Messiah - My Testimony to Rev. Sun Myung Moon Volume II - Bo Hi Pak

Chapter 17 - Twentieth-Century Crucifixion: Maneuvered Into Prison [Part 3/6]

The Appellate Court Chimes In With the "Trial of Public Opinion"

After the trial was over, Reverend Moon's team of lawyers protested the verdict and lodged an appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professor Laurence H. Tribe, an authority on constitution-al law with the Harvard Law School, asserted that the trial had profaned the spirit of the U.S. Constitution and vehemently criticized the government's use of a mean-spirited tax charge to persecute a new religion. He even called the government's actions a disgrace that would be long remembered. He pointed out the lack of grounds for forcing a defendant to accept a jury trial. In light of this issue alone, the trial had violated the Constitution and therefore must he seen as void and the verdict disregarded.

In the court of appeals, the verdict is decided according to a majority ruling, with three judges presiding. The verdict was announced on September 13, 1983.

The presiding judge, James L. Oakes, declared that the defense made by Professor Tribe was well founded and advocated a verdict of not guilty. However, the other two judges were busy casting glances around them; they adopted the same cowardly stance as Judge Goettel. They chose the principle of peace at any price and upheld the verdict by public opinion that the U.S. District Court had made.

Professor Tribe, understandably frustrated at the defeat in the appellate court, strongly asserted that an appeal must be made to the U.S. Supreme Court. On January 26, 1984, the defense team initiated the formal legal proceedings required for appealing to the Supreme Court in Washington.

The logic was open and straightforward. "The case of Reverend Moon is an important model case for the issue of attacks on religious freedom. Naturally, the Supreme Court must decide whether the decision of the appellate court is in compliance with or contravenes the Constitution."

The Groundswell of Support

By this time, a surprising and unforeseen state of affairs began to make itself felt throughout America: a new wave of public opinion.

Through their craftiness and cunning, the government won the case of United States v. Moon and Kamiyama. It was a dirty victory, however, that would leave a stain on history for many years to come. If you want to summarize this victory of the U.S. government, you could say the whole thing was a jeer in the face of the American people, particularly religious people.

The American religious community was riled, to say the least. With this kind of injustice staring them in the face, they were filled with righteous indignation. But Reverend Moon's case was not his alone. Once this kind of precedent was established, no one knew when the same fate might fall on him or her. So the fight of the Unification Church leader soon became the fight of the religious leadership of America.

Until that time, myriad religious groups and their leaders had viewed the Unification Church's teachings as heresy and had turned a cold shoulder to its leader's legal problems. But now, they proceeded to unfold a movement of support for our founder. Their contention was completely uniform. If the guilty verdict in the Moon trial were upheld, all religious bodies in America could become the object of such religious oppression. The next victim might very well be themselves.

More than forty religious and secular groups entered amicus curiae (friends of the court) briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Reverend Moon. The total number of American citizens represented by these groups, if one counted the total of the membership of each group, came to no less than 160 million citizens. Some of the representative religious groups included are the National Council of Churches (representing thirty-two Protestant and other Christian groups); the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist Churches; the National Association for Evangelical Churches, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (established by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1957), and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).

Numerous civil organizations also filed petitions. Some particularly vehement and passionate petitions were even filed by the chief attorneys in a number of states across the nation. Those organizations included the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association of Black Mayors, the National Association of Lawyers, the Christian Law Association, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the National Association of Christian Schools, the American Institute for Research on Religions, the Center for the Research of Judiciary, and the International Association of Religious Freedom Movements.

Many distinguished individuals also put their reputations on the line and filed petitions with the Supreme Court. They included: Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Constitutional Rights Subcommittee; Roman Catholic Archbishop Ernest Waterkeupler; Eugene McCarthy, former Democratic presidential candidate; Clare Booth Luce, a former ambassador; and Professor Robert Testero, a lawyer and professor at Catholic University.

A quick glance gives an idea just how strong the public and religious anger over the case was. These individuals and organizations were unanimous in calling on the Supreme Court to consider the facts of the Moon case and disclose without fail the flagrant violation of constitutional rights that had taken place.

