Losing My Religion

Last week was an eventful one for the Unification Church.  Their founder, Sun Myung Moon died on Monday.  One of his sons, Hyun Jin Moon, was excluded from the official list of bereaved. News surfaced of Senior Pastor, In Jin Moon’s relationship and baby with rock singer, Ben Lorentzen.  In Jin Moon was publicly still married to Jin Sung Pak, with whom she has five children. Apparently, in private In Jin Moon's relationship with her new partner had been sanctioned and the other dissolved.

One of the central tenets of the church has been the creation of perfect, true families upholding virtue and fidelity.  On Sunday, I attended Manhattan’s Unification Church Sunday service to hear the leadership’s response to these events.

“When a religious leader dies, it is a time of great confusion,” said the MC.  “People vie for power.  Outsiders try to tear it down.”

The usual sermon was replaced by a video of Reverend Moon’s speech from Las Vegas earlier this year. Reverend Moon gave this same speech many times around the country over the past years.

The spiritual and earthly worlds will be brought into oneness within three years,” he said.

Three years until Heaven on Earth is what my “spiritual father” told me when I joined the church in 1990.

The issue of the Senior Pastor’s absence was not addressed during the service. Next week’s sermon was cancelled in Manhattan, although other locations will continue as usual.  Later, I learned that In Jin Moon had resigned due to “health reasons.”

“Our Heavenly Parents are not two but one,” said the MC. “We must follow True Mother.” 

The Unification Church claims to have a living True Family whose values and virtue we should emulate. Perhaps allowing people to be true to themselves is more of an expression of true love than holding them to the invented standards of outdated theologies. The Unification Church continues to judge others according to its invented standards, which the leaders themselves cannot uphold. I might like true love and true families to last forever, but everything changes.  And finding something to love within that change might be the only way to turn it into something better.