“Political theology” investigates the ways in which theological concepts relate to politics, society and economics. In this article, I examine the ways in which the expression of the political theology of the Unification Movement has evolved since its early days, especially in the U.S.
From its beginning, Unificationism has had to deal with tensions between its vision of One World Under God and its commitment to ridding the world of threats to that vision, especially that of communism. This tension led to various alliances in the political world that have impacted the Unificationist community significantly and remain unresolved today.
Victory Over Communism
From the 1960s through early 1980s, the expression of Unification political theology in the public realm was largely focused on “Victory Over Communism.” The movement’s commitment to world unity transcending race and nationality was prominent in its spiritual and evangelical work, but took a back seat to VOC in terms of activism.
Divine Principle (DP) itself provides the rationale for giving priority to VOC:
“The Third World War is the final conflict in the providence of restoration. Through this war, God intends that the democratic world bring the communist world to submission and build the ideal world… [W]hether the Third World War is waged by force of arms or as an ideological conflict depends upon the responsibility of the people…serving the providence of God…. [I]t is inescapable that this worldwide conflict take place.”
Reflecting this imperative, Rev. Sun Myung Moon founded the International Federation for Victory Over Communism in 1969 as a major ideological offensive. IFVOC established coalitions with other anti-communist organizations throughout the world. In the U.S., members created the Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF) as the American affiliate of IFVOC. Thus, it created a “hawkish” face in terms of public image, despite its equally strong commitment to world peace, which remained somewhat hidden.
Until the Watergate period, Western Unificationists worked in coalition with both Democrats and Republicans who opposed the Soviet threat. Their attitude was that differences on domestic issues should be set aside to concentrate on the overarching need to defeat communism. After Watergate, however, the VOC movement aligned more directly with Republican causes. The tendency to align with the right was strengthened when Father Moon launched the CAUSA International movement in 1980. CAUSA developed into the American Leadership Conference, which featured sophisticated presentations of VOC ideology coupled with DP-inspired critiques of secular humanism.
A CAUSA-USA national leadership seminar in Washington, DC, in the mid-1980s.
In 1980, Rev. Moon also enthusiastically supported the Reagan presidential campaign. In 1982, in the midst of his federal trial, he launched The Washington Times as an alternative to the liberal voice of the Washington Post in the nation’s capital. In 1983, he founded the Professors World Peace Academy and instructed it to hold a seminar on “The Fall of the Soviet Empire” in 1985.
By the late 1980s, however, a shift away from the right could be discerned. The term Victory Over Communism was used only rarely, and by 1987 Rev. Moon coined the term “head-wing thought” to describe his own ideology, which he also referred to as “Godism.” He explained:
“Now is the era marking the end of left and right… Thus, unless we, with the God-centered way of the Parent and head-wing thought, discuss the realm of unity at a place that is free from the accusations of the left or the right… God’s kingdom cannot be established. Such is the time now.”
The VOC thrust had always been accompanied by globalist projects such as the One World Crusade and various scientific, ecumenical and peace initiatives. The first of these was the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS), begun in 1972 in New York and held annually throughout the 1970s into the 1980s.
In terms of religion, a basis for a serious ecumenical effort was established by the founding of Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) in 1975. On that foundation, the New Ecumenical Research Association (New ERA) was initiated in 1977, as was the National Council on the Church and Social Action. The Assembly of the World’s Religions hosted several impressive international gatherings of religious leaders and academics.
The Assembly of the World Religions in 1992 in Seoul.
As the Soviet empire began to crumble, Rev. Moon reached out to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and conducted the concurrent World Media Association and Summit Council for World Peace conferences in Moscow in 1990. This was followed by Rev. and Mrs. Moon’s trip to North Korea in 1991, where he famously embraced his former persecutor, Kim Il Sung.
After his meetings with Gorbachev and Kim Il Sung, Father began to launch various “federations for world peace.” By the late 1990s, there were more than a dozen such federations. Among the more notable were the Federation for World Peace, the Women’s FWP, the Youth FWP, the Martial Arts FWP, the Island and Peninsular Nations FWP, and the Mongolian Peoples’ FWP. Many of the peace federations coalesced under the Inter-Religious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) in 1999. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), launched in 1996, however did not come under the IIFWP umbrella.
