The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
Everybody looks so gorgeous and beautiful out there! I thought I was attending the VH1 awards ceremony or something. Once again, I'm delighted to welcome all of you to the second CARP Winter Gala. It is truly an honor for me to invite my family to join you here in the beautiful Hammerstein Ballroom.
As you know, our True Parents prepared the Manhattan Center, together with the New Yorker and 43rd Street, to work as a trinity, to bring about a revival of a whole new culture in this great country of America. When your parents joined the movement many years ago, they were inspired by the concept that we belong to one God, our Heavenly Parent and as one family we must overcome such barriers as race, religion, and different customs.
My father and mother encouraged American members to imagine a world where they could be the best representatives of God on earth, as his and her children. That is why your parents joined this movement. In the last 40 or 50 years since they joined it, our movement has gone through a lot of great times such as the excitement-filled Yankee Stadium rally here in New York, and the Washington Monument rally. But we've also grown as a family. Your parents are no longer the single man and woman who initially joined the movement. Now they have beautiful families. They have you, their beautiful children.
Now, as we are transitioning from the First to the Second Generation, we realize that we're standing in an incredible time when we can once again be inspired by what is before us and not be chained and burdened by the sufferings of the past, the difficulties that we had to bear as a movement together with our father and mother.
Together with my brothers and sisters I went through elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, knowing we were called "Moonies" and our movement was called a "cult." We experienced the pain of having our father and our mother being persecuted to our face. I was there, your parents were there, and many of you were there.
But the great thing about Lovin' Life, and the great thing about this time, is that it's a God-given opportunity to say to ourselves, "Suffering is great." Understanding the heart of God, understanding where we have come from, honoring our tradition, and appreciating how difficult the path of faith and our life has been -- that's all wonderful. But going forward, we have to start working on ourselves. We have to start living for the sake of others, as Rebecca said so eloquently just before: not dying for the sake of others in the sense that we are so burdened by the pain and suffering of the past that we have no energy to go forward.
This is a time when we as a community can come together and say, "We decide today to be that agent of change, that divine son and daughter who decide that we are going to start loving life. We are going to start celebrating the reason why we are here." No matter where we come from -- which state, which college, which fantastic family -- when we come together here in this beautiful Hammerstein Ballroom prepared by our True Parents, we come together as a family. As the young generation that is to be the hope of not just our movement or our community, but of this great country of America, we are going to produce the greatest leaders we have yet seen, the greatest leaders who will overcome the barriers of religion and race need to come from our community.
When we get together here at the CARP Winter Gala, it's not just an invitation for all you beautiful young people to enjoy each other's company in an evening of fun and entertainment. It's an occasion to think about our lives and think about those brothers and sisters who still suffer in Japan. In the last three decades of our Japanese movement, more than 4,300 men and women have been abducted against their will. They've been tortured. They've gone through starvation. They've been abused mentally and emotionally. But probably the saddest thing of all is that many of our sisters have been sexually abused.
When my brothers and I got together, we decided to take this faith-breaking issue as a matter of honor for us to fight. We had no idea how many sisters were being abused. But perhaps because they now see a feminine figure in the pulpit, or maybe because they see more and more women getting involved in the community and rising to leadership positions, many of these women started coming forward, asking to meet in secret. When I took my dear friend, who was an executive producer of VH1 and MTV, together with me to create a documentary, which will be forthcoming, many of these abused Japanese women decided to talk for the first time in their lives.
One sister, who because of the shame of what she had to endure being raped repeatedly in the course of her incarceration, hasn't had the courage yet to speak to her husband. She wanted to meet with me, to tell me that she felt there was no hope for her, that there was no hope that she could alleviate the suffering and burden. But by talking to me, she said that for the first time in her life of faith she felt liberated and validated. She felt human once again. When she was interviewed, her face was obscured, and her voice was altered. I promised this sister that as long as I am standing, I will fight for people like her who have suffered for our True Parents and our community. I will fight for her right to choose how she wants to worship our Heavenly Father.
In modern Japan, one of the greatest superpowers of the world, we should be able to decide for ourselves. All of these 4,300 people who have been abducted are over the age of 21. All these men and women should be allowed the chance to decide for themselves how they want to live their lives.
As we celebrate in this beautiful hall, all of us looking gorgeous and handsome, I want you to think about our brothers and sisters and work toward a day when we can invite them together here with us in the Hammerstein Ballroom, so that they, too, can celebrate life, and we together as a family can love life.
