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September 09, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-09

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OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, September 9, 1984

The Michigan Daily

4

AE

By James Boyd
I have been to Heaven.
It is a place where the majority is
politically concerned, a place where the
world's harsh realities rather than
blind optimism dictate policy. The
people there prefer self-examination
over flag-waving and pray in churches,
not in schools. Best of all, Ronald
Reagan is seen as the two-bit actor and
high-riding cowboy that he is.
I have been to Europe.
ACTUALLY, Europe isn't Heaven
but compared to the current state of
American political psychology it is vir-
tually Heaven. It is depressing that the
disparity between the two is so evident
since this country is so good at what it
does and has traditionally spurned
mindlessness in its government. From
Washington to Roosevelt and beyond,
America could only be proud of itself;
always becoming more prosperous,
almost always giving the little guy a
chance, and most important of all,
always trying to do the smartest, most
decent thing possible. The aftermath of
the war saw America as Europe's
savior-a role for which our allies were
most greatful. Not only had the stars
and stripes delivered Europe from the.
Nazis, but they were going to defend
.against the Russians too. The Berlin
airlift in 1948 proved us to be the good
guys. No operation anywhere in the
world was too great in the pursuit of
freedom.
Then, however, came Vietnam-the

irope's
greatest operation of all-and
Europeans beganto question whether
or not the United States was really
fighting for freedom. American
aggression had reared its ugly head.
President Reagan's invasion of
Grenada and confrontational posturing
with the Soviets have reaffirmed
America's status as potential
aggressor. He has also convinced the
Europeans of the ridiculousness of
American politics. How can an actor of
dubious talent who starred in a movie
named "Bedtime for Bonzo" even
aspire to the presidency of the United
States, much less attain it? And how
can that president say what he does-so
much, so little, bad jokes, misinfor-
mation, and all-and still retain the
adoration of the public? They find it
ridiculous that Reagan doesn't want to
debate Mondale because "it would bore
the pants off the American public." It is
ridiculous. America elected a cowboy,
not a statesman.
THE RIDICULOUS aspect of this
administration combined with this
aggressive nature has produced in the
Europeans a most understandable
emotion-fear. This fear was first
clearly recognizable in the mass
protest against proposed American
deployment of medium-range missiles
in Western Europe. At that time Europe
had the first clear vision that they
would be the battleground in any war
between the superpowers.
As potential first victims they don't
have that great a sense of humor about
nuclear war. Ron's "begin bombing in
five minutes" joke didn't go over too

-eye view of U.S.

'101

* )h
-C-

politics

groups, and all socio-economic classes
asked that Reagan take his missiles
with him when he returned to, hone.
Included was an organization of ex-
servicemen calling for disarmament.
British vets aren't as bashful about
exhibiting their sanity as their
American counterparts.
What makes U.S. vets, and most
everyone else, bashful is the American
idea that if you're for disarmament you
must be a hippie, a communist, or.:a
faggot. Missiles are macho and pai-
ted red, white, and blue, don 't you
knock 'em or we'll knock you. The
power of patriotism can be wielded for 4
good and bad.
Europeans got a strong dose~of
American patriotism in the papers atd
on TV during the Olympics where the
finely-honed and orchestrated event
seemed to serve but one goal: tie
glorification of America. Not that the
Los Angeles Olympics and olympians
weren't glorious, but the power.of
patriotism can be wielded for good and
bad. When it obscures a debate, suchps 4
that concerning disarmament, it is bd.
As a nation, we could learn a lot from
Europe's attitudes and fears. Unfor-
tunately, there's nothing to make us
learn. The United States has moved
from savior to feared ally but no one
noticed because we're not the ones who
areascared. When others are
threatened, we should be threatened
ourselves.

well. Call 'em stuffy but you wouldn't
be laughing either if your survival hung
in the balance between two nations
waging a deadly war of silence. After
learning my nationality, a Swiss
woman's first question to me was,
"How can your president tell such

jokes?" Because he is ridiculous and
aggressive. And that is scary.
The anti-nuke movemen-
ts-especially the strong coalitions in
West Germany and the Netherlan-
ds-do considerably better in Europe
than in the United States.

DURING REAGAN'S visit to London
last June, 200,000 Britons crowded into
Trafalgar Square to protest Reagan's
foreign policy. The rally, sponsored by
the Campaign for Nuclear Disar-
mament, was amazingly heterogenous.
Groups from all parts of Britain, all age

Boyd is a Daily Opinion
editor.

Page4

1be £iIgau ilailti
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XVC, No. 4

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

MORE ACCUSATIO4S ABOUTSPADE
But. SWASMN FO cR 8\ SIDES
SPAD TREY WOULD CONThINU To.
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F THE actions of the housing
office so far this year are any in-
dication, administrators will again be
testing the waters of student tolerance.
Continuing a trend which started last
year, they seem more than willing to
see just how much University inter-
vention an increasingly apathetic
student body is willing to put up with in
its private life.
Last year, the housing office cracked
down on alcohol consumption in the
dormitories by enforcing restrictions
on how and where students could hold
parties and drink in the dorms.
Later, the Office of Student Services
proposed that the University adopt a
code of conduct and a judicial system
:to punish students for offenses which
have little or no relation to academics.
Now, housing official Jo Rumsey has
started the year with a subtle, but
revealing coup to kick off the new
crusade.
Last week, Rumsey decided it was
her responsibility to call city police
and check if several fraternities.
needed a permit to sell beer at large
parties this weekend.
The fraternities never asked for her
help in organizing their party and the
police requested her help in publicizing
city liquor laws.

