Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: Episode 354
Pyeong Hwa Gyeong: A Selection of True Parents’ Speeches
Book 9: The Role of Nations in Realizing World Peace
Speech 5: The Foley Square Address, pg 1325-1327
The Foley Square Address
October 22, 1981
Foley Square Plaza, New York, USA
Address outside the US District Court to clergy of diverse faiths and Unification Church members, following Rev. Moon’s return from Korea for arraignment under federal charges of tax evasion
My dear friends, I am deeply moved and touched by your support. As soon as I heard the news in Seoul, Korea, I flew back to New York, halfway around the world, to face this historic trial. I must tell you that I am innocent. I have nothing to hide. My life is an open book.
I am not afraid of the trial; on the contrary, I welcome it. I know that through this judicial process, justice will be done and the truth will prevail. I shall vindicate not only myself but also the millions of people who are suffering because of this unfair government persecution.
I have respect for and confidence in the United States judicial system. I have confidence in the judge and jury who will work on this case. America is still the best country in the world for justice to be done. I look forward to encountering my adversaries, my accusers, face to face. My conscience is clear. God is my vindicator. And if God finds my adversaries to be guilty instead of me, I will forgive them.
I also have full confidence and respect for the American system of a free press. I trust that the nation’s fourth estate will convey the unbiased truth to the world. The American media will not be fooled but will see this case as baseless.
I have given everything to America
As I have often said, I love America as I love my own country. Many years ago, on a Korean mountainside I began to beg God to allow this nation to fulfill her providential destiny. Years ago, when I came to America for the first time, I stood on the majestic Fifth Avenue in New York City and literally burst into tears. I reflected on the first weary handful of pilgrims who stood on the shore of the Atlantic and dedicated this land to God. I wept when I saw what had become of their dream. On that very day, I resolved to strive to bring America back to God. God Almighty is my judge that for ten years I have given my heart and soul, my blood and sweat, for this great nation.
The Unification Church called upon our people around the world to contribute millions and millions of dollars to this end. In 1972 we began a costly evangelical campaign from state to state, culminating in the Washington Monument Rally of three hundred thousand people on September 18, 1976. In the case of the Unification Church, America has been a recipient, not a donor. In spite of severe financial hardships, our worldwide membership persevered to support that crusade in America. They did so only because they love this country and view America as a chosen nation with a providential destiny.
Today I stand before you, accused by this nation. I gave my all to America. I took nothing away from this country. I misused not one penny, following the tradition of Jesus, who taught the way of first thinking of others. If that is a crime, I welcome a verdict of guilty. This is the same burden Jesus Christ had to bear. He loved the people of Israel, he loved the people of the world, he loved God with all his heart, and for this he was condemned and nailed to the cross. If loving America and serving people with all my heart is a crime, then I too will be raised on a cross.
Standing up to injustice and bigotry
I came back to America today not just for my own vindication. I came back as a representative of all those who have suffered government injustice, racial prejudice and religious bigotry. These are the real enemies of America. Today I declare a war against these enemies. I will fight till my last breath for religious liberty and the rights of minorities and the oppressed. We must win together, so that our children can live in a land of true freedom and true equality, what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Promised Land.
I would not be standing here today if my skin were white and my religion Presbyterian. I am here today only because my skin is yellow and my religion is the Unification Church. Religious bigotry and racism are the most abhorrent things in this beautiful country of America. God is colorblind. White, black and yellow are beautiful brothers. All religions of the world today reflect only different faces of the same God, our Father.
Do you know that we, the Unification Church, are the only church in America that has been forced to pay taxes on church property? We are paying eight million dollars a year in New York State alone. This unjust burden breaks our church’s back. On the other hand, other churches pay not a penny. Why are we singled out? It is simply because our name is the Unification Church and the founder happens to be Korean.
President Reagan said in a campaign speech, “When the basic rights of any group are threatened, it is not only one religious group that suffers, it is the entire nation.”
My dear brothers and my dear friends, today we prepare to meet any challenge. Let us make this day a day of unity, a day of new commitment. In this fight we are not alone. God Almighty is with us, and millions and millions of people around the world are with us. The Unification Church is an oppressed minority in America, but with God on our side we are a majority. This is a new day for minorities. We are beginning a new fight. Today I am not sad or unhappy or even tired. Today I am creating a new minority alliance for civil rights. Our zeal moves the heart of God. Let my determination and conviction to win this struggle become a beacon to the whole world. I thank Almighty God that He gave me the opportunity to fight this great battle and champion this cause.