Articles From the March 1994 Unification News
Thoughts On The Success Of Homosexualism
UViews March 1994
Homosexuality is something like Communism. As in the case of Communism, we love the sinner but hate the sin. As with Communism, homosexuality has moved from being a personal spiritual problem to being an ideological threat, promulgated not by the numbers under its sway but by a few leaders at the control of the language and institutions. In fact, I would term this developing interpretation of society, history and nature, "homosexualism." As with Communism, our best strategy against homosexualism is vigilence and containment, as we develop a superior alternative while it rots from within.
In 1977 at the Unification Theological Seminary, I researched the contemporary Christian response to homosexuality. I found that Christianity cannot defeat homosexualism. Christianity has neither an ideological nor a practical answer. Ideologically, Christians are worshipping a bachelor Messiah and a God who is three males in one. These archetypes fit right into the homosexualist viewpoint. There is no fundamental male/female archetype in Christian tradition.
This matter rested uneasily in the Christian closet for 2,000 years, subsumed under the category of the fall. At the close of the second millennium (that is, this week), the closet is being emptied. The day I write this, in fact, March 12, the rules of the Church of England are being changed to approve the ordination of women to the Anglican priesthood. The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, regretted the conflict engendered, but generously assured opponents of the change that they would continue to have "a full and honored place within the church." (RNS, 2/28/94). It is not clear whether those opponents now desire a place in the church, or even consider it to be the same church. A Church of England priest, Rev. Francis Bown, expressed the view that the Anglican claim to Catholicity is killed forever, and that "now it is just a liberal Protestant sect."
Of course, the same issue is dividing the Catholic Church. Protestants, by God's providence, are farther along the road of progress. The ordination of women to the clergy is a long-lived fait accompli; the burning moral question challenging the ethical acumen the finest of this generation's Protestant theologians is the validity of homosexual marriages.
As Reverend Moon says, all these problems are rooted in a confusion of the God-given relationship of man and woman. The image of woman simply has not gained status equal to that of man in the Jewish or Christian traditions. Where do Christians find it? For Catholics there is the cult of Mary, virgin mother (another oxymoron). An inspiring but not very realistic model for Catholic women. For Protestants, well, Jesus has been feminized over the past 400 years. Read The Feminization of American Culture, by Ann Douglas. She explains how the liberal Protestant clergy combined with the upper middle class women on the eastern seaboard in the nineteenth-century to feminize Jesus, Christian theology and much of American culture. The image transitioned from Jesus the vengeful judge to a Jesus with silky blonde hair and flowing gowns, carrying lambs in his arms with children gathered around.
This does not work today; even women reject this image. And so we have the mainstream Protestant denominations co-sponsoring a conference on "RE-Imagining . . . God, Community and the Church." There, 2,000 Christian leaders attended and participated in "a mil-and-honey ritual and invocations to the feminine deity Sophia." (RNS 3/7/94) Methodist and Presbyterian conservatives are criticizing the conference, in particular those aspects of it, as "dominated by heresy and paganism," presenting aspects which were "alternatives" to belief in the triune God and celebration of the holy eucharist. The hierarchies of these churches are defending the conference, justified as exploration of "ways in which women's experiences and feminist scholarship can be incorporated into theology and spirituality."
Thus it would seem that to do justice to the feminine, fundamental Christian beliefs and traditions may be sacrificed. But in the present Christian context, this is taking place within a framework of either/or: either the tradition or the innovations, either bread and wine or milk and honey. What is needed is a new overarching model, which exalts the tradition and contextualizes it in a more wholistic understanding of the providence of God.
In any case, the result of my research at UTS was that logic cannot prove homosexuality evil, nor can the Christian tradition, out of which homosexualism arose, answer it. Under the Christian archetype, wherein religious celibacy competes for and generally wins the highground commanding God's attention, who can expect anyone to comprehend the absolute value of heterosexual marriage? The ideal of Christian celibacy, rooted finally in Jesus' bachelor status, predetermined for 2,000 years an incorrigible ambivalence on the part of Christians toward the physical body, on the one hand, and toward the sexual relationship which produces it, on the other. Blood, that of Jesus and of the martyrs, is the seed of the church, but it is not the seed of human procreation. Hence the awful and ultimately unnecessary division between physical life and spiritual life, between birth and rebirth. If the Christian church and culture is to resolve this problem, it must discover a new fundamental paradigm.
