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Moon brings message
Church head talks on
By Bruce Nolan
It was billed as an evening to break down barriers between races
and religions, and much of the talk was aimed in that direction. But
the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification church, also led
an occasionally bewildered audience Monday night through a Bible
study that explored elements of his theology with more references to
male and female sexual anatomy than are usually found in lectures
about the Garden of
The occasion was Moon's one-day journey through New Orleans, the
latest stop on the last half of his breakneck 50-city "We Will
Stand" tour that had him in Mobile, Ala., Saturday night and will
take him to Cheyenne, Wyo., today.
Local clergy, including state Rep. Leonard Lucas, D-New Orleans,
promoted the evening as an effort "to bring the body of Christ
together," Lucas said.
Speaking through an interpreter, Moon, 81, told the audience his
study of the Bible convinced him that differences in skin color were
merely superficial and that the human family is the engine that will
reform the world with love.
Neither sentiment is unusual, but the audience fell uncomfortably
silent, broken only by a few nervous twitters, when several times
Moon explained his evidence for the divine plan for families in
graphic terms centered on male and female sex organs.
In Unification belief, Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from
Eden before they could rear a God-centered family, and Jesus Christ
did not complete his work on earth, as most Christians believe,
because he did not marry and establish an archetypal family.
Moon, who has called himself the "third Adam," believes that his
mission is to preach the pre-eminence of the family in order to
the kingdom of God to earth.
Sex outside the family, or homosexual sex, "go against the ideal
of God's creation," he said. Even more: "Women who have the ability
to have children and avoid having children deliberately are bound to
hell," he said.
Moreover, the sin that drove Adam and Eve out of Eden was a
sexual sin between Lucifer and Eve, an encounter that, in Moon's
description, began with descriptions of sexual stirrings that seemed
to make many in the audience uncomfortable.
Moon also preached themes of global reconciliation and humanity
as the family of God, provoking applause from
the audience as it found itself on more familiar terrain.
Unification church members spread their invitations all over the
city, but the fact that the audience was largely African- American
is evidence that racial reconciliation is still needed in New
Orleans, said Clopha Deshotel, an administrator at the University of
Bridgeport, in Bridgeport, Conn., a school in which the Unification
church has made a sizable financial investment.
"Look, I heard the same things about Rev. Moon everybody else
has, and believe me, if I didn't think he was a man of God, I'd be
the first to denounce him," Lucas said. He said he
learned about Moon and his movement's agenda for reconciliation
at a Unification conference in Washington, D.C.
The promise of an evening centered on such talk was enough to
bring the Rev. Hadley Edwards and several members of his Bethany
United Methodist Church to the ballroom.
"There's so much division in the world, the church needs to stand
up for unity and be a stabilizing force," he said before the speech.
Before he began, Moon asked the audience's indulgence if he
should wander off-point, an acknowledgment of his age.
"I don't think anyone has come here and given such a shocking or
strange talk" he said.
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