Another surprising twist was that certain sections of the American press criticized the injustices of the Moon trial in both editorials and commentaries. These media had previously heaped criticism on the Unification Church, particularly at the time of the Watergate scandal. Now, they demanded that the Supreme Court hear the appeal and expose just how unconstitutional the whole trial was.

One of those media entities was the Washington Post, which took issue with and commented on the Moon trial in no less than five instances over a two-month period. The unprecedented editorial printed on December 29, 1983, entitled "The Highest Court Must Listen Fairly to the Moon Case," shows to what extent the paper was concerned with the trial and its attendant issues.

Colman McCarthy, a columnist with the Post, laid hare the truth with conviction. In a commentary dated February 5, 1984, McCarthy wrote,

The American people cannot be silent on the issue of this case. Looking back in history, whenever new religions appear in society as a minority group, attacks are made against their leaders, just like the character assassination and cowardly and biased attacks that have been made on Reverend Moon. Judaism, Christianity, Islam -- it is the same in every case. As far as I know, the members of the Unification Church are all polite and honest citizens.

The Los Angeles Times made the following assertion in its editorial on March 3, 1984: "The Supreme Court should reverse Moon's conviction and reaffirm the principle that the First Amendment makes no distinction between popular and unpopular religions or orthodox and unorthodox faiths."

In the midst of such scrutiny and pressure from every corner of American society and professional life, the Supreme Court had to decide whether to accept Reverend Moon's appeal.

The Supreme Court Rejects the Appeal

Before the Supreme Court could hear our case, it had to decide whether to accept the appeal. Because the high court cannot hear each and every matter put before it, only those cases with a close relationship to constitutionality are selected for trial. The Supreme Court is literally flooded with appeals, and it is impossible for it to accept and deliberate all of them. Furthermore, accepted practice dictates that at least four of the nine justices, not including the chief justice, must advocate acceptance of the case for the Court to decide to accept an appeal.

At this point in the unfolding process, however, the Department of Justice was shaking in its boots, due to the upsurge in public attention to Reverend Moon's case. Clearly, if the case made it to the Supreme Court, the suit against him would most assuredly be ruled unconstitutional.

The conspirators had thought that once a guilty verdict was obtained, no one would take the side of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, what with his church having such a had image and all.

But this, as I have said before, was a huge miscalculation. Public opinion vehemently criticized the government. As we say in the Orient, the people's will is the mandate of Heaven, or rather, in this case, the mandate of Heaven was revealed in the will of the people.

If somehow the guilty verdict were overturned in the Supreme Court and the case were declared unconstitutional, not only would the Department of Justice lose the court case but it would also face the possibility that the whole affair might explode into a full-blown scandal. No one could guarantee that it wouldn't spread to the point where someone would have to take responsibility. You could even go so far as to say that the justice Department chief's head was on the line.

In support of Reverend Moon, many religious leaders protested in front of the White House.

So the government side initiated its last and final act of infamy, to prevent the Supreme Court from accepting the case on appeal. The early days of April found the Justice Department sending a report urging the appeal to the Supreme Court be denied. After outlining the correctness of the verdicts delivered by the District and Second Circuit Courts -- from the viewpoint of the prosecution -- the report strongly petitioned the Court to uphold the government's position and reject the defendants' appeal.

It is an important principle of the democratic system involving the separation of the three powers that the judiciary is independent. But even so, the influence of the executive branch, with the president at its head, is considerable.

In the end, on May 14, 1984, the Supreme Court justices decided not to hear the case of Reverend Moon by the narrow margin of five to three. In accordance with custom, the reasons for the decision were not made available. Nevertheless, the fact is that the final decision went the administration's way.

It is important to note that this result was not the same as the Supreme Court upholding the verdicts issued by the lower courts. It simply meant that the Court decided not to deliberate on the Moon case. With rejection of their appeal, the guilty verdict for Reverend Moon and Takeru Kamiyama became final.