The ideal of celibacy is the archetype of the middle ages, an era of God's providence which we rightly treasure. It was an era in which newborns were all but exorcised before being brought into the church for baptism and the receiving of godparents. The church recognized that the root of life itself is invaded by evil. That root of life, of course, is sexual intercourse. The disease of sin infects the sexual organs themselves, because our bodies are intrinsic to our personal being.
Why did not the ideal of medieval Catholicism maintain its hold on the human imagination? The answer lies in two places. One, it lies in the very genius of Christianity (and of all religions): it points beyond itself. Its very finality includes the hope for its own transcendence. "I am coming soon . . . I am coming soon . . . I am coming soon . . . " echoes through the sad, crucifix-adorned cathedral of the ages. "Yes," Jesus tells us, "I returned in the spirit after the cross, but in some way greater than that again will I live with you." Two, the desire more basic than that of any religion, that of true man/woman love, is not revealed or saved by Christianity. I heard the story of a Catholic being asked by her priest why she had joined the Unification Church. "Why attend a funeral," she replied, "when you can attend a wedding?"
I nonetheless cheer the efforts of those theologians who feel there is a line to be drawn and make efforts to do so and to protect it. One such, reported in the Religious News Service of March 7, is Roman Catholic Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. Biffi is speaking out on behalf of the Pope's recent opposition to the European Parliament's resolution of February 8 which would recognize homosexual marriages and allow homosexual couples to adopt children. "The parliament," reports the RNS, "an advisory body of elected representatives from the 12-member nations of the European Union, approved the resolution by a 159-96 vote." The Pope said that this resolution legitimizes a moral disorder, and Biffi defended the papal statement. The Christian community, he said, "should wake up and realize that defending the truth as it has been revealed by God is the most elementary and the most necessary act of charity toward the others and it should have the courage to openly challenge anti-Christian opinions." For example, he said, in ministering to divorced people, one should not just comfort them, but let them understand that "divorce is an egotistical act in opposition to God's plan." "In short," reports the RNS, "the cardinal warned against placing more emphasis on compassion than on truth. He said people are always concerned about showing compassion and love for unwed mothers and AIDS victims, 'but much less worried about remembering that the violation of God's commandments and behavior against chastity always brings with it the risk of self-destruction."
And yet, what is the Cardinal protecting? It may be a line drawn in a war which has been won already .
The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, spoke to a luncheon of religious leaders during the second Assembly of the World's Religions. Present were the Grand Mufti of one nation, the chief rabbi of another, Tibetan Buddhist monks, Hindu swamis, Christian ecumenists, Sikh gurus and Baptist ministers. With what teaching did he seek to bring forth their hidden oneness? The rabbi exclaimed it afterward in the lobby, to his friend and to everyone else within earshot: "It was so amazing! He talked to us all about the sexual organs!"
Imagine Jesus living to the end of a long and fruitful life, accepted for who he was, the only son of the living God. Like us but without sin, he would have had a wife of stature equal to his, a family, grandchildren. Imagine that by a ripe old age he would get around to telling the people the facts of life.
Imagine the New Jerusalem. Are there children on the streets of gold?
How do they get there?
What does the Messiah come to do?
Paul, following Jesus' path of tears, wrote that in Christ there is no male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor free. The separation into Jew and Greek, slave and free, I would submit, are results of the fall, and Paul was right with regard to the rightful ending of those divisions. But Paul was wrong, ultimately, concerning male and female. The separation into male and female is not a result of the fall; it is a principle of creation. In fact, the very image of God is male and female (Gen. 1:27), and the male and female in and of God were concretized directly as a man and a woman (and indirectly in the structure of the entire universe and all its parts), whose longing would naturally be to re-constitute the unity of God in marriage.
