The Mission of the Media in the Twenty-First Century
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Twelfth World Media Conference
August 22, 1992 Seoul, Korea
Respected Chairman MacArthur, honored guests, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media:
I would like to express my deep gratitude to each of you for coming to my homeland, the Republic of Korea, in order to attend the 12th World Media Conference. Held as a part of the World Culture and Sports Festival, this great event has been established in order that all the projects and accomplishments of my lifetime can be gathered together and offered up to God as one.
Scholars have come to attend the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, a gathering with a 19-year history. The Assembly of the World’s Religions is an ecumenical gathering of major religious leaders representing the world’s many expressions of faith. Statesmen, including former heads of state and government, are here to attend the Summit Council for World Peace.
Women leaders from around the world are here to attend a symposium of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, an organization headed by Mrs. Moon–and young people from many nations are holding an athletic meet, Sportsfest, in connection with the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles’ (CARP) Convention for World Students, being held to discuss the qualities required of those who would be leaders in the twenty-first century.
The building of world peace is the ultimate purpose of all I have tried to accomplish during my life. That is also why, last year, I founded the Federation for World Peace and the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace.
I have defined the center of world peace as being in the family, and have consistently called for “world peace through the ideal family.”
Three days from now, on August 25, the largest international wedding ceremony in history will be held as a concrete expression of my philosophy of peace. Good men and women from 130 countries, transcending their differences of nationality and race, are gathering together to be blessed in holy matrimony in the name of God’s true love. They are determined to build ideal families and become workers for world peace. This solemn ceremony, therefore, signifies their dedication, their commitment, to a peaceful world.
I cordially invite you to observe this ceremony as special guests because I think that as journalists, you will want to witness this unique event. Since I am granting you an “exclusive”, a front-row seat, in terms of coverage of this most historic event, you may be thinking I might expect something from you in return. All I request of you, however, is that you not look upon this as a spectacle, “the greatest show on earth,” but that you seriously examine it as the creation of a force for peace, and extend to these couples your sincere congratulations.
The time has come for the media and journalists to be incorporated into an understanding of the comprehensive vision of peace I am outlining here and to be become completely one with this vision, so that you can participate in fulfilling the ideal of world peace that is our common hope.
Last May, I traveled to Washington and spoke at a dinner commemorating the tenth anniversary of “The Washington Times”, which I founded. I was reminded that when I first announced the founding of “The Washington Times” in 1982, there were many people in America who ridiculed me. Some experts predicted, even if I founded a newspaper of acceptable quality, that I would run out of funds in six months. And if not that, then the paper would degenerate into nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Unification Church and would end up as a weekly newspaper, read by almost no one.
Now, ten years later, “The Washington Times” is counted among the top three papers in terms of influence among the 1,750 newspapers published in the United States. It is the first newspaper read by the president of the United States when he gets up in the morning. On August 13, President Bush gave an exclusive interview to Wesley Pruden, editor-in-chief of “The Washington Times”, the first such interview of the campaign season for President Bush with a daily newspaper.
Year after year, “The Times” is awarded for its excellence in editorial design. In 1989, in the American Newspaper Society’s annual design competition in the United States, it received Best of Show honors, the award of highest excellence awarded only by the unanimous vote of a jury of twelve judges. Furthermore, in the category of editorial writing, “The Washington Times” received their highest award for two consecutive years, something that had never before been achieved by any newspaper in the United States.
During these past ten years, I have invested one billion dollars in this newspaper. If I were pursuing political influence or personal wealth, or if I were trying to proselytize my religious beliefs, I would not have invested such a sum in a newspaper. Simply put, I founded “The Washington Times” in order to fulfill the Will of God.
I know that God loves America. America is a center of traditional Judaism and Christianity. It is the cradle of the spirit of modern Christianity. God’s desire is that America play a central role in rescuing the entire world and that America maintain its traditional values, which have fallen into confusion in recent years. During the Cold War, God placed America in a position to block the attempt by communism to gain world domination. In the context of God’s Will, it was most important that there be a newspaper that had the philosophical and ideological foundation needed to give encouragement to the people and political leaders of America. I certainly could not leave Washington, the capital of the United States, to be a victim of the leftist “Washington Post”.
