What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

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gounion
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What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by gounion »

This isn't new, but I did come upon this recently, I've known about the Unification Church for years. But it's baffling. This is just the latest:
On May 8, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headlined a virtual rally organized by an offshoot of the Unification Church, a controversial religious movement known for holding mass weddings of its adherents and that has been accused of being a cult. Though American conservatives have long made common cause with the Unification Church, the head of the outfit that pulled together this event declared not too long ago that the “Christian era has ended”—which means Pence and Pompeo, whose self-professed religious devotion is a prominent part of their respective political profiles, were (knowingly or not) collaborating with and bolstering a group that says it is supplanting the Christianity they embrace.

*snip*

The Unification movement has long sought to cultivate allies among Washington powerbrokers, particularly on the right. That was presumably one motivation for Sun Myung Moon in 1982 to establish the Washington Times, which has long been a mouthpiece for Republicans and conservatives. In 2004, he managed to hold a bizarre crowning ceremony for himself and his wife within a Senate office building, during which he declared in Korean that he was the Messiah. (Presidents and kings, he said, had ”declared to all heaven and earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”) Some members of Congress who attended the event—which was sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation—insisted they had been duped.

The relationship between the right and the Unification movement has long been curious. Much of it has likely been influenced by the Washington Times and its standing as a dependable conservative outlet. But the theology pushed by the Moons and their devotees challenges the basic Christianity embraced by so many conservatives. The Moons’ claim to be the messiahs, of course, runs counter to mainstream Christianity. And one Unification tenet promoted by a senior person in the movement is that Christianity is essentially over.
Why would a Christian like Pence have anything to do with a false religion and a false Messiah?
Glennfs
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by Glennfs »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:37 pm This isn't new, but I did come upon this recently, I've known about the Unification Church for years. But it's baffling. This is just the latest:



Why would a Christian like Pence have anything to do with a false religion and a false Messiah?
Because as a conservative he is open minded and believes everyone has the right to their own beliefs.
Unlike liberals
" I am a socialist " Bernie Sanders
gounion
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by gounion »

Glennfs wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:39 pm Because as a conservative he is open minded and believes everyone has the right to their own beliefs.
Unlike liberals
Really? That's what you've got?

So Moonies are fine, but liberals are the devil incarnate? Really?

I mean, I know the Christian faith - and they are pretty much against false gods and false messiahs.

I guess they paid Pence enough to not bother bringing his faith along, right?

And it's okay for GOP lawmakers to crown the Moons King and Queen?
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by Glennfs »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:42 pm Really? That's what you've got?

So Moonies are fine, but liberals are the devil incarnate? Really?

I mean, I know the Christian faith - and they are pretty much against false gods and false messiahs.

I guess they paid Pence enough to not bother bringing his faith along, right?

And it's okay for GOP lawmakers to crown the Moons King and Queen?
Again Pence just showed how conservatives are openmined and believe every person is entitled to their own beliefs.

Something I know you on the left can't comprehend. As with your side it is either believe what we believe or you are a racist or homophobic or whatever ever label you can attach. Because your political beliefs do not stand a chance on election day.
" I am a socialist " Bernie Sanders
gounion
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by gounion »

Glennfs wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:44 pm Again Pence just showed how conservatives are openmined and believe every person is entitled to their own beliefs.

Something I know you on the left can't comprehend. As with your side it is either believe what we believe or you are a racist or homophobic or whatever ever label you can attach. Because your political beliefs do not stand a chance on election day.
In other words, for a price, they can chuck their religious beliefs. Unless, of course, it involves sexual control of women.
Bludogdem
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by Bludogdem »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:37 pm This isn't new, but I did come upon this recently, I've known about the Unification Church for years. But it's baffling. This is just the latest:



Why would a Christian like Pence have anything to do with a false religion and a false Messiah?
The church’s name:

“The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity”

Different Christian denominations have different beliefs.

Moonies believe in God and Jesus.

They’re Christian.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by gounion »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:02 pm The church’s name:

“The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity”

Different Christian denominations have different beliefs.

Moonies believe in God and Jesus.

