Friday, June 01, 2018

The Strangest Bedfellows


-by Skip Kaltenheuser

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of knowing Tom Dunkel knows he’s an adept and fair observer of unique Americana who readily turns phrases that do his subjects justice. His book Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line, about a Depression-era integrated semi-pro baseball team out of North Dakota, is regarded as a top-tier sports book deftly matching cultural insight with entertainment. Catch a chapter here.

Tom’s most recent offering, in the May 21 Washington Post Magazine, opens cultural veins some of Washington’s shakers and movers might prefer most people didn’t see leaking. Locked and Loaded for the Lord, reveals a sub-culture that readers skimming a paragraph here and there might conclude is embedded in a satirical fiction that should have published on April Fool’s Day. Alas, there’s no fiction in this look at a rebellious splinter off-shoot of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. Just when one thought Moon’s creation was the last word in weird, a couple of his sons, Sean and Justin, have gone him one better, creating the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, also renowned in rarefied circles as the Rod of Iron Ministries. One of the church sacraments is the blessing of the guns, in particular the AR-15. That weapon is embraced by the congregation, which sees its role as enforcers doing double duty-- protecting the Constitution while helping a returning Christ keep order in his kingdom.

Pastor Hyung Jin "Sean" Moon in one of photographer Bryan Anseim's jaw-dropping photos, with Sean's gold-plated AR-15 and bullet crown

Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon in one of photographer Bryan Anseim’s jaw-dropping photos, with Sean's gold-plated AR-15 and bullet crown.

I don’t want to detract from article pleasures with too many spoilers but believe it or not, Eric Trump takes a break from SNL to make an appearance:
In December 2013, Justin Moon paid $2 million in cash for a 620-acre industrial site north of Newfoundland. On Aug. 30, 2016, he held the grand opening of Kahr Arms’ Tommy Gun Warehouse showroom-store, the place to go for rifles, pistols, knives and the Brooklyn Smasher steel baseball bat that in an emergency can be used to club an intruder or a deer to death. The grand-opening guest of honor was Eric Trump. “That came about because God made it happen,” Justin told me. Somebody from the Trump campaign had called him out of the blue and said, “Eric wants to come.”

So Eric came, and Sean introduced him by saying: “It’s my opinion that we must elect a president that will protect and expand the right to bear arms. … I hope we can all agree that Hillary Clinton should never be the president of the United States... God bless the U.S.A., and please buy some guns and ammo!”

Eric, in an open-collar shirt and dark sports jacket, stood in front of a wall of rifles and next to a U.S. flag. “This election for every gun owner is a huge thing. It will be the difference between adding to our Second Amendment freedoms or not adding to our Second Amendment freedoms,” he said, then switched to the topic of America hemorrhaging jobs. “We don’t make anything here anymore. That’s why Justin deserves a tremendous, tremendous round of applause... Our government does not make it easy on you, either from a shooting perspective or from a manufacturing perspective.”
The elder Moon’s creation, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, has long illustrated just how strange politics’ bedfellows can be. For many years Moon hemorrhaged many millions sustaining the Washington Times as the conservative/Republican press organ in the nation’s capital. Throughout much of its existence the paper included many capable journalists, and arguably had better metro coverage than the Washington Post. Those writers not affiliated with the church seemed able to ignore the paper’s bizarre underpinnings. As could the politicians who let its editorial page be their voice, proving once again that the bedrock of Washington psyche survival is compartmentalization. Shrinks do a land-office business in Washington.

The church creations by the Moons continue to illustrate a seamless web of odd bedfellows and distortions, incorporating President Trump, the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, FOX News, and who knows how many tangential players behind the scenes, abetted by bipartisan sellouts. The End of Days figures in. Just as it has in Middle East horrors, with some evangelicals and Netanyahu confederates manipulating such myths to mutual advantage and/or ruin. President Trump is viewed by some as an instrument of God. If Trump’s imperfections overwhelm him and he slips up, so what, the fallback position is End Times, so it’s win-win. Meanwhile ignore the cruelties to Gaza. Higher purpose.

Want something entertaining? Do a search on YouTube for The King’s Report and watch Sean Moon working in Rudy Giuliani, Laura Ingraham and other hoodwink luminaries in between martial arts demonstrations. Seemless web.

The Moon Sanctuary reveals where the continuum of gun absurdity ultimately goes, beyond revising the meaning of the Constitution to raising gun worship to a religion, a cult legitimized by political expediency.

(For an earlier rant on guns gone wild, including fine levity by The Yes Men.)

Active Shooter by Nancy Ohanian

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At 1:59 PM, Blogger Glenn Marcus said...

Fabulous article by Dunkel. another terrific drawing by Nancy Ohanian. Thank you, Mr. Kaltenheuser.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF is the limit of human stupidity anyway?

At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're going to find out, 2:15.

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

god and guns (and hate) have been base issues for republicans for 50 years. How can you call that "strange bedfellows" when it's now ubiquitous?


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