The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
A Vision for Peace in South America
Hyun Jin Moon
April 20, 2008
Co-Chair, Universal Peace Federation
This was the keynote address given at the closing session of the International Leadership Conference in Lima, Peru, as part of a six-nation tour that included Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and Brazil, April 13-26, 2008.
I want to thank all of you for such a warm welcome. Although this is my first visit to Peru, I truly feel embraced by a long-lost family. I am sure that a bright future is awaiting this nation. I was tremendously moved by our two Ambassadors for Peace who encapsulated the vision of UPF, emphasizing the spirit of taking ownership of the vision of UPF and sharing it with the leadership of this nation of Peru.
I believe that tremendous things can happen here if our Ambassadors for Peace become the owners of this dream of building one family under God. A vision and a dream without an owner is just an idea, but a vision and a dream with an owner can transform the world!
This Latin American tour is a tour rooted in a vision that is bound up with the history of the Americas. Every time I talk about history it excites me. When I was about to go to Columbia University, I asked my Father, "What do you think I should major in?" My father never tells his children to do one thing. He wants us to choose. He wants us to take ownership. So he gave me three choices. And to make a long story short, I chose history, especially the history of America.
It is true that the history of America is a history fraught with violence. But it is fundamentally a history with promise, with passion, and with dreams. When the Europeans first came to America they were looking for a way to the East. Christopher Columbus, however, found the Caribbean and it was from the hub of those island nations within the Caribbean that later Europeans landed in Central America.
Before the coming of the Europeans, the seat of civilization of the Americas was in Central and South America. There were civilizations equal to all great civilizations of the world. When I think about the Incan people who built Machu Picchu on the high mountains of the Andes, I wonder what their aspirations and dreams must have been to toil so hard to build a beautiful temple and a city on top of the world. And I can only imagine the first eyes of Europeans who looked upon the majesty of that civilization and were totally overwhelmed. Yet the tragic reality as the Europeans came onto South America was that they ignored the richness of the culture and were blinded by greed. In pursuit of wealth, they robbed and raped Central America and South America.
Yet the history of North America was very different. The native people of North America were nomads. They did not establish these grand civilizations. And most of the Europeans who came to North America came for other reasons than for wealth and personal enrichment. One exception was Jamestown, which was a venture focused on economic wealth. The settlements of Europeans that flourished were those settlements that were seeking to find and build a nation under God. They came because of religion, not because of gold.
I am not native to the Americas, for I was born all the way across the Pacific Ocean, in the nation of Korea. However, I consider the Americas my true home. I have adopted the nation of America as my second home.
To me the American dream was never merely a political dream. It was not an economic dream. We all know that democracies without values rooted in self-interest can be just as ruthless and just as dictatorial as a totalitarian regime, and that capitalism not controlled by values can lead to a world of those who have and those who have not. The American dream was a dream of building One Nation under God, a nation that uniquely recognized the sovereignty of God and through that realization was committed to uplifting the human family to the dignity that can only come from God. Thus the first document that marked the birth of that nation, the Declaration of Independence, directly recognized the sovereignty of God as the basis upon which the rights of any American are derived, and the basis on which the nation would be established.
Throughout the history of North America, it had this base in God and this base in universal principles that can only come from God, uplifting human dignity to the level of human rights, universal human right.
But human beings are flawed, and there were many failures along the way. Still, as a government of the people etched the history of that nation, it was these universal principles, the founding bedrock of this nation that brought it back on track and made it great.
As an example, one only needs to look at the plight of the Blacks in America who came on that continent as slaves, considered less than human beings. Those Founding Fathers who built that nation upon that sacred document, that covenant with God, realized the moral sin that they were committing. Thus before even the first 100 years of the new nation were concluded, the nation embarked on a great Civil War where this issue was resolved and through the instrument of government, all people -- whether Black or White -- were given equal freedom under the law.
But we know that human value and human rights are not given by governments. They are only given by one human being to another. So although the Blacks had equal rights under the law, in practice, they were still second-class citizens. Whites would not give them the dignity that comes from the truth that we are of one common heritage, the truth that before Americans are Blacks and Whites, we are sons and daughters of God.
This issue only became resolved a hundred years later in the 20th century. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was not a political leader, not an academic, not a civic leader, but a religious leader who led the way. He carried the authority that can only come from God, but he did not cite the Bible. Instead he cited the founding documents upon which the United States was built, which states "We hold these truths to be self-evident that we are all endowed by our Creator, with certain inalienable rights." He piqued the conscience of the nation and finally moved it to realign with the founding vision of building One Nation under God.
Today, centered upon the work of the Universal Peace Federation we have an even greater dream than One Nation under God. One Nation under God means only one out of 200 nations will be a nation that recognizes the sovereignty of God. The vision of building one family under God is a vision that goes far beyond national borders, beyond races and ethnicities, beyond religious traditions. We can build one world of peace based on this common vision and a common value system of principles that come from this truth.
One of the amazing blessings that God has given to the Western hemisphere is Christianity. It is a Christian hemisphere. I always ask myself and ask my Christian brothers and sisters, "What is the true mission of Jesus?" "What does it mean to be a true Christian?"