They’re Christian.
They believe they are Messiahs. That's NOT Christianity when it's a false Messiah. They said "”declared to all heaven and earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

But I guess they got enough gold to buy these folks off.
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ProfX
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by ProfX »

The new documentary “Blessed Child” provides a fascinating look at the Unification Church, a movement founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, through testimonials of those who escaped.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-i-esc ... w-age-cult

For most of her life, Cara Jones was part of a “cult”—namely, the Unification Church founded and led by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Rising to American prominence in the 1970s (where its adherents were commonly referred to as “Moonies”), the movement preached that Moon was God’s messiah, and thus that his teachings were of divine and paramount importance taking precedence over all other beliefs, thoughts, and desires. Through mass-arranged marriages and strict guidelines about sexual behavior, the organization infiltrated every part of a member’s existence.

For Jones, it was the bedrock of her family—her father even served for a time as church president—and the crux of her identity, which is why severing herself from the church meant initiating a traumatic break from the people she loved the most, as well as a process of self-actualization that continues to this day.

Blessed Child is director Jones’ autobiographical account of that journey, offering an intimate inside look at the Unification Church. Premiering at DOC NYC on Nov. 9, the documentary is less a dry historical overview than an experiential snapshot of the group’s operational strategies and practices on a micro level. Promising a brand of happiness, togetherness, tolerance and holiness that prior movements—such as the peace-and-love hippies of the ‘60s—had supposedly failed to deliver, the Unification Church sought to create a harmoniously diverse new world order that would bond everyone in a big happy family. At the head of that unit was the charismatic Moon himself, known as the “True Father,” a veritable Adam (alongside his Eve, wife Hak Ja Han, aka the “True Mother”) born without original sin, and capable of forging a new generation free of that same inherent stain.

[snip]

With Jones’ younger brother Bow struggling, in this environment, to accept his own homosexuality, a crisis of faith was all but inevitable. When it came, there weren’t fireworks for Jones so much as a profound confusion over her identity, and future. Blessed Child recounts her attempts to reckon with her upbringing, and the church’s impact on her heart and mind, while simultaneously providing an overview of Moon’s messianic rule, which elicited widespread charges of brainwashing—backed up by numerous former members’ on-camera testimonials to Jones—and which was eventually undercut by revelations about his own extramarital affairs and tax evasion.

Through a series of candid interviews, Blessed Child illustrates both how the church’s alleged inclusivity came equipped with a strain of exclusionary bigotry, and the way in which it offered lost souls the very things they most craved (Jones’ dad, whose own father abandoned him as an adolescent, clearly found in Moon the paternal figure he never had). It’s too bad, then, that Jones narrows her gaze to an almost detrimental extent. At a too-short 74 minutes, her work leaves out a wealth of contextual information (How big is the church in the U.S. today? How many Blessings still take place? What of their ownership of The Washington Times?) and personal details (How did she meet her first husband? How did her parents specifically react to her split from the church? What are her brothers’ current relationships with the church?) that would have greatly deepened her non-fiction narrative.

At its best, however, Blessed Child captures the corrosiveness of mass group-think movements, which are frequently as successful at tearing people apart as they are at bringing them together. Even if Jones’ story is, by film’s end, far from over—and, in many respects, just beginning—it remains a stirring and illuminating one about the importance of individual agency and its compatibility with a truly loving.

[snip][end]
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ProfX
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

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'I was a Moonie cult leader'
Steven Hassan spent two-and-a-half years being 'brainwashed' by the Rev Sun Myung Moon's controversial Unification Church. This is his story
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/ ... ult-leader

[snip]

My father started to weep at one point and said: "What would you do if it was your son who had dropped out of college, cut off contact?" I could feel he was was genuinely concerned about me, but it didn't mean I wanted to leave, or didn't think Moon was the Messiah. He asked me to listen to them for the next five days, and at the end if I still wanted to go back he would take me. I wanted to prove to them I wasn't brainwashed, but on the fifth day, as soon as I allowed the thought that Moon was a liar into my consciousness it was like a house of cards falling down. I was horrified.

I didn't do anything for three months after the deprogramming. I just tried to work out who I was and what I believed. After three months, I realised I wanted to go public and expose it, which I have been doing ever since, writing books about how these groups work, and working as a therapist to protect people.

