Predestination of the Only-Begotten Daughter

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By Tyler Hendricks

14_12_CfE_Tyler 10.55.08 pm“Who am I?” Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon opened her talk. She was at East Garden on December 4, speaking to some 300 teenagers and young adults. Not waiting to sort out their replies, she answered her own question: “I am the only-begotten daughter.”

She then explained that Adam and Eve had a growing period in which to fulfill their responsibility and, as a result, receive the marriage Blessing. But they became self-centered and never received that Blessing. She told her listeners: “It is the same with you. Your essence is True Parents. Your responsibility is to receive the Blessing.”

Mother Moon’s talks such as this have stimulated much discussion of the term “only-begotten daughter.” Some consider it a “heresy.” A well-known Korean lecturer is reported to have said, “The Only-begotten Daughter as Mother describes it does not exist.” The article citing him states that Mother Moon describes Only-begotten Daughter as “being born without Original Sin.”  I think this does not do justice to her self-presentation as only-begotten daughter. In this article I explain why.

Biblical and Historical Context

“Only-begotten” does not appear in contemporary Bible translations. And among older translations, by far the most influential that adopts it is the King James Version. There it appears exclusively in the writings of the Apostle John. (John 1:14; 1:18; 3:16; 3:18; cf. 1 John 4:9)

But John is not insistent; he also calls Jesus “the firstborn”:

“Jesus Christ …is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 1:4-5)

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“Loving”: Outlawing Love and Marriage

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By Kathy Winings

kathy_winings_3_profileI am a romantic. Like many romantics, we like to believe that when two people share a deep and abiding love, there should be no problem why they cannot have a happy marriage. Unfortunately, we have come to see this is not always the case – especially when the two people are racially diverse. This is because we still live in a world that is racially charged and racially divided. Racism seems to be one of the most intractable problems to solve. Our inability to see “the other” as an equal, as our neighbor and as fully human, has plagued us since the beginning of the human race.

Nowhere is the challenge of racism more evident than in the movie “Loving,” written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and nominated for two Golden Globes in acting. Loving tells the story of an interracial couple living in pre-civil rights, 1950s Virginia, who ultimately became the center of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that addressed the unconstitutionality of the anti-miscegenation law of Virginia and those of 24 other states (Loving v. Virginia).

Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), a white construction worker, and his wife, Mildred (Ruth Negga) a black woman, begin their arduous legal journey with the simple act of getting married in 1956 and creating a home in rural Caroline County in northeastern Virginia. Though they are legally married in the District of Columbia, their home is in Virginia and such an act is illegal under Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law.

It does not take long before news of their interracial marriage spreads, resulting in the couple’s arrest in the middle of the night after local police raid their home. When their case comes before the judge, the Lovings are given two options if they want to avoid prison: divorce immediately or plead guilty and leave their home and family in Virginia and not return for a minimum of 25 years. Though expecting their first child, the Lovings plead guilty and move to Washington, DC – leaving behind everyone they love and hold dear.

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The Rise and Fall of the World’s First Global Holiday

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By Ronald J. Brown

Ronald_BrownJesus may have been born in Bethlehem, but it was the City of New York that transformed the traditional day of his birth, December 25, into a national, and eventually global, holiday season.

The evolution of the Christian religious holiday of Jesus’ birth into a secular global holiday that embraces all religions, cultures and traditions is a unique example of the emergence of a global culture. Yet, today, the planet’s first global holiday is under siege from all sides and may not long endure.

The Need for a Unifying Secular Holiday

Compared to Spain, England, France, and Russia, the newly established United States of America in the late 18th century had no history, no national language, no national religions, no national identity, and no national culture.

Washington Irving, of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” fame, recognized the potential of the holiday as a force capable of uniting the northern and southern colonies, old family Knickerbockers and new Irish and German immigrants, upper and lower social classes, and rich and poor. He described how the celebration of Christmas in England bridged class and wealth and contributed to a stable and happy country. He stressed the holiday as one that not only transcended all social classes and could unite all New Yorkers and Americans, but transcended all religions as well.

Yet, as late as 1855, the grow­ing Christmas holiday was still shunned by many churches as a pagan festival.

Nonetheless, during the Civil War, Christmas emerged as a secu­lar symbol of American nationalism. In 1870, Congress de­clared Christmas a holiday for federal employees in Washington, DC, and in 1885 ex­ten­ded the holiday to all federal employ­ees.

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Creativity, Music and Sexuality

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By David Eaton

david_eatonI recently received a complimentary issue of classical music magazine, Listen. Of interest was the cover story wasn’t about a current firebrand on the classical music scene such as dynamic conductor Gustavo Dudamel or soprano Anna Netrebko. Nor was it about iconic figures of the past: Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan or Maria Callas. The cover story was about none other than pop music icon, Sting.

Anyone familiar with Sting’s musical career knows he has been venturing into the realm of classical music for some time. His recording of the role of Joseph the soldier in Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, with Kent Nagano conducting the London Sinfonietta, dates from 1988. In recent years, he has recorded the music of the English Renaissance composer, John Dowland, and is attempting to master the lute, Dowland’s primary instrument and the precursor to the modern guitar. In 2010, he recorded orchestral covers of songs from his Police days with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Symphonicities).

In his Listen interview, Sting referred to the lives and music of Robert and Clara Schumann, perhaps the most famous couple in the annals of Western classical music history; both were talented composers and pianists. Sting cites a letter by Robert in which the composer refers to music as being “nothing more than resonant light.” Sting observes: “I think resonant light is exactly right; scientifically, it’s a waveform just as light, just a different part of the spectrum. I don’t know whether he knew that or whether it was just a poetic intuitive image, but certainly it’s true scientifically.”

Speaking to the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of music, Sting states, “If I have a spiritual life, [it] is one of music. I seem to be, through music, in touch with something bigger than myself or bigger than the material world; it’s a spiritual path.”

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Lessons from Rev. Moon’s Trip to Pyongyang 25 Years Ago

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By Mark P. Barry

mark-barryThis week marks the 25th anniversary of Reverend and Mrs. Moon’s trip to North Korea from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, 1991. The key principle and motivation he followed in his visit to Pyongyang and meeting with the late President Kim Il Sung is that war must never again erupt on the Korean peninsula. It would be wise for policymakers in the U.S., South Korea and Japan to be reminded of that lesson today.

For Koreans old enough to remember the devastation of the Korean War, the importance of avoiding a new Korean conflict is very understandable. In fact, at the height of the original North Korean nuclear crisis in June 1994, when President Clinton was ready to dispatch advanced fighters and bombers plus 10,000 American troop reinforcements to South Korea, the person who stopped him was ROK President Kim Young Sam. His memories of the enormous tragedies of the Korean War were quite vivid (including the loss of his mother). The South Korean leader reflected that no major power, even an irreplaceable ally, can be permitted to provoke another outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula.

Today, despite all the rhetoric about North Korea’s five nuclear tests, numerous missile tests and general bellicosity, the principle of finding a peaceful solution is as relevant as in 1991. To continue on the path of increasing UN and bilateral sanctions, and even entertain talk of preemptive strikes against DPRK nuclear facilities, is a formula that will fail to get the North to back down or cooperate. Rather it increases the chances of escalation in which even a small action might be misconstrued and inadvertently trigger full-blown hostilities.

Twenty-five years ago, Rev. Moon demonstrated an approach towards a resolution of the North Korean issue in which all other parties would avoid backing the North into a corner where there would be no other option for it but resort to violence.

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