Australia’s rebel reverend is commenting on the Florida school massacre with a parish billboard sign that says, “When will they love their kids more than their guns.”
In a Facebook post of a photo of the sign, Anglican priest Rod Bower calls the U.S. “a society destroying itself from within” and an empire in decline that “can never be great again.”
“A culture that loves guns more than children has no future other than corruption, decline and death,” Bower wrote.
He also offered thoughts and condolences to victims and their families.
Bower, who runs the Gosford Anglican Church in Australia’s Central Coast, posted the photo the day after police say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 teachers and students.
Bower told ABC13 Houston Saturday that the response to the Facebook post, for the most part, has been positive.
"It is very difficult to understand how so many school shootings can happen in a developed nation like America," Bower told the station. "How can anyone let alone someone suffering from a mental illness walk into Kmart and buy an assault rifle? This is surely evidence of a corporate mental illness. This form of constitutional fundamentalism will ultimately lead to your nation's destruction."
Bower lives in a country with gun laws that are among the toughest in the world.
The Washington Post reported that laws in Australia ban the possession, manufacture and sale of semi-automatic weapons except in “exceptional circumstances."
There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since its gun control laws were passed more than 20 years ago, according to the paper.
Bower has sparked controversy in the past with other church billboard signs about race, gay marriage, immigration and discrimination, according to reports.
In a Feb. 7 interview with Radio New Zealand, Bower said the church should discuss politics, the Palm Beach Post reported.
“Politics is simply the way we human beings organize each other. So yeah, I think everybody ought to be involved in politics,” Bower said. “Religious leaders have a responsibility, I think ethically and morally, to speak into the life of the nation.”