‘Mother, I Thank You’ and Other Poems

abstract-flowers-wallpaper_edited-1

Paul Hermanby Paul Herman

Author’s note: Here are three of my poems. The first is about the preciousness and grace of mother’s love. The second, about the central person or savior that brings God’s love to us and awakens that love for others in us. The third is about the parental heart — our parental heart reaching out for all God’s lost children.

Mother, I Thank You

Mother, I thank you

For the wind isn’t hollow

And the air isn’t dry

And the world isn’t over

And I didn’t die

A gentle breeze blows and tears fill the sky with your heart of compassion

My God am I…

To live with you present in the depths of my soul

Thank you dear mother, my one and my all

 

Mother, I thank you

’Cause you can’t turn away

When you know that I’m hurting yet I’ve nothing to say

For the mistakes that I’ve made and the pain that I caused

Still my life didn’t end

It just paused…

 

And yes, I can feel you deep in my soul

In a land that is barren

In a land that is old

The sadness arises

Continue Reading→

‘Sleepless in Jerusalem’ and Other Poems

jerusalem

Howell-7By Lloyd Howell

Note: The following poems originally appeared in the 2010 issue of the Journal of Unification Studies.

Sleepless in Jerusalem

for M, a Jewish friend

Behold, he who keeps Israel will
neither slumber nor sleep. Ps. 121:4

Visiting your ancestral homeland for the first time,
you say that you had the best sleep
of your life –
the kind that only babies have!

I know what you mean but I pray
that you wake quickly
to the facts across town;
where the lines are being redrawn
and homes declared illegal
by bureaucratic fiat
to be bulldozed, without compensation.

Occupants,
no, I mean families;
to be exact, non-Jewish families,
removed by armed soldiers
following faceless orders from above
to soon stand, teeth gnashing,
in utter despair
amid unrecognizable rubble
children screaming, crying
their toys crushed,
their world gone,
now exposed to life’s inequities
at all too young an age.

Wake up!
There on the other side of town
enemies are being made;
yea, mass produced –
a house goes down,
a wall goes up
cutting off the ‘Arabs’ from you
and each other and jobs.
Soon you both will be totally
estranged from each other.

Wake up –
there on the other side [of town]
someone
is having a nightmare,
someone’s
arm is reaching out
as they are being pulled under by a tide of hate!

Continue Reading→

The Doctrine of Continuing Revelation

Sun-Burst-with-Rays-form-Clouds-Vector

By Michael Mickler

Mickler full-sizeThe Unification movement affirms a doctrine of continuing revelation. But this is a difficult doctrine for any religious tradition to uphold.

The reason is simple. Revelation changes or at least upsets everything and almost everybody.

This is certainly the case for founders of religious traditions. The Hebrew prophets were stoned. Jesus was crucified. Mohammad was ridiculed and driven from the city of Mecca. Joseph Smith was assassinated. Sun Myung Moon endured torture and imprisonment.

In short, “Thus saith the Lord” is a life-threatening proclamation.

This is true not only for founders of religious traditions but also for their followers. Those claiming continuing revelation typically earn such titles as heretic, apostate, deceiver, witch, sorcerer, blasphemer, false prophet, liar, cult leader, and Antichrist.

In fighting off new claims, religious traditions generally follow two strategies.

This first is to close off revelation.

Christianity is a case-in-point. The early Church was a maelstrom of competing points of view, self-proclaimed prophets and founders of new sects. Christians agreed that Jesus had overcome death and in one way or another incarnated the living God. They disagreed about almost everything else: strategies of outreach, leadership, worship, church discipline, Jesus’ divine and human nature, and whether they should pray for or condemn Rome.

In this context, a plethora of individuals and groups arose who claimed continuing revelation. Some attracted broad followings. All were eventually branded heretics and many of their “revelations” claimed to supersede Jesus and his teachings. Among the more notorious were:

Continue Reading→

K-Dramas and the Global Reach of Korean Popular Culture

My_Love_From_Another_Star

By Mark P. Barry

Mark Barry Photo 2Unificationists were among the first binge-watchers in the world. Well before our era of watching multiple episodes of a previously aired TV show, many of us became consumed with enjoying Korean historical dramas (saeguks) at night. A lot of us started with DVDs of episodes of Jumong (whose lead actor met with Reverend Moon in 2007), and followed it up with Hur Jun, Jewel in the Palace or the modern romance, Winter Sonata (filmed at the Yongpyong ski resort). Amazingly, compared to binge-watchers of American television, we enjoyed it all even despite having to read subtitles since K-dramas are in the Korean language. These dramas typically were 20, 50, even 80 or more episodes long (many “seasons” of a U.S. drama are just 13 episodes).

For many Unificationists, our enjoyment of a steady diet of Korean historical dramas began six to eight years ago. If we couldn’t borrow the discs, sometimes we could find a show streamed — often in several 10 minute segments — from various transient websites. Real enthusiasts would learn how to download, through peer-to-peer sharing, “torrents” of episodes of dramas we wanted from fans who uploaded them for other fans. Ad hoc groups of English-speaking Koreans would create often high-quality subtitles for the original episodes so that non-Koreans could understand what was being said.

For Unificationists, above all, the reason to watch episode upon episode of Korean historical dramas was because of the heart expressed in the ways people cared for one other. It seemed that especially in Korea’s traditional culture, we could see a more idealized form of how people could relate. These drama episodes certainly had good guys and bad guys, and plenty of demonstrations of utmost loyalty and filial piety, but they also had real heart – the kind we would be hard-pressed to find on American television.

The irony is this mini-phenomenon among Unificationists, Western and Japanese, foreshadowed the growing phenomenon of the popularity of K-dramas not just throughout Asia but globally, including the United States.

Continue Reading→