Tension Between Tendencies
The emphasis on peace initiatives in the post-Soviet era, however, did not do away with Rev. Moon’s alliances on the right. Instead there emerged two increasingly distinct tendencies: one focused on world peace as described above, the other on combatting the remnants of Marxist ideology and promoting traditional family values.
In the United States, the flagship of the latter tendency was the Washington Times, initially under the leadership of Dr. Bo Hi Pak. Dr. Pak also headed the American Leadership Conference and the American Freedom Coalition (AFC), a grass roots political education movement with chapters in all 50 states.
In New York, on the other hand, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak led the various peace federations. The tension between the two tendencies resulted in members openly speaking of an ideological split between New York (globalist and UN-focused) and Washington (promoting American exceptionalism and countering moral relativism). This tension was sometimes reflected in seemingly contradictory policies enunciated by Father Moon himself.
For example, in an effort to avoid what he called a “holy war” in the Middle East, he advised President George H.W. Bush against military action in Iraq in 1991. But on the other hand, he urged the Grand Mufti of Syria to use his influence to get Syria to join the U.S. military coalition against Saddam Hussein, and he approved a major effort by the American Freedom Coalition in support of the American war effort.
Reverend and Mrs. Moon meeting Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in Moscow.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, partly due to movement-wide budgetary cutbacks, AFC was disbanded, and most of the peace federations coalesced under IIFWP (later renamed the Universal Peace Federation), many being completely absorbed by it.
The advent of Hyun Jin (Preston) Moon as heir apparent in the mid-2000s seemed to mark the end of the VOC tendency of the UM, or at least to signal that the peace tendency had gained a strong upper hand. The son-in-law of Rev. Kwak, Hyun Jin Moon’s main focus, outside of various business concerns owned by the Unification Church International (UCI), was to develop the Universal Peace Federation and its Global Peace Festivals.
Meanwhile, the lack of a clear enemy, such as communism, allowed underlying differences of opinion on domestic issues to come to the fore. After 9/11, some Unificationists began speaking of the end of American exceptionalism. Coalitions with African-American ministers and Black Muslim leaders resulted in some members, who had backed Republican candidates in the past, turning toward the Democrats.
The right-wing tendency experienced an unexpected resurgence with the ascendency of Hyung Jin (Sean) Moon and his brother, Kook Jin (Justin) Moon. With Hyung Jin’s support, Kook Jin began to promote in the U.S. the “Freedom Society,” an adamantly libertarian ideology opposed to left-liberalism. Among its proposals were:
- Government spending should account for less than 10% of GDP.
- Government should not be involved in retirement plans or healthcare.
- Education should be entirely privatized.
- The gay marriage issue should be resolved by ending government involvement in marriage altogether.
- Virtually all restrictions on gun ownership should be removed.
In Asia, Kook Jin also undertook an educational offensive known as “Strong Korea,” in which he urged both South Korea and Japan to strengthen militarily to be capable of defending themselves without the help of the U.S. These initiatives were given official support by Hyung Jin when he was International President of the FFWPU/UC.
Preston, meanwhile, split entirely from the FFWPU/UC and UPF. He began running his Global Peace rallies and conferences independently, under the new Global Peace Foundation, using funds from UCI, which he continued to control. Preston liquidated several properties owned by the Washington Times. He then sold the Washington Times corporation together with its remaining headquarters building to the church, thus divesting himself completely of the movement’s conservative flagship.
The 1985 PWPA international congress on “The Fall of the Soviet Empire” in Geneva, Switzerland.
Unification Political Theology Today
Since Rev. Moon’s ascension in 2012 and the emergence of schisms centering on Preston and Sean, the underlying tensions in Unification political theology have come into sharper focus. The mainstream movement led by Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon (True Mother) emphasizes the peace orientation but also continues to support the conservative voice of the Washington Times.
Mother Moon has emphasized North-South unification in Korea, which she hopes can be realized by 2020. She has also expressed great concern about global warming and other environmental issues, and hinted at disapproval of the “America First” ideology of President Trump. She has devoted considerable attention to women’s issues such as education of girls in Islamic countries and human trafficking.
Hyung Jin and Kook Jin, on the other hand, in their Sanctuary Church faction, espouse a strongly right-wing libertarian viewpoint. They have also embraced conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Illuminati, world banking cabals, and the doomsday prophecies of a Messianic rabbi. In 2016, Hyung Jin and Kook Jin became enthusiastic supporters of the candidacy of Donald Trump. Lately, however, Sean has begun to worry publicly that Trump has given in to pressure from the “globalists” who he alleges want to surrender American sovereignty to international organizations and the so-called worldwide banking conspiracy.
