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Speeches

M. Balcomb: Address to World Summit 2014

Address to World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

During the last seven weeks, I have been traveling around America, one or more states every day, retracing Rev. Moon’s first footsteps when he arrived in America in 1965. Along the way, I was joined by over several thousand Unificationists eager to reflect on the starting years of our movement in the United States.

Even today, with GPS, Google Maps, a modern motor coach, WiFi and other modern communication tools, it was a demanding course. Back then, I realize, it must have required an almost superhuman effort.

Korea then was very poor, and Rev. Moon had but a few hundred supporters in his native country, and another few hundred in Japan. In the USA, there were just a small handful who even knew his name, but he came anyway following the calling of God.

Rev. Moon’s first encounter with Americans had been with US soldiers under UN command who freed him from a North Korean gulag during the Korean War in October 1950, just hours before his scheduled execution. He came down with tens of thousands of other refugees from the North and eked out a living for three years in Busan, separated from his family. The only work possible was hard labor at the American military bases, but he was grateful for that.

He wanted to give something back, and would have come to America in 1951 if he could. But no one knew his name. He was just another Korean refugee, one among hundreds of thousands hungry, homeless and displaced. No one had passports, resources to travel, or spoke English. It was another 14 years, before he was even able to cross the Pacific, one of the first Koreans to do so, landing in San Francisco on February 12th 1965.

Let me ask you to reflect a moment: What would you do, if you arrived in America fifty years ago, not speaking the language, with no money or resources, and just a few supporters whom you had never met? All the while being filled with the burning conviction that you had a mission, a calling from God of truly historical proportions?

On his arrival, he began a journey of discovery around America, to see that mighty nation for himself. Rather than just be a tourist, he wanted to create Holy Grounds, special places of prayer in every state. Though he was then almost alone, he envisioned a bright future in which thousands and tens of thousands would come to these holy grounds in his memory, praying there to ask Almighty God for His mercy and guidance.

1965 was a tough year in the middle of a tough decade for the USA, still reeling from the death of the young John F. Kennedy in late 1963, the escalation of the Vietnam War, and growing racial tension. Just a week before he arrived, the black activist Malcolm X was assassinated. In Alabama, he planted a holy ground on March 6, missing by exactly one day the infamous Bloody Sunday troubles and the chance to meet Dr. Martin Luther King on the battlefield of the civil rights movement. When he reached the half-way point in New York, he recalled standing on 5th Avenue in tears, looking at the great buildings of New York and realizing that America was in trouble, and that the blessing of God was leaving.

By the time he finished his 20,000 km tour in Eugene, Oregon, he had decided that he would have to begin his life’s work all over again, in the United States. He made good on that promise in the final days of 1971, when he was finally able to leave Korea. Father and Mother Moon then lived and worked and suffered and sacrificed in the USA for the next 40 years, in the name of God, in the name of peace.

A week ago, I stood on exact that same spot with three hundred members of our church having finished the same 20,000 km journey. I wanted to pray, to thank God, but I ended up bursting into uncontrollable tears. I considered anew not only all the work that Father Moon and Mother Moon had done, but just how much more still remains. I made a renewed personal commitment to God not to give up, but to carry the torch on his behalf.

I am coming to you today to invite you to join me and make or renew that same commitment.

From his first years in America, Father Moon always talked about how to solve what he called the “three headaches of God.” All the work he undertook, and every effort he made from that day until his passing and return to God two years ago was always focused on healing these three headaches.

The first headache is the breakdown of the family and resultant moral corruption of young people.

To address this issue, we note the work of the International Cross-Cultural Blessings, in which many of you have participated and all are invited; Educational programs for youth, and in particular women, wanting to tap the hearts and minds of the mothers of the world for peace.

The second headache of God is the human tendency to value things above people, wealth above relationships, power above justice. So he determined to fight against materialism and selfish individualism, and to work for a peaceful end to the cold war and the unification of his native Korea.

To address this, we note his work in the media, including The Washington Times and other newspapers around the world, the development of CAUSA and what he called “Headwing” thought, and of course the emergence of the Universal Peace Federation and the call for the renewal of the United Nations.

The third headache of God is problem of religious discord and conflict.

It is a miserable and lasting paradox that violence continues to be done in the name of God by those who profess faith but practice violence, who call for peace but only on terms favorable to themselves; who seek to exclude, judge and separate,’ causing enormous pain to the one parent of us all.

To address these issues, we note initiatives such as the Middle East Peace Initiative—needed now more than ever—the Religious Youth Service, the call for the establishment of an Interfaith Council at the United Nations, and even conferences like these that bring people of all different faiths and backgrounds together to work in harmony.

Yet today, despite the great accomplishments and efforts of Father and Mother Moon throughout their lives, those same three headaches still exist, and many more besides. Could it be that we, who count ourselves among their friends, colleagues and supporters, are missing something fundamental?

I believe that we may be missing the most important thing of all: the deeply spiritual nature of the mission and calling that Father and Mother Moon received from God. Perhaps we have not asked ourselves deeply enough what changes will first need to take place in ourselves if we are to honor and complete that work.

As you know, Father Moon used any opportunity he could to share his profound understanding of God, the grieving parent of all humanity. Sometimes he spoke almost to excess, his passion of God overruling lesser human conventions such as time and place! Even so, Father and Mother Moon have never demanded or required that people follow their religious teachings or ideals. They have only asked that we share and participate in their vision, determination and passion for world peace.

However, my pilgrimage of the past 7 weeks to every state in America have brought me to a new realization of what will be required of each of us if we are to bring that vision to successful conclusion. In short, I am convinced that we need a spiritual revolution, a complete and fundamental change in the way we live our lives. Without such a fundamental change within each person, all our efforts at peace will be in vain. In his Peace Messages delivered at the time of the founding of UPF, he put it this way:

Throughout history, peace movements inevitably reached their limits and ended in failure because they were organized by imperfect human beings. Without the power of God, peace is impossible.

And more pointedly:

Peace among nations can never come when those entrusted with the task have not resolved the conflict between their own mind and body, words and deeds.

As we say in the United States, these certainly are “fighting words.” Newly awakened to the truth of his bold assertion, I am appealing to all of you to join in bringing about a fundamental spiritual awakening, the revolution from selfishness to unselfishness, from a merely human existence to a divine life lived in the loving presence of the living God.

A good place to start is to look a little further into the teachings of Rev. Moon, even if you have studied them before. I myself have found that God was always ready to reveal new insights to me; but he was forced to wait until I was ready to receive. God told me recently that He had been waiting too long!

There are several ways to that you can do this: online, through our many websites in many of the world’s languages. You can join our regular seminars specifically for that purpose, or you can commit to reading from the new collections of teachings that Mother Moon has newly prepared.

You will find that these teachings build on the same three divine and universal guidelines for all human behavior laid down in the book of the Prophet Micah (6:8), hundreds of years before Christ:

  • Uphold justice
  • Love mercy
  • Walk humbly before God -- by whatever name we call Him.

Once again, I invite you to get to know Rev. and Mrs. Moon, the True Parents more deeply. I believe you will find, as I have, that process richly and endless rewarding.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.