God and Hillary Clinton, Part 4 – Pro-choice Christians?

This is part 4 of an ongoing series of interviews with colleague Paul Kengor examining the religious views of leading candidates for president. In this interview, Dr. Kengor expands his prior treatment of Hillary Clinton’s views on abortion by describing “pro-choice Christians.” Links to the previous posts on this and related topics are listed at the end of the interview.

THROCKMORTON: You have made a point to describe the sincerity of Hillary Clinton’s Christian affiliations while at the same time embracing abortion rights. In a sense, then, she could be described as a “pro-choice Christian.” Is there a larger pro-choice Christian voting block that may have some impact in the next election?

KENGOR: Hillary is very much part of the Religious Left, which is united in its commitment to “social justice.” Tragically, for many on the Religious Left, this justice is confined to race and class and economics, and only for those fortunate enough to have been born. They do not extend their social justice to the unborn, which they relegate to the status of non-humans who are deprived of the most basic of all rights: the right to life. This is a complete, utter injustice. They refuse to extend the social-justice umbrella to include these most innocent and defenseless among us, those who most need our protection. These Religious Left individuals include a Baptist named Bill Clinton, Roman Catholics like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi, and a Methodist named Hillary Clinton, to name merely a few.

Both Hillary and her United Methodist Church leadership would describe themselves as “pro-choice Christians.” In fact, her church is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

This will shock pro-lifers to read this, but there are actually pro-choice Christian feminists who pray to God for the ability to abort their children.

THROCKMORTON: Give us some examples of these pro-choice Christians.

KENGOR: Well, Planned Parenthood has its own chaplain. Then there are groups like Episcopalians for Choice, Christian Dykes for Choice, Francis Kissling’s heretical Catholics for a Free Choice, and so on.

When I was an undergraduate, there was a group of feminists at a nearby college–the name of which I will withhold–that called itself First Church of Christ Abortionist, which taught that abortion was a kind of holy sacrament for women. I know this sounds completely insane, which, of course, it is, but I promise you that I’m not making this up. Who could make up something like that?

THROCKMORTON: What is Hillary Clinton’s association with some of these groups?

The most disturbing example that I detail in my book [God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life] was the April 2004 “March for Women’s Lives” in Washington, DC. This was a pro-choice gathering that was so over-the-top and in fact obscene that George Neumayr, the veteran Catholic reporter and editor-in-chief of Catholic World Report, characterized it as a Pagan festival, though Neumayr rightly cautioned that this might be unfair to ancient pagans, since worshipers of Baal would no doubt have found the gathering too depraved for their tastes. Much of what occurred there was so profane that it could not be printed in newspapers or broadcast without violating FCC standards.

Women carried signs decrying the president’s mother, Barbara Bush, for not aborting her oldest son. “If Only Barbara Bush Had Choice,” read one sign; “Barbara Chose Poorly,” said another. They held up similar placards regarding Pope John Paul II, stating things like “The Pope’s Mother Had No Choice.” Another sign declared: “Pro-Life is to Christianity as Al-Qaeda is to Islam.” Another proclaimed: “I asked God, She’s pro-choice.” A female rabbi said that to be “pro-choice” was to be “pro-God.” The abortion doctor George Tiller referred to the unholy alliance of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.”

It was a hateful, intolerant scene, and it was into this zoo that Mrs. Clinton stepped. In fact, her presence seemed one of the few joyful moments for these extremely angry women. The emcee had just finished telling the crowd, “I want to be your dominatrix this morning.” Then, before introducing Senator Clinton, she observed, to explosive applause, “Estrogen levels on this Mall have reached levels we enjoy.” These feminists adore Mrs. Clinton, and she adores them.

THROCKMORTON: You have said that Mrs. Clinton’s former OB-GYN, an abortion doctor, describes himself as a pro-choice Christian?

KENGOR: That’s correct. His name is William F. Harrison, who became Hillary’s personal OB-GYN in the early 1970s in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has done about 20,000 abortions. He was interviewed at length for my book. He was quite candid, extremely open, and very generous with his time. He likewise is a Methodist. He says that he prays to God that Hillary will be our next president. He has described his patients as “born again,” saved from the scourge of botched abortions. I continue to exchange occasional emails with him. He sent me a copy of his memoirs, each chapter of which starts with a Bible verse. When asked how Hillary, as a Christian, could advocate abortion rights, he was puzzled by the question, noting that Hillary, after all, is a Methodist. Point taken.

