Clergy split over controversial Moon's visit - 03/20/01

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Tuesday, March 20, 2001



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Clergy split over controversial Moon's visit
Unification leader on 50-state tour to push unity among all faiths

Moon visit
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, controversial leader of the Unification Church, will visit Metro Detroit on Wednesday as part of a 50-state "We Will Stand" tour.
   His visit here is the half-way point of his tour, and falls 28 years after his last visit.
   When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
   Where: Little Rock Baptist Church, 9000 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
   Why: To encourage clergy to work across denominational and racial divides to address the community's social problems.
   Who: The speech is open to the public.
By Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News

    As a Baptist pastor, the Rev. William Revely doesn't agree with the theology of many faiths, including that of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
   But that doesn't mean he can't get behind the message of unity that the controversial leader of the Unification Church is slated to bring to Detroit on Wednesday.
   "This disagreeing with folks' theology is not accomplishing anything," said Revely, of the Messiah the Mission Baptist Church in northwest Detroit. "We have to find some middle ground."
   Moon, 81, is on a 50-state tour promoting unity among all people of faith so they can "rebuild the family, restore the community, renew the nation and the world." At 6 p.m. Wednesday, he makes his 25th stop in Detroit at Little Rock Baptist Church, where he will speak on clergy working together beyond denomination and race to diminish the city's ills.
   This is Moon's first visit to Detroit in 28 years, and will fall on the exact anniversary of his last visit.
   Known for declaring himself a messiah and performing mass wedding ceremonies, Moon has stirred up some controversy during his tour. In Oakland, Calif., Moon said that only when men and women procreate are they fully human, which some interpreted as a slam on homosexuals and women without children.
   Moon also came under fire in Detroit last week by two Baptist pastors, who incorrectly were listed as co-sponsoring his visit.
   But Art Roselle, a coordinator of Moon's visit, said the leader is coming to unite the faith community, not divide it.
   "He is going to be talking about how this is an important time in human history for breaking down barriers of religion and nationality," Roselle said. "His belief is God is going to restore this world through the religious leaders. If religions are fighting, it dilutes the effort."
   A conference is tentatively planned in May to continue Wednesday's discussion. It will include faith leaders and other community pillars gathering to discuss problems plaguing the community and solutions to address them.
   

You can reach Kim Kozlowski at (313) 222-2024 or mailto:kkozlowski@detnews.com