Religious Leaders Defend Moon's Capitol Hill Coronation As 'King of Peace'
July 7, 2008
(CNSNews.com) - When the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife were crowned the "King and Queen of Peace" on March 23rd -- inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building with Members of Congress looking on -- few news outlets took notice.
But in the months since Moon's March 23rd "coronation" as Messiah, a growing number of people are questioning the appropriateness of allowing a "coronation" to take place inside a government building.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Jewish, Muslim and Christian representatives from the organization that sponsored Moon's coronation unapologetically defended the ceremony, its location, and Moon's Messiah declaration.
"It was the spirit world that said he was the Messiah," said Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr., pastor of an independent African-American Catholic congregation. Moon, founder of the Unification Church, was merely repeating the message, said Stallings.
The Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, an organization founded by Moon and his wife, sponsored the March 23, 2004 ceremony where nearly 100 religious leaders received "Crown of Peace" awards and where Moon and his wife were honored as "King and Queen of Peace."
According to a recent Washington Post description of the event, more than a dozen lawmakers were there, and one of them - Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) -- "wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding an ornate crown that was placed on Moon's head."
Stallings, an organizer of the March 23 event, pointed out that the term 'Messiah' is relative, and he said holding the ceremony in a U.S. Senate office building on Capitol Hill was meant to "elevate to a level of prominence" the achievements of award recipients.
"Every American citizen has a right to have access to any facility that is considered the property of the people of the United States of America, regardless of one's religious, political, racial or ethnic affiliation or association," Stallings said on Wednesday.
Members of Congress who attended Moon's "coronation" are now trying to distance themselves from Moon - whose organization also owns the Washington Times newspaper.
At the event, Moon spoke of his communication with the "spirit world."
"The founders of five great religions and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin ... and dictators such as Hitler and Stain, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons," said Moon at the ceremony.
Use of a Senate office building requires a senator's approval. But organizers said they did not know which senator reserved the space for the ceremony, and they criticized the "witch hunt" that has occurred as journalists and constituents have questioned the relationships of congressmen to Moon and the Unification Church he founded.
"I experienced a miracle on March 23rd," said Rabbi Waldmann from Detroit, Mich., who blew the "shofar" or ram's horn at the March 23 awards ceremony.
"I have never experienced Jews, Christians, and Muslims united in such a strong commitment to unity and peace. These people are simply coming together as brothers and sisters, breaking down the hatred and separation that is causing so much bloodshed. Rev. Moon is teaching about the one true God, the God of our common father Abraham, and causing his children to come together," Waldmann said.
At Wednesday's press conference, a representative read a statement from Moon, thanking the religious leaders who have stood by him.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.