Karen Armstrong is a well-known religious writer. She was born in 1944 and at the age of 17 in 1962 became a nun in England. She wrote a book about her experience in a convent for seven years until she left in 1969. It became a best seller. It is interesting to see the similarities of her life to those of pioneer Unificationists. For over a thousand years thousands of women took a vow of chastity, poverty and obedience in the Catholic Church. Karen, like so many before her, and many now, led a life like so many devout members of religions -- a life of asceticism. Steve Hassan is on a crusade against what he calls "cults." What Karen writes about is as bizarre and painful as what so-called cults like the UC and Mormons go through. Hassan wants religion to be super sensitive and logical. The history of religion is not a history of common sense.
Everyone makes mistakes. Even Steve started out as a deprogrammer and later changed. Mankind is growing as it experiments with different lifestyles. The Vatican relaxed its harsh lifestyle for nuns after Karen left what Hassan would call an abusive lifestyle and the UC has lightened up over the years. I go into more detail how Karen's life compares in many ways to UC life in my book UC: an Apology. For now, I want to point out one aspect of the life of a nun that sisters in the UC seem to still be locked into. Nuns marry Jesus Christ. They put a wedding band on a finger on the right hand just as the UC does. Before the 20th century mankind was more in line with God by having patriarchy instead of feminism as the ruling ideology of the family and people put their wedding rings on the right instead of the left. Karen writes how her parents were Catholic but were devastated when she became a nun. They knew she was giving up having a husband and children. UC sisters are like nuns in that they feel they are married to Christ only and in to some degree to any Abel that walks by. Recently I was in a meeting with members led by the regional leader who have come on a visit. The meeting started at seven o'clock in the evening. Close to 10 o'clock a brother opened the door and motioned to his wife to come. The Leader told him that it would be only another 10 minutes. The brother wanted to be respectful but said they had to go and looked again at his wife. She looked at him and looked at the Korean leader and remained sitting. The brother tried again but his wife continued to not do as he asked. Finally he gave up, came in and sat with his wife. What the regional leader did not know was that this brother needed to catch a bus for them to go home. After the meeting he had to find someone to drive them home. The point is that no one sided with the brother. It was just a matter of fact that other men are the true husbands of sisters. They will decide for any leader over their husband. This is why there is no growth in the UC. It hasn't got a clue to how families are to organize themselves and how to organize the movement.