Preston, meanwhile, has continued to promote the Global Peace message. While his catchphrase of “One Family Under God” may lack specifics, it provides a sharp contrast to Sean’s embrace of Trump’s “America First” policy.
The Unification Movement’s expression of its political theology initially focused on achieving Victory Over Communism but simultaneously developed various programs aimed at the longer term goals of ecumenism, peace and one world. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the latter tendency came to the fore, but also resulted in a certain bifurcation. The right-wing tendency experienced a brief resurgence during the period of Sean’s ascendency.
Today, the overall movement has become less overtly political than it was during its heyday, with the exception of the Sanctuary Church faction, which is strongly right-wing libertarian in orientation. The Family Federation and the Global Peace movement (Preston’s group) remain on the “head-wing” path, but political opinions of individual members have become increasingly diverse. This can be interpreted either as a sign of the movement’s maturation or of its loss of cohesion.
In any case, with anti-communism no longer a central feature, and Rev. Moon no longer on the scene, the future of Unification political theology will remain in flux for the foreseeable future.♦
This article is an abridged version of a paper prepared for publication based on the author’s presentation at an international conference on “The Life and Legacy of Sun Myung Moon and Unification Movements in Scholarly Perspective” in Antwerp, Belgium, May 29-30, 2017.
Dan Fefferman (UTS Class of 1986) is a member of the UTS Board of Trustees and President of the International Coalition for Religious Freedom. He is also the composer of several well-known Unificationist holy songs.
Photo at top: Rev. Moon signs the first prototype edition of The Washington Times in March 1982; it began publication in May 1982.
 The term “Victory Over Communism” was associated with extreme right-wing causes in the U.S.; thus the founders of FLF chose a less militant-sounding name.
 These difficulties were exacerbated by media reports of “Moonies” being brainwashed by Rev. Moon and other public relations problems.
 In his autobiography, Rev. Moon stated, “I implored President George H.W. Bush through direct correspondence to avoid war in the Arab world, and instead work to realize Saddam Hussein’s retreat through diplomatic means.” (p. 238)
 For example, Mrs. Moon presented the Sunhak Peace Prize this year to Sakena Yacoobi for her work supporting the education of girls in Afghanistan.
An interesting and concise treatise, thank you.
However, it seems to omit the most salient of Unificationism’s political realities: that of Cheon Il Guk (aka, “God’s Eternal Nation, etc.”). And included within that, one must acknowledge the essential component, if not the very core of it, as the unification of the homeland, Korea. In other words, and not to mince words here: the so-called “American” political theology (thrust or whatever) has been, is and always will be about working towards that essentially spiritual, yet extremely substantial (and ultimate/important) goal.
Father’s concept of a political focus neither on the Left nor the Right, but on Heavenly Parent, i.e., a Headwing Party, makes a lot of sense. But when is the Unification Movement going to actually create such a political party, one that espouses its values, teachings and worldview?
What a great way to share them with the world. Dan’s article gives a decent, albeit brief, summary of where the different sects within the UM are at on political theology, but I daresay there will never be a “legacy” of Unification political theology, lasting or otherwise, until the UM finally establishes a real Headwing Party that helps change the world. Until then, everything is just words, and in Dan’s case, a nice peek into what the different UM sects are up to.
P.S. It’s hard to see Trump as a globalist if he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords, NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Thank you for a summary of past involvement with the interfacing of religion/values and the political realm, Dan.
There are some significant omissions from your analyses. A number of members have become involved with more conservative family values and freedom issues in the last five to ten years or so. These issues involve protecting the traditional view of marriage, parental rights, Judeo-Christian tradition in America, advocating limited government rather than government overreach and intrusion on the rights of individuals, family and states as protected by our Constitution, and a strong foreign policy that will deal with the horrific evils of ISIS and terrorism.
As an extension of the CAUSA tradition, some of us know that our founder wanted more civic engagement and community action to transform culture and public policy. He even advocated that members run for public office in both the early days and in his last years as well. He asked CARP, seminary grads and faculty to go out to other universities to promote the main issues of CAUSA/AFC: Family values, moral decline in youth and society, and freedom, especially religious freedom.
