Within days of Reverend Moon’s passing, news surfaced that his daughter, In Jin Moon, may have given birth in May to a baby conceived with her lover, who is the singer in a rock band. In my opinion, any new child is a cause for celebration. But her position as Senior Pastor of the church, espousing abstinence before marriage and fidelity within it, made the news controversial.
I remembered speeches from fifteen years ago, when In Jin Moon had spoken about how difficult it was for her to love the husband chosen for her by Reverend Moon. I always respected her and felt a little judged by her when I imagined I caught her eye. Last month, I attended a Sunday service during which In Jin Moon advised a mainly teenage congregation to protect their virtue.
Unification Church members have exploded with comments on the Facebook page of the person who shared this news.
Many were angry, making comments like, “Shame on you for posting this garbage!”
Some encouraged respecting the family’s privacy: “Can I bury my True Father first please. True or not why can’t you at least wait until after the funeral.”
One woman said, “I can only say that not everyone [is] happy with their spouses... We are taught that God's liberation & happiness is always first... but I don't believe that our God is happy when he sees our own sufferings & misery.”
One comment said simply, "I love babies."
When religious leaders preach doing what they say and not what they do, people usually find fault. If I hadn’t aspired to a life of purity and sacrifice, I wouldn’t have stayed in the Unification Church for 15 years. But human beings are complicated, and one of the kindest things we can do is not to judge one another.
Perhaps some people are jealous of In Jin Moon and her lover. He is hot and talented. She is pretty, powerful and wealthy. And—if this is true—she is embarking on the adventure of raising another new life in her 40s, at a stage of life when many people aren't so ready or able to accept change.
Most religions try to apply rules to the complex desires of individuals but ultimately our nature is to push the boundaries of what is possible. If only we could focus more on where we want to go in our lives and what we admire in others, perhaps we could create a society of greater possibilities instead of perpetrating one of judgment and limitations.