When I look out into the audience, you young men and women are the promise and hope of America. You have left the family nest, so to speak, where you've been nurtured throughout your school years. Now you're off to college. For a lot of young people, college means freedom. It means doing whatever you want to do. For the first time you are away from your father and mother. You can pretty much do whatever you want to do.
But I want to ask you young people something tonight. We all have benefited from the freedoms we so enjoy in America, and I have more than once explained that atrocities like I have described are taking place in Japan and our brothers and sisters are still being locked up. Even as I visit Capitol Hill every week to talk to congressmen and senators about the faith-breaking issue, we have to know that there are brothers and sisters on the brink of death and the brink of losing hope, who feel that their movement and their brothers and sisters have forgotten them.
For those of us who are blessed to live in this country where we are guaranteed religious freedom under the Constitution and through due process of law we have the right to fight for our own freedom, should we not be grateful that we have been so blessed to be in this country? Taking this gratitude as a part of our motivation, instead of just wasting our lives on college campuses on a lifestyle with no direction, how wonderful it would be if we in our college years could be focused and strive to be excellent men and women of God internally as well as externally.
When I heard the words of Victoria, Rebecca, Hero, and Kayeon, all these young men and women so eloquent, so beautiful, so full of promise, I was reminded of the reason why I work here every day. When I meet brothers and sisters, I tell them that Lovin' Life Ministries is really not about Rev. In Jin Moon. In fact, it has nothing to do with Rev. In Jin Moon. It has everything to do with being proud of who we are as a movement. Lovin' Life Ministries is a medium through which our community, more than 10,000 of us every Sunday, can come together unified in spirit and heart to worship and remember that we are one family, And, knowing that we have been blessed to live in such a great country, to utilize the opportunities before us, choosing not to just party and waste our life away.
If somebody like President Obama, coming from a single-parent home with very few prospects, can surpass the racial barrier and sit in the White House as the president of the United States, there is no reason why you can't do the same. And because you have been touched by God and our True Parents, you can be that much greater.
My hope as the senior pastor is to inspire all of you to see the real you, to see the divine in all of you. I want to hold a mirror up to how beautiful and amazing you are. The only thing we need to do is exercise our 5 percent responsibility. God has given us 95 percent. All we have to do is emphasize our 5 percent responsibility, work on ourselves, and prepare ourselves for the good work ahead -- to become a great doctor, or a great professor, or a great minister. I'm waiting for you guys to come here so I can be a nice granny resting peacefully in Boston. I'm waiting for you so that you can be that great president of the United States. You can be greater than somebody like Rosa Parks, who inspired the civil rights movement.
Brothers and sisters, the incredible thing about being in college is that this is the first time when you have the opportunity to exercise your freedom to be the agent of change and do something great for the world. You have the chance not only to partake of academic studies, but also to get involved in different clubs, go to Costa Rica, do the service projects that are made available to you. You can get involved in Project Connect at Lovin' Life Ministries. Do things that will serve others.
A lot of people think that Father is a man of faith and therefore it's basically 5:00 o'clock Hoon Dok Hae and suffer and suffer and suffer. But anybody who spends time with our True Parents knows that it doesn't matter where they are. In the middle of a sermon, Father will break into a song. In the middle of his lecture, he will ask two couples to stand up and dance. Father and Mother have always encouraged the True Children about the importance of the arts and the importance of culture.
I hope you will think about becoming that generation of peace -- a generation of young men and women who understand that God is our Heavenly Parent, P, who understands that we are Eternal, divine sons and daughters of God, E. We are young men and women who are dedicated and committed to living for the sake of others -- not dying for the sake of others -- and not doing it simply for a reward, but because we are good people and we take satisfaction in doing something good.
And C is for living a life of Compassion, of empathy, understanding how it feels to be in another person's shoes. Before we judge, we take a moment to think: "I wonder what that person is going through." And E is being internally Excellent. We understand who we are and we manifest the internal beauty outwardly as we become an externally excellent man or woman of God.
When you start shining your bright light onto the world, when you start unleashing your divinity on your campuses and in your classrooms, when you start being proud Unificationists, you will change your class and your campus. You will be the agent of change. You will be the one ushering in a new culture for your community and family.
