Moonies on the Federal Payroll

We all know that President Bush is passionate about "protecting the sanctity of marriage", especially from people who want to get married. One of the programs he has proposed to do so is the Healthy Marriage Initiative. As the Heritage Foundation described it:

The President's Healthy Marriage Initiative has been included in the two major TANF reauthorization bills. One of these is the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2003 (H.R. 4) that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2002 and again in February 2003. The Healthy Marriage Initiative has also been included in the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) bill introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) in the U.S. Senate.

The proposal would create two separate funds to promote marriage. In the first, $100 million per year would be provided in grants to state governments for programs to promote healthy marriage. Participation in this funding program would be voluntary and competitive. States would neither be required to participate nor guaranteed funds: Instead, they would compete for funding by submitting program proposals to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The states with the best proposals would be selected to receive funds. States receiving funding would be required to match federal grants with state funds. In the second fund, another $100 million per year would be allocated in competitive grants to states, local governments, and non-government organizations.

So how is this money being spent? To hire followers of the Reverend Moon to teach people about healthy marriages:

President Bush has some new troops in his crusade to promote "healthy marriage" and teen celibacy with federal funds -- followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean evangelist and self-proclaimed new world messiah.

At least four longtime operatives of Moon's Unification Church are on the federal payroll or getting government grants in the administration's Healthy Marriage Initiative and other "faith-based" programs...

The 85-year-old Korean is perhaps best known for presiding over mass marriage ceremonies for devotees whose unions are arranged by Moon or other church leaders. After marriage, Unification Church couples are given detailed instructions for their honeymoon, right down to the sexual positions they are supposed to assume during their first three conjugal couplings.

According to Unification Church teachings, the children born from these marriages are "blessed children,'' who, unlike the rest of humanity, are born without original sin.

At the Oakland seminar, Josephine Hauer, a graduate of the Rev. Moon's Unification Theological Seminary in New York and a newly hired "marriage specialist" with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, worked the crowd of ministers and church workers packed into a stuffy room...

Before her new federal job, Hauer was the director of marriage education at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. That school was taken over in 1992 by the Professors World Peace Academy, a Moon-affiliated group, and its current president, Neil Salonen, is a former president of the Unification Church in America.

Now mind you, most people would probably view the idea of hiring people who believe in mass marriages arranged by a fascist cult leader who claims that all the world's dead religious leaders endorsed him as the messiah in a ceremony in the "spirit world" to teach us about healthy marriage as being akin to hiring the criminally insane to teach in a law school. But what the hell, as long as we're going for "faith-based initiatives", it becomes hard to distinguish between competing faiths. Someone needs to tell them that Al Qaeda is a faith-based initiative too.

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The fact that the religious right will so consistently align themselves with a cultist, whom in any other situation would be condemned by them, goes to prove that self-interest overrides moral beliefs in 99% of circumstances (in most people).

By Matthew Phillips (not verified) on 05 Oct 2004 #permalink

I've always wondered what conservatives mean by "personal responsibility." The phrase sounds like some kind of buzzword, as they say it.

Alas, I fear probably doesn't mean anything, making it obvious they says things they don't really believe.

By Guitar Eddie (not verified) on 06 Oct 2004 #permalink