Now Moon is gone, I'm ­concerned that the cult will start generating ­stories about how he walked on water and raised dead people. My fear is that for the sake of the ­franchise they will come ­together and promote Moon as a great being.

[snip][end]
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Bludogdem
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by Bludogdem »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:07 pm They believe they are Messiahs. That's NOT Christianity when it's a false Messiah. They said "”declared to all heaven and earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

But I guess they got enough gold to buy these folks off.
There’s a broad, broad range in Christian beliefs. Time was wars were fought. It’s certainly not what the Lutherans believe but when you believe in god and Jesus as messiah you’re a Christian.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by gounion »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:20 pm There’s a broad, broad range in Christian beliefs. Time was wars were fought. It’s certainly not what the Lutherans believe but when you believe in god and Jesus as messiah you’re a Christian.
I'm sorry, but no. The Bible talks about false gods a bit.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by ProfX »

I have no dog in the hunt over whether the Unification Church is Christian or not. These No True Scotsmen arguments don't really interest me, nor do I have a great wish in weighing in over them, as I don't care. Some people say the Mormon church isn't Christian, and therefore Mitt Romney isn't either. Honestly - don't care. Some Mormon beliefs are really weird, though. I also know Protestants who say Catholics aren't really Christian. Rare these days, but they exist, and usually hand out these weird little Jack Chick comics. All that said, some people seem to have a problem with Rev. Moon claiming that he was the returned Christ Messiah, I can see that being a problem for Christians, though I'm not one.

All that done, what I find interesting is, and I will agree there are problematics in the use of "cult," but there have been many people who've left the Unification Church, and say it's a cult that engages in brainwashing and many other coercive techniques. Much like Scientology. I care about that more, then whether it really is or is not Christian, or whatever it is they happen to believe. I have read, BTW, that since Rev. Moon's death, with little or no surprise, there has been some infighting among the next generation over who should be the ascendant leader of the movement.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:20 pm There’s a broad, broad range in Christian beliefs. Time was wars were fought. It’s certainly not what the Lutherans believe but when you believe in god and Jesus as messiah you’re a Christian.
Hmph.

Think so, huh?

Okay. Well, tell that to:

• the Great Schism

• the Wars of Religion

• the 30 Years War

• violent iconoclasm

• the Beeldenstorm

• the Counterreformation/Catholic Renewal

• the KKK

Image

• the entire reason for the No Religious Test Clause

This just a glisten on the tip of the iceberg of professed Christians killing other professed Christians and Christians discriminating against other Christians based solely on differences in belief.
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carmenjonze
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

ProfX wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:41 pm I have no dog in the hunt over whether the Unification Church is Christian or not. These No True Scotsmen arguments don't really interest me, nor do I have a great wish in weighing in over them, as I don't care. Some people say the Mormon church isn't Christian, and therefore Mitt Romney isn't either. Honestly - don't care. Some Mormon beliefs are really weird, though. I also know Protestants who say Catholics aren't really Christian. Rare these days, but they exist, and usually hand out these weird little Jack Chick comics. All that said, some people seem to have a problem with Rev. Moon claiming that he was the returned Christ Messiah, I can see that being a problem for Christians, though I'm not one.
Yes for me, if someone self-identifies as "Christian" or "a Christian," why would I argue. Fine with me, if that's what a person or group wishes to call themselves.

These arguments usually revolve around theological belief, anyway, and like you, that does not interest me, at all. I also consider most atheist arguments to be theological arguments, as well, though I happen to agree with a lot of their critiques of religion and Christianity in particular.

If someone tells me this or that branch of Christianity isn't "really" Christian, that's just another theological argument, to me.
All that done, what I find interesting is, and I will agree there are problematics in the use of "cult," but there have been many people who've left the Unification Church, and say it's a cult that engages in brainwashing and many other coercive techniques.
I try to use the word "cult" sparingly, too.

What makes it difficult is the direction of conservatism since the Obama presidency. They're off the rails with cult behavior like QAnon, Pizzagate, tea party, pro-Russia propaganda.