Tomorrow I will post the remainder of this interview which will discuss the views of Barack Obama, and more on Rudy Giuliani. Thanks again to Paul for this series.

Past posts in this series:

New Book Explores God and Hillary Clinton

More on God and Hillary Clinton: An Interview with Historian Paul Kengor

Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani: A Pro-Life Dilemma?

Click HERE for a related article on abortion and mental health.

Cohen: IHF has “no religious affiliations”

Richard Cohen has issued a statement regarding his International Healing Foundation and religious affiliations.

IHF UC

I have a copy of what appears to be the IHF Articles of Incorporation supplied by a former board member. I hope to verify them soon. They begin this way:

Section 2 – Beliefs: Essential Beliefs of IHF

1. God, our Higher Power, is the center of the process of healing restoration. Without the power of God’s truth and love, true and lasting healing is not possible.

2. God created men and women to 1) fruitful – achieve individual maturity, 2) multiply – establish God-centered families; and 3) take dominion over creation with true love.

They continue in a generally religious manner. If these are current policy, it appears that IHF is indeed religious, but not sectarian.

Mr. Cohen’s website statement above is similar to a statement he issued in 2000 when this issue came up. Prior to 2000, the IHF was listed as a Moon Front Group. Compiled by Larry Zilliox and endorsed by cult expert and ex-Unification church member, Steve Hassan, the list is very long and actually referenced on a Unification church website. The list is also featured on Rick Ross’s website. The IHF is still on the list but also includes the following statements from Richard Cohen regarding the Unification Church.

International Healing Foundation P.O. Box 901, Bowie, MD 20718-0901 Phone (301) 3… Richard Cohen, Director. Mr. Cohen is author of the book “Coming Out Straight,” which is about “a successful treatment plan for transitioning from homosexual to heterosexual.” Within this book Cohen tells of his “own story of coming out straight [and] about [his] spiritual journey from Jew to Christian to moonie and back to Christian” again. Richard Cohen advised (Feb. 13, 2000) that his “foundation was never a project of the Unification Church [and that he] left the Unification church in 1995…[and] joined a local Christian church two years ago.”

In a recent statement (Feb. 16, 2000) Richard Cohen concluded, “I DO NOT believe Rev. Moon is the messiah…[nor that] Rev. and Mrs. Moon are ‘true parents’ or serve as role models. I under no uncertain terms, support ANY activity or program of the Unification Church.”

Recent questions regarding the IHF and the UC must be seen in the context of persistent concerns raised by cult experts and observers since the IHF was initially listed as a group with Moon connections. I believe the questions are fair in light of clear evidence of UC involvement by IHF staff and board members not long after these denials were issued. See my prior posts here and here.

It is also worth noting that the Unification Church is actually not an entity at present but, in 1997, was absorbed into an entity Rev. Moon set up called The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Read this internal communication which addressed the confusion experienced by those in the movement about the change from church to family federation. It would be possible to claim one is not a member of the Unification Church and still be involved with the Unificationist movement or Family Church federation. On this point, Sun Myung Moon declared in 1997:

Therefore we can build the Kingdom of God here. As Unification Church Blessed couples, if we truly fulfill the role of tribal messiahs, there is an automatic extension. That is why we can truly restore this world into the Kingdom of God. For this purpose, Father took down the HSA-UWC sign and placed a new sign: The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

In a history of the Unification Movement, there is a reasonably candid description of this change, referring to Moon’s requirement for a change of name and focus. Church leader Damian Anderson comments further about the name change here.

Another aspect of the Unification Movement that creates confusion is the similar sound of Unification theology to traditional Christian doctrines. Read this 2001 note regarding Christ from US Unification leader Michael Jenkins:

Statement Concerning Incorrect Presentation of Unification Teaching on Jesus Christ

To: National Desk

Contact: Family Federation for World Peace and Unification,

202-722-6800

Email: admin@familyfed.org

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ — The following is a statement by Rev. Michael Jenkins, President, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, USA, concerning the incorrect presentation of Unification Teaching on Jesus Christ:

The Associated Press has recently reported incorrectly the beliefs concerning Jesus and the faith of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon).

An August 14th article entitled “Vatican:Archbishop Giving Up Wife” states incorrectly, “For instance, Moon’s followers regard Moon as the messiah who is completing the salvation Jesus Christ failed to accomplish.”

