The God-Centered Worldview:
Worldwide Perspective for the 21st Century

Antonio L. Betancourt
Executive Director, Summit Council for World Peace
Secretary General, Association for the Unity of Latin America

1) Introduction

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is my distinct honor to be with you here today and to address this conference on a theme very important to the Latin American continent.

Over the past twenty-five years I have traveled the world many times. My work with several international organizations, including the Summit Council for World Peace, has allowed me to meet with current and former heads of state and other world leaders to deal with issues of peace and development. In recent years my focus has been Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. I have traveled to China over twenty times and visited North Korea on ten occasions to confer with the leadership there. I have led delegations of former heads of state into the DPRK to help improve communications and understanding in the advancement of international peace. And I have organized countless programs in every country in Latin America. It is therefore from observation and experience that I would like to speak with you today.

Before I begin, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Mr. Dong Moon Joo, President of The Washington Times and the World Media Association, cosponsors of this program, for inviting me to participate in this important conference. The World Media Association has been, from the very beginning, a venture very close to my heart. Back in the mid-1980s I worked side-by-side with Mr. Larry Moffitt as part of the team that led fact-finding tours to Central America and Europe. Fifteen years later, this project continues to contribute to the betterment of the world through media by raising the consciousness of journalists and communicators around the world on the responsible role of the media. The Summit Council for World Peace, along with the many other organizations I am associated with, wholeheartedly endorses and recognizes the peace-making of this venture. It is a project that demands great commitments and enormous resources, and I am in awe of the dedicated men and women who continue selflessly to pursue its high goals.

2) God's Three Headaches

(The Suffering of last 50 years was unnecessary from God's point of view.)

To set the stage for the main point of my message, let us consider the course of the last 50 years from 1945 to the present. The world was then ready to achieve world peace. God revealed to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the message of True Family, the formula course for the restoration of the family and the beginning of a global movement to build God's Kingdom on the foundation of 2,000 years of Christianity. The only condition was that the religious leaders in Korea chosen by God to receive this message.

If Rev. Moon brings a message from God to bring the world to a new stage, we have to realize that there will be evil, spiritual forces trying to stop him. Such powers worked through the religious leaders of that time. Consequently, Rev. Moon had to go a suffering course of rejection and humiliation that eventually led to his imprisonment in a communist concentration camp until liberation by the United Nations forces. This providential mistake by the established religions provided the spiritual foundation for evil to run rampant in this past half-century.

Since evil could not destroy Rev. Moon, then the strategy of the satanic forces has been to destroy the True Family ideal which is the primary mission of the Rev. Moon. Rev. Moon refers to the three ways that Satan has been working against him as the "three headaches of God."

Communism, for the last 45 years, was the first headache. The second headache is immorality and corruption which are running rampant in the modern world. The third is the division and disunity within Christianity, and between the world's religions.

International Communism: God's First Headache

This has been without a doubt the most tumultuous, destructive and calamitous time that mankind has ever experienced in history. The fascist powers that were defeated in World War II were replaced by international communism, which with the development of nuclear weapons put the whole world under the threat of annihilation. Those who came under communist control suffered a holocaust as deadly as a nuclear blast. According to historian Robert Conquest in The Human Cost of Communism, communism is estimated to have killed as many as 60 million in the Soviet Union, millions more in Eastern Europe, and as many as 50 million in China. Korea, the homeland of the Rev. Moon, lost a million civilians during the Korean War, and over 2 million troops were killed on both sides. Millions also died in Vietnam and Cambodia. In addition to the deaths, millions more were enslaved, starved, or driven from their countries as refugees. It is significant to note that international communism singled out Rev. Moon and his teachings as the number one enemy and attempted to assassinate him.

Those of us who follow Rev. Moon and accept his teachings, believe that from God's point of view, the violence, death, war and disease that has plagued humankind for these past fifty years was not necessary. Recently, through the restoration of the providence of God that was lost 40 years ago and was regained upon the victorious foundation established by the True Family, the Communist world collapsed with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Second Headache of God

Immorality can destroy a country from within and take lives just as surely as an invading army. The worldwide AIDS plague is a direct consequence of sexual promiscuity and moral decay. Hundreds of thousands have died, and millions more will die from this incurable disease as the number of AIDS cases continues to rise all over the world.