This re-constitution of God's unity by two separated, complimentary beings is the Unification model of the Trinity, the three-in-one: God, man and woman. This is the substantialization of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and one should treat every Christian couple as a representation of the Trinity. Hence, the Trinity is life-giving, procreative.
From this viewpoint, ideological homosexuality, or homosexualism, is a denial of God, for it is denying the image of God. One could probably compare it with one or other of the classical heresies which denied the Trinity. Further, any worldview which accepts the balance of forces in nature summarized in the yin/yang duality, a description of multiplicity as subtley comfortable as the Trinity is with the unity of God, cannot countenance the homosexualist one-sided view of man, nature and God.
The Need For A Conservative Alternative
Thus sayeth Wililam Kristol, Chairman, Project for the Republican Future, in an article published in the conservative periodical, Imprimis: " . . . the fact that liberalism is dying is no guarantee that conservatism will triumph. Conservatives must promote their own agenda. First, conservatives must fight against liberalism on philosophic grounds. . . Second, conservatives must make the fight against liberalism broad rather than narrow. . . . Third, conservatives need a positive agenda. . . Fourth, conservatives must remember that it is easier to achieve big rather than little reforms. . . . Fifth, conservatives must make arguments that go beyond economics." (Italics Kristol's.)
What Kristol really is saying is that conservatives need a religiously-based system of principles and ideas, an ideology, if you will. The problem is that conservativism have always been anti- ideological. Just the facts, said Locke against the rationalist Descartes. Just proven practice, said Burke against the French philosophes. Just common sense free market and fair play, said the leaders of the democracies against the communists. The downfall of monarchism and Thomism was the end of the influence of conservatism as an ideological alternative. Nothing has successfully taken its place, although the Puritans tried.
Democracy is inherently anti-ideological. Therefore, Kristol timidly refers to what the conservatives need as "an agenda," and the Imprimis editor calls for "a real alternative" to liberalism. Come out and say it, folks: conservatives need a God-centered ideology, a God-centered system of ideas and principles which cohere meaningfully to define this world and tell us what is right and what is wrong. Just because the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the only thinker who has such an ideology doesn't prevent you from acknowledging this simple necessity, does it?
The problem is that we have exhausted the resources of the Christian paradigm and spiritual foundation. Liberals say deconstruct everything and conservatives call us back to the sources; in an ironic way they are saying the same thing: where we are presently situated is unacceptable. Even the President, comments Kristol, has no nerve to talk about "progress," as did Kennedy; all he can call for is "change." (If the Whitewater developments continue I expect to see a political cartoon soon with a bedraggled Bill on the street begging for spare change.)
Please note: I said we have exhausted the resources of the Christian paradigm, which Christians have been the first to admit is an historical event awaiting further development. I did not say we have exhausted the resources of God. As Christians should know, God's giving of a further revelation does not nullify the earlier revelation, although it does modify our comprehension of the earlier revelation.
Unificationism is the ideology which we need. This is a call to non- Unificationists.
Unificationism is the ideology which we need to develop. This is a call to Unificationists.
A Prophet with Honor: On the Occasion of Billy Graham's 75th Birthday
"A prophet with honor"-it's an oxymoron, first of all. A prophet rails against that which is politically correct, that which is accepted wisdom, that which is popular with the masses. Hence, a prophet by definition is not honored. Second, it's the title of William Martin's acclaimed new biography of Billy Graham.
Contemporary America has rendered the role of a true prophet nearly impossible. There is a niche for everyone; our pluralist society can digest everyone from Malcolm X to Governor Wallace without much trouble. And it definitely has had no trouble digesting Billy Graham; in fact, Rev. Graham has been a main dish satisfying the American appetite for the word of God since the late 1940s, when a number of Hollywood celebrities came forward at his Los Angeles revival.