The nation known far and wide as the home of religious freedom, the place where the Puritans landed after risking their lives on the Atlantic Ocean in search of freedom for their faith, made the conscious decision to slap a world-level religious leader -- the leader of a religion practiced by millions of faithful in more than a hundred nations -- with an unfair tax evasion charge and eventually throw him into prison. Not only that, on the charge of evading a mere $7,300 in taxes, it imposed a sentence of eighteen months in prison. Surely this was the first time that such a thing had happened in the history of the United States. It is a blemish on American history, and it will remain for many, many years.

Anger Erupts and Christianity Closes Ranks

The news that the Supreme Court had rejected Reverend Moon's appeal flashed around the United States and the world. Public anger boiled over like lava flowing from a volcano.

The forty religious and civil organizations and individuals who had submitted petitions to the Court felt humiliated by the decision. They had represented the voices of 120 million Americans. They decided to take the struggle into the streets. With a cry of "Save Reverend Moon!" numerous demonstrations were organized in New York and Washington. The first of these gatherings was on May 30, directly after the announcement of the Supreme Court decision. In the Hyatt Regency Hotel, across from the Capitol building, more than a thousand religious leaders, representing over sixty organizations, attended the "Rally for Religious Freedom." From Rev. Joseph Lowery and Rev. Robert Grant to Rev. Tim LaHaye, the well-known Christian educator, ministers, rabbis, and religious leaders crowded into the hotel.

LaHaye, chairman of Family Life Center, was elected one of the joint chairmen. He spoke frankly about the character of the event. "Never before has there been such a gathering of the members of all denominations and religions in one place. It is nothing short of historic." He also voiced his personal assessment of the situation, saying, "The Founding Fathers of America permitted the existence of all denominations and groups in the United States Constitution, but that religious freedom is now facing a serious crisis in the form of the imprisonment of Rev. Sun Myung Moon."

In the midst of this angry protest meeting, the group to come forward and take the lead was the organization founded by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Another joint chairman was Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Lowery was an impressive orator. At that meeting, he hurled out his words with passion, bringing everyone to raise their clenched fists into the air. Despite the anger, he made his mark with the now-famous words: "God works in mysterious ways," words he repeated several times over the course of the meeting.

Reverend Lowery cried out his message that God was working through Reverend Moon to bring men and women of religious faith together and make them stand up against unrighteousness and injustice -- in short, to rekindle the fading spirit of Christ in Christianity. He explained that Reverend Moon was playing the part of a sacrifice and offering for the sake of the revitalization of American Christianity.

How long we had been waiting to hear those words! Wasn't this the very day that Reverend Moon had hoped to see when coming to America? Wasn't this sort of Christian revival the very thing Reverend Moon had hoped to see, pouring his tears and sweat and heart and energy into America for ten years? His goal was now being gloriously achieved by his going into prison! Truly God works in miraculous and mysterious ways.

The meeting became quite worked up, and the whole hall became agitated and energized. One by one renowned ministers came up to the podium and delivered fiery speeches. As you would expect, all of the clergy were excellent speakers. But it wasn't only their orations that had an impact. Each one was literally shaking with anger and indignation.

Toward the end, Rev. Tim LaHaye rose to the podium and challenged everyone:

We cannot overlook this religious oppression by an unjust government. We have to demonstrate our anger in actions. We cannot let Reverend Moon languish in prison all by himself. He was sent to jail in the course of his fight for religious freedom, and that means that he is in prison for each and every one of us. Therefore, if he goes to prison, shouldn't we all go to prison for a week along with Reverend Moon? This is the only way we can truly protest this unrighteous religious persecution. Everyone, let's go to prison together with Reverend Moon. Those of you who agree, please stand up!

This was really an astounding declaration. But the next moment was even more amazing. Every one of the participants jumped to their feet and punched the air with their fists, shouting, "Amen! Amen!"

It was a moment of victory for Reverend Moon, no, for God. It was God's moment of glory.