Nevertheless, Rumsey called
several fraternities to inform them
that they did indeed need a license to
sell beer, although they never had ex-
perienced any problems hosting
similar parties without a license.
After checking with police, at least
one fraternity, Theta Delta Chi, can-
celled a large party it had planned for
the weekend.
What's wrong with Rumsey doing
the fraternities a favor by informing
them they need a license?
Only that she is not doing them a
favor.
She is subtly intruding on their right
to have a party without interference
from the University. It is a right every.
student, or citizen for that matter,
deserves.
No, Rumsey didn't tell the frater-
nities they could not have the parties.
She didn't even ask them not to have
them.
But that's not the point. The point is
that Rumsey had her nose, and the
University's nose, where it had no
business being.
And there can be little doubt that on-
ce students accept the University's
nose in their business, it won't be easy

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Are the Moonies in eclpse?

to remove.

By Andrew Ross
When the Rev. Sun Myung
Moon entered prison for income
tax evasion and perjury in July,
there were no noisy demon-
strations or emotional farewells
from his devotees-though they
had spent virtually all their time
and energy for two years in an
expensive public campaign to
keep him out.
Moon, now working in the kit-
chen of the Federal Correctional
Facility in Danbury, Conn.,
reportedly told several hundred
followers that his imprisonment
will motivate people "to go
beyond their past differences and
work together for religious liber-
ties."
IN FACT, Moon's legal dif-
ficulties did bring his Unification
Church some long-sought
legitimacy. The National Council
of Churches, the National
Association of Evangelicals and
former presidential candidate
Eugene McCarthy filed legal
briefs on Moon's behalf, arguing
that mingling church and per-
sonal funds is standard practice
and that Moon was being unfairly
singled out.
In his appeal, Moon was
represented by one of the coun-
try's foremost constitutional
scholars, Lawrence Tribe of
Harvard University. All this has

"but they are carrying on with
fierce determination,especially
when they see other
denominations support them on
this."
NEVERTHELESS, there are
signs the controversial
movement is at a major
crossroads. Former member
Gary Scharff, who now counsels
other ex-members, says he has
seen "a gradual disintegration
inside the church for some time
now."
Garratt claims the church has
8,000 full-time "missionaries" in
the United States and three
million members of "all levels of
commitment"worldwide. But
outside critics like Scharff
estimate U.S. membership at no
more than 3,000 and say new
recruitment is "way down."
Some of the church's largest
businesses-notably its
newspaper, the Washington
Times, and its fishing fleets-are
reportedly losing hundreds of
millions of dollars.: In fact,
despite a proliferation of
businesses and non-stop fund-
raising activities like flower
selling, the U.S. branch receives
substantial contributions from its
more prosperous Japanese
cousin, according to the former
editors of church-run papers in
both Washington and Japan.

them wed in "mass marriages"
involving thousands-now have
children. They plan to have more,
in accordance with church stric-
tures to procreate "perfect
families."
The church newsletter has a
regular feature entitled "Goo-
Goo News," and conversation in
church households is as likely to
concern diapers and baby sitters
as God's plan. As one long-time
insider puts it, "Many of the
members' lives now revolve
around their kids. They need
clothes and pacifiers. There just
isn't a lot of time to be involved in
other things."
SUCH DISTRACTIONS, say
observers, have created the
seeds of conflict. Some new
parents have even been accused
of "goofing off" in their church
duties.
"The church grows and
changes with the people in it,"
concedes Garratt, "but we're still
pretty hot and exciting." To the
larger public, the image of the
church continues to be dogged by
controversy. Last May, Zenebe
Giorgis, an Ethopian refugee who
had been recruited by the
Unification Church in Phoenix
and brought to the San Francisco
area, wrote a Baptist minister in
Phoenix, "Now, pastor, I'm in
trouble. suffering physically and

IN JULY, the Japanese
magazine "Bungeishunju"
published a long article ',yA
Yishikazu Soejma, former editor
of the church's Japanese
newspaper, "World Times."
Soejam wrote that he was
beaten up and thrown out of the
newspaper office by church
members, including "karate eat-
perts," and charged that Moon
directs a highly sophisticated
tax-evasion scheme involving the
church's multi-million dollar
Happy World Inc., a huge
Japanese corporation which
makes and sells Moonie artifa-
ts-seals, prayer jars, treasure
pagodas, etc.
Ironically, he says, Moon or-
dered him thrown out because he
wanted to professionalize the
newpaper and hire non-Moonie
staff. A similar dispute was in-
volved in the recent, non-violent
firing of James Whelan as editor
of the church's Washington
Times in the United States. o
Moon's position seems little af-
fected by all these. events. In
what appears to be a con-
solidation of his power, and a slap
against secularizing, he has in-
stalled several Koreans as heads
of the American church's 10
regions. The "spiritual center of
the church," according to
Garratt, now is officially at Dan-
hin. n

M lm

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