Moral corruption is also one of the main causes of divorce, teenage pregnancies, crime, and drug addiction. The breakup of the traditional family unit has created an explosion of crime and violence which has occurred in the industrialized world. The inner cities of many nations have been turned into war zones, with rootless and alienated youth in heavily armed gangs, shooting it out for control of the drug trade and other vices, with innocent people and even children killed in the crossfire. Broken homes and single-parent households, with growing numbers of teenage girls becoming pregnant outside of marriage, have increased the numbers of children living in poverty, and contribute to juvenile delinquency through the lack of parental guidance.

The decline of morality is not limited to any single nation's borders. Drug addicts, in addition to making their own communities places of fear, have created enormous problems in Latin America and other parts of the world, where drug traffickers have grow n powerful enough from drug money to corrupt governments and distort the economies of many nations. In addition, the depiction of immorality, violence and hedonistic culture on U.S. television and movies has become an international problem as they are exported to other countries.

God's Third Headache

God's third headache, the division and disunity within Christianity and between world religions, is the most serious from God's point of view, because it prevents the religious people of the world, who alone hold the traditions and values that stand against evil and the above-mentioned problems, from seriously addressing and rolling them back. These three headaches are the direct result of the failure 50 years ago of those chosen to receive God's message who ignored the call. Again, from God's point of view, all of that was totally unnecessary.

Misery, death and destruction was not inevitable -- it could have been avoided. If the religious world had united in 1945, communism would have naturally declined and disappeared merely to become just another philosophy of little consequence; AIDS would n ever have grown into a world-wide plague; and the problems of drugs, abusive and broken families, children being raised without parents, and crime would never have reached the catastrophic levels that they have today.

3) Renewal of the World through Rev. Moon's Message

To comprehend why this is so, we must know the mission that God gave Rev. Moon 50 years ago, to bring a special message to Christian leaders. That message is the same today -- but today the message is not just for Christians, but for Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and all religions and denominations -- that the ideal of the True Family, centered on God, is the basis for true relations between individuals, societies and nations.

As a young man, Rev. Moon desperately searched for the answers to the mysteries of human sin and suffering. He shed many tears, and spent years in lonely prayer, fighting spiritual battles that most would never comprehend. After much searching through the Bible and the vast spiritual world, God revealed the true ideal of man's life, and the original cause of human suffering that occurred in the Garden of Eden to the first human ancestors.

God revealed that He created all things for the sake of true love. If you look at the created world, you see that it is structured in pairs. All things, animal, plant and mineral, were arranged in subject-object relationship, and the harmonious give and take between them creates all energy, productivity, and goodness. Man was also created with this duality between mind and body within the individual, and between man and woman. God's ideal was for man's mind and body to be united, centered on His love, and then for perfected men and women to unite in the family unit. In this way, man could become a true reflection of God's divine nature and become an object of God's love by bequeathing to his descendants true love, true life, and true blood lineage emanating from God.

Adam's family was to be a family of true love, in accordance with God's ideal. The two ancestral human beings, Adam and Eve, were created with the expectation that they would become the substantial perfection of God's invisible nature, and transfer His will and love to the cosmos. Adam, Eve and their children would have established a pattern that would have been the fundamental principle for all humanity to follow. Adam and Eve's descendants would become one with God, accomplishing the unification of mind and body and of man and woman, and form a stable foundation where peace, freedom, happiness and hope would prevail over all the earth, the actual Kingdom of Heaven of which Jesus spoke. It was God's ideal that this model be expanded not just to the level of country and world, but to the entire cosmos. Thus, it is possible for a country to become a family-patterned unit, expanding the family-level heaven to the country-level heaven, and the country-level to the world-level, and the world-level to the Kingdom of Heaven in the cosmos.

The nature of true love is that it focuses on others, not on the self. God's ideal was never realized because the Serpent in the garden tempted Eve, and then Adam to think only of themselves, introducing false love or selfishness into the world. All the miseries mankind has experienced since the fall are caused by false love, false lineage and false life emanating from Satan, creating false families, false hopes and false ideals.

