God as Heavenly Parent in Rev. Moon’s Early Teachings

June 2006

By Andrew Wilson

WilsonOn January 7, 2013, weeks prior to Foundation Day, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, who since her husband’s passing on September 3, 2012, has led the Unification movement in her capacity as True Mother, declared that henceforth Unificationists should refer to God not as Heavenly Father but as Heavenly Parent.

Many members regarded this as a controversial innovation. Some objected to what they saw as unwarranted tinkering with time-honored tradition while others welcomed it as a step away from a sexist view of God.

However, the term Heavenly Parent, along with its implication that God is the Heavenly Mother as well as the Heavenly Father, was already an established feature of Reverend Moon’s theology, especially in his earliest teaching, Wolli Wonbon (1951).

Although as a rule Rev. Moon referred to God as Heavenly Father, he occasionally gave voice to the term Heavenly Parent. In the Cheon Seong Gyeong (2008), a large anthology of selections from his sermons, the term occurs more than a dozen times. For example,

That is something of a revelation about the Korean people — living with the Heavenly Parents for thousands and tens of thousands of years. (152)

By attending the Heavenly Parent, the heavenly kingdom and the heavenly ancestors, a royal domain will emerge (912)

We have not known that we have such a Heavenly Parent. (1151)

Have you shown filial piety to me as you would to your Heavenly Parents? (2225)

The Cheon Seong Gyeong (2014) includes an excerpt of a 1977 speech in which Rev. Moon refers explicitly to the two genders of Heavenly Parent, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother:

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The Arts and Popular Culture After 9/11

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By David Eaton

david_eatonIt’s been nearly 15 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. With the rise of Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS, and the tragedies late last year in Paris and San Bernardino, Americans continue to seek answers and insights to make sense of the heinous acts that have changed their lives in unthinkable ways.

As we learned more about Islam and the resentments many in the Arab world directed toward the West, it became apparent that a serious point of contention among Muslims — fundamentalists and moderates — was the pervasive influence of Western popular culture in the Muslim world. This has resulted in a spate of collective soul searching as the motivations of artists, producers and production entities were called into question in ways that heretofore had rarely been experienced.

Weighed against long-standing American support of Israel, or other Western economic or geopolitical influences, it is difficult to ascertain the degree to which Western cultural and artistic endeavors actually have had on breeding the resentments that motivated the planners of 9/11 and later attacks. Yet it cannot be denied that the influence of certain cultural expressions produced by our commercially-oriented and highly secularized entertainment industry have contributed significantly to the antagonisms Muslims feel toward the West in general and the United States in particular.

In his 1951 tome, Milestones, the Egyptian Muslim scholar, Sayyid Qutb, wrote extensively about what he viewed as the hypocrisies of Western Christian culture, especially racism and sexual immoderation. Qutb’s indictments regarding the secularization and immorality of the West and its “pagan ignorance and rebellion against God” became the seeds of radical Islamic resentment. In Milestones, he states:

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The Best Policy Ideas of the 2016 Presidential Candidates

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By Gordon Anderson

GordonThe 2016 Presidential Election has raised a number of good policy ideas for the improvement of American society and government. Unfortunately, no single candidate endorses all of the best ideas, and, more unfortunately, every candidate who has good ideas seems to have more bad ones. Part of the reason is the development of a system that encourages candidates to be loyal to political parties and large campaign contributors rather than to middle-class citizens and the nation as a whole.

In my view, the best candidate would be one who supported all of these policies:

  • Bernie Sanders’ revival of the Glass-Stegall Act
  • Hillary Clinton’s call to overturn the Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision
  • Rand Paul’s foreign policy that is against U.S.-imposed regime change
  • Donald Trump’s middle-class tax policy
  • Carly Fiorina’s reforms of government bureaucracy

None of these policies are promoted by the establishment, which is why there is increased criticism of existing party platforms and why “outsiders” are polling so well with voters. Even most candidates that seek party endorsement are promising to reform the system.

The explanations for the value of my list of the best policies I describe below are adapted from a longer post on my blog, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0, which includes further critique and commentary on the candidates and their policies. I have not discussed all candidates, only selected the most constructive policies being promoted.

Preparation to vote knowledgeably is an important role of the citizen in a democracy, and I encourage everyone to read through all the policy positions on candidates’ websites before their vote. A responsible voter will compare the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate in all areas of governance, and not just find agreement with a candidate’s rhetoric on a single issue.

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“Steve Jobs”: A Film Really About Heroines

Steve Jobs

By Mark P. Barry

Mark Barry Photo 2When Steve Jobs died in 2011, his authorized biography was rushed to press, quickly followed by the low-budget, independent film, “Jobs.” Fans of the Apple CEO had to wait until last October for the full Hollywood production, “Steve Jobs,” featuring an A-list cast and team, to reach the big screen.

Audiences were disappointed in the film because it bombed at the box office. Expectations surely were for a depiction of Jobs’ stellar technology and business achievements. But the truth is: this movie is more about its heroines than its hero.

For her performance in “Steve Jobs,” Kate Winslet won the 2016 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for an Oscar this year as well. She plays Joanna Hoffman, long-time marketing chief at Apple and “right-hand woman” to its co-founder. Known as the one person who could stand up to the difficult and temperamental Jobs, in the film Hoffman calls herself his “work wife.” Winslet, as Joanna, is the moral center of the movie.

Very loosely based on the Walter Isaacson official biography – a book Apple and Jobs’ family were not happy with – “Steve Jobs” is written by Aaron Sorkin, who won the 2011 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for “The Social Network” and this year’s Golden Globe for Best Screenplay for “Steve Jobs.”

“Steve Jobs” was lucky to get made. It was originally produced by Sony Pictures, but after North Korea hacked its computers in late 2014, divulging embarrassing executive emails, Universal Pictures acquired the film. A who’s who of actors and actresses were considered for parts. Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle, chose Matthew Fassbender — despite looking nothing like Jobs — for the title role (he was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award).

Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell-Jobs, encouraged Isaacson to write his book, but her eventual dissatisfaction with it, as a less-than-flattering portrait of her husband, led her to reportedly block the film’s production. However, there may have been a more underlying reason.

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