A number of folks -- notably Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald -- have already pointed out quite adroitly that while the media have had little compunction about whipping up a phony controversy about Barack Obama's "pastor problem", there's almost nothing that white evangelical pastors can say that might bring down similar approbation. John McCain's "spiritual advisers" Rod Parsley and John Hagee really are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this.
As Glenn puts it:
The phrases "anti-American" and "America-haters" are among the most barren and manipulative in our entire political lexicon, but whatever they happen to mean on any given day, they easily encompass people who believe that the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks, devastating hurricanes and the like. Yet when are people like Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, Inhofe and other white Christian radicals ever described as anti-American or America-hating extremists? Never -- because white Christian evangelicals who tie themselves to the political Right are intrinsically patriotic.
But the Republican right's biggest problem with having "America haters" as leading exponents of movement conservatism is someone who not only has claimed to be a spiritual mentor but is also a major financier of Republican causes: the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
As John Gorenfeld explains in delightful and excruciating detail in his new book Bad Moon Rising: How Reverend Moon Created the Washington Times, Seduced the Religious Right and Built an American Kingdom [which we'll be discussing in greater detail tomorrow for the FDL Book Salon], Moon has a long history of saying ugly things about the United States and about Americans.
And yet simultaneously, the largesse he spreads about the conservative movement has won him all kinds of friends, influence, and defenders, if not followers. Certainly, there is no one in the mainstream media who bothers to mention this, let alone play endless tape loops.
Here are some of the things Moon has said over the years, as Gorenfeld has detailed:
The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world. I will go beyond the boundary of the U.S., opening up the toll gate, reaching out to the end of the world. I will go forward, piercing through everything ...
When we are in our battle against the whole nation of the U.S. -- if you are truly in love with this nation, and if you love this nation more than anyone else, this nation will come into God's possession, and Satan will have nothing to do with it. ... With that as the bullet, we can smash the whole world.
Individualism is what God hates most, and Satan likes best.
God likes the idea of a monarchy, because it removes the cycles of election after election which can obscure the focus and direction of the nation.
The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the whole world.
The time will come when, without my seeking it, that my words must serve as law.
We will be able to amend laws, articles of constitution, if we wish to do so.
Telling a lie becomes a sin if you tell it to take advantage of a person, but if you tell a lie to do a good thing ... that is not a sin ... Even God tells lies very often.
I have met many famous, so-called famous, Senators and Congressmen; but to my eyes they are nothing. They are weak and helpless. We will win the battle. This is our dream, our project. But shut your mouth tight.
After the demise of communism and the destruction of democracy, all that will remain will be the True Family and True Children system, centered upon True Parents [Moon's title for himself and his wife]. That is what is happening now.
America may boast of its virtues to the world, but look, democracy is now reaching the end of its rope. People thought democracy is the final anchor of the free world, but it is reaching its end. So what is left? America has been telling the weaker nations that they have to accept democracy, forcing them to receive so-called democracy. But look at America. It is rotten, top to bottom. There is nothing to be proud of, not their way of walking or talking or thinking.
When you hear me putting America down, your ears are not pleased. But if we continue living in this hub of the satanic world, this New York-DC area, we are in the darkness.
When Clinton and his policies come into being, the first opposition must come from Christianity. But Christianity has lost its center and its hope. For that reason, they have lost their power, and that is why Clinton was allowed to win the election. It was the failure of Christianity. This nation which is supposed to be Christian has been turned into almost a model nation for Satan, losing everything precious. People are losing their own identity, losing brotherhood, losing their own parents, and losing God. This nation has really become a playground for Satan.
Those "patriotic" conservatives have not fled screaming from Moon for saying these kinds of things. They have not denounced him. They have not even discussed them -- nor, for that matter, have the media.
No, they not only continue to sturdily defend him and his many operations -- most notably the Washington Times Moon's newspaper, which has employed many leading conservative pundits -- they positively embrace him, mostly because of his money. The most significant of these has been his embrace by the Bush family.
George H.W. Bush has appeared at major Moon-sponsored events and taken large sums of his money. Neil Bush has toured with him and also enjoys his considerable largesse. And President Bush has gone so far as to name a former Unification Church leader -- Josette Sheeran -- as his undersecretary of state for economic, business, and agriculture affairs.
But have the mainstream media dealt with any of this? Er, no. In fact, when the subject of the Bush clan's ties to Moon have come up, people like the New York Times' David Brooks -- who got his start as a pundit at the Washington Times -- call it a "bizarre assertion" and an instance of the "paranoid style in American politics."
Obviously, you don't get to watch Moon's "hateful" and "anti-American" remarks being replayed endlessly on CNN and Fox, nor watch every media outlet in the nation obsess over whether Republicans should repudiate him.