The cure for mankind's affliction, therefore, is to return to God as individuals, restore the true family, and expand true love and goodness to the world level. Rev. Moon has tried to bring this revelation to our fellow Christians, believing that this truth could unite the conflicting denominations and bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. He never intended to form a separate church. However, God's message was met with denial and persecution by the established churches in Korea. Rev. Moon had no choice but to make another foundation that has taken him 40 years to build. Starting in Korea with the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity in 1954, he sent missionaries to Japan, the United States, Europe, and all over the world. On that foundation the movement has built many organizations to deal with the principles of the True Family in media, arts, academia, economy, and industry to create examples and models the world could be nurtured from.

Confronting God's three headaches, particularly communism, made him unpopular and controversial. He was labeled a fascist and a religious charlatan. He was even jailed in the United States on trumped-up charges of tax evasion. Nevertheless, for 24 year s he has been pouring out his soul, his heart and his energy to make the United States understand its global providential responsibilities.

Through the work in the Western Hemisphere and around the world, he was able to help the United States overcome the first headache of communism. The work of CAUSA, the American Leadership Conference, and our media gave the United States a spiritual and ideological edge that contributed to the downfall of communism. His struggle was always at the ideological level to awaken the value perspective to a God-centered way of life as opposed to a life of materialism and negation.

Now that communism is gone, the biggest attack to God's worldwide providence is the second headache immorality and social decay created by a systematic attack on the family. Modern thinkers are introducing new family models challenging the traditional family unit as you and I know it. They are saying that even homosexuals can form a "family" and have children through adoption or artificial insemination and that those new family models have equal value and rights as the traditional family.

Homosexuality, which all major religions hold to be an abomination, is assaulting the position of the traditional family. Based on some questionable research of a few scientists without the benefit of rigorous testing, some governments in the United State s and Europe have legislated on behalf of so-called "gay marriages", giving them equal legal status with the traditional family unit. This is being done without any thought of the dire consequences of undermining and destroying a fundamental biological, social, and spiritual unit that has been vital to human survival for tens of thousands of years. It is ironic that scientists lament the threat to "endangered species" of plants and animals, but don't make a serious study of the consequences of family destruction. No "gay marriage" or relations of single people ever replaced the traditional family unit, united in the sacred bond of eternal marriage.

From God's point of view, this crusade to make alternative family structures into a human right, attacks the very foundation of God's providence. The family is the origin of all forms of love, as well as all forms of social decay when the true family is destroyed. To confront the present confusion of values, we need a unified ideal.

Values and Virtues Crumble as Religions Watch

Most of the main denominations and religions of the world feel threatened by the tide of modernism and materialism, but none of them have the power to turn the tide by themselves. This brings up the problem of the disunity within religions and religious people, who are supposed to be the conscience in the world. A fragmented conscience cannot win the battle against cohesive and global evil.

Religions today, as it was for thousands of years, are spending a great deal of energy fighting each other and disapproving of one another's theological claims. However, this present civilization, with all its different intricate ramifications, is the result of four major cultural spheres which find their origins in religion: The Judeo-Christian sphere, Hindu-Buddhist sphere, Muslim-Islamic sphere, and Confucian sphere.

Though the present civilization culture, tradition and beliefs spring out of these religions, modern intellectuals, thinkers, and creators of new cultural trends have little use for these religions. More and more, we see a secular atheistic formula devoid of any religious or spiritual content introduced in the conduits of government -- domestic and foreign -- policies, economy, and culture. In other words, religion has become irrelevant. We live in a world where religion and the conscience is a private matter, but there is no public conscience except of the cries of leaders like Pope John Paul II, who courageously challenges the amorality and immorality of the status quo. Very few religious leaders are able to make a dent on the present affairs of humanity.

We believe that religion has to speak up once again on all these matters that occur in everyday activities of the individual and society, whether government or private sector, whether in politics, media, economy, arts, or social concerns. Modern thinkers do not find within present religions new ideas that will deepen their understanding on the nature of God, man, and the relationship between these two entities, and especially modern thinkers are confused about the role of the family which is supposed to b e the first institution created by God as the cornerstone of society.

