Articles from the September 1997 Unification News

Good Housekeeping? Nay, Bad Bigotry!

by Joy Irvine Garratt-Albuquerque, NM

I wrote this in response to a disparaging article about our community in Good Housekeeping. I encourage others to respond to the editor if they wish-Good Housekeeping reaches about 20 million readers per month.

Ms. Ellen Levine,
Editor in Chief,
Good Housekeeping,
959 Eighth Avenue,
New York, New York 10019.

I have read Good Housekeeping for 32 years and have appreciated the variety of its contents over the years. From time to time my friends across the world would be as thrilled as I was to see my name in print in its pages Heloise once included a pet peeve I submitted. As I experienced marriage, raising children and other precious aspects of my life, I often found your magazine to be a handy and helpful advisor. Unfortunately, this will no longer be the case.

After reading your July 1997 edition, I request that you send my subscription money back to me. I have been a member of the Unification Church for 25 years and was shocked that a magazine of your caliber would print an article so maliciously disparaging to anyone’s religious faith ("My Problem": Trying to Save Josh", p. 67). Every religious organization has its critics. But to print the accusations of a woman who has obviously combined whatever she and her son personally felt and said woven together with the anti-religious comments of individuals who are paid to break peoples faith is irresponsible journalism. The woman who accompanies the son to meet his mother has a "facial expression which seemed masklike" while the "exit counselors". . . "were the kind of people to put anyone at ease." (Exit counselors have been willing to break the beliefs of everyone from lesbians to Roman Catholics to political liberals, always for a fee, of course. How much did this mother pay?)

If you and your magazine and/or the Hearst Corporation have targeted Rev. Moon and the Unification Church and organizations in some kind of bigoted effort, at least have the moral integrity to balance your bigotry with the experiences and testimonies of people whose lives have been enriched, challenged and expanded by the Unification faith. I certainly have never become "gaunt" from working with Unification organizations. One of the reasons I have regularly purchased or subscribed to your magazine was to get healthy diet tips. Never again.

Are there imperfect people working with Unification organizations? Sure. You will find less than perfect individuals in any organization, religious ones being no exception. Our movement is relatively young. As the case with many religious movements before it, the Unification movement was begun by its founder in a prison cell. In the Rev. Moons case, the prison cell was in North Korea-- the newly communized government of 1948 didn’t want a young man walking around preaching about God so it imprisoned him.

Mrs. Brenner believes parents and teachers "must talk to their children about groups like Moons." You know, some teachers have talked to students in their classes negatively about Rev. Moon. How do you think students who belong to the Unification church have felt when their teachers talk like that? When teachers tell the children whose parents are church leaders that their parents are wrong? You guessed it, they feel just like kids in Nazi Germany felt when teachers talked to their classrooms about how horrible it was to be Jewish. And how do you think I felt when my final adoption social worker wrote," The Garratts seem to be good parents even if they belong to the Unification Church." How do you think my heart felt after ten years of infertility and two miscarriages to have a person who only knew about my faith from articles like the one your magazine printed say that? She never even bothered to ask us about our faith and beliefs. She, like you, dismissed them as "cultic." Perhaps participation with Unification organizations is not the appropriate path for Josh that is his decision. But what is appropriate when choosing an evocative topic is providing a balanced presentation.

I feel betrayed by your magazine, and I feel personally betrayed by you as the editor. When you replaced John Mack Carter, I expected a new, fresh and fair woman’s voice. It is unfortunate that amid well-written and researched articles you have granted ugly, searing religious prejudice a comfortable home.

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