Rev. Moon visits North Philadelphia
Goldwyn , Daily News Staff Writer
News Staff Writer
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's speaking style
- in Korean, at length, with odd theories about race and color - has drawn
millions of followers worldwide who consider him a messiah.
night Moon, in a rare local appearance, dispensed his own brand of
Christianity for two hours at a nearly full Pentecostal church in North
Philadelphia. He handed out gold watches to witnessing clergy, but
performed no marriages.
Moon, 81, is on a 50-state tour called "We
Will Stand America." He last appeared in Philadelphia in 1995, just after
marrying 30,000 couples in a stadium in his native Korea.
several times of his "persecution" by the U.S. government, which jailed
him 18 months in the mid-1980s for tax evasion. He tied the government's
campaign to his theme that the United States is in moral decay.
words were translated by an aide at an adjoining pulpit at Christian
Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 22nd and Clearfield streets. At times,
Moon read long passages of a speech he delivered 13 months ago, while the
translator rapidly read the English version printed in last night's
But Moon rambled repeatedly, smiling and pounding the
lectern, raising his voice to a shout.
"By opposing Rev. Moon,
what has America gotten? . . .Because they didn't receive the truth of
Rev. Moon, that is why America has declined in many ways," the translator
"The truth I am sharing with you tonight is the ultimate
truth, directly from God.. . .
"The only way Christianity can
prosper today is to accept the message from Rev. Moon."
audience of 700 to 800 was diverse, with whites, blacks, Asian-Americans,
a few Hispanics, and dozens of Moon followers from out of town.
"The real beauty comes from your inner self, not just your skin
color," Moon said, it "is nothing to be proud of, it is natural color."
To explain why "some Caucasians have blue eyes," he told how polar
bears are always scanning the ocean, "that is why their eyes become
Asians, he said, have hard lives working the soil. "Their
skin color gradually became ground color, brown, yellow," he said, rubbing
Black people, he said, rested in the shade in the
tropics but "they still had to deal with the sun, so they became black to
Bishop R. T. Jones Jr., Christian Tabernacle's
pastor, preached briefly and sat near Moon, but later made it clear his
church wasn't a sponsor.
Jones said he was approached by "a mutual
acquaintance in New York" and agreed to offer the church. He didn't charge
rent but said Moon donated "a nice amount."
Jones said he agreed
with some of Moon's ideas about family values, morality and racial
healing, but "theologically, we have some differences."
American Leadership Conference, one of many organizations Moon operates,
sponsored an afternoon forum on faith-based initiatives. Moon didn't take
Speakers included former Mayor W. Wilson Goode, now a Baptist
minister. Goode says he disagrees with Moon but welcomes a chance to talk
about religious-based community programs.
Adding more acceptance to
Moon's visit were proclamations from Gov. Ridge and Mayor Street.
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
A note to our readers:
recently upgraded our online publishing system. If you experience any
problems with the Daily News Web site, please let us know. Include the
date and time of the problem and a brief description. Send your comments
or Reporters at
the Daily News
Would you like a
subscription to The Daily News?
In Phila: 665-1234
In PA: 800-222-2765
In DE: 654-6033