Prime Minister, Barbados (1987-94)
ev. Sun Myung Moon is a great worker for peace in a troubled and tormented world. In this regard, the words of James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ to the twelve scribes scattered abroad, arouses inspiration:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (Jas 3:17-18)
Rev. Moon is a diverse, complex and multi-faceted personality. With other persons it is sometimes easy to compartmentalize their work. But his work for peace is a seamless coat intricately woven into an philosophy and total way of life that starts with the Creator God, continues with Adam, Eve, Satan, and the Fall, and finds reconciliation, restoration and fulfillment in God’s providential will through the birth, death and redemption of His Son.
It is a story of love, sin, disappointment, righteousness, mercy, sacrifice, peace and divine love. Through it all flows a healing peace for the individual and for the family, peace for youth and for adults, peace for churches and religions, peace for races, cultures, and civilizations, and peace for the nations and peoples of the world. Rev. Moon helped us perceive the unities, diversities and connections in life spiritual and temporal. The great English poet, John Milton, sings in Paradise Lost:
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat…
And no less than Milton, Rev. Moon seeks to
…assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
Paradise Lost, lines 25-26
What is this peace to which Rev. Moon has dedicated his life’s work? Peace has been defined as "a state of tranquility; absence of war; a pact to end a war; freedom from disorderly disturbances; freedom from fears or worries." And yet I think the word has much broader denotations and connotations than such a definition conveys. Peace certainly entails all that is meant by the Hebrew greeting word, shalom.
Indeed, if it were not ineffable, I would say that the word "peace" is one of the defining, essential, categorical imperatives of God Himself, implying perfection, completeness, totality, righteousness, absolute honesty, absolute truth, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love. Peace is certainly not merely the absence of war. Rather it is positive, engendering, enabling and ennobling; it emanates and disseminates all that is beneficial, benign, wholesome, nurturing and salubrious. It is that virtuous characteristic that God shows to mankind, and that true parents exhibit towards their offspring.
There can be no greater obligation, task or duty than that of committing oneself to a path of peace, and of being true parents seeking to guide humankind of all races, religions and nations into a path of peace according to the will of God. That is the path which has been chosen for Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
It has been a most remarkable experience for Rev. Moon. Called to the service of God, yoked to His will, and committed to toil for the salvation of mankind through peace and good works, since the tender and formative age of sixteen, Rev. Moon has encountered praise and persecution, success and failure, hope and disappointment, comprehension and misunderstanding. Through it all, he has persevered, growing in understanding, in principle, in faith, and in living for the sake of others. No one can say with any precision what respective weight nature and nurture bear in our development through the life span of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senescence.
Which one of those factors was more dominant in the growth of Rev. Moon? We just do not know. What we can venture to say is that both factors have played dominant parts at various times, one no doubt reinforcing the other. Both nature and nurture have combined to bring Rev. Moon to the height of his powers, intuitions and perceptions, and to be in our world one of the foremost exponents of peace as the salvation for all mankind.
The greatest challenge facing the world today is the need for mutually beneficial cooperation among the nations of the world. Within each nation-state of the world, national well-being depends upon mutually beneficial relationships, based upon internal law, order and government, among the individuals, groups, interests and institutions that constitute the nation-state. So too in the international community of nation-states, peace and harmony will only prevail if there is a fair, equitable and just economic and social order that treats all nations in a just and impartial manner.
There has always been cooperation among nations, but this brought overwhelming benefits to the rich and powerful, and overwhelming disadvantages to the poor and powerless. The end of the cold war era, and the emergence of a more multi-polar world have not meant an end to the unequal bases on which the desirable goods and services of this world have been distributed. Power, influence, riches, and might still permeate the corridors of international cooperation, and these imposing factors do not appear to be vanishing in the near future. The world is still divided into a developed, industrialized group, and an underdeveloped, non-industrialized group. This is above all a moral and ethical problem, which will only be resolved through a moral and ethical response.
Rev. Moon understood all of this perfectly well. As he pointedly says: "Whose children are we? We have all originated from the same Parent. He is the Father of all humanity, who is with us wherever we go, whatever direction we take, whether north, south, east or west. That is God, the Father of humanity. Discrimination is not allowable."
Whenever and wherever the resources of the world are distributed in such a way that some have too much and others have too little or none at all, that is discrimination. That is why Rev. Moon’s call for a stronger moral and ethical voice from among the religions to be more closely associated with the work of the United Nations should be given greater credence. For it is at the United Nations that the great dialogue among nations and people takes place, and it is there that the voices of love, peace, justice, equity, and non-discrimination must be heard echoing from the principles of a right relationship with God, a right relationship with true parents and families, and a right relationship among nations.
In his teachings and preaching, Rev. Moon has worked tirelessly, selflessly, and in diverse places to bring people together to explore the dilemmas facing our world, and to seek solutions through international cooperation. He has never been afraid to speak out on controversial issues of the day, whether it be on the reunification of North and South Korea, the end of apartheid, racism, poverty reduction, a sustainable environment, interreligious conflicts, religious and moral renewal, a more equitable distribution of wealth, the creation of new sources of wealth, the disparities among nations, divisions among social systems, renewal of the United Nations, or the continuing search for human perfectibility.
He and his wife have been models of true parents. He continues to be a relevant, consistent, pertinent and very substantial principled leader of and for our times.