New Moon: The Second Act of the Unification Church

Wow. What a fascinating eschatological manifestation for our time. The Washington Post recently published a profile of the second life of the Unification Church, whose adherents are derogatorily referred to as “Moonies” (after the founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon). This article seems like the perfect storm of American liberal paranoias: AR-15-toting theocratic Asian conservatives. As it turns out, they also have eschatological visions built into their day-to-day. Here’s part of the dispatch for nuptial vows:

This crowd was about twice the usual size because this service was the warm-up for a renewal-of-marriage-vows ceremony scheduled for Wednesday morning. Scores of couples already had arrived from Japan and Korea. That ceremony — officially, the “Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing” — would cap a week of activities that thus far had included an arts festival, a survival skills contest and a goat-butchering demonstration.

The wedding-blessing event was generating nationwide attention — something new for Sanctuary Church, which, until now, hadn’t even registered on the radar of the Pocono Record, the local daily newspaper. A key pillar of Sanctuary dogma is the importance of owning a gun, particularly the lethal, lightweight AR-15 semiautomatic, which the National Rifle Association has proclaimed “the most popular rifle in America.” Last fall, Pastor Sean had studied the Book of Revelation. It makes multiple references to how Christ one day will rule his earthly kingdom “with a rod of iron.” Although Revelation was written long before the advent of firearms, Pastor Sean concluded that “rod of iron” was Bible-speak for the AR-15 and that Christ, not being a “tyrant,” will need armed sovereigns to help him keep the peace in his kingdom.

Read the whole thing. Seriously.