I would include the longstanding worship of light skin color and munny in that cult behavior, but I know as a good religious studies person, that's a stretch. :D

Calling Tucker Carlson's worship of white masculinity is not a stretch, though.
Much like Scientology. I care about that more, then whether it really is or is not Christian, or whate ver it is they happen to believe. I have read, BTW, that since Rev. Moon's death, with little or no surprise, there has been some infighting among the next generation over who should be the ascendant leader of the movement.
You've probably read about this - I posted about it at the old RFL.

Look at these people. :problem:

Gun Church That Worships With AR-15s Bought a 40-Acre Compound in Texas for Its ‘Patriots’ - Vice
The Rod of Iron Ministries has become more militant since leader Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon attended the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

The property, located in the small community of Thornton, 40 miles from Waco, was listed at just under $1 million. It’s been dubbed “Liberty Rock'' by its new owners, the Sanctuary Church aka Rod of Iron Ministries, led by Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon. Members of the congregation often refer to him as “King.”
Only in America. :problem:
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Bludogdem
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by Bludogdem »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:23 pm I'm sorry, but no. The Bible talks about false gods a bit.
A messiah is, by definition, not a god. So no false god.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:23 pm I'm sorry, but no. The Bible talks about false gods a bit.
Yeah but they've spent the last 2100 years bickering about it.

It's almost hilarious that Green Grass defends cavorting around with Moonies.

Almost.

It only shows there is no bottom to cult authoritarianism, and how deeply the average propagandized con can fall.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 10:04 pm A messiah is, by definition, not a god. So no false god.
You genuinely don't have any idea what you're talking about.

As usual.

And now because of your ignorance, you're defending the Moonies.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by bengal59 »

Glennfs wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:44 pm Again Pence just showed how conservatives are openmined and believe every person is entitled to their own beliefs.

Something I know you on the left can't comprehend. As with your side it is either believe what we believe or you are a racist or homophobic or whatever ever label you can attach. Because your political beliefs do not stand a chance on election day.



You mean like how they said the Michigan secretary of state should be arrested, tried for treason and executed because she wouldn't throw the election to YOUR GOD, the twice impeached former president 666? Or haw many of your "open-minded" conservatives have spoken of second amendment solutions to those who disagree with you?
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:02 pm The church’s name:

“The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity”
Link, please.
Different Christian denominations have different beliefs.

Moonies believe in God and Jesus.

They’re Christian.
They're far right authoritarian social conservatives, regardless of their differing theologies.

That's why Pence is playing footsie with them, and it's why rightwing conservative Protestants whose relatives persecuted Catholics are now also playing footsie with far right Catholics.

They want that antigay antiabortion vote.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

gounion wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:37 pm This isn't new, but I did come upon this recently, I've known about the Unification Church for years. But it's baffling. This is just the latest:



Why would a Christian like Pence have anything to do with a false religion and a false Messiah?
So this link goes back to this thread, but I found the actual link.

Pence and Pompeo Headlined an Event Mounted by a Group That Says the “Christian Era Has Ended” - Mother Jones
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 8:02 pm They’re Christian.
Are they, tho?

You sure about that?

Pence and Pompeo Headlined an Event Mounted by a Group That Says the “Christian Era Has Ended" - Mother Jones

^this is the link for the OP article.

Reread that headline.

And that first paragraph quoted in the OP.
On May 8, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headlined a virtual rally organized by an offshoot of the Unification Church, a controversial religious movement known for holding mass weddings of its adherents and that has been accused of being a cult. Though American conservatives have long made common cause with the Unification Church, the head of the outfit that pulled together this event declared not too long ago that the “Christian era has ended”—which means Pence and Pompeo, whose self-professed religious devotion is a prominent part of their respective political profiles, were (knowingly or not) collaborating with and bolstering a group that says it is supplanting the Christianity they embrace.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Glennfs wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 7:44 pm Again Pence just showed how conservatives are openmined and believe every person is entitled to their own beliefs.
:?

Far-right religious authoritarians like the UFP are not "openmined," by design.

The goal of these post-Christian Moonies, Mike Pence, far-right Catholics, far-right Mormons, far-right Evangelicals, and you, is to suspend the rights of nonbelievers and nonconformists, and force us back into second-class citizenship.

You guys, e.g. conservative whites and your wannabes, have done this before, and I get that you want those conditions back.