The views of Sanctuary Church and its right-leaning politics do not accurately represent what many patriotic and conscientious members are working for at this time. There is a formation of citizens action networking among members that represent more conservative values, whether Republican, Independent or conservative Democrat aligned. We are seeing the suppression of free speech in America, freedom of assembly, and an onslaught against Judeo-Christian values. Our founder called upon the three lead religions in America to advance the providence: Christianity, Judaism and Unificationism.
Also, we do need some of the resources from anti-communist approaches, since the issue now is totalitarian tendencies in regimes that threaten our freedoms and a peaceful society. These regimes or political approaches also have suppressed religious values.
Thanks, Donna. I agree with you, both that the article omits a lot (necessarily, I would say, due to space limitations), and that “we do need some of the resources from anti-communist approaches, since the issue now is totalitarian tendencies in regimes that threaten our freedoms and a peaceful society.” We certainly need to solve “God’s second headache” (breakdown of family values) even if the “first headache” (Soviet communism) is solved. Not to mention the problem of militant Islam and the residual “first-headache” problem of North Korea.
On that much, I suppose there is still consensus, but I’m finding great diversity in our movement these days on issues like U.S. military policy toward the threat of ISIS-Al Qaeda, “heavenly socialism” vs. free market economics, how we should deal with Civil War monuments, immigration, the “Wall,” and even questions like gay marriage or transgender policy in the U.S. military. While on one level I find the breakdown of consensus disturbing, I also believe that in the long run, the UM needs to embrace diverse political views if it is ever to become a major world religion (or spiritual movement if you prefer).
The divergent and contradictory theological-political views among members of the UM are directly related to ontological issues driven by theological schism, disagreement and competing political agendas.
The legacy of Unification political theology is still evolving under the leadership of Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon. UC theological concepts include the dual characteristics of the divine image, three object purpose/four position foundation thesis, the three great kingships, and four great realms of heart. The connected concepts of heavenly law — purity before marriage, no misuse of public funds and no violation of human rights (heart of filial piety) form the purpose — value basis of a social thesis of absolute constitutional values, interdependence, separation of powers, and mutual economic prosperity. Unity, Justice, Tranquility…to secure the blessing for ourselves and posterity.
Anyone who wishes to investigate the ways in which Unification Church theological concepts relate to politics, society and economics would first be directed to a study of the Principles of Creation, the Principles of Restoration through indemnity, and the FFWPU Family Pledge.
Robert, I don’t deny there is a connection between UM political theology and ontological issues, but I see the evolution of political theology more in terms of praxis. There is an inherent tension between the VOC approach and the One World Approach, and now that VOC is basically over, the question is how that tension is resolved and gets worked out in practice through our alliances and coalitions as well as through theology per se.
It’s interesting enough as history but theology and politics are not essentially compatible, particularly in the light of the Principle. VOC was hardly political in the sense it dealt with ideology and philosophy rather than politics. This was the same with the highly successful CAUSA program which delved into the roots of Marxism and the philosophies which underwrote it, economic theory, and then posited a generic spiritual tradition as a counterpoint — but none of it being specifically political.
What Father does say is Democracy was founded by God and tied to the Christian Era. I cite from The Way of Unification here: “Where is the initiator of democracy? When we look at the democratic world, we see the hand of God. Democracy is a worldwide structure which was molded from the Christian culture. Christianity was started by God. Christianity, which has centered on goodness, flourished. However, now, in the Last Days, democracy has not been producing good fruit. Then, is the lack of good fruit God’s fault, or does the lack of good fruit result from Christianity’s lack of responsibility to set the right direction? It’s not Gods fault. We can reason that if Christianity, which is representing all people, didn’t fulfill its responsibility, then a bad result would follow.”
But then it says again, “Where is the world going from now on? Communism is wrong, and so is democracy.” Hence the current failures in political systems are tied to a failure to move to the Completed Testament age which he also speaks of.
The Principle is a systems theory, not a political theory. Some of this is touched on basically in the first chapter of DP and in Ontology of UT which reveals systems theory predicated to Creation. One can argue the future belongs to full individuated people whose heuristic and ethical stance to life means that politics and the offices of management and control are no longer fully necessary. Indeed it is Father first who says the future will be defined by minimum controls as an ethical community will not need such external and limiting functions. The Freedom Society sounds quite like this but with Father there is a clear hierarchical function naturally present which flows from God, if restoration is well on the way.