So where are we now, after ten years? The bells heralding the collapse of communism rang out clearly on November 9, 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. And on Christmas Day, 1991, the communist empire founded on atheism vanished from the earth after having held the world in fear for seventy-four years.
I am not saying that “The Washington Times” accomplished all this by itself. These developments were the results of God’s providence. God, however, works His will on earth through human beings. I do not have the slightest doubt that “The Times” played a decisive role in bringing about the fall of communism. God used the newspaper as His tool to bring an end to the most pernicious worldwide dictatorship in history–and gave freedom to tens of millions of people. Even if i had spent ten billion dollars instead of one, I could not have made a more valuable investment.
The mission of “The Washington Times”, however, is not yet finished. The fall of communism does not automatically lead to the coming of world peace. Nor does it mean that the ideal society of God’s desire will establish itself without any further effort on our part. It is still too early for the free world to be toasting its victory, for the world is still faced with too many urgent problems that strike terror in the hearts of all humanity.
The societies of free countries today are exhibiting a phenomenon that is every bit as evil as communism. I am referring to the philosophy of materialistic humanism and to the extreme individualism and selfishness that are the offshoots of this philosophy. As a result of these, we find that money and material goods have become the “gods” of our culture.
I am not one to condemn humanism altogether, but the problem with the humanism we see today is that it is based on a thoroughly atheistic outlook. Once we deny the existence of God and the significance of the Creator’s creative act, then human beings are reduced to just a handful of dust. In such a perspective, human beings are considered no better than mere machines. This is precisely the fallacy contained in Marxist-Leninism. If we say there is no God and that human beings are no better than machines or animals, then there is no basis for morality. Without a belief in the spirit and eternal life, people become irresponsible toward other human beings and commit atrocities toward each other.
In this context, let’s look at the situation of the advanced free countries of the world, whom we would expect to be feeling a sense of victory over the course that has now been taken by communism. Extreme selfishness and individualism have given rise to hedonism. Corruption has pervaded all aspects of social life, and families are breaking up. The problem of political corruption is becoming worse and economies are declining.
The young people, whom we normally expect to become the future leaders, are losing touch with their consciences in a flood of immorality, drugs and crime, to such an extent that it is difficult for us to have hope in them as the leaders of the twenty-first century.
I have said in the past that the next century is to be an era of spiritual civilization. The era of material civilization is coming to an end. If we are to turn back the darkness that is closing in upon our world and begin to live again, then we must first fill the ideological void in the former Marxist-Leninist countries that has resulted from the fall of communism.
Furthermore, we must bring about a revival of spiritual culture that will rescue the free countries, which now seem to be heading for the day when they will either destroy themselves or else receive the judgment of God. Thus, we need to produce a new philosophy and ideology capable of bringing about a spiritual revolution in human society.
Ladies and gentlemen, during past Media Conferences I have made reference to the providential mission that I have been called to fulfill. I have been called to be the pioneer of a new age. That is to say, I am a pioneer of a new spiritual civilization for the twenty-first century. I have already declared to the world the ideology of the new age that God has revealed to me. That ideology is Godism, neither left-wing nor right-wing, but rather a philosophy that would more accurately be called “head-wing”.
As scientists delve deeper into their areas of study, they find themselves less and less able to deny the truth of God’s existence. I proclaim that truth, and also teach a view of life in which we attend God and experience his reality in our own daily lives.
God is not an abstract God. He is a God who is alive in each of our lives, and we can feel His touch. I am constantly hearing the beating of God’s pulse. I breathe as He breathes. I can feel the warmth of His body against my own. I have come to know the heart of God,and have shed rivers of tears from the knowledge that His heart is bursting with the sorrow of having lost humankind through the Fall. I also know clearly what God desires of His children now.
The most important fact is that the Almighty God is my father. He is your father as well. He is the father of all people. The heart of God, as He looks down upon humankind, is the heart of the parent. Even in human society, the love of the parent is the most passionate, the most ardent, the most unconditional.