The church affirms Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and that his mission was successful in bringing salvation through the blood atonement. Because of the rejection of the chosen people to receive Jesus, the promised Kingdom of God did not come at that time but was prolonged until Jesus return. This prolongation was not a failure on Jesus part but of that of the people who God had prepared to receive Him.

The Unification teaching doesn’t associate the lack of the faith of the people to receive Jesus with any failure on Jesus’ part. Their rejection caused a prolongation of his mission and calls for His return.

Unification teaching affirms Jesus as Lord and Savior. In a recent publication of Rev. Moon’s teaching, The Life and Mission of Jesus Christ (HSA Publications, 2001), Rev. Moon has stated, “…Jesus is the only begotten Son of God…. That is why He is the Savior. Therefore it is only through Jesus that we can be connected to the lineage of God.”

Concerning the title of “Messiah” the Unification teaching affirms the biblical concept of the Hebrew term for “Messiah” , Messias meaning “anointed one”. Unification teaching affirms that Rev. Moon has received the anointing of Jesus and stands in a messianic role as “True Parents.” Unification teaching also affirms that the “anointing” or messianic role is also conveyed to other pastors and leaders who, if called by God, take up the cross and follow Jesus

Now I must hasten to add that much of what I have written here may have no relevance to Mr. Cohen’s IHF. By this point, I am developing some interest in understanding the Moon organizations. I am trying to understand how this organization operates to try to make sense of the statements of Mr. Cohen and Mrs. Wiemann and what I read on the Unificationist websites involving them (much of which is fast disappearing as someone is altering most of the websites). Again, readers must decide what if anything is relevant or important.

Hey, I read it in the papers – Paul Cameron extends his methods

Reading obituaries probably gets boring and maybe a little morbid, so it is understandable that the Paul Cameron research machine has branched out and included tragic news articles as data collection.

In his spanking new venture, the Empirical Journal of Same Sex Sexual Behavior, Cameron has released a “study” called, Teacher-Pupil Sex Across the World: How Much Is Homosexual? Apparently, the only article in the journal so far, the article’s abstract says:

In news stories in English across the world for 1980-2006, 902 teachers engaged in sex with 3,457 pupils. Teachers engaging in same-sex sex constituted 63% of perpetrators in Ireland, 62% in New Zealand, 60% in Canada, 54% in Scotland, 48% in Australia, 47% in England, and 35% in the U.S.; in smaller samples, homosexuals accounted for 71% of perpetrators in mainland Europe, 26% in Africa, and 13% in Asia. Proportionately more same-sex sexual activity with pupils occurred in the West as compared to Asia and Africa. Most (54% of 810 male, 83% of 92 female) teachers violated only opposite sex pupils; 43% of perpetrators engaged in homosexuality; and 55% of victims were boys. Findings for each country or set of countries were consistent with U.S. studies based on superintendent report, principal report, self-report, and convictions indicating that a male homosexual is the most and a female heterosexual the least apt to have sex with pupils.

Cameron begins the article noting the prevalence of sexual molestations in educational settings and then basically documents the fatal flaw in his paper:

Even though teacher/pupil sexual events are fairly common, an instance of teacher/pupil has to run a veritable gauntlet before it becomes public knowledge. Educational systems try vigorously to assure that teacher molestations are not brought to light. So such an event is likely to be suppressed. (p. 2)

Anyone familiar with schools and teacher behavior knows that these events are frequently covered up with many never getting to trial and thus are not captured by newspapers. Who knows how many actual events occur? Who knows how many of the same-sex perpetrators are married with kids? Not to mention that same sex perpetrations might actually be more likely to be reported and made public. And yet, Cameron considers news reports a source of data adequate enough to include in his inaugural issue. So since he demolished any credibility the study could have, there is no point in going any further, right? Of course, he does, and we get statistics that may end up in a news release somewhere.

Rather than me taking time to predict the next study that will emerge from the headlines, let me turn it over to my readers. What else might we learn from newspapers, folks?

Cameron’s news release on this study is here.

AP story on the Sanders’ study of gay brothers

The Associated Press reports that the Alan Sanders study of gay brothers continues in search of 1000 pairs of gay brothers.