If you think about it, it means that Reverend Moon is really a giant of a person, so much so that even the immense United States was unable to swallow him. It is no exaggeration to say that the United States felt threatened by the existence of Reverend Moon, just as Judaism was unable to digest Jesus and felt so threatened by him two thousand years earlier.

If a hundred or a thousand religious leaders of the day had determined to carry Jesus' cross with him, Jesus would not have had to suffer such loneliness, and God would have been greatly comforted.

At that moment, I prayed, "Loving God. You are so great. Please look down at this spectacle and he comforted." Tears gushed out and ran down my cheeks.

This first rally became the origin of the Common Suffering movement. Ministers expressed their determination to spend time in prison with Reverend Moon in a number of ways. One was to make protest marches, walking in handcuffs. Another was the construction of a small cell, a replica of a prison cell, which they entered and spent time in. This movement officially began on July 25, and in the end thousands of religious leaders and clergy signed on in support of spending one week with Reverend Moon in prison.

Of course, they couldn't actually go and spend a week in the Danbury prison. Instead, in the spirit of spending seven days in jail, many attended a weeklong seminar, studying the Unification Principle and learning about the spirit and motives of Reverend Moon. This program continued for the duration of Reverend Moon's incarceration, and by its conclusion approximately forty thousand ministers had attended the seminars in America, while seven thousand had participated in a Korea-Japan tour (under the auspices of the CAUSA ministers movement), learning about the roots of the Unification movement. How incredible it was that such a providence could bring so many American ministers into con-tact with the Divine Principle, particularly when, up until that point, they had been completely uninterested in Reverend Moon's teaching.

On July 25, 1985, a thousand ministers from across the country held a rally in Lafayette Park, across from the White House. All of them brought handcuffs. Rev. Donald N. Sills (a Baptist minister from Los Angeles), president of the Coalition for Religious Freedom, said a few words on behalf of the rally organizers. In his speech, he issued a wakeup call about the reality of increasing violations against religious freedom, saying, "In 1976, there were 45 cases involving government litigation against churches. Today that number has grown to 8,000."

Participants held placards displaying a variety of messages: "Reverend Moon is innocent!" "America! Return to God!" "Restore Justice!" and so on. When the protest march reached its peak, the ministers took out their handcuffs and placed them on their own wrists, then held their two hands high, shouting, "If you want to put Reverend Moon in prison, put me in prison, too!"

I wondered if this particular scene wasn't what it looked like when the first Christians risked their lives to protest the way the Roman Empire oppressed Christianity. What would have happened if thousands of the watching public had cried out, "If you want to put my Lord on the cross, put me on the cross first!" when Jesus Christ took up the cross? How would the path of Jesus have changed, and how would history have been different? As I witnessed the dramatic spectacle, I was unable to stop the tears that began to stream down my cheeks.

I thought, "Our Father isn't alone after all. For the sake of this one spiritual teacher, a man from the Orient and a native of Korea, black ministers and white ministers have gathered together, everyone intent on sharing his suffering. Beloved Father, thank you so much."

Victory on the Cross

The explosion of outrage over the upheld conviction of Reverend Moon was not limited to the United States. In fact, a wave of indignation covered the entire span of the globe. The wrath of the public crossed the Pacific Ocean and triggered a chain reaction in Japan and then Korea.

In each major city of these two nations, the display of protest began with groups of the informed and the conscientious. These demonstrations against the unsupportable verdict delivered by the court took the form of protests against racial discrimination, religious oppression, and disregard of human rights. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of public demonstrations were held almost every day, and the public responded by signing petitions in support of the Unification Church leader. These petitions were sent with hundreds of thousands of signatures to the president of the United States and the Speaker of the House in Congress.

Representatives from the Japanese Diet also took up the cause, although the response by Japanese political circles was particularly in reaction to the guilty verdict for Japanese citizen Takeru Kamiyama, who had resident status in the United States. The main cause for this outcry was that substantial evidence had come to light that the interpreter used for Mr. Kamiyama's testimony before the grand jury was incompetent, that he was forced into performing that service, that he had no formal interpreting qualifications and had misinterpreted significant parts of Mr. Kamiyama's testimony.

