The Bush Family and the Moon Family
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Dec 09, 2005 at 03:23:47 AM EST
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church has had a hand in the development of the religious right and the broader conservative movement for four decades. Moon, who has called for "an automatic theocracy to rule the world" --under his aegis, of course -- one of the dirty secrets of the religious right. Among other important relationships, journalist Bob Parrry exposed how Moon helped bail out televangelist Jerry Falwell several years ago.  And pioneering conservative direct mail entrepreneur Richard Viguerie has had Moon front groups as clients since 1965.  

But the ocasional scandal not withstanding, top leaders of the GOP and the Christian Right align themselves with the explicity anti-Christian and anti-American Moon organization with far greater frequency than ever makes the news.

For all the conservative movement's histrionics about preserving the traditional family against percieved "attacks," Re. Moon's Unfication Church has done tremendous damage to countless traditional nuclear families in pursuit of his theocratic vision, and his political and business interests.

I have written about the Moon organization from time to time since 1983. I am constantly struck by the extraordinary blind spot most Americans have regarding this dangerous anti-democratic organization.

I am reminded of this today, because Journalist John Gorenfeld has an important article on AlterNet that deserves far greater attention than it has received. It details the apparent business relationship between President Bush's brother Neil Bush and the Moon organization.

I devoted a chaper of my 1997 book Eternal Hostility:  The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy to the multifaceted Moon organization. Here is a very brief section, that I think might have some bearing on the current, if belated, discussion of "values" in the Democratic Party.

It is strange that the Unification Church plays an integral role in the "family values" movement... With family values meaning support for the heterosexual nuclear family, as the centerpiece of the Christian conservative agenda, rank and file Christian conservatives are usually shocked to learn of thier movement's connections to a group that urges separation from one's biological family.

When young people are recruited and indoctrinated into the church, in a few short days they abandon their previous lives and biological families to become the "True Children" of the "True Parents," (Rev. and Mrs Moon) and thus become members of the "True Family" (Unification Church). This phraseology is frequently prominent in, or just below the surface of their public activities....Perhaps the epitome of the co-optation of the Christian Right's conservative family values rhetoric was the cover of the October, 1995 issue of the Unification News [the church monthly newspaper]  which featured a photo of Rev. and Mrs. Moon, arms outstretched, under the headline, "True Family Values."

...As far back as 1983, Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), then chair of the moderate Republican Ripon Society challenged the hypocritical alliance between party conservatives and the Moon organization: "A political movement basing its appeal on old fashioned patriotism and family values simply cannot justify an alliance with a cult that preys on the disintergration of the American family and advocates allegiance to an international social order operating with cell-like secresy."

It is this context, and much much more, that helps make Neil Bush's relationship with Moon signficant, even as the scheme Moon is advocating seems, on its face, to be a crackpot idea. Gorenfeld writes:

"Those who stray from the heavenly way," the owner of the flagship Republican newspaper the Washington Times admonished an audience in Taipei on Friday, "will be punished."

This "heavenly way," the Rev. Sun Myung Moon explained, demands a 51-mile underwater highway spanning Alaska and Russia. Sitting in the front row: Neil Bush, the brother of the president of the United States.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the South Korean giant of the religious right who owns the Washington Times, is on a 100-city speaking tour to promote his $200 billion "Peace King Tunnel" dream. As he describes it, the tunnel would be both a monument to his magnificence, and a totem to his prophecy of a unified Planet Earth. In this vision, the United Nations would be reinvented as an instrument of God's plan, and democracy and sexual freedom would crumble in the face of this faith-based glory.

The name Peace King Tunnel would allude to the title of authority to which Moon, 86, lays claim, and to which U.S. congressmen paid respect on Capitol Hill in last year's controversial "Crown of Peace" coronation ritual...

While Neil Bush and Moon's church couldn't be reached for comment on the tunnel or his speaking fees, a brochure from Moon's Family Federation
underscores that the project is "God's fervent desire," dwarfing such past wonders as the Chunnel and heralding a "new era of automobile travel."...

The billionaire Moon has never been one to pander to the Sierra Club, having subsidized the anti-environmental "wise use" movement. Likewise, his group anticipates an anti-tunnel backlash by those who "demand the preservation of the polar region's ecosystem and the protection of polar bears and seals,"and proposes an aggressive media strategy: "[P]ublic opinion polls must be carried out all over the world and it is absolutely essential that a public relations campaign to educate environmental groups, concerned organizations and residents near the proposed construction sites be carried out as well."

...Moon has frequently gone on the record against Western-style democracy and individualism, calling them results of the fall of Adam. "There are three guiding principles for the world to choose from: democracy, Communism and Godism," he said in a 1987 sermon. "It is clear that democracy as the United States knows and practices it cannot be the model for the world."

"Individualism," he also said at the speech -- entitled "I Will Follow With Gratitude And Obedience" -- "is what God hates most and what Satan likes best."

Neil isn't the only Bush to attend Moon events. In 1996, his father, President George H.W. Bush, traveled to Buenos Aires with the Reverend in
one of several such fundraising expeditions. "The 41st president, who told Argentine president Carlos Menem that he had joined Moon in Buenos Aires for the money, had actually known the Korean reasonably well for decades," writes former top GOP strategist Kevin Phillips in his book "American Dynasty."

Indeed, I wrote in Eternal Hostility, Neil's mother and father, former president George Bush and Barbara Bush have appeared at numerous Moon sponsored functions in the U.S. and Japan, as well as the Buenos Aires event. Press reports indicated that they may have recieved millions of dollars for their services.

The Moon organization is a complicated, but important entity in both the religious right and in the Republican Party. It is worth taking the time to get to know more about it, its history, and its contemporary role.

Your quote on individualism is chilling.  

You write that Moon said: Individualism is what God hates most and what Satan likes best.

The religious right agenda takes direct aim at individualism.  But this seems little-understood.

This is the heart of the attack on Roe v. Wade.  It is not just about abortion, but much more about the right to privacy, as articulated in Roe.  The right to privacy sanctions individualism under the Constitution.  And with individualism, the group-think of theocracy cannot stand.  This is precisely why Paul Weyrich declared that eliminating Roe is "the bloody crossroads" for the religious right.

I wish that more people understood that the attack on Roe is, deep-down, an attack on all individual rights.

by cyncooper on Fri Dec 09, 2005 at 05:37:46 AM EST

Throughout the Christianist rhetoric there is a phenomenal emphasis on authoritarianism. Even when Pat Robertson weighed in against the execution of Karla Faye Tucker here in Texas, because she really seemed to be rehabilitated, his idea of fixing the capital punishment system was to give Texas governors more leeway in granting clemency to condemned prisoners-- to shore up state executive authority in a new way, in other words.
One finds also consistent attacks on the European Enlightenment-- the movement toward the primacy of the human power to reason which undergirded the thought of the American revolutionary patriots. I guess it would be a cheap shot to declare that they really do not like people thinking for themselves.

by MaryOGrady on Fri Dec 09, 2005 at 10:29:58 AM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (357 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (181 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (105 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (97 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (109 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (128 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (125 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (81 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (230 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (57 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (156 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (53 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (56 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (214 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (244 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (91 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (179 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (144 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (142 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (151 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (146 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (125 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (206 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (144 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (84 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (190 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (81 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (109 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (108 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.