The study’s website describes the scope and purpose:

In 2003, the N.I.H. funded Dr. Alan R. Sanders, a psychiatrist at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute to conduct a five-year study of approximately 1,000 pairs of gay brothers, along with any other available brothers and parents from families recruited from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia, i.e., mainly English speaking countries since the materials such as the web site, consent form, and questionnaire are in English.

The purpose of this study is to see whether gay brothers on average share genetic regions inherited from their parents. When studying a trait, such as sexual orientation, with genetic techniques it is much more efficient to focus on the less common variant; hence, we are studying families with gay brothers to learn more about the development of male sexual orientation. This study will shed light on the role of genetics in the development of sexual orientation of human males.

Some research indicates that some very ‘feminine’ boys seem to become homosexual more frequently than other boys (reviewed in [1]). The same seems to hold true of some very ‘masculine’ girls. It is also true that many children who become homosexual adults behave just like other members of their own gender. However, it is not our intention to perpetuate stereotypes, or to imply that all gay men are or were ‘feminine’. Rather, our purpose is to understand what impact childhood ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ may have on the adult lives of men who are attracted to other men. In order to explore these observations further, this study will ask participating brothers about their recollections of their childhood behaviors such as play activities, relationships with others, and so on.

Stanton Jones and Alan Chambers were interviewed for this article. The AP writer implied that Stanton said the Exodus study has some relevance to genetics. I don’t believe Stan made such a link:

Skeptics include Stanton Jones, a psychology professor and provost at conservative Christian school Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. An evangelical Christian, Jones last month announced results of a study he co-authored that says it is possible for gays to “convert” — changing their sexual orientation without harm.

Jones said his results suggest biology plays only a minor role in sexual orientation, and that researchers seeking genetic clues generally have a pro-gay agenda that will produce biased results.

Stanton dismissed such questions last month at the AACC meeting saying the Exodus study had nothing to do with genetics or causes.

UPDATE – 10/16/07 – As expected, I heard from Stan Jones today who said he was not characterized properly by the AP reporter Tanner. In fact, he told the reporter that using his study with Yarhouse to discuss cause was inappropriate. Stan does not think the genetic contribution is likely to be large and perhaps she wrongly combined the two points.

Is there common ground between liberal and conservative Christians?

Interesting article from the Christian Post on common ground between liberal and conservative Christians.

I have not read the report but will look for it…If anyone finds a link, please post it.

UPDATE – H/T Jay – Here is the website supporting this effort.

Hutchison issues retraction and explanation

Yesterday, I reported that a rumor was flying around about Exodus President Alan Chambers. Alan acted quickly and appropriately to address the false information. Today, the columnist at the heart of the brouhaha issued an apology to Alan Chambers. To serve fairness and openness, I reproduce it here.

To Alan Chambers and whom it make concern:

A project of mine which was intended to be seen by only a few eyes has been widely published by prying busibodies causing damage to Mr. Chambers and myself. Never the less, conscience and human decency obliges me to make things right. I have had an e-mail conversation with Mr. Chambers, and after a rocky start, we both relaxed and just said what we thought. To the extent that I am a judge of human nature he seems to be an honorable man, and engaging personality and winsomely candid. I believe his answers to my questions because this man is no liar. In our conversation, I disagreed with him on several points and got the impression of an open minded man.

I have concluded that the charges made against him made by Paul Cameron and parroted by me are false. I do not think Cameron is a liar. He is a zealot against evil, but sometimes is hasty and careless about seeing evil where none lies.

My sins in the matter were several. I had no grounds to use the word “sodomy.” Although it is biblically correct word, its revolting connotations should limit its use to carefully accurate and potent situations – never to be thrown about carelessly like I did. As a man who deals in words, I ought to have known better and have no excuse. I have read Cameron for years and trusted him because I share his zeal for truth and his horror of the gay political agenda which is undermining the American family and seducing many pastors. However, I prided myself on a zeal for truth – and here I fell down in the area I thought was my greatest strength. A man of principle does mow down innocent bystanders with the bandwagon of crusade. Why did I not ask myself, could Cameron be wrong in his fragmented snippets? I was in the flow of concentration and did not stop to reflect – as a principled man would do. I apologize to Mr. Cameron for the pain I brought him through these sins.

I never once asked myself what this might mean to Mr. Cameron if a busy body brought it to his attention. My failure to even think about that evinces a lack of humanity. We are fallen beings and we lie to ourselves if we think that being a Christian instantly reverses the fall. This failure to reflect on what a word might mean to the other fellow is for me a dark besetting sin.

