By Peter Stephenson
Without serious reform, the Unification Movement cannot be a role model for Cheon Il Guk and is in no position to guide any people or society.
We are a movement that teaches the Principle, but do not reflect the Principle. In evangelical outreach the most apt motto for our movement would be, “Do as we say, not as we do.” Our most fundamental error has been the belief that following directions trumps the Principle and exempts us from its requirements. Our operating philosophy has been to channel all energies into the single purpose of convincing the leading lights of the world that Rev. Moon is the Messiah, assuming that everything would take care of itself once we had achieved this.
Our obsession with this “shortcut” has blinded us to the reality that people and the world do not work this way. Ultimately, people don’t prioritize the teachings that make the most sense. The idea that we could just theologically strong-arm them into believing was always going to fail.
Nomadic vs. Agrarian/Settled people
We are nomads. Nomadic people are foragers and opportunistic hunters who work an area while the pickings are good and after exhausting those resources, move onto to other lands. This lifestyle does not promote population growth and it is all such people can do to even maintain their numbers as the harsh existence of the nomad ensures a high loss rate.
The historic and even current, evangelical attitude of the Unification Movement has been nomadic in nature as we sought only to invest in those who were short-term prospects — what we euphemistically refer to as “prepared people.” There are only a small percentage of any society who are of this type though and if we track our world movement’s activity over the past 50 years, we can discern this nomadic behavior of exhausting the resources of a particular region before moving on to other lands.
By Alison Wakelin
New times require new thought.
Western Unificationists cannot simply offer the U.S. Constitution as a model constitution for Cheon Il Guk because it is based on a worldview that increasingly reflects the way Americans used to think, not the way we would like to think in the future. It defines life in terms of ownership of material resources and the overarching need to escape the oppression of authoritarian leadership. More human rights-based thinking crept in over the years, but was relegated to the Bill of Rights that is supplementary to the Constitution itself.
The proper order for a healthy society is the reverse. The original purpose of life and identity of a human being should be the primary thrust of a constitution, while the regrettable need for some governmental authority and control should become secondary.
It could be argued that the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are so obvious they don’t need verbal expression. To young people they probably are.
However, we see much evidence in today’s society that competing in the marketplace and living subject to the many and proliferating instruments of governmental regulation and control has produced a population that lives defensively. Society is finding self-preservation so burdensome that there is little room to care actively for human rights on a larger scale. Those who have been successful in the financial world tend to speak of their own rights much more than of the needs of others, and tend to see poverty as a sign of failure more than anything else.
Constitutional rights have become legal rights, and the legal world dominates modern economic life. Without a wide, encompassing basis for a constitution, it is inevitable that the restrictions will eventually become part of everyday life via a system of laws and societal institutions.
By Gordon Anderson
Derek Dey’s comment on my prior post, Updated: Thoughts on a Cheon Il Guk Constitution, is very astute. Understanding systems analysis in political theory fills an extremely important void in modern thought, within and without the Unification Movement. Derek’s discussion further supports the idea that a constitution should reflect the principles of the “ideal world” as explained in Divine Principle, Chapter 1. He noted that “Americans believe their constitution defines all,” that other people view the ideal society in the image of their own.
His comment raises the basic point of whether members actually believe their own political system is ideal. I don’t think anyone would join the Movement if they thought their own system was the ideal. They join because they realize they live in a fallen world and changes are necessary. Members in various countries are, nonetheless, aware of virtues in their own societies they would like to retain. Sometimes those things we consider good actually aren’t so good. Other times those things we want to retain are principled.
For example, if we have a society that says “each person has a right to a fair trial,” this is consistent with the Divine Principle, because it affirms the idea that each human being is an individual truth body of infinite value and worth. On the other hand, the idea of “one person, one vote,” might be inconsistent with the Principle because it denies the concept of qualification for citizenship based on having passed the growth stage to become a responsible adult.
What to transform and why
The real challenge in designing a constitution for an “ideal world,” is (1) to learn what has to change and why, and (2) how to implement the change without causing unnecessary pain and death.
By Michael Mickler
More than 20 years ago, in an unofficial Unification publication titled Currents (Fall 1989), Bruce Casino asserted that Unificationists hold four distinct positions on democracy:
- Some members, he said, believe that a republican democratic form of government is required in God’s ideal.
