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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Mooning the GOP-In the comment section of a good Lilac Rose piece on homosexuality, a left-leaning troll named Don started into an unrelated comment/rant on the Unification Church and its close ties to the GOP. While Don may not deserve the attention, he managed to pull my chatty-ring; this post is an extension of comments I left on the post. A few quick facts about the Unification Church that are reasonably well-known among religious conservatives and conservatives in general. (1) The Unification Church owns the Washington Times (2) They want to make coalitions with religious conservatives in order to co-op them (3) Some conservatives, such as Pat Robertson, have made common cause with Unification Church fronts on political causes (4) Many conservatives are avid readers of the Washington Times as a right-of-center alternative to the (generally) left-leaning Washington Post on political matters. I've known this for over a decade, as have most people who follow conservative politics. The UC is decidedly heterodox, for Moon fashions himself to being a second Messiah, adding a marriage component that Jesus neglected two millennia ago. However, heterodox religions can also be politically conservative; Mormons are a key part of the Republican coalition as well, and much of the same bile can be pointed at the LDS as well as the UC. What then do we do with the Washington Times? The WaTi will be coming at things from a conservative, monotheistic perspective, just as NPR will be coming at things from a secular liberal perspective. The news consumer will then adjust for the slant. What about Moon's influence on the GOP? As far as I understand, it largely extends to the Washington Times and its sister publications. Part of that influence stems from an honest anti-communist conservatism born from Moon's North Korean roots, while part stems from a desire to co-opt American conservative movements into fellow travelers with the Unification Church. From a political conservative perspective, Moon isn't any more dangerous than the Mormons or the Southern Baptists. All of them share a basic emphasis on Ten Commandments morality and general agreement on geopolitics and economic policy. Politics is about bringing diverse people with similar goals under one roof. The GOP doesn't have to recognize Moon as a second Messiah any more than they have to agree with Mormons on baptizing the dead or Southern Baptists on the fine points of salvation. However, if small-o orthodox Christian groups start to make common cause with the Unification Church (or other heterodox outfits such as the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses), then the Gospel can start to be compromised. For political players with a strong Christian message, such as J.C. Watts, one needs to bring a long spoon if one wants to work with any of the UC's front on political or "family values" projects.

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