Now a word for the voyeuristic busy bodies. The repeated demands that I repent and recant before I understood what has happened and could search my heart and my conscience – such demands evince the morality of a high school clique. If I were one of you in your shallow clique, I would instantly recant just to please you and be spared your censure. If I were to recant just because of group pressure I could not look myself in the mirror. You were trying to force me into an unprincipled move just to mollify you because your favorite guy was mistreated. How does that differ from a high school clique? The juvenile impatience of it all. Where was the patience to wait while I methodically sought for the truth. Where is the adult in your midst?

I was frequently upbraided for not checking sources behind by my sources. If I had intended to publish that would be a legitimate criticism. But a informal project only for a few eyes – not so. I had two sources and it was more than you usually get in a piece for discussion by an intimate group. The ones I chose to see it were chosen for their wisdom and discretion – to guide me in case I got off course. When the piece was released to the lynch mob, I felt violated and betrayed. Such was the deafness of the mob, that even after I explained what had happened, the criticism that I did not check the sources of the sources – kept coming again and again. Open your ears and quit talking nonsense.

In my long project, of which this piece is a footnote, I was trying to figure out if our shallow, lukewarm evangelicalism is in a state of melt down. Mr Chambers proves to me that you still have a few good men. However, the feeding frenzy of the busybodies tilts me towards the melt-down theory. Fred Hutchison

Boxturtle Bulletin has some interesting background on the rift between Exodus and Paul Cameron that sets a context for the information used by Mr. Hutchison.

Conservative columnist says, “ex-gay leader returns to sodomy”

Fred Hutchison, a conservative columnist, yesterday sent an email to a small distribution list criticizing a variety of conservative and liberal evangelicals over their positions and statements on homosexuality. This email was then widely distributed among social conservatives. One claim stood out:

Ex-gay leader returns to sodomy

According to Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute Alex Chambers, (sic) Director of Exodus International, the largest Evangelical organization for ex-gays declared that he is no longer ex-gay and is not sure he has ever met an ex-gay! He is now calling to Evangelicals to reconcile with practicing gays.

I contacted Mr. Hutchison and he cited again Paul Cameron and also added the LA Times as sources. He is referring to the LA Times article where Alan was quoted discussing realistic views of sexual orientation change. It is beyond me how one could reach Hutchison’s conclusion from the LA Times article. I wonder what Paul Cameron had to say. I have emailed to ask but have no response as yet.

As for Alan, he has not had a change of heart regarding homosexuality and is understandably unhappy about the false claims, asking for a speedy retraction.

When Mr. Hutchison has a response, I will include it here.

UPDATE: Mr. Hutchison sent an email response to this post and asked me to publish it.

“I was doing confidential research on the evangelical left and selected a few good men to supervise me to keep me on track. I really thought Paul Cameron and the LA Times were adequate sources because I had no intention to publish. One of my trusted advisors published the piece all over creation resulting in tremendous criticism from many quarters. He publishes my stuff and then chides me for not having deep enough sources for publication. A double game. I do regret using the word “sodomy.” Other than that I must finish my research, get all the facts and retell the story more perfectly in line with the truth. At the moment I am in communication with Alan Chambers and intend to give him a fair hearing. If retractions are needed I will not hesitate to retract. This was my intention from the start of this explosive controversy. However, I respect facts and not pressure or public calumny. Fair enough? Fred Hutchison

Developing…

Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani – A pro-life dilemma?

The recent articles regarding Hillary Clinton have been quite popular. I am following up with a series of interviews with friend, colleague and presidential historian Paul Kengor regarding the role of faith and social policy in the upcoming election. This interview presents Paul’s take on the religious views of front-runners Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, specifically with regard to abortion policy. Would Rudy be denied communion? Does Hillary think of abortion as a kind of sacred right? Read on…

THROCKMORTON: Just a basic question for foundation: Why do you believe that the religious views of politicians are relevant to their campaign for the presidency?

KENGOR: To quote FDR, the presidency is preeminently a place of moral leadership, and religion is the foundation of morality. George Washington noted that religion and morality are the “indispensable supports” of a successful democratic republic. There is no such thing as a legislator or policy-maker who leaves morality out of his or her decision making. All of our figures impose some kind of personal morality, whether flawed or not. Religion is usually the basis for that morality, and, in American history, typically the Christian religion.

