Articles From the March 1994 Unification News


Mothers Speech at Harvard Divinity School

by Andrea Higashibaba

On Tuesday, March 8, the 100 American Campus Tour commenced with the proclamation of "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age" at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By invitation of the Harvard student members of the Unification Church, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, president of the Women's Federation for World Peace, International, and wife of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and Dr. Richard Rubenstein, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Religion, Florida University, spoke in the Andover Building Chapel.

Mrs. Moon gave the keynote address, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age." Dr. Rubenstein spoke on, "The Unification Church Myth: Cult or Church?" Over five hundred guests packed the chapel and an overflow room with close circuit television in a nearby cafeteria.

In addition to the speakers, Dr. James Baughman, president of the Unification Church of America, presided as the Master of Ceremonies, Rev. Kathleen Burton, Unification Campus Minister of Yale University opened the event with prayer, and Thomas Selover, Th.D. candidate of Comparative Religions at HDS, welcomed the speakers and the audience to Harvard, making it a very distinguished event. This, with two music selections by Sheila Vaughn, voice and Kevin Pickard, piano, and a video presentation, "Rev. Sun Myung Moon: A Glimpse into a Life," gave one of the most esteemed universities of the world a singular and first hand opportunity to hear the thought and vision behind the Unification Movement.

Established in 1636, Harvard Divinity School was the first institution of higher education in what was then known as the "New World," and as such, a fitting place for the inaugural speech of the tour of American campuses. Although a fitting and obvious location for this event, it was only by a miracle that everything came together at the last minute. Harvard, unfortunately, has generally shown great hostility towards the Unification Movement in the past, and it was with some concern that the student members of the Unification Church proceeded to reserve a space on campus.

Cambridge also headquarters at least two major "anti-cult" organizations, and "anti-cult experts" give frequent speeches on the Harvard campus. Until the use of the Divinity School Chapel was finalized, the first speech of the speaking tour was scheduled to be at another university in Boston, to be given, not by Mrs. Moon, but by one of her children.

However, like the biblical Exodus, exactly forty-three days after the start of a regional prayer vigil in New England, there was a breakthrough in our efforts to find a place for the speech, and the chapel was secured just five days before the event. Even up to the time of the program itself, three additional auditoriums were reserved and paid for in case something should happen to prevent the speech from taking place at the last minute. As it was, the only space that was canceled, on the afternoon of the day of the event, was the post- speech reception room, so that the reception had to take place in the cafeteria next door with the close circuit television.

Harvard Divinity School is tucked away in the corner of a maze of one- way, not-through and potholed streets of the Harvard campus, located off of the one-way, not-through, potholed streets of Harvard Square, which in turn is part of the one-way, not-through, pot-holed streets of Cambridge and Boston in general. On the day of the event , it poured rain all day. Despite the printing of a half-page ad in the Harvard newspaper, The Crimson, and the posting of bright pink and yellow fliers around the campus, it was difficult to know with the short notice, the hostile reputation of the Unification Church in the Harvard area, and the difficult access to the hall, how things might turn out.

One can imagine the joy to see the chapel fill and overflow out the door. Professors and students getting out of meetings and classes after the program had started came by, craning their necks to see over the many heads in the doorway, wanting to see who was speaking. Several went to the overflow room to watch on the close circuit television.

Dr. Rubenstein, in his address, spoke of his many experiences with Rev. and Mrs. Moon, including his first invitation to attend the International Conference on the Unity of Sciences in the early seventies. At the time he had been shown newspaper clippings of the allocations of wrong-doings by Rev. Moon and warned not to attend a conference associated with the Unification Church. Dr. Rubenstein's response to this was that he was an historian of religions, and, as such, preferred to learn about a religion from its source, rather than the media. On attending the conference and meeting Rev. Moon, Dr. Rubenstein found out that Rev. Moon was not the "raving anti- Communist" the media portrayed, but a man of great sophistication of thought and vision.

Dr. Rubenstein further testified not only to the depth of Rev. Moon's teaching, but its large international scope. Dr. Rubenstein shared that much credit can be given to Rev. and Mrs. Moon for bringing the study of religion out of its "Euro-centric" focus, to the scope of world religions, as well as to great insights into international affairs. Furthermore, Dr. Rubenstein shared that Mrs. Moon as the co- founder of the Unification Movement, testifies to the fact that the Unification Movement is among the few organizations that not only in principle but in practice gives equality to both men and women.

Dr. Rubenstein introduced Mrs. Moon as a great public figure of broad experience and diverse talents, from public appearances in forty-three nations, including presentations at the United Nations and on Capitol Hill, to sports fishing.

Mrs. Moon then presented the main speech, which she, and her husband and family, had delivered over 200 times in 1993. At the core of this message is the call for the realization of world peace based on true love and ideal families, hence, True Parents and the Completed Testament Age. This 100 campus tour will bring this message to university and college campuses, encouraging the world's future leadership to global vision and high moral standards.

The program ended with a flower presentation to Mrs. Moon from one of the Harvard students, and closing remarks by Dr. Baughman, who encouraged the audience to take up the challenge of the message of world peace. It is hard to know the continuing ramifications of such a history making event, but one thing was clear as the crowds filed out of the chapel: True love had penetrated the hallowed walls of Harvard.

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