Such systems thinking tied to the Principle can be equated to Logos, archetype as it is extracted from this theory and of late, holons which comes up in various contemporary thought. I think Gordon Anderson is well-acquainted with holons and systems thinking so he would be a more favored reference in my opinion. However the actual dynamics of systems thinking, universe, family, social, economic, and so on might be something forming out of the chaos of today but we have no clear notion or model yet and won’t have if we are embarked down the wrong road which diverts us from these central points already written of in the Principle and indeed in nature.
Some of the better social systems thinking, i.e., Niklas Luhmann and some South American thinkers, already explore biological systems seeking models which can be applied to society in an advantageous way, whereas Habermas comes across as a humanist with communist markings. However I would say the future is not politics as commonly understood but Principle systems and the hierarchical world including the heirarchical brain and mind of the self, as both Father and nature reveal to us. After all, it was again Father who compared current democracy to a “feud between two brothers” and not much more, so it’s time for change.
As you said, applying the Principle and the analysis of the two “feuding brothers” is important.
Just a note to say that those of us who were CAUSA city Leaders were instructed by our founder to outreach and influence the legislators/legislation of our states (435+) as a second stage beyond just the ministerial outreach. In CAUSA, AFC and Home Church, some of us became involved, and are still involved, with community/town, state and national leadership.
Civic polity and policy will always need leadership that is advocated and supported. Instead of speculating on the distant, utopian future, we need to deal with reality today. Whether it be a more unified, headwing collaboration between people or otherwise, we will need civic engagement and supporting leadership, as well as creating systems which deal with values and praxis together. In comes the role of Unification Thought, which we need to keep developing. But, I distrust the tendency to theorize and over-conceptualize with too much abstraction that does not apply to real actions and real people acting in relationship with others in the here and now, rather than just academic talk.
I taught the CAUSA worldview in Florida even to the point of beginning to teach the state governor, such was the positive responses we had. The idea that Principle and Father are a distant utopian fantasy is perhaps central to the problem we see today and the usual distraction in refusing to engage in the Principle. The term utopian, as we know, is the humanist venture in aping the Principle. You will find Gnostic Utopianism at the root of Communism, Nazis and other totalitarian pathological groups, so the term is not applicable to what what I am talking about. In Democracy I suppose there is not much more than feuding brothers and a theory no longer relevant to the zeitgeist of our age; and in Communism, murdering brothers leaves even less of a choice be it named Communism, Cultural Marxism or Eurasianism.
If we say Principle is a systems theory and social theories are extracted from that and nature as the German Idealists defined (more DP there), we have admirable examples, which have already emerged as social theories dedicated to communication for one thing; but within any system there are the purpose for the whole and the purpose for the individual and concern consciousness whereby all are treated with profound concern. In some small enterprises it’s already in practice.
Moreover in such models, obviously the original self and mind are ultimately important as an ethical self is key and ground to all social adventures. Original self is also not a utopian dream — it is a practical transpersonal psychology and transpersonal reality concerning human development forming first within the family triad. This has already been exceptionally well-defined including neuroscientific support. I’d be happy to give a presentation on that so that one can see clearly so-called conceptual theories have already been put on the ground and education towards that is on the way. There has been a directive early this year for the Unification Thought Institute to be more practical and helpful for people rather than being philosophically remote, so this has been forming before mentioned and is happening in the here and now.
The problem with holding on to “civic polity” or indeed American Republicanism or any of its attachments is that it most of it is already passing into the old layers of consciousness, cannot support the more complex and advanced dynamics already in the world, and where its redundancies are increasingly evident. What I do not trust are those who continually offer all that is not of the Principle, or of the Founder’s thinking, or even when the intricacies and pragmatic applications of such are not even considered let alone put in to practice. In the interim, here and now strategies matter and we all know that, having come from years of here and now activities and projects including CAUSA.
But what disturbs me greatly these days is the refusal to engage passionately in the founding principles and dreams of the original movement. The old may hold to old dynamics and be somewhat necessary in the interim but if the new is not even considered, which road is being walked now?
I would love to hear one of your presentations. Your writing is heartfelt, fluent, knowledgeable and interesting.
Yes, I agree with you and want to “engage…in the founding principles and dreams of the original movement.” Also, let’s not “throw out the baby with the bath water.” We have a lot to learn from the relationship of religion to society in the early evolving American heritage as well as the new thinking emerging through relating disciplines with UT/DP as you mention. People like us — and others — have also come through extensive experiences in life, in outreach and even living in other cultures with other governments. Can you send me some of your work?
