An article in this month’s issue of Mother Jones magazine suggests that ties exist between conservative Christian activists and the Unification Church. Free-lance reporter Carolyn Weaver obtained a cassette recording of a letter dictated by fundamentalist author and pastor Tim LaHaye. The letter, addressed to Bo Hi Pak, top aide to Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon, expresses thanks for “your generous help to our work.”
LaHaye heads a right-wing coalition of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders known as the American Coalition for Traditional Values (ACTV). In the letter, LaHaye tells Pak that moving to Washington and launching ACTV “has been extremely expensive, much more so than I originally thought.”
The letter does not specify exactly what was received from Pak. LaHaye denies that he or his organization ever accepted money from any group or individual on behalf of Moon’s church. He acknowledged dictating the letter, but he deplored its use by Mother Jones.
In a written response to the magazine article, LaHaye says, “I consider it extremely unethical to publish a private tape recording of the unedited first draft dictation of a letter that never appeared in that form. There is serious doubt that it was ever mailed at all since neither our office nor the supposed recipient has a copy.”
LaHaye explained in an interview that the “help” mentioned on the tape consisted of Pak introducing him to important persons in Washington. (By press time, CHRISTIANITY TODAY was unable to reach Pak to confirm what help he provided.) LaHaye said Pak attended an ACTV banquet in October and made a small “personal” cash donation to the organization. LaHaye said his relationship with Pak “has never been on a theological basis. I respect him as a conservative businessman, staunch anti-Communist and publisher of several conservative newspapers and magazines.…”
The letter was dictated early last year. On the tape, LaHaye mentions that he and his wife, Beverly, want to host the Paks for dinner, and lists reasons for optimism about the eventual triumph of conservative goals.
The Unification Church has sought solidarity with conservative Christians on issues of religious freedom, and many fundamentalist leaders have obliged. In 1984, LaHaye chaired a committee of leaders from the Coalition on Religious Liberty. His committee organized a rally protesting perceived violations of religious liberty, including the jailing of Moon on charges of tax evasion. The rally was dominated by Moon’s followers, and as a result LaHaye resigned his position with the Coalition on Religious Liberty.
However, he says he believes Unificationists are part of the solution to rampant secularism in America. “Anyone could be part of the solution,” LaHaye said, “if he is really trying to move the country to a conservative point of view.”
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