Men and women are still dying in Third World countries just in the hope of gaining an education. A friend of mine went to produce a documentary in Afghanistan. He was horrified upon visiting a school for girls in the basement of a building to witness a riot of young 16 and 17-year-old boys storming the place, throwing acid on these girls' faces. The boys wanted to maim these beautiful young ladies' faces simply because the girls wanted to get ahead, simply because they wanted the right to be educated.
There are people who are still fighting for an education, but all of us have this great opportunity to go to college. So how are we going to utilize our time? Are we going to spend it just thinking about ourselves? Are we going to think about when is the next party? Or are we actually going to remember our brothers and sisters who are still suffering in Japan? Are we going to remember those sisters in Afghanistan who are fighting for their right to educate themselves? Are we going to remember the starving people as we enjoy our meal tonight?
And if we do, in our remembrance we need to feel our own desire to do something positive for the world, to leave something beautiful behind. I ask the young people in this room to help me help you. No matter how much I want to do good work at Lovin' Life Ministries, I cannot do it without your support. If you are not proud of who you are, there's very little I can do.
I'm hoping that through interchanges such as these CARP Winter Galas, getting together, worshipping together, where we actually "rub" with each other, we can grow closer. Instead of thinking that you have me figured out -- perhaps you don't. There might be a thing or two you might want to know. As senior pastor, I am always yearning to hear about you, to know what you're doing so that I can better serve you and the community.
Brothers and sisters, you are in the most incredible four years of your life. You can decide what you want to do. Your parents are not there. Nobody's watching you. You can do whatever you want. How wonderful it will be if you can seize that opportunity. Anybody can rebel. It doesn't take much talent or practice to rebel against one's parents. But how wonderful if we do something different than what everyone else is doing. Don't be a follower: Be a leader. Don't follow fashion trends: Set the fashion trend.
Two years ago, when I first came to Manhattan Center as CEO, I was taking a walk in Times Square and there was a huge poster that asked the big question: "What's your cult?" It was asking, "What's your religion? What's most important to you?"
The First Generation are scared of the word cult because that word was used to persecute us. But young people are ingenious in taking something negative, spinning it around, and turning it into something uber-hip and uber-cool. So when they ask each other, "What's your cult?" they're basically saying, "What's your new religion? Is it fashion? Is it "Smashing Pumpkins," or is it Reverend Moon, or is it the Dalai Lama? What's your cult?"
Seeing that, I said to myself, it's high time that we as Unificationists stop buckling in fear of this word cult, but let's spin it around and throw it back at the society that persecuted us, making it hip, something new, something that people cannot do without. Here at Lovin' Life Ministry I've always said to my team, "Look, first and foremost, Lovin' Life Ministry is a music ministry that speaks -- not just channeling the word of God and our True Parents -- but speaking the universal language of love and music. In honor of my older brother, who spent a great deal of time here at this beautiful Manhattan Center, it's my way of honoring him every day of my life. Every day I come here I honor him, and I want to fulfill what he did not have a chance to do.
The great thing about being here is I have such a wonderful team. I have a great production team that you don't see, but they're working so hard to make events possible for all of you. I also have an emcee in Dave Hunter. I have many beautiful brothers and sisters performing in the Lovin' Life Band.
I feel incredibly privileged to be given this opportunity. If I could be in a situation where I could share a little bit of my inspiration with you young people so that you can start shining your light, start changing our culture, and bring in the heavenly culture of love, of really honoring and respecting each other, how wonderful the world would be.
Just as the civil rights movement took hold and became something else on college campuses, and the anti-apartheid movement took hold on college campuses and changed the world, how wonderful it would be if you young people, members of CARP, can start changing the culture of the world to something beautiful, divine, and worth fighting for.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am hoping that tonight will be a wonderful night when we can enjoy each other's company. We are here in the grace of our Heavenly Father, and because of the grace, dedication, suffering, and all the different things that we have gone through in our movement together with our True Parents and the First Generation. So let us be proud of who we are. Let us be proud Unificationists.
And in remembrance of our brothers and sisters who are still fighting, please spread the word. Please spread it to everyone who has ears to hear: Talk to your professors, to your friends, your minister, to anybody who will listen. And in so doing, by working together we can change America, and we can put an end to what's taking place in Japan.
Brothers and sisters, thank you so much for coming to this CARP ball. I am hoping for and I am praying for your success in your studies and your extracurricular endeavors in college, be it music, be it art, or anything else. I'm hoping to see one of you sitting in the White House one of these days.