News & Politics

The Republican Right's Moonie Problem

You don't get to watch Moon's "hateful" and "anti-American" remarks being replayed endlessly on CNN and Fox.

A number of folks -- notably Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald -- have already pointed out quite adroitly that while the media have had little compunction about whipping up a phony controversy about Barack Obama's "pastor problem", there's almost nothing that white evangelical pastors can say that might bring down similar approbation. John McCain's "spiritual advisers" Rod Parsley and John Hagee really are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this.

As Glenn puts it:
The phrases "anti-American" and "America-haters" are among the most barren and manipulative in our entire political lexicon, but whatever they happen to mean on any given day, they easily encompass people who believe that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks, devastating hurricanes and the like. Yet when are people like Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, Inhofe and other white Christian radicals ever described as anti-American or America-hating extremists? Never -- because white Christian evangelicals who tie themselves to the political Right are intrinsically patriotic.

But the Republican right's biggest problem with having "America haters" as leading exponents of movement conservatism is someone who not only has claimed to be a spiritual mentor but is also a major financier of Republican causes: the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

As John Gorenfeld explains in delightful and excruciating detail in his new book Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom [which we'll be discussing in greater detail tomorrow for the FDL Book Salon], Moon has a long history of saying ugly things about the United States and about Americans.

And yet simultaneously, the largesse he spreads about the conservative movement has won him all kinds of friends, influence, and defenders, if not followers. Certainly, there is no one in the mainstream media who bothers to mention this, let alone play endless tape loops.

Here are some of the things Moon has said over the years, as Gorenfeld has detailed:
David Neiwert is a freelance journalist based in Seattle, and the assistant editor of Crosscut.
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