Moon pushes marriage as vital

Des Moines Register/March 23, 2001

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon emphasized the importance of marriage and having children as ways to fix a broken-down society during his 26th stop on a 50-state tour Thursday night in Des Moines.

Moon, who founded the Unification Church in 1954 in Korea, said the sanctity of marriage and reconnecting with God needs to follow the three ideals of life, love and lineage.

Moon, 81, spoke to about 700 people at the Des Moines Marriott. He said society's downfall began when Satan kidnapped Adam and Eve from God. This act cut off God's life, love and lineage and let Satan rule the world. To regain the world from Satan, one must be reborn, he said.

"God wanted to see Adam and Eve reach maturity, but from the beginning his ancestors were killed off," said Moon, whose speech was translated from Korean to English. "God wanted to officiate a wedding and have them start producing children and grandchildren."

Moon argued that several problems with society can be traced to people's misuse of their bodies. Such actions, he said, stem from Adam and Eve's covering up their own genitalia after picking the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

"The love organ is the most precious organ in our body but it becomes the most fearful organ in our life," he said. "We should be able to educate children as they grow up to value their love organs and know how dangerous it is to deal with them."

The misuse of the human genitalia has led to premarital sex where "anyone can do what they want with their love organs."

Moon said women who fail to marry or "ignore the value of man are bound to hell."

Marriage is important to Moon, who believes parents are to live for children, the children for the parents, the husband for his wife and the wife for her husband.

Moon has officiated over mass weddings in stadiums over the years. In 1997, 28,000 couples either took vows for the first time or renewed their vows at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C.

"As a man, you're only half a person," Moon said. "As a woman, you're only half a person. We need the better half to become a whole. By doing that we congeal love and become true parents."

Moon's ministry has been controversial since he expanded to the United States in 1971. Moon believes that he and his wife are the Messiah and "True Parents of all humanity." He also believes that they are the "first couple to have the complete blessing of God, and to be able to bring forth children with no original sin."

Moon said Thursday night that gays and people who have sex before marriage are "like animals -they have to be quarantined."

In recent years, Moon has gained national attention for his efforts to break down society's racial and denominational walls. His church helped sponsor the Million Man March in 1995 and the Million Family March in 2000, although the National Park Service has said each event drew far less than a million.

About 100 Iowans belong to the church, which has about 10,000 members nationally, said David Payer, tour coordinator for Iowa. Payer was one of the first Unification Church members in Iowa, joining in 1973.

"A 50-city, 50-day tour is quite a burden, but Moon feels a powerful calling from God to call people together at this time," Payer said. "Moon says there are denominational differences, but they are not that big of a deal under God."

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