THE BLOG
12/27/2006 09:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Religious Intolerance

My pieces regarding management of The Washington Times
and its downward spiral have appeared on the
Huffington Post and prompted visceral comments from
people who raled against me and "the Moonies."

Some comments to set the record straight:

• Yes, The Washington Times was founded by the
Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who also founded the
Unification Church, which has about 12,000 members in
the United States but more in Japan and East Asia.

• Moon is actually a successful multi-billion-dollar
global business entrepreneur, so people who focus on
his religion to denigrate him and The Washington Times
are missing the greater point that Moon has amassed
billions through his fishing and mining production
businesses worldwide, manufacturing in China and
elsewhere. And he has used that fortune to oppose
global communism and totalitarian dictatorships, in
all their forms, that restrict liberty of citizens and
democracy. So what's the beef?

People have posted comments on Huffington Post in
response to my pieces, many complaining that I made
reference to my 21 years as a national reporter for
The Washington Times and these critics bashed Moon as
a way to suggest that none of our work is credible.

Well, this is not new to me. Religious intolerance is
alive and well in our land, particularly among
conservatives of all stripes.

The Reverend Moon's ideology is based on his stated
belief that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was
Satan's victory and that Christ's resurrection never
happened, which I believe is rubbish, and I said that
to the Reverend Moon at a dinner on Kodiak Island in
Alaska in August 1997. So the Reverend Moon says he is
here as the "second coming" because Christ should have
married and had a "perfect" family, and Moon and his
current wife (is it the third?) are purportedly
building a "perfect" family, including frequent
mass-arranged marriages of couples, the first huge
mass wedding occurring at RFK stadium in Washington,
D.C. as the Reverend Moob launched The Washington
Times.

One of those married at that ceremony -- Josette
Shearan -- to Yale University theological PhD graduate
Whitney Shiner -- a lovely couple and both wonderful
people -- hired me at The Washington Times, went on to
become a top senior editor at the paper, then moved on
as CEO of Empower America with Bill Bennett, Jeanne
Kirkpatrick, and Jack Kemp, then became deputy U.S.
Trade Representative with Robert Zoelick with
ambassador rank, and now is the top U.S. State
Department under-secretary for global trade and
economic development and a key adviser to Secretary
Condoleezza Rice.

I don't personally agree with the Reverend Moon's
religious ideology, but in my more than two decades at
The Washington Times, no one ever laid a hand on me or
my stories from his religious perspective, and I never
got any instructions to write or rewrite a story from
a Moon persective.

But in terms of the "perfect family" scenario, read
the published account of Moon ex-daughter-in-law
Nansook Hong to get a chilling account of what went on
in the Moon household in Westchester, New York. This
has nothing to do with religion, but personal
libertarianism and materialism out-of-control, and
actual lunacy of some members of the rich Moon family.

There is another frenzied lunatic movement in our
country and elsewhere of Christian evangelical people
who try to get Jews to leave their faith and become
Christians. They call their movement Messianic
Judaism. I was once blamed for being "anti-semitic"
because I did not want a fervently Southern Baptist
family member to be involved and spend time in this
Messianic Judaism movement, instead of doing other
productive things. So I called a Jewish friend, Mark
Levin, who was chief of staff to Edwin Meese III when
he was President Ronald Reagan's attorney general, to
ask about this scurrilous anti-semitism accusation.
And guess what he said?

The person accusing me of anti-semitism was actually
the anti-semite, because anyone who tried and worked
to take Jewish people away from their faith to become
Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever was,
ipso facto, anti-semitic.

Quite frankly, I'm weary of Christians who question a
person's belief in God and whether they are "saved" or
not because of a commitment to Jesus Christ. That's
not in our pay grade. The Bible says, "Judge not lest
ye be judged." That's God's role when we die, to be
the Judge and decide whether we go to heaven, hell (or
purgatory in the Catholic paradigm).

The same with traditional Mormons. I have many lovely
Mormon friends, wonderful family people, but many of
my mainstream church Christian friends (Catholic,
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran,
non-denominational Protestant) question the Mormon
religion and their beliefs. Well, I tell my friends to
forget it. Most Mormons are wonderful family people,
and one of their chief leaders, Willard Marriott, has
built the leading global hotel chain. The Marriott
ethic in their hotels is hospitality par excellante,
and the company trains and treats its employees better
than any I know as a longtime traveler. So purported
Christians who question the Christian faith and
commitment of Mormons are wrong because, as my parents
used to tell me, the proof is in the pudding.

The same with Muslims. As a national reporter for The
Washington Times in 1995, I was assigned to cover the
United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, which
focused on a proposed platform for world feminist
advancement. Well guess what happened?

At the little village near Beijing where the world's
feminist non-government organizations met and had
their exhibits, the global lesbian leaders were hosted
in a special tent organized by the Australian women
delegates, and on a particular Sunday when everyone
was invited to attend religious services according to
their faith, the lesbians organized an attack on the
Muslim country exhibits.

The western feminists were upset that Muslim women
wore veils and had different views on male-female
relationships than western women, so the lesbians
joined and ran through the village shreaking and
hollering, ripped off Muslim womens' veils, sprayed
red liquid on their exhibits, and cpmmitted other acts
of vandalism. It was a hate crime, pure and simple,
and the United Nations officials did nothing about it.

This showed there is much religious intolerance in the
world, mostly intolerance from secular non-religious
and anti-religious people against people of faith --
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and
other faiths.

The bottom line for people who believe in a God who
created our universe and planet Earth and everything
in it - who couldn't - it boils down to tolerance and
acceptance of diverse views. The problem for people of
faith is that non-believers and secular people against
any form of religious belief are the most intolerant
and bigoted people who commit all kinds of intolerant
acts against people of faith, no matter what faith.

So people of faith need to join together against a
common secular humanist anti-religion enemy that wants
to throttle religious faith and expression in all its
forms. This is not a time for civil war between
Christians and Jews against Muslims. Rather, it comes
to a point where secular anti-religion forces have got
government agencies doing their work to denigrate all
religious groups and take them down. So what are
religious faith-based groups going to do? All of us
should join together to support all those who believe
in God the Creator of the Universe, regardless of
whether they call themselves Jew, Christian, Muslim,
or whatever.

The bottom line is the need to really stand for
liberty for all, tolerance among different faiths all
joined in their belief in God the perfect Being and
Creator of the whole universe, and in diversity as
people and families of good will move around our
planet to improve themselves economically and all our
communities where they live.

This is the key challenge facing all people of faith
over the next several years.