St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 29, 2001, Thursday,
Section: Metro, Pg. B2

In Speech, Moon Assails Divorce and Childless Couples

by Patricia Rice; Post-Dispatch Religion Writer

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon called for an end to divorce, voluntarily childless couples and marital infidelity at his We Will Stand presentation Wednesday night downtown.

The Korean-born founder of the Unification Church made his first public appearance in St. Louis before more than 850 people at the Regal Riverfront Hotel. The event was the 31st day in the 31st state of his 51-day, 50-state U.S. tour. The aim of the tour: To rebuild the family, restore the community and renew the nation.

Moon, 81, says to rebuild families, couples have to stop choosing to be childless. He startled some in the predominately female audience into nervous laughter as he listed male and female genitalia.

If you believe you have those organs for your own sake, then you are a thief or a robber, he said. Women who deliberately avoid having children are bound to hell.

Moon spoke for two hours in Korean as an interpreter conveyed his words in English. The family unit is at the core of a healthy community and a nation, he said. He called couples who do not have children narrow-minded and foolish. God does not consider childless couples a family, he said.

When you become old and get ready to join the spirit world you will feel empty without children, he said. He and his wife have 12 children and more than 40 grandchildren.

Imam Donald Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam's Mosque 28 on North Kingshighway, and one of six local clergy supporting the conference, said, If America would hear and welcome the message of Rev. Moon, this nation would be able to have salvation.

However, Moon's theology and parenting ideals are not accepted by all who support him, including the man who introduced him, the Rev. Hycel Taylor of Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Ill.

As African-Americans we cannot deny we have a problem with families - with one out of three black (young men) supplying the $3.5 billion supply-and-demand prison industry, our women can't find males. He calls many female-led families admirable. We will not allow (Moon) to invalidate our families because they don't have the ideal (man and
woman) at the head of the family, Taylor said. As long as they have God in the family, they have a family.

Sun Myung Moon speaks, a large screen projects his image Wednesday night at the Regal Riverfront Hotel downtown. Moon, 81, founder of the Unification Church, made his first visit here amid a U.S. tour.