Peter Drucker’s book, Post-Capitalist Society, explains that we no longer can find the old terms of Marxism as useful; instead, he says that “knowledge managers” and “knowledge service workers” apply in this “information age” where knowledge, not labor, is a more central axis. So far in my reading half of the text, he seems not to advance a real values discussion or theism that would address his issues more in-depth.
The organization might approach logos and systems theories but I’ll have to look at this a little more. Let me get in touch through your email link.
Thanks for this essay. It touches on several important points and both Donna and Derek make a few good point as well.
Because “politics is downstream of culture” we understand that politics is reactionary rather than “causal.” Culture is predicated on beliefs and behavior and our identities are determined by what we value, what we treasure, what we love — individually and collectively. As Unificationists we understand that “the right to choose” is essential to love and accomplishing our portion of responsibility. Therefore, it’s important to identify and support politicians and/or political parties that hold freedom as being sacrosanct and who are serious advocates for choice.
In my view, in our current political climate, the penchant of Liberals (and the Democratic Party) to enlarge the scope of government and to act as social engineers is anathema to the idea of choice and liberty. The egalitarian drive for total, complete fairness (a significant precept of liberal orthodoxy) comes at a cost; namely the amount of freedom we are afforded. In the American version of democracy politicians are supposed to be “public servants” as opposed to social engineers. The original concept of social justice as purported by Luigi Taparelli, F.A. Hayek, and Herbert Croly, for example, was to keep government out of certain social entities (families, churches, etc.) so that freedom would not be encumbered or compromised.
Politics is a necessary aspect of any society, but as we assess the best mode of governing we need to be aware of those (individuals and political parties) who would diminish freedom, pluralism and representative government.
I enjoy David’s comments and share much with him in terms of aesthetics. The rights of the individual are of course sacrosanct and confirmed by the statement that we are to be understood as individual truth bodies. That being said, at the age of maturation it is the I-Thou relationship which might be forged in freedom. The philosopher Buber opined that the autonomous self is not isolated rather fundamentally correlated to a meaningful relationship with God and to the notion of processes which take us to relevancy in the commanding community. Eugene Borowitz extrapolates such notions from Buber’s texts and I daresay Principle is much of the same. Perhaps in this we find a purposful teleology which lies well beyond common secular notions.
Democracy is part of the historical journey running from the Demos of Cleithenes, to the Viking “Thing” in Iceland, then on to Republican Florence, Britain and so to America. The founder, Father, states democracy was founded by God in the Christian Era. The Demos was established before that but the Greeks in our ground are embraced by providential history, so of the Principle, America is a part of it but not nearly the whole. Even Hesiod at the dawn of the rational age offered us out of chaos, the wide-wayed earth. Beyond that is an even more vast cosmos but currently the problems in the parochial American Republican world fall well short of any ideal. Indeed secularism and plutocratic pursuits are well-evidenced. Where will it go now? And how shall we embrace the geopolitical shifts already underway? It is interesting to read of various commentaries on American democracy but lest we forget: “The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is a society whose structure is formed in the image of a perfect person.” – Section 7, Ch. 4 EDP.
Thus far we can then say, both self as Logos or as a Christ-like archetype, emerges from the Imago Dei giving us beyond that the social aggregate of family, social and other systems. This is not often if ever discussed by the popular press, academia, or individualistic and subjective opinionists. Self of course is written up again in the Theory of the Original Self so rather than speculatively range through populist authors or even theoreticians of American Republicanism, where some might hit the mark and some might not, would it not be best to come to terms with what the Principle and what Father mean by what is posited universally by Logos, the Imago Dei, and the Original Self ? We are, after all is said and done, living in the post-Judeo-Christian age and it seems to me something more needs to be considered.
Derek, I’m not sure what you mean exactly by “democracy” in your posts above. But I do not agree with the idea that democracy is “wrong” as such. Divine Principle states, “With the establishment of constitutional democracy, the framework for the ideal political system was set up” [EDP 22.214.171.124]. This implies that the problem is not in the system of constitutional democracy, but in the people who run it. The solution in that case is to educate or “restore” people, not to create a different system of government.
