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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

July 2018
S M T W T F S
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Speeches

The phenomenon which scholars have labeled a worldwide family trend toward the post-nuclear family is not inevitable. And the terrible suffering we and our children have experienced because of this weakening of the family is not inevitable.

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New religions give to families a sense of global, historical, and cosmic meaning, and in so doing, help strengthen the institution of the family in contemporary times. Most important, I think however, for the purpose of our discussion is that they are obviously rendering a service along with these other religious movements to the sustenance and the revival of the family in this very difficult time.

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Our subject is Dialogue among Civilizations. The compelling question is how to make that happen—how to do it. Rather than emphasize the role of the state, I will focus on citizens outside government and their capacity to make and build peace and build the social capital essential to economic development.

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A dialogue of civilizations is a process that requires centuries of distillation. But we cannot know unless we try. We will not try unless we imagine that dialogue is possible and that we have something to learn from the other. In order to start trying, we must engage in dialogue. That sort of dialogue can give us a better liberalism, a better world.

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One of the keys to rebuilding marriage in the West, and, I suspect elsewhere as the rest of the world develops, is to find new ways and revive old ways of publicly supporting, recognizing, and strengthening marriage as a social institution.

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Democratic character flows not from formal constitutions or Congressional acts, but from vital, character-shaping institutions in society, of which the family is the most foundational. According to Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon, “Governments must have an adequate supply of citizens who are skilled in the arts of self-government.” These arts consist of “deliberation, compromise, consensus-building, civility and reason-giving.”

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I propose that each nation, in addition to its current ambassador, send a religious ambassador to the United Nations to serve as a member of the religious assembly, or U.N. senate. The mission of the representatives to this U.N. senate would require that they have a genuinely ecumenical or interreligious consciousness and that they have the training and ability to teach a universal, transnational ideal of peace.

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The history of today is calling for peace, reconciliation, compassion, love, service and sacrifice. It is an age in which the present problems cannot be solved by the masculine logic of power. There is no longer any need for ideologies which oppress humanity. This is the age when the present problems must be solved by the more feminine logic of love.

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 As I approached the official residence, I found President Kim at the entrance, waiting to greet me. The two of us simultaneously embraced each other. I was an anticommunist and he was the leader of a communist party, but ideology and philosophies were not important in the context of our meeting. We were like brothers who were meeting for the first time after a long separation. This was the power of belonging to the same people and sharing the same blood.

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As far as I know, God is not sectarian. He is not obsessed with minor details of doctrine. We should quickly liberate ourselves from theological conflict, which results from blind attachment to doctrines and rituals, and instead focus on living communication with God.

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