Well, you're not getting them back.
Something I know you on the left can't comprehend. As with your side it is either believe what we believe or you are a racist or homophobic or whatever ever label you can attach.
American conservatism has become a death cult thanks to an army of undereducated, exploitable white supremacists like you.

Hey, don't take my word for it. Ask Mike Pence. He's the ones these other duped Confederate flagwavers tried to lynch a year and a half ago, because he wouldn't fix a national election for them.

I am very solidly closed-minded towards far-right religious authoritarianism, and I am firmly closed-minded about any laws they make against my person. Why shouldn't I be?
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by ProfX »

Bludogdem wrote: Mon May 23, 2022 10:04 pm A messiah is, by definition, not a god. So no false god.
While I am inclined to agree, allow me to point out some etymology and history. I really hate getting into religious arguments, but ... there are missionaries who like to target Jews and this is not my first time at this rodeo.

The word "moshiach" in Hebrew means "anointed" and there were usually two of them at any point in history - the king and the high priest, both of whom were anointed with oil upon their coronation. So in reality, there had been a lot of them historically. It's just in Jesus' time both the king and the high priest were usurpers (one was Herodian, the other Hasmonean, neither had the right descent and were viewed as Roman puppets.) "Chrestos" in Greek means the same thing - "anointed"... now there are two genealogies for Jesus that attempt to show his descent from King David ... problem is, they contradict each other, even in the number of generations between David and Jesus (so there HAS to be a problem with one or the other), ... and here's the key point, it was a patrilineal descent, so they would have to show Joseph was descended from David, and he would have to be the bio-father ... except ... bottom line, scholars have looked over them, neither of these genealogies actually "work," BUT they clearly are there in the Gospels to convince people that Jesus could have ruled as King over Israel as he had the right descent.

That's how he could have been the Jewish messiah. Only final problem: it's not just a you qualify thing, to be the messiah, you had to assume the office of king or high priest. He never did, even assuming he existed (I tend to think so, though most of the stuff in the Gospels is mythological or inaccurate.) Orthodox Jews are still waiting for the Messiah, heck there are some who say he was Rabbi Schneerson ... Jesus wasn't it, but they are still waiting for a king with Davidic descent to rule over Israel (except hey isn't monarchy outdated?)

Sooooo ... here's the thing. Yes, Jews believe the Messiah was or will be just a person. Although by the 2nd Temple period, even before Christianity, this was starting to take on eschatological and salvific overtones. This is the milieux out of which things emerge. But Christians seem to have this litmus test called the Nicene Creed (it's why many people say Mormons, or Unitarians, are not Christian) ... and it says Jesus was not just the Christian Messiah, but also part of the Godhead/Trinity, and was Divine. G-d on Earth.

So if Rev. Moon said he was that Messiah returned to Earth, effectively the Second Coming ... yes, it means something insofar as him asserting he was more than just a man.
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

ProfX wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 6:11 amChristians seem to have this litmus test called the Nicene Creed (it's why many people say Mormons, or Unitarians, are not Christian)
Yes and complicating matters is that some of the most well-known and prominent Protestant denominations in the US are in fact anti-creedal. Certain Baptists such as the Slavery Baptist Convention (okay, Southern Baptist Convention/SBC) are among them.

There are numerous important creeds to creedal denominations/branches.

But anti-creedal church bodies HATE creeds and do not recite them in their services. Other Protestants, like Episcopalians, Lutherans, most mainline Methodists, etc., do recite the Athanasian/Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed. The Roman Catholic Church uses the Nicene and Apostles Creeds u. Eastern/Oriental Orthodox do not use the Apostles.

The Christian Reformed Church (of the Reformed branch of Christianity) has this little freakout on their web page because the word "catholic" is a part of the Apostle's Creed. Sigh. https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/c ... tles-creed

So, Green Grass is full of it when he claims that all it takes to be considered "Christian" is "belief" in God and Jesus as messiah. :problem:

He's right that there is multiplicity of belief. But he does not seem to know much beyond that. :problem:
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Re: What's with the GOP and the Moonies?

Post by carmenjonze »

Oh, and the "Oriental" in Oriental Orthodox is part of a proper noun, not an anti-Asian slur.
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