THE PLANK APRIL 17, 2007
I'm pretty surprised that this story has received scant attention thus far. Former President George H.W. Bush will deliver the keynote address at the Washington Times gala dinner on May 17, where he will share the stage with the paper's owner, the cult-leader Reverend Sun Myung Moon (he of the mass weddings of anonymous partners). Conservatives in D.C have a strange relationship with Moon--they humor him because he owns the Times but simultaneously keep their distance because he's essentially a crack-pot. Since this is Moon's first major appearance in three years, I'm wondering whether he'll again declare himself humanity's savior.
In the summer of 2004, while interning at The Hill, I received a tip that Moon had declared himself the "messiah" in the presence of congressmen and senators at a Capitol Hill office building. Moon's declarations of savior-hood were nothing new, but doing so in a public building in the presence of elected officials ... well, he's probably done that too. Oh yeah, and I was also told that he was coronated. In the United States Senate.
A few phone calls revealed the story was true. Not only had Moon declared himself humanity's "savior, Messiah, Returning Lord, and True Parent," but he also said that "Hitler and Stalin have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons." Representatives Curt Weldon, Danny Davis, and Roscoe Bartlett, among others, were all in attendance. A few weeks after the story broke, it turned out that Senator John Warner had reserved the room for Moon, but he claimed that Moon had somehow "deceived" him.
Do yourself a favor and watch the event here (fast-forward to 1:50 to skip the new-agey introduction). You'll see a truly ecumenical gathering honoring Moon, in which a rabbi blows a shofar and Reprsentative Davis delivers a tribute wearing the white gloves with which he presented Moon's crown on a velvet pillow. You will also learn how Reverend Moon "rose from the position of servants of servants, to be the King of Peace."
Aside from the funny stuff (and the minor outrage of a man being crowned in the headquarters of our Republic), isn't it morally questionable that so many prominent conservatives (a former president among them!) would pander to a man who has called gays "dirty dung-eating dogs" and said that the Jews deserved the Holocaust? (Though, to be fair, he also said that "The white race are the descendants of polar bears. Their ancestors were Viking pirates. Wherever the white race goes there is always bloodshed." Maybe he's just an "equal-opportunity offender." Like Don Imus.)