The Words of the O'Neill Family
There are very serious moral issues facing our society in Britain, especially concerning young people. Sexually transmitted diseases amongst our young people are at epidemic levels, and in 35 percent of the infected, the disease is incurable. Britain has the highest rates of teenage pregnancies and divorces in Europe. Amoral sex education in many of the state schools is a national scandal. There are ever increasing levels of sex, violence and bad language in the media. And twenty-six young people have lost their lives in Britain in the past year through gun or knife crime. Especially for the sake of our young people, we need to challenge harmful influences in the media and elsewhere. By quoting evidence from the various studies and explaining the importance of True Family Values and other relevant information, we can make the dangers society will face when the moral and spiritual laws are ignored clear to the relevant people. True Father tells us "our responsibility is to tell people the truth. If they do not listen then they will be judged." We speed things up by speaking the truth.
All the evidence is on the side of those who want to live righteously, in accordance with moral and spiritual laws. One clear example of this is a study of eighty-six societies by British anthropologist J.D. Unwin in 1934.[Sex and Culture, Oxford University Press] He found that whenever there was wide-spread promiscuity, premarital sex, infidelity and same-sex relationships a society was dead within three generations -- without exception. Another study by the historian Arnold Toynbee [A Study of History, Oxford University Press 1948, 1961] showed that no society in history has been able to survive for long without a strong moral code, and that immorality corrupts individuals and destroys societies.
The Morality Forum is a British FFWPU project that operates in response to certain things Father has expressed, for example:
The global trend is that social and cultural environments, manifesting particularly through movies, music, journalism and the internet, are misleading people into the misuse of their love organs. Young people are easily swept away by the waves of free sex that are ruining countries, and families are breaking apart. This is a tragic reality. It is time that religious leaders and other leaders of conscience raised their voices loudly in support of what is right.
In every culture, religion should be the conscience setting the standard of public righteousness.
I have been able to influence key media people in a good way by writing to them. I regularly write letters defending moral and family values. Our Morality Forum activists in different parts of Britain have been able to achieve substantial results in challenging harmful, promiscuous influences on society, such as people applying for licenses for lap-dancing clubs and shops that sell pornographic videos and sex paraphernalia. Even when we could not be successful somewhere, we have seen that in some way, quite unexpectedly, some other sex establishment would suddenly close down even in the same town. Our sincerity (indemnity) is never lost.
There are some wonderful moral groups in Britain. They all do very good work in constantly defending moral and family values. Some of these groups send out regular updates high- lighting key moral issues. People can then respond accordingly.
I pass on this information to ambassadors for peace, ministers and other contacts. This is a very effective way of mobilizing people. I know that some of my contacts forward the e-mails to their contacts. Recently mediamarch initiated a campaign to protect our young people from the increasing levels of sex, violence and bad language in the media using three cards and a letter. Two of the cards are addressed to the two main political leaders here, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and David Cameron, leader of the opposition party, the Conservative Party. The other card is to be addressed to the member of parliament representing the person sending the card. The wording on the card thanks the politician for speaking out to protect young people from harmful media influence.
It also mention the irrefutable evidence from various studies which highlight the damage caused to society by negative media influence. The letter is similarly worded and is addressed to the BBC television director. Many thousands of these cards and letters have been printed. I have distributed a thousand through my ambassador for peace network, religious leaders and other contacts.
People will respond if one person takes initiative. True Father has said, "You should be at the center and set the standard in the society." Dealing with moral issues is a very positive way of showing people what we really stand for. Religious leaders respect us for challenging evil in our society. We especially receive good support from local religious leaders regarding petitions. We have common ground on these issues. They know in their consciences that someone should be doing something. Local shops also support us by displaying petition forms. It is very reassuring to take part in signature campaigns because the overwhelming majority of people sign the petition forms.
It is also important to inform the local media about any campaign. I am sure that Heavenly Father must feel comforted to see small groups of people standing up to defend moral and family values. I have also spoken about issues on local and national radio stations quite a few times. On weekends, I often speak at churches. I have spoken at a variety of venues. I usually receive very positive feedback.
One of our best activists is Mrs. Theresa Quarmby, who lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Like me, Theresa belongs to a number of moral groups. She regularly has letters published in her local paper, The Huddersfield Examiner. Theresa's factual, detailed, very well written letters are a source of deep inspiration to many people, including me. Recently one person wrote to the local paper criticizing Theresa for her pro-life (anti-abortion) stance. In response, a number of people wrote to the paper defending and praising Theresa for her views. Especially because of her continuity, it is clear that Theresa's wonderful letters are resonating deep in the hearts and minds of many people in her town. In many ways, Theresa is acting like the conscience of her town. About campaigning in public, Theresa says, "When we do this we show God that we really mean it." How true!
Particularly, because immorality is rampant and causing so much devastation in societies it is really important that religious people make their views known. It was Edmund Burke who said, "Evil will prosper when good people do nothing." As well as being good for our own morale and for the morale of our towns and cities, I believe there is a lot of spiritual growth to be gained by taking a stand against evil. It is surely a fact that if the various religious leaders over the past years had been acting regularly as the consciences of our nations, things on the moral front would not be half as bad as they are today.
One of our ambassadors for peace, Mr. Hamdy Shahein is a "porn-free" newsagent. Since becoming "porn-free," Hamdy has persuaded more than five hundred fellow newsagents to stop selling porn. He also has 155 members of parliament backing his campaign to protect young people from being exposed to porn magazines on display in supermarkets and stores. Hamdy was a recent speaker at a Morality Forum conference. He had to go through some harrowing situations with a powerful business monopoly that tried to coerce him into selling a collection of their products that included porn or they would bar him from selling any of their products. He showed great courage and never gave up until he successfully asserted his right to run a porn-free business.
We have received some very positive feedback about our Morality Forum Update, which is produced by Frank and Diana Van der Stok and published four times a year. Recently one lady read an article about our WAIT (abstinence) team in Britain. She was so inspired about the work of WAIT that she wants to develop WAIT in her own country, Uganda, when she returns there soon. People inform us that the Update is nicely balanced in its content. We usually include a section about True Family Values, and we regularly keep our readers informed about the very inspiring work being done by our UK WAIT team. We also comment on key moral issues as well as covering very important topics such as those relating to marriage and family.
Morality Forum is now also working together with our UPF Marriage and Family committee. We recently held a very successful joint conference in which some nationally known moral campaigners were among the speakers. We especially would like to involve more of our ambassadors for peace in dealing with these issues. A number of them have high profiles and can be a source of great influence.
Clearly, dealing with moral issues, I can see how God can work in very powerful ways through just a handful of people.
John O'Neill is the Chairman of the Morality Forum