Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Kaufmannn
Bad P. R.
by Frank Kaufmannn
I have had two experiences lately which caused me to reflect on our matchings and blessings. The first was in the context of my mission. While dining with a "long-time friend and advisor" of the church, I was surprised by the following remarks: "You know, for all the wonderful good that Reverend Moon does, do you think he really has to persist with these mass weddings? Do you think you could convince him to give up on this? This kind of thing can never be accepted in the West. It is such bad PR for the movement. Until you guys change this you're not going to gain acceptance in the West. Now, I don't know about Japan and Korea, but it's just not going to make it here."
"Mmm." I thought, trying with all my might to imagine a moment I which I would strive to explain to Rev. Moon that mass marriages are a bad idea, "Thank you, Frank, I'm glad you've brought this to our attention. You know, Mother and I never really gave much thought to this mass wedding business."
The second experience occurred as I pursued tribal messiaship. I spent a weekend camping with the intimate circle of college friends whom I abruptly abandoned to join the Unification Church, about 20 years ago. There were about fifty people who have made their way through life ages 20 - 40 in some fashion or another, and who were naturally curious to know "whatever happened to Frank, who joined a cult." One thing about our group back then and now, is that there exists real love and care for one another. The inner circle of these 50 (say about 10), really do love and care for me.
As the weekend drew on, the inevitable moment arose when the old Unification question and answer session happened. Most questions were benign, simply for information or curiosity. It became clear that these people had trusted my decision despite what they had read or heard over the years. One question, however, was different came from deep within the heart and came from a person who knew me extremely well, looked into and she said:
"Frank, I became a bit worried when I heard about his mass wedding thing."
Hmm,," I thought, "this is interesting, of all the things this person may ever have read or heard about Father, or the church, the "only" thing that caused her to begin to worry was this "mass wedding thing."
Through these experiences I discovered that over the years I have grown quite accustomed to mass weddings, even thinking they are a wonderful idea. But I was rudely awakened by these two encounters. One person who has worked virtually full time for Father for years, thinks these mass weddings are SO problematic that he thinks they should be stopped and another close friend who trusted my judgment completely until she heard that I was matched and attended a mass wedding. How far I had traversed from the thinking patterns of your average American. What for me is a wonderful idea, for others suggests mind control.
I looked across the picnic table, "Our matching and weddings are not easy to understand without some background, but since you have asked so sincerely, I will try to explain.
We do not have mass weddings because Reverend Moon doesn't know any better, doesn't know how Americans react to things, or that he stubbornly adheres to some odd Korean habit. Our matchings and weddings are a direct and perfect manifestation of a profound theology and world view. You see, Unificationists believe that all the problems on earth, from the Gulf War, to child abuse, to the crumbling school system (you name it) are fruits of the fact that self interest crept in to the family, the love between husband and wife, reproductive affairs, and parent child relationships, thus since the beginning there has never been even one family whose members were not dominated by some significant degree of self interest.
Because Unification people believe that this is the core problem that underlies and generates all other problems, our first act of service to help the world at this starting point first. Each Unification person who agrees to be matched, thinks of him or herself as re-beginning human history by inaugurating marriage and family life free from self interest. The matching is the beginning of families not plagued by conditional love (I'll love you IF. . .) and self-interest (MY spouse must be at least. . .) From this beginning we hope to expand this liberation to create peace on earth.
As an ongoing expression of the selfless birth of our families, there comes the wedding itself. We then refuse to privatize our marriage ceremony (making it a celebration for ourselves, or "at best" for the couple of families involved). A mass wedding is simply all of us saying to all of you, these marriages and the families they produce are for you. Come celebrate this with us, and when the world slowly changes, you can say I was there when this all began."
My friend quietly listened, seemed to think about her own family and children for a moment, and with a tearful smile realized that there was no reason to worry about Frank after all.
Of course Rev. Moon, as always, says things better and more clearly:
"Why do we hold mass weddings? Don't you want to know?
"If the Blessing had taken place in the Garden of Eden, that would have been the biggest event in the cosmos. In the case of Jesus, as well, he should have had a wedding celebrated by the entire nation of Israel. We have mass weddings in order to indemnify according to the Principle what could not be achieved on the cosmic level in the Garden of Eden. (The Ideal Spouse, Tokyo, 1974)
The most significant aspect of the Blessing is not that you are going to gain a husband or wife; you will gain God and the universe. The hope of husband and wife in this should be that they become the light of the universe conquering the darkness." ("The Blessing", New York, 1977)
Now, can "that" be hidden under a bushel?
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