The four world cultural spheres mentioned earlier agree on four assumptions:

  1. There is a Creator.
  2. The family is the basic building block of society.
  3. That making ourselves useful individually and collectively is essential for a good society.
  4. Unity and harmony are fundamental for the achievement of peace.

At the center or core of these beliefs are men and women as they establish a contract of holy matrimony, a commitment to live together and raise children as a family.

The Divine Principle, this new revelation brought by Rev. Moon, nourishes these four points of commonality within world religions and is capable of elevating them to a new level granting them the possibility of a major ecumenical work as never experienced by humankind before.

Most revolutionary, the Divine Principle brings new ideas about God's heart and feelings, purpose and aspirations which have the power to connect us to God in our own hearts. The Principle deepens our understanding of the nature of God, man, and the relationship between the two, as well as the purpose of man, woman, marriage, and family.

The new civilization of the next millennium will not be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Confucian. It will not belong to any one of the present cultural spheres. It will be a combination of the four cultural spheres through the religious roots finding their true meaning. These four cultural spheres working together under the inspiration of men and women within their own cultural sphere will study these new ideas as enlightened by God in the Divine Principle. All of these forces working together will pioneer a civilization for the 21st century, a world of co-prosperity, integrated existence, peace and harmony.

The crises in religion today, the attack on the family, moral values, tradition, and customs by the modern world will continue for the foreseeable future until a new intellectual elite grows out of these four cultural spheres that is able to challenge the evil status quo with depth and might, without self-righteousness and dogma, but with serious debate and studies on the fundamental meaning of life, the big questions that today are taboo. This is the job for us and especially for you journalists of Latin America. We are moving toward a world civilization in which each of us will be a citizen of the world.

4) New Thinking and Restructuring to Liberate the World

Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Rev. Moon in their several encounters concurred that new thinking and restructuring glasnost and perestroika are not only needed in the former Soviet Union but the entire world. The new message from God based on the ideal of the True Family can be the basis for a spiritual glasnost and perestroika at the global level. As Rev. Moon said in his tour of Latin America earlier this year, world leaders need to unite with these ideas coming from God as a solution t o the problems of society and as a catalyst for positive development and change as we enter the 21st century. The principles of the True Family structure are the basis for true relations between individuals, communities, nations, and eventually the world. Rev. and Mrs. Moon are presently delivering this message on a worldwide tour to 16 nations on five continents.

Prosperity in the Twenty-first century will not be achieved in isolation; our interdependence will be likened to the interdependence of the cells of our body, rather than to the relationship of neighbors. We must build prosperity that allows for balanced growth and does not destroy the foundational values that enable a society and people to exist at peace with themselves, their family, their community and their environment. The solutions therefore are not to be found in the ideological "left" or "right", but lie in reconstructing ways to express the virtues of family stability and sacrifice for others. Rev. Moon believes that the ideologies of left and right manifested in human relations and institutions are the result of an invisible principle that exists within reality itself. This can be explained in what Rev. Moon calls Headwing Thought.

5) "Headwing Thought"

Headwing Thought is the preeminent modern idea of the Rev. Moon that can explain and clarify in depth the origin, purpose, and direction of these two human tendencies (left and right, capitalism vs. socialism), as well as the correct formula to reconcile them and bring them into harmony. The proper balance of the purpose of the individual and the purpose of the whole will be a seminal philosophy for peace as we conclude this millennium and go into the next. Left and right or individual and collective can be defined also in terms of accelerator and brake, conservatism and liberalism, production of wealth and the distribution of wealth. In the 21st century, Rev. Moon explains through the Headwing Thought that people's ability to create wealth will be matched with peoples' ability to share that wealth for noble purposes. Capitalism and socialism in that sense will find in each other their counterpart as the parties of the right adopt more social consciousness and parties of the left adopt free markets and privatization, etc.

With this human balance, only then can we find a solution to the divisiveness that has characterized human history, and that is at its peak today in capitalist and socialist countries, as individuals realize their potential for the creation of wealth and the accumulation of power. They will be taught and inspired to share and give that wealth and power for a common good.

