As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 36
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 4: Launching Our Global Mission
My Hope for a New American Revolution, pg 129-131
My Hope for a New American Revolution
The initial reaction to my efforts, shown by Americans, was so cold. They questioned how a religious leader from Korea, an insignificant country that had barely survived hunger and war, could dare call on Americans to repent.
It was not just Americans who opposed me. The reaction from the Japanese Red Army, a communist group in league with international communists, was particularly strong. They were even caught by the FBI trying to sneak into the workshop center in Boston, where I often stayed. There were so many attempts to harm me that my children could not attend school without the presence of bodyguards. Because of the continued threats on my life, I spoke from behind bulletproof glass for a period.
Despite such opposition, the lecture series by the small-eyed man from the Orient gathered more and more interest. People began to listen to the teachings, which were completely different from what they had heard until then. The content of the lectures dealing with the fundamental principles of the universe and seeking to reawaken the founding spirit of America was a breath of fresh air for Americans who had fallen into the hell of immorality and sloth.
Americans experienced a revolution of consciousness through my lectures. Young people began to follow me, calling me “Father Moon” or “Reverend Moon” and cutting their shoulder-length hair and their scruffy beards. When appearances change, minds also change. So God began to enter into the hearts of young people who had been immersed in alcohol and drugs.
The lectures were attended by a variety of young people, transcending denominations. When I would interrupt my sermons to ask, “Are there any Presbyterians here?” many young people would wave their hands, saying, “Here.” If I asked, “Are there any Catholics?” hands would go up again. When I asked, “How about Southern Baptists?” many people would again answer, “Me.”
“Why do you come to hear me instead of going to hear a sermon in your own religious group?” I asked. “Go home and go to your own church to hear God’s Word.”
When I said this, the audience responded, “We want to hear Reverend Moon!”
More and more people began gathering, and even some ministers of Presbyterian and Baptist churches came, bringing with them the young people of their churches. As time went on, Reverend Moon became an icon representing a revolution of consciousness in American society.
I taught American young people how to endure difficulty. I thoroughly taught them the principle that a person must be able to rule himself before he can rule the universe. My teachings provided a new inspiration to American young people living in an age of confusion. They shouted in agreement with my message of sexual purity and true families. The reception was so enthusiastic that it made me sweat with excitement as well.
“Do you want to bear the cross of pain?” I asked them. “No one wants to go the way of the cross. Your heart may want to go that way, but your body says ‘No!’ Just because something is pleasing to the eye doesn’t mean it's good for the heart. There are many things that look good, but an examination of their inner aspect shows them to be evil.
“If you catch yourself seeking after only things pleasing to the eye and try following that path, you must immediately stop yourself and say, ‘You rascal!’ Also, if you feel the desire to eat only things pleasing to the mouth, you must scold your body, saying, ‘You rascal,’ and block yourself. You young people are attracted to the opposite sex, aren’t you? In this case, too, you must make a strong stand against such urges. If a person cannot control himself, he cannot do anything in this world. Think that if you break down, the universe will break down.”
I was teaching them the motto that I had followed as a young man, which was “Before seeking to rule the universe, first perfect your ability to rule yourself.” America had great wealth and had become obsessed with material goods. I stood in the midst of this materialistic culture and talked about matters of the mind and heart. The mind cannot be seen with the eye or held in the hand. Yet, we clearly are ruled by our minds. Without our minds, we are nothing. Then I talked about true love, God-centered love, which should guide the mind. I said that true freedom can be enjoyed only when we have a clear understanding of ourselves based on a foundation of true love and are able to exercise self-control.
I taught them the value of hard work. Hard work is not suffering but creation. The reason a person can work all his life and be happy is that labor is connected to God’s world. The labor that people perform is nothing more than taking things that God created and shaping them in different ways. If you think that you are making something to give to God as a memento, then labor is not something to think of in a negative way. Many American young people were so steeped in the affluent life provided to them by their materialistic culture that they didn’t know the joy of working. So I taught them to work with joy.
I also awoke in them the joy of loving nature. The young people were caught up in the immoral culture of the cities and enslaved in selfish lives, so I talked to them about the preciousness of nature. Nature is given to us by God. God speaks to us through nature. It is a sin to destroy nature for the sake of a moment of enjoyment or an insignificant amount of money. The nature that we destroy eventually will make its way back to us in the form of pollutants and make life difficult for our descendants. We need to go back to nature and listen to what nature tells us. I told the young people of America that when we open our hearts and listen to what nature is saying, we can hear the word of God.
In September 1975, we founded the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown, New York, which is located north of New York City. The faculty was hired on an interreligious basis, and we had professors representing Judaism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental philosophy. When they lectured about their own religions, our students asked them very difficult questions. The classes always became forums for intense debate.
When all the religions were put together and debated, they began to break through the incorrect concepts they had about each other and to better understand each other. Gifted young people finished their master’s-level education at our seminary and entered the doctoral programs at Harvard, Yale, and other leading U.S. universities. Today they have become people capable of leading the religious world on a global scale.