The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, my dear friends:
It is a pleasure and a privilege to join with you once again here in the beautiful city of Philadelphia to celebrate a vision of everlasting peace.
It's been a busy week for the global peace festival. Last Saturday there was a large festival in Kortsa, Albania. I myself just returned from Malaysia, where on Sunday we held another wonderful interfaith celebration together thousands of students and leaders from all sectors of Malaysian society.
On Thursday we were in my home state of New York, and just yesterday we were in Chicago!
Among the many young leaders I met in Malaysia, I was particularly impressed by Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an outstanding young man who a year ago became Malaysia's first astronaut.
He spoke very movingly about his experience in space, and how he suddenly came to see the earth as it really is: the one small home where we all live, breathe and dream of peace. He said that he had made a pledge that when he came back to earth, he would invest his life for the cause of peace.
At the first US Global Peace Festival on the National Mall in Washington DC in August this year, I recalled the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified in his passionate speech, "I Have A Dream."
King yearned for the day when the children of all races would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Citing the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and entitled to inalienable rights endowed by their Creator, King said that the struggle for civil rights was not just a Black struggle for equality but a timeless ideal rooted in the American Dream.
Forty years after King's death, it is clear that the dream is still unfinished. When we consider the number of wars and conflicts that continue to plague humanity, it is clear that the world undeniably needs a new vision of peace for the 21st Century.
Unlike the secular thinking of our recent past, it should be a spiritual vision, rooted in universal values. We must be bold and break new ground in our search for peace and prosperity, if we are to really go beyond the failures of our past.
We only need to look back to the last century to recognize the futility of tackling the world's problems through the same old military, economic, political, diplomatic and scientific solutions.
Dealing with only the symptoms of global crisis and conflict and ignoring the root cause simply will not work.
America today stands at a crossroads. Throughout the world and at home, there is a growing anxiety in the air, stemming from one crisis after another. The global "war against terror" has fundamentally changed the way we, Americans, live.
We are in a constant state of uncertainty, compounded by an economic downturn, rising energy and food costs and the collapse of our financial institutions. Add to that the massive devastation from natural disasters in New Orleans, Florida and California and it seems all the power and might that America can muster will not keep us safe.
There are those who might be looking towards the presidential elections in next month to fix the problems of our nation and the world.
However, the solution to our national and global quandary cannot be solved by one man, party or administration. It is far too complex to be addressed in the same old political, economic, diplomatic or even military manner of the past. The solution to our problems can only come when we as a people and a nation are aligned with Almighty God.
I want to share with you a new vision for America. It is a vision rooted in our nation's founding principles, a vision that exalts the ideal of one NATION under God and then takes it one step further into a greater, more universal ideal, of One FAMILY under God. It is a dream for all Americans and all people of faith. And most of all, I firmly believe that it is God's vision for humanity.
Let us reflect, for a moment, on the birth of our nation in 1776, when thirteen rag-tag colonies announced their independence from the colonial yoke of Great Britain. It must have been a moment of great pain, anxiety and exhilaration, for those who signed the Declaration of Independence knew very well what their fate would be if they had failed.
The amazing thing about the Declaration is the deeply spiritual rhetoric and the clear reference to God, or the Creator, as the true source of human dignity and intrinsic rights.
I believe that same Declaration of Independence remains the most important document of our modern era. Although it was a secular document, it was leavened with spiritual undertones which evoked a prayerful yearning to establish a new land committed to principles upon which One Nation could be created under God.
Thus, it carried a profound spiritual authority and became the basis, I believe, of a new covenant with God. That covenant was rooted in the biblical promise first made to Israel in the book of Isaiah. True to that prophecy, America invited all of God's children to come and worship Him according to the dictates of their conscience.
Although predominantly a Christian nation, America was the first nation on earth committed to universal spiritual values. It was the first nation to champion religious freedom and human rights, regardless of denomination, faith, nationality, ethnicity, and race.
America became a pluralistic melting pot, representing how the world could live in harmony under a national vision rooted in the sovereignty of God.
Of course, there have been times when America has not fully lived up to its founding ideals. But at its best, America represents the hopes and aspirations of all God-affirming people around the world.
The power of this vision goes all the way back to the very beginning of human history. Just as we have big aspirations and hopes for our children, so too did God have great expectations for humanity.
God wanted His children to create a true family which could be the school of true love, true life and true lineage. It would have been God's family where He would dwell as the true parent of all mankind.
Yet, this dream was not realized. And therefore, God had waited patiently throughout human history, often in agony and lamentation, for someone to realize His unfilled dream.
2,000 years ago, a young carpenter's son, Jesus Christ, went beyond the traditions of his own people, referring to God as his Father and embracing all humanity as his brothers and sisters. Jesus taught a selfless, compassionate love, the need for individual spiritual responsibility, the promise of universal salvation, and the need to create the family of God.
Tragically Jesus' life was cut short and the new wine he was to bring was unfortunately poured into less-than-new wine skins. Yet, his legacy and message lived on through the foundation of world Christianity.
It wasn't until the modern era with the founding of the United States that the true, universal spirit of Christianity took root. Instead of espousing any one faith or denomination, Americans have enjoyed the freedom to follow the dictates of their conscience, with the hope of creating a nation united under the sovereignty of God.
