Testimony of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon at the Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Religious Liberty
June 26, 1984
Honorable Chairman, distinguished members of the Senate, ladies and gentlemen:
I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for inviting me to speak at this Senate hearing on religious freedom. I want to also express my sincere gratitude, Mr. Chairman, for your support in favor of my appeal to the Supreme Court. Your noble deed to uphold the principle of constitutional rights of individuals will be long admired by millions of Americans.
Since the Supreme Court refused to review my case, there has been a very strong protest by many members of the religious community. More than a thousand clergymen — Jewish, Christian and Islamic — have pledged to commit one week of their lives in prison with me in the name of religious freedom. It moves me deeply. I salute these champions of religious freedom.
I feel this occasion is very historic. I am not just speaking to the United States Congress. I am speaking to history and before God.
God loves America. America’s greatness does not lie in her vast resources, nor in her tremendous prosperity. It lies in the very spirit upon which this nation was founded. That is the spirit of ONE NATION UNDER GOD with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. However, God’s will is not just one nation under God, but ONE WORLD UNDER GOD. We are all brothers and sisters — one human family. When we recognize God as our Father, this ideal can become a reality.
Without religious freedom, however, God cannot fulfill His ideal. The Pilgrim Fathers understood that if you do not have religious freedom, you have no freedom at all. They risked their very lives to secure freedom of worship.
Now, that freedom of worship is in danger. A dark spirit of atheism and religious intolerance is found in America today, and this time there is not another “New World” to receive us as refugees. We have no choice but to restore America as the land of religious freedom. If not, this nation will perish and the world will perish.
In 1971, God called me to come to America and lead a movement to revive the fervor of Christianity and restore the founding spirit of the nation. God has sent me to America in the role of a doctor, in the role of a fire fighter. He has sent me to bring about a dramatic spiritual awakening. The survival of the entire world depends on America fulfilling her responsibility. America is the last bastion of freedom. For the last 12 years I have given my heart and soul and every drop of sweat and tears for the sake of this nation.
In the process of fulfilling this mission, I have become controversial, and in some quarters, unpopular. And I have been persecuted. However, I am by no means the first religious leader to have experienced persecution.
Many of the major religious figures in the Judeo-Christian tradition have walked this path of suffering through persecution. Today, I am honored to follow the same tradition.
I believe that God’s hope is for freedom on the earth, and the greatest threat to freedom today is totalitarianism, particularly in the form of Communism, which systematically opposes freedom of religion. Communism has killed more than 150 million people. I myself suffered nearly to the point of death in a Communist prison camp. Communism is the worst inhumanity in the world today.
Freedom has been retreating for the past decade. In 1975, freedom retreated from Southeast Asia. Millions of people perished. Nation after nation in Africa and Latin America has been Communized. One-and-a-half billion people have fallen under Communist tyranny. Now Central America, the back yard of the United States, is the front line of battle. I know that the enemies of freedom will not stop until they achieve their final goal: the conquest of this very nation, the United States of America.
I supported Ronald Reagan for president because I hoped that he would do God’s will to stop the spread of Communism and truly bring this nation back to God and to her founding spirit. It is disappointing that under this man, who was elected with the tremendous support of the religious community, the state is encroaching more than ever on the affairs of the church. For the first time, ministers are being jailed. Truly, religious freedom is being dealt a devastating blow.
In the last 12 years, I have done everything I could for America. I have had just one goal in mind: to strengthen the moral fiber of America and enlarge her capacity to fulfill God’s will.
Through projects such as the International Religious Foundation, the New Ecumenical Research Association and the Conference on God, I have sought to bring theologians of all faiths together to better understand God and one another.
I have worked to bring God’s will into the academic world. The International Cultural Foundation sponsors annual conferences on science and absolute values, and brings scholars together in organizations such as the Professors World Peace Academy, Paragon House Publishers, and the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy.
In the area of cultural expression, I have endeavored to reinforce the theme of reverence toward God. In the movie INCHON, for example, I have tried to portray the historical importance of Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur, a great American devoted to God and humanity. It is vital for American young people to have such a hero figure.