There are a few flavors of democracy and it does have a long history, though I daresay we the American system is our subject for convenience; although the electoral college seems to imply a protectionist device by people who were more concerned with plutocracy rather than democracy. Nevertheless, DP supports democracy as we all know but if one looks at Father’s speeches and from one citation I posted alone, it’s clear democracy is predicated to the Christian era and a temporary expediency. The Completed Testament calls for something else. It’s not democracy and that is stated clearly, too, in a number of areas. Democracy lies in the course of restoration and holds to limitations.
Then, from The Way of Unification, it becomes quite clear: “Democracy was set up as an alternative because no solid central point could be established. But there is a limit to democracy. Can God be chosen in a democratic way? Can the Messiah be elected democratically? Can you choose your mother or father? Democracy cannot address these fundamental relationships. It can only deal with relative circumstances. What we are ultimately hoping for is not that type of world. Is there democracy in front of God? Do you think democracy is eternal? Answer me! Is there democracy in front of God? If there is democracy in front of an absolute figure, then we don’t need an “absolute” one. Heaven is not a democratic world. Democracy is useful when there is no true center. Where there is already a true center, do you still want to have an election?”
What becomes quite obvious to my way of thinking is democracy, particularly now with all its corruption, argumentation and moral chaos, is not compatible with the ethical standards suggested by a Messiah nor God. The older term Monism comes to mind, which is hierarchical in the sense that everything comes from God and that would be first principle in the age of the Completed Testament. Moreover, Father was the first to talk about future government being open without any controlling institutions as an ethical system established by a loving and ethical God implies ethical and loving selves would populate that kingdom, so laws, etc., would be unnecessary. That means establishing individuals who move to becoming original or true selves — so that would be a primary task at hand.
Obviously, in the interim, without law, there is only chaos and anarchy but it seems to me a discussion has to be established to consider what the Kingdom of God might be, what a true self might be, rather than pushing ideas which are already redundant in the age we are moving in to. Heaven is not a democratic world, as he says.
The fall of Western civilization and other political, theological (even political/theological), aesthetical, ethical, and schismatic concerns aside here, it still seems to me, at least, that at the root of this exciting (for those who were/are there), possibly revolutionary, definitely evolutionary/ongoing, legacy (American/global/cosmic) lies not only the messianic/providential concern, but that of the [True] Patriot, firmly, unabashedly, ever Korean:
“If we acknowledge the movement of civilization in cultural history and recognize its relationship with climate as well as realizing the course through which culture develops, then without doubt Korea will become the site of the creation of a new civilization in world history. That is why the extreme points of Communism and democracy are confronting each other on the Korean peninsula. Because the temperate-zone civilization of the democratic world and the frigid-zone civilization of the Communist world are directly confronting each other on the Korean peninsula, the most important task for our Republic of Korea is how we will be able to subjugate and be victorious over the Communist civilization.
“Because Korea is the chosen place according to the heavenly providence for the 20th century, powerful nations such as the United States have been unable to ignore Korea. Furthermore, the powerful nations of the world have also wanted to grab hold of Korea for a similar reason.”
– “Think about it! Korea is truly marvelous.”
– Way of Unification (Part 1); Korea and the Cycle of Human Civilization
“Divisiveness and conflict are fruits of fallen nature. Therefore the world of art demonstrates universal characteristics in all directions, bringing the East to understand the West and the West to accept the East.” (Cheon Seong Gyong, Book 10/316-070, 2000.02.09)
Well, if Korea is going to be truly “marvelous” it would seem (according to the quote above) that there needs to be to some serious art in the equation in order to bring about the harmony of East and West. The conjoining of opposites is always the essential trial in our pursuit of “the ideal.” Democracy allows for those opposites to interact in ways that might otherwise be restricted in less democratic modalities.
But there is something of a conundrum in democracy.
To the extent that tolerance can empower people who are themselves intolerant, greater tolerance in theory can result in less tolerance in practice. So which is worse: the selective repression of people who’d rather not repress at all, or the broad repression of people who are positively eager to repress? To the extent that democracy can empower undemocratic people and ideas, greater democracy in theory can result in less democracy in practice. Which is worse: an imperfect democracy that denies meaningful participation to enemies of the system as a whole (versus a “loyal opposition” that only challenges the product, not the process), or an “illiberal democracy” which can result in mob rule?
At some point democracy must be guided by moral/ethical precepts that are mutually agreed upon by a consensus of those participating in the democratic process. Spinoza alluded to this.
Interesting how understanding seems to be contrasted with acceptance in that CSG quote.
In any case, of course, and ultimately, what is needed is both.
