Unification News for September 1998
This article is aimed primarily at our members, especially the Second Generation. It was inspired by something I read in one of our monthly publications; some interviews with older Blessed Children, mostly teenaged girls.
The girls shared a lot about their relationships with secular friends and schoolmates. One spoke of pretending to have lost her virginity, in order to "fit in," to avoid being teased or rejected. It is lamentable that society could put such terrible pressure on Godís special sons and daughters. Itís time we cranked up the pressure in the other direction!
An earlier version of this article appeared in August 1992, and many of the changes referred to have occurred since then.
It is easy to criticize American culture. Its failures, and those of the other westernized societies, are all too apparent. Brutes like Osama bin Laden have no shortage of material for their hateful diatribes.
Actually, itís rather sad. In popular songs, boy meets girl, they hop right into bed, then vow to love each other only and forever. Country-western songs are sadder, but more realistic. I wonít even bother to quote any perverted rap lyrics.
In Hollywood-on TV, in movies, and in their real lives-about %90 of the sex is between unmarried people. On screen, they rarely catch any nasty diseases, and virginity is often depicted as "a problem to be solved."
Popular culture projects a "perfect image" for men, women, and children, one that changes every few years. With considerable expense, many try to match those images. For women, the "slim leg and waist, large bust" image can be achieved-with plastic surgery.
Stable relationships are hard to find. Many wealthy singles are employing professional "matchmaking services." (Even True Fatherís self-appointed enemies have to admit his success in that area!)
Those who enter the dating scene are aware -or not- that it can be violent. Women afraid to reveal their phone numbers in a bar are handing out voice mail numbers instead. "Date rape" is an ever-present menace, sometimes involving potent drugs like Rohypnol®.
After casting away all tradition, dating couples now lament the lack of "rules." Men are free to expect sex early on, even during a first date. This is fraught with another kind of danger, for accusations of harassment and rape can bring heavy penalties, even if theyíre false. The new "one strike" laws are especially draconian. Of course, if stupidity-not to mention violations of the Principle-could be prosecuted, theyíd be justified after allÖ
Singles who want easy sex agonize over the "limits," especially whether to give their current partner a key to their home. This was depicted in a particularly annoying movie called Key Exchange.
How often do people end up with broken hearts? The figures for contemplated, planned, attempted -not to mention successful- teen suicides are unbelievably high.
Traditional marriages arenít doing well either. The divorce rate remains high, even in Utah and the Bible Belt states.
This author spent eight years in the fish business, so I had dealings with some very rough guys. Though married, they had one thing on their minds-and it wasnít fish! A word to you women: the raunchiest comments are often made after you pass by. And to you feminists: most women seem to enjoy the attention. In fact, they try very hard to get it. The market for spandex jogging outfits is booming.
Wives who suspect their husbands of cheating are hiring not only detectives but "professional tempters." Sultry women who will approach the errant spouse and -on hidden camera- attempt to draw out any lewd tendencies!
It is said that: "A fish rots from the head down." President Clintonís shameless liaisons (plus the millions of citizens, mostly women, who are defending him to the bitter end) are a very bad sign for America.
In many cases, conservatives are no better. Britainís scandal-plagued Tory leaders were a grotesque example. Conservative writers bemoan the "sexual harassment lawsuit mentality," with nostalgic talk about "the lost art of seduction." Both are against Godís ways, especially since the advent of True Parents.
Thanks to our ever-larger Blessing ceremonies, Unificationist marriage traditions are known to the world. Theyíve become a subject of popular discussion, if only superficially.
Godís people have different standards for themselves, and for their relationships. Images of perfection can emanate from Heaven, not just Hollywood or Madison Avenue. Expensive fashions and surgery are not needed to reach Godís Ideal! Women have always wanted to appear beautiful, and thatís good and natural. "True Hearts" bring out the greatest beauty, which any fallen world fad or fashion could never hope to match. Mrs. Moon is a shining example of this.
Take a fresh look at your lifestyle. We Unificationists can be fiercely proud of our traditions, and our moral standards. We have much to offer, and we can save our friends a lot of heartache.
The tangled "Gordian Knot" of fallen relationships is cut right through by True Fatherís "Alexandrian Sword" of Blessing tradition. The popular way says "anything for fun," and we all see where that leads. Our way is more difficult at first, but it takes a completely different road.
Consider: the Marine Corps runs ads that depict exactly how severe they are, and thousands of people respond, hoping they can measure up to that fine tradition.
Letís take a closer look at our own still-evolving traditions.
Our Blessings have always been ornate, almost regal ceremonies. Originally, the True Parents alone presided over the full series of marriage rites. They had lengthy, personal consultations with each and every one of the candidates.
After 1979, with hundreds of participants, the in-person matchings were done in a series, leading up to a single, larger Blessing. As thousands more members qualified, from all over the world, some of the matchings were conferred via picture. Later, Blessings were given via satellite link.
Our family-level traditions have evolved as well. As the Providence advanced, our families gained the right of Tribal Messiahship, and we began to give "pre-Blessings" at gatherings in every part of the world. These started out as fancy occasions, and sometimes they still are.
In 1997 the Providence expanded again, and we all went out giving pre-Blessings door-to-door. In each case the coupleís names and photographs were recorded, and there was personal follow-up.
The "numbers" increased rapidly, and the ceremonies became simpler. We gave them in public areas, with only a sign-up sheet for the peopleís names; thus tens of thousands could be reached, but recontacting was limited.
As of this writing itís being given to millions, out on "the highways and the byways" of America and the world. (And at parks, tourist attractions, flea markets, and beaches!) The peopleís identities arenít even recorded.
Those persons matched by True Father (with the help of our leaders and the Blessing Dept.) have always been central. This was acknowledged in the official reports on the RFK Stadium Blessing, where the "already married" couples in the stands were described as "spectators." While the ultimate spiritual value is the same, the newly matched couples down on the field were the "stars of the show" for the news media and everyone else.
The responsibilities of our families are growing year by year. Eventually, it may be that Tribal Messiah couples will be able to match and Bless people by themselves, whether their own children or members of their "tribe." (Within strict heavenly guidelines, of course.)
However, that may not spell the end of the "stadium style" ceremony! Customs have a way of sticking, especially now that we have an emerging Third Generation. As the old saying goes: "The apple doesnít fall far from the tree." Our new generations will want to experience just what their parents, and grandparents, did.
I know what itís like to be teased and persecuted. Most Unificationists have experienced it. With the ongoing Second Generation campaigns, our young people are now getting the same tough but valuable hard-knocks treatment.
Recent news reports, from all around the world, have carried many spirited proclamations by our campaigning members, both young and old. More and more people will be looking to us for an alternative, and weíve got to be ready. To know it, to be able to teach it, and to be living it ourselves. If teenagers want to rebel, instead of swallowing phony "popular culture" trends, they can rebel against the fallen world itself!
Nobody is saying this will be easy. My household enjoys "The Simpsons," liberal though it is, but our Pastor finds the show repellent. The Second Generation is hotly debating whether itís okay to watch MTV. (I never liked MTV, and there are no Principled cartoon showsÖ)
No doubt our community will sort these things out, and year by year weíll approach the Heavenly Ideal more closely. Others will follow. It will be well worth it.
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