The Death of the Messiah

Sun Myung Moon has passed away at the age of 92, leaving progressive atheists like myself with a difficult challenge: how to be respectful of the dead while accurately eulogizing this … most interesting man.

I think I’ll just post this documentary from the BBC about Moon’s religion:

Or this documentary, “In the Kingdom of Reverend Moon,” from Al Jazeera

For me, Moon has always been the crazy old uncle of the Republican party. He and his Unification Church have reportedly put over a billion dollars into the conservative paper the Washington Times. He employed Johnathan Wells, the intelligent design advocate. He published the famous Cloud of Witnesses newspaper ad, in which he claims that all the great religious and communist leaders appeared to him and proclaimed him the messiah. He staged an elaborate ceremony in Washington D.C. in which he was crowned as the messiah while several lawmakers looked on.

The world just won’t be as interesting without him. And that is all that I’ll say about that.

  • Irreverend Bastard

    “how to be respectful of the dead”

    Did this particular dead person actually do anything worthy of respect? And why should we automatically respect the dead anyway? Is respect expected based on age or title, instead of earned through actually doing something worthy of respect?

    • trj

      I know which option I prefer.

    • Paul

      I am always amazed that those least deserving of respect are those most vociferous in demanding it from others. I have watched a few documentaries about prisons and it seems like most of the violence that is not related to gang membership or failing to pay for drugs is because “he disrespected me”

    • Keulan

      I was thinking along the same train of thought. Why should we respect someone who did nothing worthy of respect in life just because he’s dead? Respect shouldn’t be automatically given, not even for the dead. Respect should be earned.

  • mikespeir

    “The world just won’t be as interesting without him.”

    Aw, there’s always a new one waiting in the wings. I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.

  • Paul H.

    I am still hung up on the Messiah has died, wouldn’t dying put a damper on his claim?

    • JohnMWhite

      Give it a few days…

    • Yoav

      Not necessarily, just look at the chabad jewish cult. They officially declared their rabbi to be the massiah back in the 90′s and when he dropped dead soon after they just ignored it and kept going as if nothing happened, you can still see signs with his picture and the caption ‘long live the massiah king’ today. The official party line is that he isn’t really dead he just gone over to iron down his job description and pay package, for the whole messianing thing, with god and he’ll be back any day now (sound familiar?).

    • Paul

      That depends on whether he comes back from the dead after 3 days.

  • vasaroti

    I’m more interested in learning how those arranged marriages have fared. To me, that was always the freakiest part of this cult.

    • UrsaMinor

      It is my understanding that, statistically speaking, arranged marriages fare no worse than ones entered into for romantic reasons as far as divorce rates and self-reported happiness are concerned. But it is admittedly a very long time since I have laid eyes on any of the studies, and I’d have to find them again and review the methodology for flaws before taking this statement as true.

      I would think that the Indian literature would be a good place to look for such studies if you are interested. Arranged marriages are still pretty common there, but there are also a lot of romantic marriages taking place as well. One caveat is that the Indian norm is a careful and reasonably lengthy negotiation between families (with economics and social status being major considerations), whereas religiously arranged marriages a la Reverend Moon look to be almost random and spontaneous. This could have an impact on the success rates of said marriages.

  • Bob Seidensticker

    Good point about Creationist Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute. He has made clear his agenda: “[The words of Rev. Sun Myung Moon], my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism.” Wow–talk about an agenda-driven “search for the truth.”

    (While this agenda is at odds with science, I at least do applaud his honesty.)

  • Peter

    Notice the Moon/Nixon handshake. In particular the thumbs. That’s a Free Mason handshake i think. What it means I haven’t a clue.