- Other members believe God alone knows what the ultimate political system is, but democracy is the best way to get there and is certainly the political system God wants at present.
- A third group believes a democratic, constitutionally limited monarchy after the British model is the ideal.
- A final group believes the ultimate goal is a non-democratic monarchic feudalism patterned after the movement’s internal polity — the “Korean kingdom” approach.
Casino argued that “close examination of fundamental Unification concepts leads inescapably to the conclusion that democracy is mandated by the religious doctrine of the Unification movement.”
He went further, stating that Unification religious tenets “support a republican, democratic system modeled after the American constitutional system, with elected representatives and a separation of powers between legislative, executive and judiciary.”
What the movement sought, he contended, was not to alter the republican, democratic system, but to focus it on “higher ideals,” a “greater spirituality” among citizens, a stronger sense of community, and to combat immorality, materialism, and racism.”
The question is whether Casino’s conclusions apply in the Cheon Il Guk (CIG) era.
The Applied Unificationism blog welcomes the spirited discussion of the new Cheon Il Guk Constitution with two articles by Graham Simon and Gordon Anderson (UTS Class of 1978). Because of the importance of this topic, I feel motivated to frame this discussion a bit. While the Unification Movement aspires to restore a physical nation, at this time this “Constitution” is in reality governing a religious organization and a spiritual community. It might be more appropriate to call it a “CIG Charter” and to compare it with the laws of governance for other religious communities around the world. In any case, I invite readers to consider views with which they may or may not agree in the spirit of “true love.”
Sincerely, Richard Panzer, President, UTS/Barrytown College
By Graham Simon
The Cheon Il Guk (CIG) Constitution was officially proclaimed on Foundation Day 2014 and was intended to “enter into force sixty days thereafter,” on April 11.
That day passed with little notice.
Might the CIG Constitution have an impact on our lives and the way the Unification family organizes itself in the immediate future? Looking further ahead, will it have an effect on the lives of our descendants or humankind as a whole?
Let us assume that the Principle and True Parents’ teachings become the fundamental bedrock of a future world order, that they resonate with humankind’s inner nature to the extent that their universal acceptance is no longer a question of “if,” but “when.”
Note: This post originally appeared on our blog on August 19, 2013. The author has written a Post-UK Symposium on the CIG Constitution Update after the article’s conclusion.
By Gordon L. Anderson
The passing last September of Rev. Sun Myung Moon marked the end of an era for the Unification Movement, not unlike the passing of Moses or Jesus. The followers left behind have to fashion a society that embodies the teaching and spirit of the founder. Under the charismatic leadership of Rev. Moon, governance was on the level of a community or tribal society. Now, a new center of new legitimate authority must be established for this community. In addition, the vision for Cheon Il Guk (CIG) also aspires to national and global aspects that transcend the community-level society members have known. The membership now has to define and routinize the authority of the movement after the founder’s passing.
The role of a constitution is to establish the purpose, nature of authority, and distribution of power in a society. Regardless of how the CIG Constitution is developed, it will be an important document related to the rise or decline of the Unification society, because people will voluntarily join or leave it. To expand and solidify a society that embodies the founder’s values, the benefits of membership, on the whole, should outweigh the costs; otherwise people will not join or remain members.
Levels of Governance
Societies contain several levels of social organization, with the main levels being: family, community, state, and world. A community consists of several families, a state of several communities, and a world of several states.
By Hideyuki Teshigawara
As far as I know, there is no one who can explain the concrete system of Cheon Il Guk. But then is it possible to realize something without any clear vision and goal? Even if we have a clear vision and goal, it may be difficult to realize Cheon Il Guk.
Obviously, Cheon Il Guk is not the nation that can automatically be built by God’s miraculous power. The ideal of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values should be established through cooperation between God and human beings. It is wrong to think that the concrete plan for the society of Cheon Il Guk would be given by Rev. Moon or God unilaterally.
Regrettably, even inside the Unification Movement, a large number of people are reluctant to establish a concrete system for Cheon Il Guk. Their main insistence is that if the ideal world consists of “original” people (persons without fallen nature) and ideal families, the external structure will not be so important. However, it is a naive way of thinking that “original” people will do well whatever the system.