Offered Without Comment 2


From today’s WaPo:

More than a dozen lawmakers attended a congressional reception this year honoring the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in which Moon declared himself the Messiah and said his teachings have helped Hitler and Stalin be “reborn as new persons.”At the March 23 ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding an ornate crown that was placed on Moon’s head. The Korean-born businessman and religious leader then delivered a long speech saying he was “sent to Earth . . . to save the world’s six billion people. . . . Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

Details of the ceremony — first reported by Salon.com writer John Gorenfeld — have prompted several lawmakers to say they were misled or duped by organizers. Their complaints prompted a Moon-affiliated Web site to remove a video of the “Crown of Peace” ceremony two days ago, but other Web sites have preserved details and photos.

Moon, 85, has been controversial for years. Renowned for officiating at mass weddings, he received an 18-month prison sentence in 1982 for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In a 1997 sermon, he likened homosexuals to “dirty dung-eating dogs.”

Among the more than 300 people who attended all or part of the March ceremony was Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), who now says he simply was honoring a constituent receiving a peace award and did not know Moon would be there. “We fell victim to it; we were duped,” Dayton spokeswoman Chris Lisi said yesterday.

Other lawmakers who attended or were listed as hosts felt the same, she said. “Everyone I talked to was furious,” she said. With Minnesotans demanding to know whether Dayton is a follower of Moon, Lisi said, the senator persuaded the St. Paul Pioneer Press to write an article allowing him to reply.

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