As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 38
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 4: Launching Our Global Mission
"Shed Tears for the World, Not for Me", pg 136-137
“Shed Tears for the World, Not for Me”
Good is often followed by the bad. Some people drew mustaches on posters and advertisements carrying my picture, trying to make me look like Hitler. They called me “anti-Semitic” and claimed that I taught against Jews. Trouble also brewed with established Christians. As the number of young people following me grew, and the number of ministers wanting to learn my teaching, Divine Principle, increased, America’s established churches began to persecute me. Finally, leftists in America reacted against my position that it was America’s responsibility to stop the spread of communism in the world. They, too, began to look for ways to stop my activities.
As our popularity grew, all kinds of misgivings and doubts began to be raised about me. Young people, inspired to spread my teachings, had left college or quit their jobs to teach and raise funds for our work around the country. Their parents understandably became concerned about their well-being.
My “Forgive, Love, and Unite” campaign to protect the United States, embroiled in the Watergate crisis, sparked opposition from left-leaning media. Things that had not been an issue before suddenly came pressing down upon me. At the same time, conservatives called me too liberal, saying my teachings would break down family traditions, even though family love is my central message.
Furthermore, many Christians were unhappy about the new understanding of the cross that I was teaching: I teach that Jesus came as the Messiah, and it was not God’s predestined will that he be crucified. With the crucifixion of Jesus, God’s plan for the kingdom of peace went awry. If Israel had received Jesus as the Messiah, he could have brought about a world of peace, uniting cultures and religions of East and West. Instead, Jesus died on the cross, and God’s work of complete salvation was delayed until the Second Coming.
This teaching about the cross brought a great deal of opposition. As a result, established churches and the Jewish community both came to regard me as their enemy. They tried any number of ways to have me removed from America, each for their own different reasons.
Ultimately, I was imprisoned again. I worked with all my heart for just one purpose: to reestablish the morality of America and restore it to be a country in line with God’s will. Instead, I was accused of not paying my taxes. I was well past my sixtieth birthday by this time.
During the first three years I was in America, donations received from around the world were placed in a bank account in New York in my name and held in trust for the church, a practice common in some denominations. The money in this account produced interest income, and I was indicted for failing to report that interest as income on my personal tax returns for the years 1973 to 1975. The estimated tax on that income was about $7,500. Normally a fine would have been charged, but in my case, I was put on trial and convicted in 1982. In the end, on July 20, 1984, I was finally imprisoned in the federal correctional institution in Danbury, Connecticut.
On the day before reporting to Danbury prison, I met with members at the Belvedere training center in Tarrytown, New York. It was an emotional meeting. Thousands of people who had followed me were there that day, and shed tears as they prayed for me. I raised my voice and told them not to lose heart.
“I am innocent,” I said. “I have done nothing wrong. I can see the bright light of hope rising from beyond Danbury.” I told them, “Don’t cry for me, but cry for America. Love America, and pray for America.” I stood before these young people immersed in sadness and held up my hands as a sign of hope.
The moving statement I made prior to entering the prison caused a great stir among religious people. The Common Suffering Fellowship was initiated, and there was a wave of prayers to support me. The Common Suffering Fellowship was a groundswell of support from clergy of all denominations and from other religions concerned about the attack on religious freedom in America.
On the day I went to prison, I knew I had nothing to fear. I know life in jail. This was not the case with the people around me, however. They were concerned that my life could be in danger from people in prison who strongly opposed me. But I went to prison with my head held high.