The Words The Kwak Family

Family Party for Peace and Unity

Chung Hwan Kwak
September 2007

The following is drawn from a speech Rev. Kwak gave at a conference for UPF leaders and ambassadors for peace in New York in September.

I would like to talk about the new Family Party that has been launched in Korea. I'm sure many of you have heard about this and are wondering about it. When we speak of political parties generally, people often think that politics and religion do not go well together. In medieval times, however, religions were deeply entrenched in politics and in government. People were governed by political systems that had a religious basis; later in history, as increasingly nations became democratic, politics and religion were divorced. There was a consensus that religion and politics should not be brought together, that church and state must always be separate. In democratic society today, people accept that as a fact and a standard.

There are of course many Christian political parties and other so-called religious political parties in democratic societies. However, just because something is termed a religious political party does not necessarily mean that religion and politics are fully integrated.

I would like to take this time to clarify what Father means when he talks about a political party, and why he thinks such a political party is needed in Korea at this time in the providence. I would like to explain this so that you can clearly understand and be able to explain its significance and purpose confidently to others if ever the occasion arises. We must be able to understand the concept of a political party from the providential point of view and have a correct and accurate understanding of what Father means when he talks about political parties.

A political party based on Unificationist principles was founded in Korea in March 2003. When it was formed, we did not know how, as religious types, we should be relating to the sphere of politics. However, at that time Father emphasized that although it was a political party, it was one focused on educating people. With that guidance, the Family Party provided education in family values to the Korean citizenry.

According to Korean law, people are free to create political parties, but unless a party fields at least one candidate who is elected into the National Assembly within four years, the party must be dissolved. For four years, all the Family Party did was educate people. It was not involved at all in elections; no one campaigned because the party did not field candidates. So at the end of four years, the Family Party was automatically dissolved.

Recently the process necessary to register a new party, the Family Party for Peace and Unity, was completed. This is a very important initiative, which comes out of providential necessity. Even yesterday at Hoon Dok Hae, Father spoke about the providential importance of the political realm.

Usually people think about the separation of church and state, and that politics and religion must be separated. Party politics has a very short history of about three hundred years. We have to think about what led to parties being formed. In the past, the average individual did not know how to advocate for his or her interests or protect his or her rights. People surrendered themselves to the family or to the environment into which they were born. A very long history went by in this manner. As people became more enlightened and better educated, however, and as civilization progressed generally, conscientious leaders came to understand the importance and value of human rights. People began to think about freedom and liberty. They began to wonder why people, who were supposed to be free and equal, were suffering injustice and inequality.

A political party was only the means for securing and guaranteeing the freedom and equality of all people and for promoting their welfare. That was the purpose of political parties, and those same values are at the core of religion. In any event, any citizen, whether religious or secular, can become involved in politics and through politics promote human welfare...

Actually, God can be found at the root of politics. The Declaration of Independence in America was based on the belief that people had God-given rights. Even in the French Revolution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man was based on the concept that it was a God-given right for people to enjoy equality, freedom and liberty.

Today we know that the historical forming of political parties is a turning point. Yet unless politics also roots itself in God, it cannot succeed. People are always basing their measurement of human beings on relative ideas, which is why vast differences emerge that lead to conflicts. A political party is not about gaining power over others. Gaining political power is just a means; it cannot be the ultimate goal or purpose of the existence of a political party.

Why should a governing party and opposition party fight? It is abnormal. The government and the opposition party should be like a husband and wife, or like a father and mother in a family always discussing matters of national interest and promoting the national welfare together. That seems normal, the way it should be.

The name of the new party is the Family Party for Peace and Unity, which was how it was registered on August 28. It will not become involved in the confrontation and conflict that characterize the relationship between the government and opposition parties in Korea today. It will be a parental organization that works to take care of the people.

This morning Father explained the significance of the party and asked why there are so many political parties in Korea. He suggested that just as there is only one father and one mother in a family, where there is a party governing a country there should always be just one opposition party that can advise the government. He said that concept is based on a providential view of politics. The conduct of politicians outside the providential view has caused public distrust.

