'His faith turned violent': Republican candidate panned after ad featuring 'angry Democrats in Klan hoods'

GOP congressional candidate Jerone Davison brandished an AR-15 in a new campaign ad where he wards off "a dozen angry Democrats in Klan hoods."

"Davison, a former NFL player and pastor, is one of five Republicans running for the GOP nomination in Arizona's 4th Congressional District, which includes parts of Tempe, Mesa and Chandler," The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday. "He posted the 24-second clip with the caption 'Make Rifles Great Again,' with an emoji of a bicep curl, which is often used to indicate strength."

In the ad, the Ku Klux Klan is armed with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, a hammer, a hatchet, and a 4-tine garden cultivator.

Davison received harsh criticism online.

Not everyone was critical of the ad, self-described "Anarcho-Nihilist" Justin O'Donnell praised Trump for his role in inspiring the bit.

"Donald Trump's presidency normalized hyperbole and absurdity in political advertising. And that alone may stand as his greatest contribution to the world," he wrote.

But much of the commentary was harsh.

"What in God's name is wrong with these people?" wondered bestselling author Jeff Pearlman.

He asked Davison, "have you not seen what's going down with guns? With innocents getting slaughtered?"

"Is it JUST about being loud and toxic and attention-seeking on social media? Is that what this is? F*cking shameful," he wrote.

"Once upon a time, [Davison] used his faith for good. He saw people hurting, and aspired to help. Then, over the past decade, he became infected. His faith turned violent. Prayer morphed into threats. Machismo trumped humility. Like so many others. Honestly breaks my heart," he added.