meanwhile, hasn’t spoken to the best man, and “has joked that he’ll resume his friendship when John and Jane give him a $ 40,000 check for ‘their half of the wedding.'”

So not only were things bad enough that this couple feels like the best man stole their thunder hard enough that half of the wedding was theirs …

But this was an $ 80,000 wedding.

Good ol’ Prudence advised the woman to encourage her husband to have “a difficult conversation” with the best man about what happened in an attempt to save the friendship.

However, Twitter was not so kind.

“Unbelievably rude and self-absorbed,” one person tweeted. “During the fecking ceremony?! Their asses wouldn’t have got into my reception!”

“DO NOT TRY THIS AT MY WEDDING,” another advised. “I can fight in a tux.”

One particularly imaginative person gave the advice to “Stay friendly. Go to their wedding. Take a [poop emoji] in the aisle mid ceremony. Walk away. Even Steven.”

Makes sense to us.