It also turned out that Mr. Kamiyama was questioned and responded to the grand jury queries without a proper oath having being administered to him. Sometime after his testimony, the prosecutors had turned around and slapped perjury charges on him. However, U.S. law states that any testimony given without a lawful oath administered to the witness cannot be grounds for perjury charges. In fact, the problems with this case were so serious that Congress later introduced a law, the Court Interpreters Act, to make sure that no future witness should suffer the same injustices as Takeru Kamiyama.

In Japan, therefore, a vehement protest movement in support of Reverend Moon and Mr. Kamiyama unfolded, not only in the Unification Church but also in political and religious circles, as well as the media. I heard reports that demonstrations were held daily in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

This wave of public outrage also crossed the Atlantic into the European nations. The news that freedom of religion had been violated shook those nations. People of conscience congregated to denounce this incident and a flood of petitions and declarations of protest were sent to the White House.

In the end, this one man from the East, from the diminutive Korean peninsula, had shaken the entire globe. This was, however, the work of God. Reverend Moon was not the loser but a great victor. He became a hero all across the globe. Isn't it only natural that the messiah should achieve such fame and recognition? Anyway, however you look at it, this series of events equates with the returning Messiah going over the hill of Calvary and winning the victory, don't you think?

So, what is the difference between the first advent of Christ and the second? At the first advent, Jesus shed blood on the cross and became a sacrifice for the redemption of humankind. In this way he fulfilled a historic mission. At the Second Advent, however, Reverend Moon did not die on the cross but lived on and was victorious, and he ascended to the position of True Parent of humankind. He has completed the mission of the True Parent. This victory, the victory of the Lord of the Second Advent, was the central objective of the providence of God that has unfolded over the last two thousand years.

Seven Thousand Christian Leaders Transcend Denominations

From among many demonstrations, I'd like to take a particularly notable one and offer a record of it here, seeing that meeting as a representative example.

On July 25, 1984, in Washington's Constitution Hall, the Pageant for Religious Freedom was convened with Dr. Robert Grant, chairman of the Christian Voice, as chairman. Constitution Hall, owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, has a long and celebrated history.

On this particular evening, representatives from all over the country packed the large assembly hall. About three thousand people managed to get into the hall, but some four thousand more gathered outside. Because we planned to make a candlelight march on the White House once the pageant was over, everyone held a candle in his or her hand.

This meeting was unique in a number of ways. First, both government and private-sector representatives were united in the cause. The lecture hall was filled with religious leaders and other faithful from across America, but a number of influential mayors, particularly blacks, were present. There were also many congressmen and senators. On the stage, representing the U.S. Congress, was seated the head of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Sen. Orrin Hatch. Also on the stage was Rev. Ralph Abernathy, honorary chair-man of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and former confidant of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. After Dr. King was shot at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, he took his last breath cradled in Abernathy's arms. At the time of the rally in Washington, Abernathy was already an old man and usually restricted his activities. But he had great respect for Reverend Moon.

This respect for the Unification Church leader began from the time when Newsweek magazine did a cover story on Reverend Moon. The reporter had asked Reverend Moon which American he felt the most respect for. Without hesitation, Reverend Moon had answered, "The Reverend Martin Luther King." Reverend Abernathy later testified that he had been deeply impressed by reading that article. When he heard that a rally was being held in support of Reverend Moon, he declared that he simply had to speak at the rally.

Another unique speaker on the platform was none other than Reverend Moon's second-eldest daughter, In Jin Moon, who attended the rally as a representative of the Moon family. The theme of this Pageant for Religious Freedom was "Free Reverend Moon!" All the participants held a triangular pennant with these words printed on it.

Senator Hatch spoke out in a passion-filled voice. "It was clearly unconstitutional to force Reverend Moon to have a jury trial when he had already elected not to. Now, we have a world-level religious leader being forced to clean the floors of a prison kitchen. America should desist in the shameful way it is treating this man, and turn back to becoming the free and great nation that she truly is..." As he pounded out these words, all the participants in the hall cheered.