Back tp Derek’s point. He says “democracy, particularly now with all its corruption, argumentation and moral chaos, is not compatible with the ethical standards suggested by a Messiah nor God.” But that is not the fault of democracy per se, but of people. Our job is to educate them and ourselves, not to replace democracy. As you said, “That means establishing individuals who move to becoming original or true selves —- so that would be a primary task at hand.”
Father may have said “heaven is not a democratic world,” or something similar. But he also approved the text of DP which says that constitutional democracy is indeed “the framework for the ideal political system.” He also said the following: “When the democracies produce a succession of many God-fearing politicians, it will become heaven on earth. Don’t you agree that this is the way it should be?”
I think this last sentence resolves the problem for us. Heaven is not the current corrupt democratic world, but it is to be a heavenly democratic world.
I’ve heard DP is no longer a main text but nevertheless DP holds to a specific date. After that Father clearly states democracy and the Christian world come together as a restoration package. Hence both are tied to the New Testament era. What follows is the Completed Testament era which is different and far more advanced and already underway.
We already see changes occurring and much of it is tied to the Blessings including Father and Mother’s. From frequent speeches by Father, democracy is described as being no longer relevant and both democracy and communism will disappear. Of course there is a case for holding to basic frameworks of government, law and order, etc., in the interim, but Principle is Absolute Monism, which is not democracy per se. Rather it is a hierarchical business with God at the head, not people voted in.
Father often talked about becoming “like” True Parents. In OSDP he says we need to hold to Logos nature and Logos creativity which is the same thing – arguably to be like God in resemblance. In short this is the task of developing the full indwelling of God within the self where additionally conscience becomes our guide. True altruism therefore arises within the self and this becomes a natural proposition, not something legislated by others. It was in fact Father who outlined this natural and free state as others have picked up on calling it the freedom society.
This, I think, is becoming evident as first, second and third generations emerge, at least on a good day. In talks it was also mentioned this won’t happen overnight rather in eight or so generations. However if one keeps talking about systems of external regulation rather than the internal development of the “Original Self,” one is missing the point and dealing with a realm of restoration, which has already passed. The self is in DP anyway is written up as psychology which deals more substantially with the dynamics of the inner man.
The period of German Idealism is touted as the “Abel-type” preparation for the Principle. It does not mention everyone but it runs from Kant to Goethe then to the main psychologists of the 20th century. It is a movement from philosophy to psychology which is obvious if one studies that period so in that we have a superior understanding of the unconscious, the base dynamic or foundation of the psyche (self) and then from psychology we have the Christ Archetype — the pattern of true being like Christ — this is the same as Logos and it is well-examined.
Derek, Exposition of the Divine Principle is still one of the eight main texts.
Thanks, John. Slow in getting back but that’s my understanding too. However regarding Democracy and Principle, I think the simple answer is Absolute Monism which is the Principle — relates to sovereignty, not democracy.
Sorry to join the debate after everything was said.
Maybe we should sometimes return to some “forgotten” paragraphs of the Divine Principle, such as this one:
“Because human beings are created to live in an ideal society, they will inevitably pursue a socialistic ideal as they strive for freedom and democracy and further search into their original nature. This is particularly true at the consummation of providential history, when this ideal can actually be realized. As this natural desire springs forth from within, politics in democracy, which is shaped by the will of the people, will also move in that direction. Eventually, a socialistic society embodying God’s ideal will be established. Early Christians lived according to this ideal in some respects by sharing all their goods in common. (Acts 4:32-35) Thomas More’s Utopia, written in sixteenth-century England, and Robert Owen’s humanistic socialism during the Industrial Revolution in England each expressed a vision of the socialist ideal. Catholic and Protestant socialist movements have also shared this vision, one example being Charles Kingsley’s advocacy of Christian Socialism in England of the mid-nineteenth century. Their inclination toward socialism originated from the natural impulse of the original mind as it pursues the ideal of creation.” (The Parallels between the Two Ages in the Providence of Restoration)
What is the page number and correct citation for the text you are quoting from?
This is Exposition of the Divine Principle, Part II, (The Parallels between the Two Ages in the Providence of Restoration) Chapter 4, Section 7.2.6 Democracy and Socialism. Please click here to read the whole context.
As someone who is a new member, I like your explanation of head-wing thought. When I was in CARP, it was not explained to me in the way that you provided. I appreciate your insights, as it helped me more to understand the phrase!