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Congress crowns the Rev. Moon

July 01, 2004|by TIM ROWLAND

Lucky president. I wish I could get rid of my troubles just by handing them over to the Iraqis.

One problem I would hand over to the Iraqis would be the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. You remember Moon, right? Convicted of tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice, performer of mass weddings, demander of total allegiance, man at the heart of Koreagate influence-peddling probe in the mid-'70s, and so on.

And now several members of Congress, including our own Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, have just crowned him king.

It only became widely reported last week, but at a Capitol Hill ceremony in March, Moon - surrounded by several cheering congressmen - had an ornate crown placed on his head and declared that he was "none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

Man. How cool is that? Good for Roscoe. I mean, if I needed some federal cash to bring home to the district, I want to have one of two people on my side: The Messiah, or Sen. Robert Byrd.

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But of course the biased, liberal press had to spoil a good thing by reporting it, and causing a bit of a hubbub among folks back in home districts who didn't much cotton to their reps bowing down to a crowned Korean who maintains that he has talked "in the spirit world" to all of the deceased U.S. presidents, along with Jesus, Moses and Mohammed.

In other words, if there's something you regret not saying to Elvis while you had the chance, Moon is your message boy. He even said during his coronation speech that he has preached to the rogues of the world and convinced them to change. "...(D)ictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons," Moon said.

Mark Twain once complained that no one ever bothered to pray for Satan, "the one sinner who needed it most," so I can understand and appreciate Moon's objectives. But the thought that the author of the Holocaust could be staying at a halfway house in Wheaton or welding mufflers as part of hell's work-release program, is something I'm not quite ready to hear.

According to the New York Times: "By (last) 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 explain themselves.

"I remember the king and queen thing," said 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."

Interesting. Bartlett thought Moon was calling out to all his congressional faithful to attend a coronation to proclaim himself king of 4-H?

I'm not too sure how you could get the two confused. Infrequently do you hear the pigtailed blue-ribbon pie champion announce that she is the Messiah and that - along with baking a mean apple-walnut - she has also taken the time to put Hitler back on the straight-and-narrow.

The photos of the ceremony are all over the Web, and it just doesn't get any more unreal than this. A group of people in the Dirksen Senate Office Building giving a standing ovation as a Korean ex-con, who has preached that our Constitution should be replaced by a form of government he calls "Godism," is crowned king in regal ceremony replete with flowing robes and the blowing of rams' horns.

Salon magazine's John Gorenfeld describes it thusly: "Cut to the ritual. Eyes downcast, a man identified as Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) is bringing a crown, atop a velvety purple cushion, to a figure who stands waiting austerely with his wife. Now Moon is wearing robes that Louis XIV would have appreciated. All of this has quickly been spliced into a promo reel by Moon's movement, which implies to its followers that the U.S. Congress itself has crowned the Washington Times owner.

Whillikers. All that's missing is the "Thank you sir, may I have another?" And Roscoe thinks this is similar to a prom? Who does he think Sun Myung and his wife Hak Ja Han are, Brenda and Eddie?

Congressional fax machines are humming with denials as we speak, but as one of Moon's own supporters told the Washington Post, "You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know that any event that is sponsored by the Washington Times . . . could involve the influence, or the potential presence, of the Reverend Moon."

Other congressmen just came out and admitted they were "duped" into attending.

Deaf, dumb, blind, duped. Check, check, check, check. Yes, that's definitely our Congress.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

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