Presidential candidates often point to their faith as justification for the policies they promote during their campaigns.

I believe, the scandal is when you have a liberal Democrat like John Kerry who stated in the final 2004 presidential debate, “My faith affects everything I do, really,” and then cites how his faith influences his desire to end poverty, to clean up the environment, to hike the minimum wage, but then, suddenly, completely separates his Roman Catholic faith from life-death issues like abortion and embryonic research. In my view, that’s outrageous. Kerry does it, Mario Cuomo does it, Ted Kennedy does it, and, most recently, from the Republican side of the aisle, Rudy Giuliani is doing it.

THROCKMORTON: Your new book examines the religious views of the current democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton. How about the Republican leader, Rudy Giuliani? What is his religious background?

KENGOR: He says that he studied theology for four years in college, after completing 12 years at a Catholic private school. By studying theology, I think he means that he was probably required to take some religious education courses at Manhattan College, which was the Catholic college that he attended, where I believe he studied politics and philosophy. He says that at one point he considered becoming a priest.

THROCKMORTON: What are his current religious leanings and how will these impact his policy making?

KENGOR: He has been quite private about that, knowing that any mention of his faith will get him in hot water as the first major pro-choice Republican with a legitimate crack at winning the party’s presidential nomination. The Republican Party has become the Party of Life, and nominating Rudy might well change that image. There are numerous pro-life Christians, Protestant and Catholic, who are going to fight that possible shift, from the likes of James Dobson at Focus on the Family to the pages of the National Catholic Register. They are not pleased that after all of these pro-life gains that have come only because of Republican presidents fighting abortion extermists in the Democratic Party, there is a sudden chance of a course reversal under a Republican president named Rudy Giuliani, no matter what his guarantees about appointing “strict constructionist” judges. They understand that in the real world there will be an untold number of pro-abortion executive orders and initiatives and decisions that would come across a President Giuliani’s desk, and that concerns them. As president, he might at best get to appoint two Supreme Court justices, but he will constantly be dealing with a flurry of pro-life and anti-life legislation.

THROCKMORTON: I have heard Mr. Giuliani say, I hate abortion. How does he reconcile this statement and his Catholic affiliation with his abortion public policy?

KENGOR: Hopefully, everyone hates abortion. The burning question in response would be to ask him why he hates abortion. Naturally, one would presume, he would say that he hates abortion because it terminates a human life. That being the case, how can one support the termination of human life? Once he concedes that point, he knows he’s in trouble. His church is very clear on this, from encyclicals like Humanae Vitae to Evangelium Vitae to Veritatis Splendor to the Catechism to the very recent eloquent remarks from Pope Benedict XVI.

Imagine this striking scenario: a Catholic president of the United States who is denied Holy Communion in certain dioceses because of his stance on abortion. That would be truly remarkable.

Non-Catholics have trouble understanding this, so let me try to explain Catholic thinking: Catholics believe that at Holy Communion they receive the literal body and blood of Christ. The recent Vatican document Redemptionis Sacramentum affirms Church teaching that “anyone who is conscious of grave sin should not celebrate or receive the Body of the Lord without prior sacramental confession.” The document restated the church’s position that anyone knowingly in “grave sin” must go to confession before ingesting the consecrated bread and wine that Catholics consider the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. Cardinal Francis Arinze said that “unambiguously pro-abortion” Catholic politicians are “not fit” to receive the sacred elements.The Vatican has spoken on this. It is up to American bishops to decide whether to carry out the policy.

In 2004, a number of Catholic archbishops suggested or flatly stated that if a President John Kerry presented himself for communion in their diocese he would be turned away. Among others, these included Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis, Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, and even Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston—Kerry’s home diocese. Most recently, in Giuliani’s case, Archbishop Burke has spoken up.

THROCKMORTON: Compared to Hillary Clinton, who would be most pro-choice, if such a comparison can be made?

KENGOR: That’s a no-brainer: Hillary Clinton. If you’re a pro-lifer, and if no issue is more important to you than the right of an unborn child to have life, then nothing could be more calamitous than a President Hillary Clinton. I don’t know of any politician who is more uncompromising and extreme on abortion rights than Hillary Clinton. I know this well and don’t state it with anger or hyperbole. Her extremism on abortion rights was the single most shocking, inexplicable find in my research on her faith and politics. I couldn’t understand it. No question. It is truly extraordinary. Nothing, no political issue, impassions her like abortion rights. For Mrs. Clinton, abortion-rights is sacred ground.

