We are living in challenging times. We cannot deny what is taking place before our eyes. With growing dismay, we have watched the polarization and conflict in this country grow. The pandemic and the contentious elections only augmented this process. But with the events leading up to and those taking place on January 6 at our nation’s capital, it becomes evident that we mustn’t stand on the sidelines. The use of violent action is not acceptable. It is time for us to turn to God, our Heavenly Parent, and seek His guidance on how to come together as Americans, starting with ourselves.
Our Founders, the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, always emphasized forgiveness and the importance of unity. I am reminded of Rev. Moon’s plea to the American people as America was reeling from the shock of the Watergate scandal almost 50 years ago:
All thinking American people feel grave concern for the future of their country. Some even believe America has been struck a fatal blow. However, at this critical moment in American history it is disappointing and strange that no one is asking, “What is the will of God?” If America was conceived as “One Nation under God,” then the answer must come from Him. Have we stopped asking?
I bend my head and place my ear upon the heartbeat of America. I hear no one seeking the solution from above. We keep on criticizing and the nation sinks; we criticize some more and the nation falls even farther, deep into greater peril. Now is the time for America to renew the faith expressed in her motto “In God We Trust”. This is the founding spirit that makes America great and unique. God blessed America because of this spirit. Furthermore, America is fulfilling a vital role in God’s plan for the modern world. God is depending on America today. Therefore, the crisis for America is a crisis for God. An answer must come from above, from God, from the one who has the answer. I have prayed to God earnestly, asking Him to reveal His message.
The answer came. The first word God spoke was “Forgive.”
To do this, we must look beyond ourselves, beyond our own opinions and our differences. There is no solution within the political or legal spheres alone. Political victories, on either side, rarely bring about understanding, mutual respect and reconciliation. While the new administration in America has an opportunity and a responsibility to lead us beyond the current level of polarization, political leaders alone cannot bring about the kind of dialogue and cooperation that is needed.
Under the guidance of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, we are committed to work toward building greater unity, and creating one family under God. Just one month ago, at the 4th Rally of Hope, Dr. Moon called upon us to “forgive the political leaders,” and work to bring reconciliation to all people. It is our role as people of faith to promote this spirit of forgiveness, to encourage all Americans, and particularly leaders of our primary institutions of government, religion, civil society, business, the arts, the media, etc. to rise above this divide.
It is time to start healing as a nation and we must start at home. Peace Starts With Me. The anger, hurt and suffering that we see playing out on the national level is felt also in our own families. Differences in beliefs, values, and politics have created walls in key relationships within our homes and our extended families. Despite these differences in perspectives, if we turn to God as our heavenly parent, we can see that when we criticize each other and hurt each other, it pains God, just as any parent feels when their children are fighting. We are one human family and our common need is love. Instead of making sure our voice is heard, let us start with listening more. Instead of blaming, let us explore where we could take more responsibility over the situation. And if you have been misunderstood or hurt, let us try to forgive and love, just as we have been forgiven and loved by God.
We cannot do this alone. We need God, our Heavenly Parent, to tap into God’s unconditional love for all people and to give us the strength to forgive, love and reconcile. As the Family Federation, we bring people together from all backgrounds and walks of life, and we see everyone as children of God, sharing a common destiny. True faith brings love, and true love brings peace and understanding.