Articles From the November 1995 Unification News


True Father's Seattle Visit

September 18, 1995
by Daniel Davies

When we got news of True Father's plan to speak in Seattle, we all took a deep breath. How are we going to prepare in two weeks?

Our community clicked into gear. We have a talented community in the Puget Sound region. People had talents honed during earlier campaigns. Although many have work and family responsibilities, they volunteered their time generously.

True Father arrived with an entourage at around noon on September 18th. We felt honored that he visited on the anniversary of Washington Monument. The Washington Monument Rally in 1976 marked a milestone in God's Providence. Old timers, do you remember America and the world in 1976? The United States and the world have come a long way in twenty years.

Father looked tired and ill when he arrived. We had gotten reports that he had skipped talks to the family in other cities. We thought that after his speech we would all go home early. We were in for a surprise.

Father's speech went well. Steven Goldsmith wrote an article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer published the next day that captured the event well. True Father, upon hearing the article read the next morning, said that the article was the best published during the speaking tour. This is an excerpt:

Rooting out the world's problems depends on restoring love within each family, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon told a Seattle audience last night.

Decrying the ills of free sex, homosexuality and escape from familial duties, Moon said his teachings can bring a new era of true love.

"You must unite as absolute husbands and wives," Moon told the audience in a nearly full Seattle Sheraton Hotel ballroom that seats 900.

The 75-year-old Korean evangelist read his speech with a slightly hoarse voice. He was nearing the end of a grueling three-week U.S. tour that has landed him in a new city nearly every night.

Local members of Moon's Unification Church said they has less then two weeks' time to prepare for the third major U.S. speaking tour of the man they call "father."

Moon speaks in Oakland, Calif., tonight, then winds up the 15-city visit in Anchorage, Alaska, tomorrow. There, he will rendezvous with his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, who has just finished hosting former President Bush and his wife, Barbara, at a Tokyo rally.

Hak Ja Han Moon heads the Women's Federation for World Peace, sponsor of the event that drew 50,000 people to the Tokyo Dome. Protests greeted the event in Japan, which is especially wary these days about unorthodox religious groups such as Moon's in the aftermath of a poison gas subway attack last spring allegedly carried out by the Aum Shinrikyo sect.

Unification Church recruiting methods attracted criticism in the 1970s, as did Moon's tax-evasion conviction in the 1980s. His hard- right political agenda also drew opposition and suspicion. But the 1990s face of the Unification Church seen last night was of middle-class, middle-aged, multiethnic moderation.

In a 10-minute video presentation before the speech, Moon praised the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the greatest American of the 20th century.

And in his speech, Moon said he had been persecuted and criticized by the entire world.

"The time has come for you to know that such persecution was not the result of my committing a crime," he said. "Instead, it was to save you. And now, unlike in the past, people realize that I am a man of goodness."

Moon is perhaps best known lately for presiding over mass weddings, including an August 25 event that united 360,000 couples worldwide. Moon said he is sending his message to a broader audience.

In last night's crowd, Massaru Tsukahara of Bothell said he had seen Moon in person several times. He said the Unification Church founder had been unfairly portrayed as demanding obedience from his flock.

"People like to use the world `obey,'" he said. "We don't have chains. We're not pressured to obey Rev. Moon. I believe what he preachers."

Most, but not all, of the spectators seemed familiar with Moon's preaching. One woman, who declined to give her name, said she was "a committed Christian" who was there to "study" Moon.

"I don't believe what they believe," she said.

Introducing Moon was Joseph Bettis, an emeritus religious studies professor at Western Washington University and a United Methodist minister.

Bettis called Moon a leading voice in the world for diversity and tolerance -- spiritual, racial, cultural., political.

Bettis said he personally was a liberal who did not belong to Moon's church, but considered him "the great spiritual teacher for the 21st century."

After Father's talk, the Seattle area family gathered at Windemere estate. We enjoyed the surprise of listening to True Mother's rally in Japan live, the last stop on her tour. George Bush gave a heartfelt speech. He spoke of the respect he has for the Japanese people. He spoke of the need for continuing to strengthen relationships between the United States and Japan.

True Mother spoke in Japanese. Only Japanese-speaking people could follow the talk, leaving me out. Japanese-speaking family at Windemere thoroughly enjoyed the talk. True Father foremost.

Father spoke with True Mother live over an intercom phone after her talk. We listened in. Father had been looking ill and tire before speaking with Mother. Afterwards, he rejuvenated. He began speaking at 11 pm and continued until 4:30 am. The packed room felt excitement. Father spoke mostly in English. We could follow most of what he said and assume pretty well the rest. Father departed for Oakland after sleeping one hour and eating breakfast.

My single lasting impression from Father's visit? True Parents have a bottomless love for each other. That exciting love ignited the entire Pacific Northwest family.

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