RESPONSE TO THE WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE OF JULY 25
FROM THE AMERICAN CLERGY LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
To the Editor,
The outrageous claim in Hannah Rosin's headline that up to 35 pastors were "ousted" from their churches because of their participation in the "We Will Stand! Tour [Some Pastors Fired Over Moon Connection- July 25, 2001] has proven to be, from our investigation, false. Only one of the pastors was removed, and the relationship between that pastor and his church had a history of difficulties. Our investigation found, and the Post has acknowledged that a second minister mentioned was never in fact interviewed. Contrary to Ms. Rosin's assertion, no clergy member who traveled with Rev. Moon during his recent tour was dismissed from his or her church.
Ms. Rosin's source is a minister with no church, who was never a member of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, yet portrayed himself as a representative of our organization. He promised that he could get compensation for those persecuted pastors (and perhaps for himself), if they would document their difficulties. He claims to have 35 letters, but Ms. Rosin acknowledged that she has only seen one. Rather than meet with our board and present his evidence, as we requested, this dubious source chose to use the Post to spread his false claims. In our meeting with Ms. Rosin and her editors about the article, the Post was only able to name one "fired" pastor out of the more than 14,000 who participated in the We Will Stand Tour. Why was this article written?
In your relentless effort to malign Rev. Moon, you stated hearsay as fact. Ms. Rosin writes that Rev. Moon has donated millions of dollars to black churches to cultivate a network of loyal preachers, suggesting that we have been bought. We asked Ms. Rosin for any shred of evidence. Her response: she read it in other articles. Now, when others repeat this false information as fact, they will say they read it in the Post.
Rev. Moon is tearing down racial walls and strengthening families [ACLC Co-Convener Pastor T.L. Barrett, Jr. was reconciled to his own wife after years of separation, through the We Will Stand! Tour]. That is why some of the nation's most prominent pastors are standing with Rev. Moon. We chose the theme, "Rebuild the Family, Restore the Community, Renew the Nation and the World," and invited Rev. Moon as our keynote speaker . We pray for those who ignorantly malign this man and falsely assume that our association even in the face of criticism must have been purchased through a bribe. Rev. Moon has preached one family under God and the unity of the church and promoted interracial marriage for 40 years. We thank God for the blessings we have received through his ministry. We Will Stand!