The Post's editorial "The Return of Reverend Moon" (Aug. 23) presumes a great deal but says very little of substance. It casually dismisses the concerns of 40 religions and civil rights organizations and individuals about Rev. Moon's case with a stroke of the editorial pen -- in much the same way that the Supreme Court did in refusing to hear Rev. Moon's appeal.
Item: The Post claims that there was "no merit" to the claims of clergymen at a press conference (which included such diverse spokesmen as Dr. Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority) that Rev. Moon's case "was a serious and threatening infringement of First Amendment rights." I would simply ask Post readers to decide for themselves whether The Post is a better judge of these matters than groups such as the National Council of Churches, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Baptist Churches, the Mormon Church, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, to name a few, all of which believed strongly enough in the merits of Rev. Moon's case to file amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court. These groups are by no means bedfellows of Rev. Moon. They were genuinely concerned about the implications that his case might have for themselves and others in the future.
Item: The Post states that Rev. Moon was convicted of "concocting . . . fraudulent evidence to show that the funds in question were actually the property of the church." This is simply not the case. Rev. Moon had no need to do any such thing because it was never disputed by the government that the funds in question came from Unification Church members. The central issue at trial was whether the use of the funds demonstrated that Rev. Moon held these funds on his own behalf or in rust for the church (as many religious leaders have historically done).
At trial, even the government conceded that the vast majority of the disbursements from the funds in question were unquestionably for church purposes. A small amount of money was withdrawn from the fund for living expenses, and that amount was declared as income and tax was paid on it. Thus, there was never anything to cover up. It was, in fact, the government that "concocted" an excuse to go after Rev. Moon.
Finally, The Post points out that "juries are competent" to make such decisions. The fact is, Rev. Moon was convicted by a jury the vast majority of whose members had admitted harboring serious bias during the voir dire. The Post somehow presumes that our system of justice always works perfectly and that religious and racial bigotry do not exist among jurors in this country. I suggest that The Post ask the early leaders of the civil rights movement about thatone -- or perhaps the founders of the Mormon Church -- to mention just a couple.