My father, the Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, has devoted his entire life to the fulfillment of this mission. He uprooted his family and invested thirty four years of his life to awaken America to its providential calling. To my father, the dream of building One Family under God is not just the dream of one man, one woman or one family but the dream of all humanity and, most of all, the dream of God.
In 1976 my father spoke at the Washington Monument, declaring that the American Dream was not a dream for America alone, but for all the people of the world. I would like to share with you a prophetic statement he made that night over three decades ago:
The United States of America, transcending race and nationality, is already a model of the unified world.
She must realize that the abundant blessings which God has been pouring upon this land are not just for America, but are for the children of God throughout the world. Upon the foundation of world Christianity, America must exercise her responsibility as a world leader and the chosen nation of God."
I was seven years old and in the audience when my father delivered this prophetic message. I believe my life, as well as that of my family, has come full circle as we gather again to awaken this nation to fulfill its providential calling and lead the world to peace.
The message whose time has come for this age is One Family Under God. Why a family?
First, the family is universal. Regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion, we are all members of families.
Secondly, the family represents the most intimate of relationships. When we feel close to someone, we use familial terms, saying that person is like my father, my mother, my brother, my sister. In the family we learn to love humanity in all its richness and diversity.
Before we call ourselves Christian, Muslim, or Jew, before we see ourselves as black, white, or Asian, before we identify ourselves as Korean or American, we are first and foremost the eternal sons and daughters of God. We are all members of His eternal family.
This is the starting point to realize the dream of creating One Family under God, one family at a time.
Creating a culture of service is a necessary step for peace. I am pleased and proud to say that the Global Peace Festival has created a new spirit of volunteerism around the world.
In Paraguay, over 10,000 high school and college students spent weeks cleaning almost every park in the capital city of Asunción.
In Kenya more than 70,000 volunteers helped clean the polluted banks of the Nairobi River, an effort that moved the new Prime Minister Raila Odinga to come and speak at our Global Peace Festival there.
In Mongolia, volunteers from Service for Peace and a dozen other agencies have been working to make the city of Ulaanbaatar a place of beauty and harmony for all its residents, and supporting a new school for the poorest of children in the capital.
In Albania, 1500 students worked with the city of Kortza. on the One Student, One Tree citywide tree planting project.
At the Global Peace Festival in Washington, DC, we worked with President George H Bush's Points of Light Institute and the Capital District Boys and Girls Clubs. Together we held a food drive to feed the hungry in the nation's capitol.
Most recently, GPF in Malaysia launched the Power of Ten Cents program. Thousands of high school and college students have committed to donate just 10 cents a day towards the goal of ending poverty, and the number is growing all the time. Already, they have raised enough money to make a significant donation to a relief agency in neighboring Cambodia.
I know that many of you have made great service efforts here in Philadelphia as well. To all those who participated in the campaign for a million acts of service and kindness, I want to say a heartfelt thank you!
There is something deeply spiritual in serving others. It is not something we should do only for a day, a month or even a year. It has to become a way of life. When living for the sake of others becomes a habit, we come to see the true value God places on all human beings.
Building upon America's great tradition of volunteerism, I'd like to see our nation's faith-based and community partners joining with those of other countries to establish a Global Peace Corps that will be more than just an American effort.
Imagine if young people from enemy nations worked side by side in service. Any misunderstandings and hatred that existed would fade away as they sweat, cry and laugh together with a common purpose and cause.
Another goal of the Global Peace Festival is to celebrate the common universal values shared by all faiths.
We have discovered that relations between faith traditions are not about mere toleration of one another's prayers and rituals. A true interfaith experience is a celebration of the core principles that bind all God-affirming people together as one family.
When we remember our common origin and our common heritage, our eyes open to the obvious truth that all people, regardless of creed, race or culture, are indeed One Family under God.
America, as a nation of interfaith ideals, must now fulfill its destiny of leading the world toward peace. Working with the United Nations, I propose that the United States second the motion that my father made in the UN to establish an Inter-religious Council of faith leaders similar to the Security Council.
In addition, I believe the UN needs to recognize the centrality of God in the discussion on human rights. I propose the UN Charter be modified to include the idea that humanity is endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights similar to the US Declaration of Independence.
Without a spiritual root in our common heritage, fundamental human rights will continue to be abused.
We must revive America's founding vision and expand that dream onto a global stage through the universal vision of "One Family under God." It should be the clarion call of our age.
As my father said in a recent Peace Message, the time has come: to tear down the man-made walls of race, culture, religion and country, and establish the peaceful, ideal world of God's cherished desire.
The power of one human family united, can quell the turmoil of conflict throughout the world -- from the strife and poverty of Africa, to the conflict in the Middle East, and the final remnant of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula.
As Americans and global citizens let us make a solemn pledge to expand the American dream and lead the world to peace through the vision of One Family under God.
Then, as surely as light overcomes the darkness, an era of peace and prosperity will emerge from the depths of distrust and hatred both at home and in the far corners of our world.
Together, we can dare to dream the greatest dream of all! Let us own the dream to create -- One Family under God.
May God bless you and your family, and may God bless this great nation of America!
Thank you very much.