The essence of God is true love. God’s desire is for all people to follow the example of His true love. He wants to practice true love and view the world through the love of a giving parent. We can achieve eternal life only through such a practice of selfless true love, a love that gives and then expects nothing in return. God invested himself 100 percent when He created the heavens and the earth and then created humankind. He has never expected anything from us in return for that. The same is true of human parents. Because of our love, we want our spouses and children to be something greater than ourselves. That is why we can invest everything of ourselves in them and never expect anything in return.
Until now, human history has been the history of the era of brothers. It is expected that brothers fight. The era of brothers has been an era of struggle and of war. Human history began with a fight among brothers, and ever since then, it has been a history of struggle. Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, the first human ancestors, fought with one another until finally the older brother killed the younger. This was the beginning of sinful human history.
Up through World War I, World War II and the ideologically-fought Third World War, history has been a succession of fights among brother nations. Today, now that we have come through World Wars I, II and III, human history is entering a new dimension. Now, the era of brothers has ended, and we have entered the era of parents. The era of parents is the era of true love. As God looks upon us and loves us with the heart of a parent, so should each of us look upon every other person and love all people with the heart of the parent. There may be tears in such a love, but never a fight to the death. The concept of struggle does not exist within the context of true love. My declaration of Godism is the philosophy of True-Parentism and the philosophy of True Love.
On Nov. 30, last year, I visited North Korea, a staunch communist country with which I had been an enemy. The world was shocked to hear that I, a person who has devoted his entire life to anti-communism and victory over communism, had entered North Korea. I received a warm welcome from President Kim Il Sung. We embraced each other heartily. He is a person who had always looked on me as an enemy. He had once imprisoned me for three years and later even attempted to kill me.
This was the enemy that I embraced. I could never have done this, however, if I had actually held even the slightest thought that he was my enemy. I went to North Korea with the heart of the parent, and it was with the heart of the parent that I embraced President Kim Il Sung. I went to North Korea in an act of true love. In true love, there is no concept of struggle, only the heart of compassion. In true love, there is only the heart of the parent that can give and give and then feel the desire to give even more.
I will state here today that the Godism and True-Parentism which I have declared, is the source of true peace that will lead the way in the twenty-first century. It is with Godism and the Headwing philosophy that we can build a world of harmony in the twenty-first century. The core of this philosophy is the heart of the parent and true love. The twenty-first century will be the era of True Parents. I will be the era when people will mature spiritually and “heartistically” to the point that everyone will become true parents.
I have always emphasized that we need a true press, a responsible mass communication media. I founded the World Media Conference as a way to foster press freedom in places where this freedom has not existed, and to work to bring about a responsible press in places where freedom already exists.
Recently, I have defined still another mission for the media. That is that the media needs to be moral. I have given “The Washington Times” a task for its next ten years that it must contributed to bringing about a moral society. In doing this, “The Times” will make its contribution to the world. Because a peaceful world is only possible based on the existence of ideal families, “The Times” must be a newspaper that cultivates family values.
The media wields such power and influence that it is often described as the Fourth Estate, after the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. This power of the media must be exercised for the purpose of good. Through the exercise of its influence, the media must contribute to bringing about greater understanding between cultures and nations.
You journalists are specialists in your field, but before that, you are all God’s children. You are all champions of peace, specially called by God to help bring a new ethical standard into the world.
The World Media Conference exists as a forum for free discussion by members of the media for the ultimate purpose of bringing about a principled media. In this time when the entire world and all of humanity is advancing toward the ultimate true world of peace, the media must understand that it is called by God to an important mission in helping to realize this world. The media must add its efforts to those of all others who are working for peace, and must exercise its tremendous influence for bringing about the ideal of a humanity united as one family. The media must march boldly forward, leading the way in realizing an ethical world.
I hope that through your discussions and studies over the next few days, you will have the opportunity to think more deeply than ever about the mission of the media.
In closing, let me say it is my constant prayer that God’s abundant blessings will be upon your work and your families.