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As Long as We Remember...

June 24, 2004

Juxtaposing the Hypocrisy

David 'Kip' Koontz

Several months ago Congressman Roscoe Bartlett attended an event sponsored by the Inter-religious and International Peace Council, which is an organization created by Korean religious leader, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

He attended to accept and award given to "honor men and women across America who have worked for peace and peace in their communities," according to the group's spokesman, Archbishop George A. Stallings, Jr.

During the event a video was played in which the Reverend Moon reiterated that he is "humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

One might think that this sentiment would seem a bit blasphemous for someone with the evangelical Christian values Dr. Bartlett purports to hold.

The Congressman's staff has said that his appearance there has been misconstrued to promote the Reverend Moon's religious causes.

Thing is, Dr. Bartlett's staff should have known better than to allow him to attend, as there are those who seem to know that the Reverend Moon has done that kind of thing in the past.

Representative Bartlett should have known better.

Maybe he supports the Reverend Moon's views; after all there are troubling pictures of the Reverend Moon, Congressman Bartlett and others shaking hands that do not appear to look as if Dr. Bartlett is uncomfortable in the Reverend Moon's presence.

This is disconcerting as the Reverend Moon lobbies hard in support of his native land - Korea. Not just our ally, South Korea, but for a softened stance on North Korea as well.

Maybe the Reverend Moon's thought is that if he lures in the support of hawkish conservatives such as Representative Bartlett, it will help in his effort to lobby this administration and this Congress toward that end.

Remember, North Korea is supposed to be considered a member of the "Axis of Evil" and has threatened to use nuclear weapons against the United States.

Do we want our congressman associating with those who support that?

Maybe he just supports the opinions and editorial content of the Reverend Moon's newspaper, The Washington Times, which is well known for its conservative viewpoint, but that only follows through on the Reverend Moon's overall ideals.

His alleged actual reason for attending, to accept that award for peace, also raises questions.

What on earth has Congressman Bartlett done to support peace?

Years ago in a conversation with him he said he wanted to cut medical funding to build more bombs, planes and tanks.

That's peace?

He purports to be a conscientious objector (a noble ideal) yet has no reticence in voting to send others to their deaths in military intervention after military intervention.

That doesn't seem to support peace; it seems to be a bit contradictory.

But, hey, maybe some conservatives and non-mainstream religious organizations define peace in an entirely different way than the trusty old American Heritage Dictionary does, which is "the absence of war or other hostilities."

Congressman Bartlett really should know better than to associate with the likes of the Reverend Moon and his ilk as it makes him look more out of the mainstream than he does already - even making him look a bit of the "fringe element."

It looks like the congressman has taken leave of what little sense he has left in order to receive an award that he is unlikely to obtain from any legitimate organization dedicated to peace.

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