urges clergy to tout marriage
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon,
culminating a speaking tour of 52 cities in as many days, last night
urged clergy here to teach that marriage and family are obligations
for every believer.
divorce rate of around 50 percent is completely obliterating the
sanctity of the family," Rev. Moon, 81, said in an address to more
than 2,000 people at the Omni Shoreham
At a news conference earlier
yesterday, several of the estimated 400 clergy gathered for the
event lauded the South Korean religious leader´s efforts to unite
In his talk last night,
Rev. Moon said, "The fact that black people, white people and yellow
people married couples is among the most significant factors in
accomplishing God´s will.
challenged the ministers to live exemplary lives and be bolder in
teaching premarital chastity and marital
"From now on, ministers
should be able to preach about adultery from the pulpit," he said.
"Don´t be shy."
He also said
Americans´ tendency to avoid having children is a sign of growing
selfishness in the culture. "I´m sure that you are not pleased by my
statements," he said at several points in the
The "We Will Stand" speaking
tour, which began Feb. 25 in the Bronx, N.Y., has drawn an estimated
100,000 listeners nationwide. Organizers say the crowds including a
total of 12,000 supportive clergy at events that met primarily at
large city churches.
to convene at Metropolitan Baptist Church in the District fell
through, organizers said, but the church choir showed support for
the event by performing last night at the hotel
Officials have described
the tour as a "substantial interfaith movement," and news reports
around the country typically have noted it for drawing support from
blacks and Asians in inner cities. The events have emphasized racial
reconciliation and traditional sexual morality, the reports
"We´ve come to praise the
Lord," said the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, master of ceremonies for last
night´s event, which included a trumpet performance by Phil
Driscoll. "We stand together to rebuild the
Earlier, several of the
clergy explained why they risked the controversy by working closely
with Rev. Moon, whose teachings vary from orthodox Christianity on
"I am in the habit
of supporting positive action to deal with serious problems in our
country," Mr. Fauntroy said of his
"For me this is not a
doctrinal thing, but it is the working of God´s spirit," said the
Rev. Jesse Edwards, a white Pentecostal minister from Philadelphia.
"Every problem and solution in America stems from the
At the end of Rev. Moon´s
speech, the clergy signed a Declaration of Inter-Dependence to
promote faith, moral purity and racial harmony in America.
Organizers said they would return to the 50 states to promote church
revivals around these issues.
known as founder of the Unification Church in 1954, Rev. Moon more
recently established the Family Federation for World Peace and
Unification as an interfaith umbrella
In last night´s speech, he
said one reason to ease human suffering is to ease God´s grief as
well. "I came to realize that God is not sitting in the throne of
glory and honor, but is a God of suffering as a result of fall," he
Several younger clergy had
joined Rev. Moon on the exhausting travel schedule and remarked at
"He´s 81 now, but he
doesn´t know it; he thinks he is 18," said the Rev. Michael Jenkins,
a Chicago minister and president of the Family
Literature for the
event says thatthe exhaustive evangelistic effort in every state is
aimed "to make a last stand for America," where Rev. Moon held his
first speaking tour in 1971.
message typically has been about society´s moral breakdown and
failure of churches to influence young people, church officials
Rev. Moon speaks today in
West Virginia and in Vermont to complete the tour.
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