Next, Reverend Abernathy took over, saying in a powerful voice: "I was once a sacrifice, a victim of the power of racial discrimination. But my friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., became an even greater sacrifice when he departed this life. Yet even though such a precious price has been paid in consecrated blood, the government still hasn't come to its senses. We must not let Reverend Moon become another victim of racial injustice."

The black ministers shouted, "Amen! Amen! Hallelujah!" Everyone jumped to their feet with excited cries and ringing applause.

A Candlelight March for Justice

In Jin Moon testified to the father she knew.

My father has continuously shed sweat and tears for America over the last twelve years," she said. "I have almost never seen my father rest. He is always working, always praying. For me it is unthinkable that the nation which my father loves so much could throw him into prison.

Rev Moon's daughter In Jin Moon, and her husband, Jin Sung Park, on the frontline of a candlelight march for justice.

Although just eighteen, this young woman was an exceptional orator. But her words were imbued with fervent out-rage and ardent love for her father, whom she had visited at the prison only a few days before. I don't think there was a dry eye in the auditorium while she read a message on behalf of the imprisoned Reverend Moon. One could hear women sobbing.

"I would like to read you the message my father gave to me at Danbury prison. This is what my father said."

Beloved brothers and sisters in God's love, I am now in America, and I am now in an American prison. In my 12 years of living in this country, I have never felt as close to God as I do now. I love America more than ever. If His will is being served by my imprisonment, then I am here in gratitude.
When I serve my fellow prisoners their food, or scrape their plates after dinner, or scrub the kitchen floor, I am doing it for my Heavenly Father. I am serving Ills children, and I am serving America and the world. I am therefore doing my chores with joy.
I came to America in 1971 at God's command. God told me that America is His final hope, His precious jewel that He prepared for the final battle against atheistic communism in the Last Days. Truth and love must prevail. However, America needs help. America is turning away from God, and God cannot afford to lose America.
God told me to go to America to wake people from their spiritual sleep before atheistic communism takes over the world. You know that with such a mandate, I did not come to this country to win a popularity contest. I spoke out, and I took a stand. I gave America every ounce of my soul. In the process, I became unpopular and have been persecuted. Now I have ended up in a U.S. prison. This is no surprise to me, for I almost knew that such a cross would come.
I thank God that my situation and that of Pastor Sileven and many others have become a rallying point for religious freedom in the United States. America's religious communities must be united to preserve religious freedom. Our efforts alone, and efforts like this pageant, will ensure the survival of America.

The speech was so emotional that people forgot to applaud. Everyone was busy pulling out handkerchiefs and drying eyes damp with tears. One by one the speakers on the stage got up to embrace Ms. Moon. It was a heart-warming scene to behold.

By this time, I had forgotten that I was in charge of leading the meeting. I couldn't help letting out the sound as I choked on my tears.

At that moment, I firmly believed that the day would come when America would have to pay the price for what it had done. But don't misunderstand me; this wasn't a curse. I simply mean that the time when this nation bows its head in recognition of this great saint of love will come -- must come -- somewhere down the line.

It was already dark outside. The gathering formed ranks for the street march. At the front of the march, I linked arms with Rev. Joseph Lowery, Ms. In Jin Moon and her husband, and the president of the Unification Church of America, Dr. Mose Durst. Everyone lit his or her candle, and we sang the well-known song from the civil rights movement, "We Shall Overcome!" as our march began. When we arrived at Lafayette Park, the crowd's singing became even louder, as if we were singing directly to the president...

We shall overcome!
We shall overcome!
We shall overcome today!

Reverend Lowery broke out into oration. It was the magnificent sound of prayer, resonant, unstoppable prayer. After cheers of "Hallelujah! Amen!" we finished up by singing "God Bless America."

Our march was not a condemnation of America. Rather, it was a direct and simple expression of the spirit of Reverend Moon: We have to wake up America! We have to love America!

Table of Contents

Tparents Home

Moon Family Page

Unification Library