By the way, speaking of Catholics, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II saw this abortion extremism in Hillary, and both confronted her on it repeatedly, especially Mother Teresa, right up until the day she died. I have a chapter on this in the book. It’s a gripping story.

THROCKMORTON: Of Hillary and Rudy, who would most likely make abortion rights a litmus test for Supreme Court appointments?

KENGOR: Hillary, no question. She has made that clear. Rudy would not.

More on the Unification Movement

In reviewing the websites involving the IHF personnel and the Unification Movement, I have become interested in this perspective. The Unification teachings are clearly distortions of orthodox Christian theology but could sound familiar and even appealing to many Christians.

Here are a couple of websites that are associated with the Unification movement and “Blessed Families”:

True Parents OrganizationThe page defines True Parents as follows:

Who are True Parents Page

This web site is dedicated to Heavenly Father (God) and True Parents (Reverend and Mrs. Moon). Adam and Eve should have been the True Parents of humanity. A physical and spiritual ideal world (Kingdom of Heaven) should have stemmed from them. However, they fell by sexual sin.

Heavenly Father worked with fallen man to make a foundation to send a Second Adam, Jesus. Jesus, the Second Adam, should have fulfilled what Adam did not. Jesus should have grown to maturity, married a Second Eve, had children, and established a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven. However, he was not received by those prepared to welcome him, resulting in Jesus going the way of the cross. The cross gave spiritual salvation, but could not solve the entire problem of sin.

Since, Jesus could not fulfil his entire mission, Heavenly Father had to rebuild the foundation for True Parents, by sending the Third Adam, Sun Myung Moon. Rev. Moon fulfilled the mission of True Parents that Adam and Jesus had failed to fulfil. By uniting with Rev. and Mrs. Moon humanity can fulfil their purpose of creation and enter the Kingdom of Heaven both spiritually and physically.

The Unification church is perhaps best known for the mass weddings of followers who are matched by Moon himself or by parents within the movement. The website Absolute Love provides online guidance and application forms for young people seeking to receive advice on being matched in marriage – something called The Blessing. Rev. Moon offers advice to young people and there are numerous articles on the details. On one page, Assistant Director of the International Healing Foundation, Hilde Wiemann, provides commentary on a young lady’s beliefs about being too young to match.

The Church also hosts Blessing Candidate and Parent Workshops to provide information about the Blessings, such as this one attended by Mr. & Mrs. Wiemann. Recall that Mrs. Wiemann indicated that she left the church in 1995 and that these workshops were not done on a volunteer basis, but that the church hired her for her expertise in working with families.

I am writing about this because it interests me and to benefit those who are looking for a specific approach from those they work with in sexual identity ministry. What any of the above means regarding the IHF or those associated with it is not clear to me as yet. I am committed to preserving space for all to seek resolution of sexual identity conflicts within their worldview. I also believe in informed consent so that vulnerable folks can find help in line with their expectations about their helpers.

UPDATE: The following links have been altered on the AbsoluteLove.org website:

On one page, Hilde Wiemann provides commentary on a young lady’s beliefs about being too young to match.

If you click them now, they take you to a page that says: “You are not authorized to view this resource. You need to login.” I assume the page still exists since the page still lists the title of the article as “Too Young! A letter to Parents about the Matching. (With Responses).” Here is the page prior to the change. Posted in September 2006, Mrs. Wiemann’s reply to Jessica Cohen’s article urging Unification Church parents not to match their children before age 20 is below.

Wiemann

Other changes to the Absolutelove.org site have been made also. The page on the Absolutelove.org site describing a 2002 workshop has been altered. Here is a clipping from the Unification News paper that names Hilde Wiemann and her husband as being leaders at the 4-Day Blessings Candidate and Parent Workshop in Washington DC. Comparing the two you will see that they are alike except the Wiemann’s names have been recently removed from the Absolutelove.org version.

The tparents.org site has also been altered. Here is the “Too Young!” article now and here it is a couple of days ago. In the comments section, a reader in comment 52543, referred to a workshop that appears to refer to Richard Cohen. That website has now been altered as well.