This article was first published in the Jan. 1993 issue of the Unification
News.This updated version appeared in the Feb. 2000 edition.
This month we’ll look at the fight against sin, on both the individual and social
levels. In order to highlight several hot issues, this article takes a deliberately
contrarian view. An earlier version appeared in January 1993.
We’re now in the midst of Last Days. Unificationists and many others are confident
that God’s Providence is taking place, right on through to its inexorable conclusion.
Conscientious people, from Noah’s day on, have resisted the world’s sinful ways.
So far this fight has only been moderately successful, as a look any newspaper makes
clear. Why have things come up short?
The Principle explains that fallen people are a mixture of good and evil, with bad
tendencies emerging more easily than good ones. Happily, it also clarifies which
individual actions are good, and which are evil.
Regarding evil, God’s viewpoint is often stated as: “Love the sinner, but hate the
sin.” Rev. Moon said, “You may befriend people of all kinds, but never compromise
Actions such as wanton murder, robbing or raping citizens, or shirking on military
duty, have been crimes (and/or sins) since ancient times.
Slavery, plus drug and child abuse, only became crimes in the past century or two.
Recently this list has grown to include: spousal abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination,
drunk driving, and much more.
No one advocates legalizing the worst crimes, but others are fiercely debated. The
so-called “victimless crimes” remain common.
Society has mixed feelings about pornography, alcohol and tobacco, and consentual
sex outside marriage, including homosexuality.
Illegality had not ended the drug problem. No amount of enforcement can do so entirely.
Its very illicitness adds a certain spice, especially for rebellious youths. In the
Netherlands, where drugs are legal, actual use is relatively low. Only ending the
demand can solve the problem, and only the Principle explains its cause.
Cigarettes are powerfully addictive, yet remain legal. Several prisons gave up trying
to ban them after seeing prisoners pay up to $200.00 for a smuggled pack.
In California, where taxes and lawsuits have boosted cigarette prices, the black
market and Internet sales have boomed. Laws which oppose bad things can have unintended
Even so, tobacco use has declined over the past several decades.
Pornography wavers near illegality. The difference between great art and gross raunchiness
seems obvious, until you try to define it by law. Either way, such imagery now fills
broadcasts, publications, the Internet, etc.
Many people oppose pornography. Tellingly, Christianity Today magazine reported they’d
“never seen so much skin” as when attending an anti-porn conference. Its attendees
were trying to out-shock each other with the latest “awful smut” they’d collected.
In contrast, no one “takes a belt” at an alcoholism conference.
Law enforcement alone cannot possibly eliminate pornography; anyone with a camera
could see to that. Again it’s a question of demand.
In the case of Internet porn, technology taps right into the instinctual male desire
to spread one’s DNA around. The hind-brain doesn’t know that those women are only
“on screen,” and it craves ever more new females, in what psychologists have dubbed
the Coolidge Effect. Understanding this, plus the spiritual and relationship aspects,
can help men resist it.
Prostitution is illegal in America, and it has engendered many phases of corruption
and reform. Read the Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens for a fascinating account.
Steffens reports on an effort to “run the hookers out of New York City.” The Police
Chief answered, “Only if you permit me to put them all on barges and drown them in
the Hudson. With your plan they’ll just show up in Philadelphia anyway.”
As the Stalinist Soviets later learned, actually doing such a horrific thing didn’t
eliminate the problem either.
Nevada’s brothels remain low key, yet they have no shortage of workers or customers.
Surveys report that almost all the “working girls” were sexually abused as children.
Fallen men look there for satisfaction, but never find it. This was well illustrated
in the popular movie Splash.
Sin fighting sometimes turns out to be a real “tar baby.” One hears tragic news of
crusaders dabbling in, then getting caught doing, the very thing they were against.
Scandalous televangelists come to mind; also relapsed drug dealers. Darkest of all
(though rarely), those who work with runaways can get mired in child sexual abuse.
Unificationists have long been warned to consider who to deeply relate with, or teach.
Rev. Moon cautioned men: don’t try to witness to prostitutes.
Many people oppose the homosexual lifestyle, especially the militant “in your face”
variety. Please note that the suicide rate for gay teens is three times higher than
the already terrible rate for other teens. Were strident anti-gay pressures to build,
who knows how much this could compound? God is bigger than that.
At Danbury, Rev. Moon gave high praise to conservative leader J. Terry Dolan. They
named each other “true Americans.” Not long afterwards, Mr. Dolan died of AIDS. It
was said he’d ceased acting gay when he directed his formidable talents towards the
saving of America.
Fortunately, and despite fierce opposition, some therapists are helping homosexuals
“straighten out” and have regular families.
BANNED OR FREE
Many nations oppose sin and crime by imposing severe—even deadly—penalties. Some
even execute drug users. This practice has reduced, but not ended, that problem.
Certain societies deal with sexuality by draping their women with robes and veils.
While they’ve make their streets safer, behind closed doors those nations still have
plenty of illicit sex. Iran has stoned prostitutes, yet it allows temporary marriages.
In the event, “temporary” is often fleeting.
Other nations, with Europe leading, have gone to the opposite extreme, legalizing
just about everything. Concerning drugs, their legal “needle parks” brought much
Europe’s nudists occupy resorts, German city parks, and French beaches. They can
become quite relaxed towards the sight of human bodies, but if they think this eliminates
their fallen nature, they’re in for a big disappointment.
The Netherlands has legalized prostitution. A Dutch man on welfare successfully sued
for tax-paid sex visits! Such laws can have strange consequences.
We must decide which things are worth opposing, and when and how. Banning “terrible
things” can be a mixed bag. Many people think our own mass marriages are terrible.
Do we want some banning bandwagon to roll over us?
Rev. Moon is no Victorian prude. He’s spoken of “wearing natural fabrics, allowing
healthy wind and sun on the skin.” Our own The World and I magazine includes beautiful
Movie critic Joe Bob Briggs said it best: “When you’re nude it means you don’t have
any clothes on. When you’re naked it means you’re up to something.”
One’s unspoken heart helps define each action’s goodness in the eyes of God. Can
it be displayed for the edification of young and old—or is it hidden? The conscience
Communism had been successfully opposed. Many people were anti-communist, for various
reasons and with differing purposes, even during Marx’s lifetime. Many sacrificed
their lives to defy it. However, Dr. Fred Schwartz pointed out that “being run over
by a truck does not make one an expert mechanic.”
Rev. Moon understood the engine of communism. He didn’t shoot anyone, but he subjugated
them—right in the Kremlin and in Pyongyang.
Famed missionary Irene Webster-Smith said, “Is it better to put an ambulance at the
bottom of a cliff, or a fence at the top?” Good people are doing both, and we Unificationists
are helping through our many service projects.
The Principle’s Chapter One tells what is a part of God’s intended creation—and what
is not. That ends a lot of arguments right there.
Chapter Two reveals the cause of evil, and the tight grip of sinful behaviors. The
rest explains how to restore these.
Rev. Moon’s teaching and example will help us overcome temptation. We also have the
guidance of our spiritualists and elders, and the input of our well-educated members,
in addressing the complex situations mentioned above.
To this author it looks like a gradual thing; a tough and tenacious battle. True
men and women can resist sin, teach their children and friends likewise, and also
guide their societies in the right direction. Thus the fallen world will finally
Under God’s heart and will we shall bring about the Kingdom of Heaven. This article
is offered to help foster further discussion.
© 1999 by Paul Carlson
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