Because religious ideals must be expressed in service to humanity, I initiated the International Relief Friendship Foundation and Project Volunteer.
To work toward the liberation of all people from totalitarian ideologies, I established the International Federation for Victory Over Communism, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, and CAUSA International.
To set a standard of responsibility in the communications media we founded the World Media Association and News World Communications, which publishes several newspapers. One of these, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, was created to present an alternative view to the nation’s capital. This project alone cost our movement over $100 million.
These projects have required a vast amount of financial resources, as well as the hard work and loving sacrifice of fellow church members. Several hundred million dollars have been poured into America, because this nation will decide the destiny of the entire world. These contributions are primarily coming from overseas. In my movement, the United States has been a recipient, not a source of funds. I have acted from the firm belief that if America is lost, everything is lost. There is no other country that God can turn to.
When you understand the scope of my work, can you really believe that I came to America to defraud the United States government of an estimated $25,000 in taxes?
From the very beginning this was not a tax case. It has been an invasion by the government into the internal affairs of religion. They chose the Unification Church because they thought that no one would come to our defense. However, this is where they miscalculated. The religious community of America knows that unless everyone is safe, no one is safe. When one is threatened, all are threatened.
When the government abuses its authority, the consequences are fearsome. It was the Roman state which crucified Jesus Christ. In this country, it was the state which burned “witches,” persecuted Roman Catholics, shunned Jews and prolonged black slavery. It was the state which allowed Joseph Smith founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be killed by a mob in prison. It is the state which is coming after me, and in the process, violating the religious freedom of everyone. We must stop this trend now. If we do not, then who is next?
In the providence of God, the case of Rev. Moon has become a rallying point for religious freedom in the United States. I STAND CONVICTED FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES. I AM TO BE PUNISHED FOR BEING WHO I AM. This has shocked and awakened the conscience of America. Many religious leaders and believers of all faiths have stood up in outrage. They are registering their protests. Most important of all, they are united. Their unity will insure the survival of America.
The greatest confrontation in the world today is not the United States versus the Soviet Union, capitalism versus socialism or even democracy versus Communism. IT IS FAITH IN GOD VERSUS THE DENIAL OF GOD.
The Communist world, based on atheism, has failed to fulfill the human dream. The free world, on the other hand, has become materialistic and forgotten God, and is helpless in the face of the grave world crisis. the world is dark with confusion. A new vision must emerge — a new world view centered on God. I am teaching that world view, based on God’s heart of love. I call it “Godism”. I proclaim that this ideal will provide a new solution to the world.
Godism can unite all religious people as well as all people of conscience. This world view will bring unity among enemies and enemy nations. This will bring true freedom of the human spirit. This ideal will usher in the realization of the Kingdom of God on earth.
This world view, a system of thought of high dimension, has led many people to personal experience with God. The effect has been so phenomenal, that in some quarters, it has been blamed as “brainwashing.” This is the reason that I have been misunderstood in some established circles and by the media. The Communists, who regard me as their archenemy, have exploited this misunderstanding in their attempt to destroy me.
In spite of difficulties, I am honored to dedicate myself today to the preservation of religious freedom in this country. If I can raise up a beacon warning Americans of the danger which lies ahead, then my sacrifice will serve a great purpose.
The issue today is the very survival of America and the free world. To assure this survival, I am willing to suffer any indignity, to go any distance, to do any labor, and to bear any cross. I am even willing to give my life, if that would ensure that the nation and world would survive and do God’s will.
Today, I carry no animosity toward anyone. Jesus Christ showed the tradition of forgiveness when he prayed on the cross for those who crucified him. I am upholding that tradition. I long ago forgave my accusers. I have no hostility toward the United States government.
Instead, I pray for this country. I thank God that He is using me as His instrument to lead the fight for religious freedom and to ignite the spiritual awakening of America in this most crucial hour of human history.
Mr. Chairman, once again, thank you for this opportunity. I would like to conclude by saying God Bless America.