6) Latin America: Hope for the World

Latin America is uniquely placed. In my opinion, few people on earth show a greater spirit of resilience than Latin Americans. Despite the experiences of the last 150 years, the guiding values of daily relationships, traditions and language (some as old as 5,000 years) of the Latin American people hinges on historical and philosophical roots that run far, far deeper than contemporary political or economic ideology and culture. I am referring of course to the powerful Catholic and indigenous traditions and beliefs. I am confident that now and in the future, the leaders of Latin America will tap this wealth of ancient heritage again, in order to prevent moral disintegration, chaos and destruction of those very timeless ideas. I believe the Latin American people know that their future is not based on adopting moral and political trends from the developed countries, namely the United States, but rather in harnessing their own moral wealth in an intercourse with the other cultural spheres and the export of their spiritual and cultural wealth to the rest of the world.

Both young and old in too many countries in the West are adrift in a wild sea where the underlying values that sustain the social contract and democracy itself are crumbling. These societies and others will look to Latin America, as examples of a people whose guiding daily values have endured the onslaught of revolutionary Marxist ideology on the left in some countries, dictatorships of the right in others, disorder and chaos in the rest, and the potential self-centered excesses of the international market economy of modern times.

It is on this foundation that I believe Latin America, and the Hispanic people as a whole, including all overseas Latin Americans, will succeed in the Twenty-first century, primarily because their roots, their being, their spirituality and by extension their language, already reflect what will be the four fundamental universal principles previously mentioned to guide the next century. I would like to repeat those points:

  1. There is a Creator.
  2. The family is the basic building block of society.
  3. That making ourselves useful individually and collectively in order to improve the public is fundamental for a good society.
  4. Unity and harmony are critically needed for the achievement of peace.

7) Conclusion

Today, as 50 years ago, God is asking us the question: will it be necessary to lose one-third of humanity before it is liberated? How many more must die before human beings learn to treat each other with love and compassion? Should we destroy the earth' s natural resources and environment before we learn to live in harmony with the creation as God originally intended? God will never give up on humanity He will save this world, no matter what, and He will save it through the ideal and the structure of the True Family. The question is at what price not only human, but economic, financial, and environmental. The social problems brought about by corruption and immorality are leaving a toll of economic collapse and environmental degradation. The leaders of the world need to reflect on these points. God's desire is to end human suffering and build one world family, but He needs our help. If mankind receives and acts decisively upon God's message, the achievement of God's Kingdom will be relatively swift and joyful. If not, God's and mankind's suffering will be prolonged, and the misery and needless deaths will continue.

I appeal to you, journalists of the Hispanic world, to do what should have been done in 1945 to confront the present confusion of values with a unified ideal, that ideal that through the Divine Principle has been presented to you the last couple days. I encourage you to continue your study of these ideas which will enable the intellectual intelligencia around the world to find a response to challenge atheistic humanism, confusion within modernism and all the ills that affect the world today.

The Rev. and Mrs. Moon, through the Divine Principle, seek to establish a collective consciousness that will be able to judge evil and to present constructive counterproposals that will liberate humanity from this scourge that has plagued it for thousands of years. There can be no better place for a collective consciousness then the media. We need a new thinking, a new restructuring in order to address and solve the enormous problems that plague our countries and humanity as a whole.

I would like to conclude by quoting Rev. Moon when he addressed the more than forty former heads of state at the First World Peace Conference in Seoul, Korea in 1991. He said,

"The twenty-first century shall be a righteous century. In the twenty-first century wealth will not be the dominating factor. Instead the human spirit and human soul shall be dominant. The twenty-first century shall be the era of unity between God and man . It shall be the era where new awakening will come to every man a realization that he shall benefit himself more when he genuinely lives for the sake of others. In the twenty-first century selfishness will decline. Life, honor and glory based on unselfishness shall be triumphant. These are the characteristics of the coming twenty-first century."

May God bless you, your families, and nations. Let us work together to make a better Latin America, and world. Thank you very much.

Journalists of the Americas Fact-Finding Tour
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
November 29-December 1, 1995
Washington, D.C.