Last fall the Religious News Service merely repeated what Life magazine trumpeted in 1949 and Time magazine repeated in its recent cover story: Billy Graham is a star. The RNS, no friend of revivalism, calls him "a highly respected figure in an era of fallen religious leaders and clerics . . . a highly popular figure as well. Indicators are his standing in polls, the honors he has received, the attendance at his crusades, the many invitations he receives to speak and the money his supporters donate to his association." Graham is a "frequent guest at the White House in both Democratic and Republican presidencies. The Vatican and Kremlin are among some of the unlikely places where the Southern Baptist preacher has been welcomed."
A prophet? Or a priest sanctifying the American way of doing things with the soothing balm of Christian forgiveness?
Billy Graham has preached to 180 million people in 180 nations for over 45 years, and is reaching ever larger audiences through satellite broadcast. But to what effect? Graham himself said that America has "retrogressed" culturally, citing "sex and violence on TV, terrorism and killings by children and young people." This is a Baptist preacher? Cultural retrogression? Say what . . . ? We used to call that going to hell, Billy.
Billy Graham's God-given ability was--and is--there for a purpose. According to an earlier biography Graham made his decision to devote his life to preaching, while he was praying with friends at night. One of those present testifies that during the prayer the young Graham was flat on his face crying out to God. In his prayer he asked God to use him as His instrument for the sake of the second coming of Christ.
We wonder, however, whether Rev. Graham prayed to understand how Christ is coming again. Rev. Graham remains a member of the "coming on the clouds" school of Bible interpretation. We Unificationists, who accept the messiahship of the True Parents, must repent for leaving Billy Graham adrift on the tide of success. He doesn't believe in Reverend and Mrs. Moon or the Divine Principle; he has no inkling of the meaning of True Parents. Satan blinds the minds of the unbelievers, according to Paul.
John the Baptist scorned Jesus the Lord. He could not fathom that his younger relative, a man with no credentials, a man about whom controversy swirled, judged by the pharisees and the saducees and the Greeks and the Romans as a heretic and blasphemer, was in truth the Lord of Creation.
So John had better things to do than associate with Jesus. He railed against the king's adultery, and lost his head for it. Rev. Graham, on the other hand, prayed with Mr. Clinton.
There was another president with whom Graham was rather close: Richard Nixon. At the time of Watergate, however, Rev. Graham stated his shock at the unseemly language and disapproved of the behavior of the unpopular man. He withdrew from the public square and emerged from the Watergate debacle unscathed. Who stood up for Mr. Nixon and for the institution of the American presidency? It was not Nixon's golfing partner; rather, it was an unknown foreign preacher named Sun Myung Moon.
It was Rev. Moon who invested all his resources to call this nation to forgive, love and unite in support of their elected leader. He did not hide his convictions; he published full-page ads in the main newspapers in all 50 states. He called us to fast for three days on the steps of the Capitol on behalf of the president, senators and congressmen. Wouldn't you know it, within months of the congress's destruction of the president, there were congressional hearings being held about Rev. Moon.
Christ is prophet, priest and king. Judging from the course of Jesus Christ, the only one of these three positions which can be validated from the Messiah's historical experience is that of prophet. Rejected, despised, criminalized, deemed a nuisance to the state and an enemy of established religion-well, that sounds like most prophets, like Jesus, and like the Reverend Moon. No one, especially those who are successful at promoting the traditional religion, likes a prophet.
After his ascension, Jesus was exalted by the faithful as not only a prophet, but also the chief priest and true king. But the Kingdom on earth, as Jesus foretold, will appear with the second coming.
"But Lord, I was an evangelist who maintained worldwide popularity for over fifty years!"
"Here's the Book."
On the occasion of Billy Graham's 75th birthday, we thank God for preserving his life to this point, and giving him the strength, by the reckoning of the physicians, to stand and preach for another five years. Will it be five years of the same non-prophecy? Graham's ideal of being faithful to the Lord to the end is a relative good. New wine must be put in new wineskins.
Mr. Graham, we pray that within the next five years, which will take us nearly to the end of the second millennium, you will see the light and that God will allow you the honor for which you prayed as a young man. There is still time for you to be of use to Christ's second coming. But the days are drawing short, and to enter God's Kingdom, one must be poor in spirit, and like a child.