Two thousand years ago, the young son of a carpenter changed the world in which he lived. He offered a vision for humanity that touched the conscience and the hearts of people not only in his native Judea but also throughout the Greek and Roman worlds.
What was that truth that he taught? It was a message of true love that could even embrace oneís enemy. In the Sermon on the Mount, he said, "It is said an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto thee, that if you are hit on one cheek that you shall even offer the other." This profound truth was the core of a message of hope that we are sons and daughters of God, members of one eternal human family. It is the role and the mission of the Son of Man to bring this family together as one, under God.
Jesus was born into the lineage of Israel, a chosen people who believed in one God when most other civilizations believed in many gods. Carrying the lineage of Abraham, they felt they had a sacred covenant with God. It was Jesusí hope that his nation would receive him and help him fulfill his original mission, to realize the original dream that God had for humanity before humanity ever separated from God. That dream is the dream of building one family under God.
Jesus was not accepted. However, he began to speak of the need for new wineskins to receive that new wine. He lamented that although the birds that fly in the air, the fish that swim in the sea, and the animals that crawl on the earth have a home without borders, the Son of Man had no home to rest his head.
Yet that message and that vision that he gave 2,000 years ago has transformed the world. At that time, the world had no sense of human rights, as we understand it. Slavery was an accepted institution. There was no sense of womenís rights. There was no understanding of building a family under God. Christianity became the foundation and starting point upon which the modern world was built. Thus, if one wants to talk about human rights, human rights first and foremost start with God and the truth that we all are one family under that God.
I believe that in this world of global crisis and conflict, a world where there is a real potential for religious war; that the message that was sown 2,000 years ago of one family under God now needs to be brought to the world stage. And it can happen centered upon this hemisphere that has been appointed and anointed by God to carry on that mission.
More than 70 years ago, this dream was once again revisited to humanity. On the windswept hilltops on North Korea on a cold Easter Sunday, a young boy of 15 went up into those mountains to spend time in prayer and meditation. There he received the inspiration and the revelation of building one family under God.
That young boy made a promise on that fateful day. He knew that his life would be a life of carrying the cross. Yet he was willing to surrender his life and surrender his own ambitions for the sake of bringing this message to the world. This is not a vision of just one man and not a vision of just one family. This is a vision for all humanity.
That young boy that went up into those hilltops in North Korea those many years ago is none other than my father, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. He is bringing to humanity once again the importance of the vision of building one family under God.
Based upon that vision and that aspiration, a growing network of Ambassadors for Peace spans the globe committed to fulfill this dream. This is the foundation that can lead this world to peace, and this is the truth that will guide the faith leaders of the world to not use their faiths and their denominations to divide and justify conflict within the human family.
It will guide them to do much more than merely tolerate other faiths. In the truth of building one family under God, before we are Muslim, Christian, or Jew, before we are America, Peruvian, or Korean, before we are Black, White, or Yellow we are first and foremost the sons and daughters of God. We all share the responsibility of fulfilling one family under God. That is the common, shared truth and vision to which the whole human family should aspire.
Just as your Incan ancestors had high aspirations as they built that great civilization upon the high mountaintops of the Andes, I believe that Peru has a special place and that the seeds have been planted here among the Ambassadors for Peace who have ownership of this dream of peace. In other words, itís not just ideas, itís not just nice talk, but our Ambassadors for Peace in this nation are becoming owners! As I explained at the beginning, a vision and a dream without an owner is just an idea. Yet a vision and a dream that has an owner can transform the world.
This is the time in which we need to dream big. We need to aspire for the greatest of things. Just like that nation to the North that was anointed by God and has risen to the highest peak of all nations in the world, so too, can Central and South America rise if they become the owner of the dream of building one family under God. Not one nation under God, but one family under God, rooted in the eternal universal principle that can only come from God.
If this region has been held back in development, it is not for want of an abundance of resources, nor for any lack in the capacity of its people. Through this tour in Central America and South America, I am convinced that in terms of resources and in terms of human capital, there is nothing lacking here compared to the North. But if I may be so bold to suggest, it needs the great vision and principles and values that can uplift the people to go beyond individual self-interest, beyond the interest of oneís family, beyond even interests of oneís nation. We must seek and aspire for the greatness of the whole region, the greatness of a continent, the greatness of the Americas, reviving the spirit and dream of leading the whole world to peace. That is why I am here.
I believe God has prepared this nation of Peru to have a special place amongst nations. Great things happen in small packages. I want to challenge you Ambassadors for Peace to dream the greatest dream of all and to aspire for the greatness beyond even that of your ancestors that built the majesty of Machu Picchu and the civilization of the Inca Empire.
Although the United States today stands at the top of all nations in the world, when they embarked in their bold adventure of nationhood it was a rag-tag colony of thirteen small, small states. Yet they won independence from the most powerful empire in the world. The reason why that nation rose to greatness was, as I explained, not because of politics, not because of its economic system, but because it acknowledged God. They established a covenant that recognized the sovereignty of God.
If Peru can become a nation that recognizes the sovereignty of God as the basis of creating a new Peru, rooted in the greatest vision of all, one family under God, and rooted in those fundamental principles, this nation can become a leading nation not only in this hemisphere but in the world.
Thank you very much.