Supporters of the Family Party for Peace and Unity will not come from a limited region, age group, economic level or ideological mind-set. It will not be supported by the rich exclusively or the poor alone. The FFPU will be supported by healthy families. That is an amazing statement. No matter how different one's cultural background, no matter what country or culture one comes from, all societies are based on the family unit. A healthy family is what people in general seek and desire. A family is an indispensable unit of society and the world. Healthy families will be the support group of the Family Party for Peace and Unity. Most political parties get their support from specific groups and are influenced by them and lobbied by them, but the Family Party for Peace and Unity will be supported by families...

The fundamental beliefs and viewpoint of FFPU are not nation-specific. These ideas can transcend nations and can be the basis for political parties in various countries that have some level of association with one another.

Father is teaching that a political party that is in accord with the heavenly way will not have to develop policies. Many political parties today are working hard to develop very good policies. Other parties just pay lip service to policies in order to excite people's interest and gain their support, but they don't actually follow through with what they promise.

What does Father mean by saying a political party has no need to develop policies? He is saying that because the Family Party for Peace and Unity is supported by healthy, blessed families, it is firmly rooted in God. That is why there is no need for any other policy aside from the policy of applying principles rooted in the true family ideal connected to God. Of course, to be approachable by the general public, the Family Party must be able to explain itself in language that people can understand and relate to. In that way, how the party applies heavenly principles will be expressed in that context. You have to keep in mind that God does not formulate policies. The heavenly way, the principles and laws that Father talks about, are precious and valuable in their own right.

When we meet someone who is prepared, and we talk with them about Father's philosophy and his beliefs, these people are deeply moved and become Ambassadors for Peace. For the general public, though, the average citizen, the party will have to consider how to explain its vision and philosophy in a way the layman can relate to. Father does not believe that God's providence should be promoted only through the medium of religion. God's providence now requires that a political party be established; a political approach allows the message of an ideal world to reach a different audience and bring people together. You could think of it as a partially open door being opened fully.

Some people may ask the party members, "Why are you religious people trying to get into politics?" The party members must be able to reply strongly and confidently. The politics that the new Family Party will strive for in Korea are not the politics of lies or sweet talk without action to back it up. That is not the kind of politics intended. It will instead firmly base itself in God to promote humanity's God-given rights-equality, freedom and liberty-to create a society that can guarantee these God-given rights.

Why should it be doing that? The Chinese characters for "politics" translate as "honesty, honest government." That is exactly what a political party must do and that is what the Family Party for Peace and Unity will be doing.

In four hundred years of political history, there has never been such a dramatic moment as this. A new chapter in political history is beginning. This morning at Hoon Dok Hae Father asked, "What is democracy? Do you think democracy is ultimately what God wanted?"

I know that there are some Ambassadors for Peace here. What Father clearly stated is that democracy is not Godism. He said, "Democracy is one of the systems of government that was needed to accommodate all the differing opinions people have had, to be able to reflect the majority opinion of the people of a particular group, to designate the policy and direction that is agreed by the majority of the people of that group. In that sense, it makes sense and is rational, but in that kind of democracy there is no center that is fixed to absolute values. Because God is not manifestly included, it is just a group formed around people's opinions. The world God desires cannot be created in that way. It all comes down to the questions "What is goodness?" "What is righteousness?" and "What is justice?" You cannot find those by listening only to the opinions of many people.

In 2003, when the first Family Party was launched, Father said, "Don't even think about getting into politics; just educate people." But according to Korean law you cannot maintain a political party just by educating people, so the Family Party for Peace and Unity will also be involved in elections this time. The party will field candidates. In April 2008, there will be general elections in Korea for the National Assembly; that will the first opportunity for the party to have a candidate.

Of course, there are many righteous and conscientious people out there, and the new Family Party will work with such people in creating a new type of politics. This is the nature of the time that has come. I know people generally regard politics as corrupt. However, the Family Party for Peace and Unity will confidently begin its activities.

Providential advancements begin from an individual and advance to the family, society, nation, world and the physical and spiritual realms combined. Those are the stages it has gone through. The central axis that ties all this together is the family. Everything is connected to the family. From this perspective, the Family Party for Peace and Unity is very important. 

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