more "messiah"...Sun Myung Moon
- A friend of mine found this one, and here is the full article. At the
end are links to a site on Mr. Moon, and a site devoted to him.
The "Father" that is referrenced to in the 'true family' site is him,
Enjoy the wackiness!!
A Crowning at the Capital Creates a Stir
Controversial Rev. Moon Declares Self Messiah During Coronation in
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, The New York Times
WASHINGTON, June 23 - As a shining symbol of democracy, the United
States capital is not ordinarily a place where coronations occur. So
news that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the eccentric and exceedingly
wealthy Korean-born businessman, donned a crown in a Senate office
building and declared himself the Messiah while members of Congress
watched is causing a bit of a stir.
One congressman, Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois,
wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding one of two ornate gold
crowns that were placed on the heads of Mr. Moon and his wife, Dr.
Hak Ja Han Moon, at the ceremony, which took place March 23 and
capped a reception billed as a peace awards banquet.
Mr. Davis says he held the wife's crown and was "a bit surprised'' by
Mr. Moon's Messiah remarks, which were delivered in Korean but
accompanied by a written translation. In them, he said emperors,
kings and presidents 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.''
By Wednesday, after news of the event had been reported in the online
magazine Salon and various newspapers, Capitol Hill was in full-blown
backpedaling mode, as lawmakers who attended but missed the
coronation - or saw it and did not think much of it - struggled to
"I remember the king and queen thing,'' said Representative Roscoe G.
Bartlett, Republican of Maryland, "But we have the king and queen of
the prom, the king and queen of 4-H, the Mardi Gras and all sorts of
other things. I had no idea what he was king of.''
Others, like Senator Mark Dayton, Democrat of Minnesota, insisted
they were duped and had no idea that the organization holding the
reception was connected to Mr. Moon. Mr. Dayton said he attended
because a constituent was being honored. He left before the crowning.
"I never saw Reverend Moon present during the time I was there,'' Mr.
Dayton said. "I did not stay for any formal program.''
At 84, Mr. Moon cuts a curious figure in Washington, where he mingles
with the city's power elite by dint of his dual roles as religious
leader and media mogul. He owns The Washington Times, which bills
itself as a conservative alternative to The Washington Post, as well
as United Press International, the wire service. He calls
himself "Father'' and has drawn notoriety for officiating at mass
weddings. Mr. Moon's Unification Church has many tentacles, including
the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace,
which held what it called an Ambassadors for Peace awards banquet in
the Dirksen Office Building on March 23. An initial invitation, sent
to all members of Congress, stated that Mr. Moon and his wife would
also be present and honored for their work. But follow-up letters,
including one provided by Mr. Dayton, mentioned only the peace
foundation and simply told lawmakers who from their states was being
Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, an organization
devoted to preserving the separation of church and state, said Mr.
Moon often drew lawmakers into his fold in this way. Mr. Lynn said it
seemed Mr. Moon was courting black lawmakers, including Mr. Davis of
Illinois and Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who
attended but said he did not stay for the crowning ceremony.
"Reverend Moon has been very intentional about promoting his
activities within the African-American church community,'' Mr. Lynn
said. But he said he was disturbed by lawmakers' "flimsy excuses,''
adding, "You had what effectively amounted to a religious coronation
in a government building of a man who claims literally to be the
Mr. Cummings, however, said the invitation was similar to countless
requests he receives to honor local constituents, in this case a
black bishop in his district. Mr. Bartlett said he attended to
support The Washington Times. "I'm a conservative," he said. "I'm
delighted that we have a middle-of-the-road paper in Washington."
The event itself attracted little notice, though Mr. Lynn's
organization wrote about it in a newsletter in May. The uproar did
not occur until this week, when John Gorenfeld, a freelance writer,
published an account of the event in Salon. Mr. Gorenfeld, who wrote
that at least a dozen members of Congress attended, said he had been
scouting the Internet, researching Mr. Moon, when he stumbled on a
video of the ceremony.
"Nobody sent it to me,'' he said. "I discovered it and I
thought, 'Oh, my God.' ''
But Archbishop George A. Stallings, pastor of the Imani Temple, an
independent African-American Catholic church in Washington, who
helped coordinate the reception, does not see what all the fuss is
about. "From his spiritual perspective,'' he said, referring to Mr.
Moon, "that is how he sees his role, as ordained by God.''
He added: "This is not the first time the man has been on Capitol
As to whether it will be the last, that is an open question. To hold
the event in the Dirksen building, the organization was required to
find a senator to act as a sponsor. But the identity of the sponsor
remained a secret on Wednesday; the Senate Rules and Administration
Committee, which approved the request, would not release the name.
Susan Irby, a spokeswoman for Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the
committee chairman, said staff members were examining the
application, filed in the name of The Washington Times Foundation, to
see if there were any violations of Senate rules.
Mr. Davis said he had attended meetings of the peace foundation,
knowing of Mr. Moon's involvement.
Of the crowning ceremony, Mr. Davis said: "It's my understanding that
what they were doing was recognizing Mr. and Mrs. Moon as parents.
They call it true parents, as parents who provide parental guidance
or parental direction. That's what it meant to me. It meant nothing
more and nothing less.''
June 24, 2004
Copyright © 2004 The New York Times Company.