Imágenes de páginas

Senator HATCH. Thank you, Reverend Bergstrom. I really have enjoyed your testimony, and appreciate the courage that you have exemplified in coming here and giving your particular point of view.

Do you feel the Internal Revenue Service, in preparing its recommendations, makes a good-faith effort to safeguard the free exercise rights of churches?

Reverend BERGSTROM. I think sometimes they do not really think about that. In the 1979 case of private schools and desegration they learned belatedly about how religious schools differ from one another when they were issued a regulation that meant that a Yiddish school in Miami, FL, had to have the same number of blacks as the public schools had. It just could have been helped a great deal if they had conversations with religious people, not that we have to have our way, but we could have been very helpful in that kind of a decision. I think very often it is a matter of going ahead and issuing a regulation without the kind of consultation they could have that would be helpful to them.

Senator Hatch. Do you feel that the tax exemption of a churchthat any particular church receives, or all churches receive, constitute a form of Federal assistance and, if so, is this in your opinion, a violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment?

Reverend BERGSTROM. No; I do not think it does. I may be reassured to hear that the two attorneys have answered that already. But I think it is a decision that the exemption is to be given.

I have said many times, Senator, that churches who receive that, that should be part of their community. I say about congregations and municipal government. I think our national churches should therefore be willing to serve and participate in things so that it is not a gift, it is not something that they receive because they are better, simply as a recognition by the Government that religion is to be faced on the basis of those two amendments.

Senator Hatch. Your religion has certainly been around a long time, going back to the early days of the Reformation. Martin Luther, of course, himself, underwent a great deal of persecution, as a leader in one of the so-called mainstream religions. Do you sense any persecution or discrimination against your church, or any of its members, in any significant way and, if so, describe that for us?

Reverend BERGSTROM. No; I do not. I think that the case I referred to are cases involving actions by specific departments of the Government. I have indicated problems with the IRS and OMB, in which their actions have hindered the ministry of the church. But I do not feel that it was aimed in the direction of persecution.

But I do think there has been an exaggeration by Government of the voluntary sector taking advantage of Government money and freedom. Very, very little evidence has shown that their charges are true, and I think there has been an overzealous movement on the part of some Government officials to restrict churches, particularaly those who may use Government money for their activities.

Senator HATCH. Do you sense any significant discrimination against, or persecution of any other churches involved with the Government, and if so, explain the nature of the persecution, and the churches involved, if you can?

Reverend BERGSTROM. I do not know of the details. You have listened to some people already this morning. There are certainly some questions raised.

We signed on as friends of the court in the Worldwide Church of God case, that was referred to in California not because we supported their theology, but to say that we did not feel that the State had the right to seize the assets of a church. Some church groups sign on briefs, in other cases, because they interpret the facts differently than the Government. You have to balance the right of the church to define its ministry, then the Government. You have to balance the right of the church to define its ministry, rights of students in private or public school, and the rights of a minority people in many of these cases. So I do not know the details of those cases. There certainly may well be miscarriages of justice, and serious cases of governmental encroachment. Each case must be fully reviewed.

Senator HATCH. Do you have any problems with, except in very clear-cut cases, ministers going to jail, such as we have been hearing about, not only here, but reading in the newspapers, and so forth?

Reverend BERGSTROM. Ministers are like everybody else. If they break laws, and some of them end up in jails because they break laws, each case is separate. We are no different from anyone else. We should be treated the same as everybody else under the law.

But if there is persecution of a particular branch of the church or individual, then obviously it would be wrong. Religious people do just as many bad things as the nonreligious.

Senator HATCH. I am afraid that may be somewhat true.
Reverend BERGSTROM. It is the forgiveness that helps us.

Senator HATCH. Well, thank you very much, Reverend Bergstrom. Your comments have been very helpful, and we appreciate it.

Reverend BERGSTROM. Thank you.

Senator HATCH. Our court reporter has really been working hard now for 2 solid hours-excuse me, about an hour and a half.

Would you like to take a short break?

I wonder if we could just take a break for about 5 minutes, and we will ask our next witness then to come to the table, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. We will just take a 5-minute break.

(Short recess.)

Senator HATCH. We will now ask our next witness to come to the table, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who is the founder of the worldwide movement-if we could have order, formerly known as the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of Christianity and, popularly called the Unification Church.

Reverend Moon is a Korean who came to America in the early 1970's to spread the word of his church in this country. He has a large following of church members throughout the world, and I just want to say that we are pleased and honored that he has accepted our invitation to appear before the subcommittee at this important oversight hearing.

I might mention that Reverend Moon very seldom makes public appearances. He has in recent months been involved in a lawsuit

brought against him by the U.S. Government, which involves some intriguing issues, going to the very heart of religious freedom.

I might add, that as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, I personally analyzed his case very carefully, and felt so strongly about what I believe were violations of Reverend Moon's constitutional rights, in the manner in which his trial was conducted, that I filed my own amicus curiae brief with our Supreme Court, urging the Court to accept his case on appeal.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not accept his case, and I believe made a mistake in not doing so. Whether or not you agree with Reverend Moon's views, that is not the issue. Whether or not you like Reverend Moon is not the issue.

What we are concerned about here should be a concern of every American citizen, and that is whether or not his, and in a sense, every American citizen's constitutional rights were violated.

We are most interested in hearing Reverend Moon's views on the overall perception he has of religious freedom in this country, and to the extent he feels it necessary to refer to his own recent case in that regard, if he wants to do so, he is free, of course, to do so.

Reverend Moon will be speaking to us through a translator, Col. Bo Hi Pak, and so, Reverend Moon, we are happy to invite you to come to the witness chair with Colonel Pak, and we will be very pleased to take your testimony at this time.

Colonel Pak, if you will pull his microphone up a little closer to him, I would appreciate it, so that all can hear. STATEMENT OF REV. SUN MYUNG MOON, UNIFICATION CHURCH,

AS GIVEN THROUGH THE TRANSLATOR, COL. BO HI PAK Colonel Pak. Mr. Chairman, in order to economize the time, Reverend Moon will deliver his opening prepared remarks in English. He seldom does this, but he would like to do so on this occasion. Then afterward, the questions and answers will be translated.

Senator Hatch. Well, thank you very much.

Reverend Moon. Honorable Chairman, distinguished Members of the Senate, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for inviting me to speak at this Senate hearing on religious freedom. I want to also express my sincere gratitude, Mr. Chairman, for your support in favor of my appeal to the Supreme Court. Your noble deed to uphold the principle of constitutional rights of individuals will be long admired by millions of Americans.

Since the Supreme Court refused to review my case, there has been a very strong protest by many members of the religious community. More than a thousand clergymen, Jewish-Christian, and Islamic-have pledged to commit 1 week of their lives in prison with me in the name of religious freedom. It moves me deeply. I salute these champions of religious freedom.

I feel this occasion is very historic. I am not just speaking to the U.S. Congress. I am speaking to history and before God.

God loves America. America's greatness does not lie in her vast resources, nor in her tremendous prosperity, it lies in the very spirit upon which this Nation was founded. That is the spirit of one Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. However, God's will is not just one Nation under God, but one world under God.

We are all children of God. White, black, yellow, and red are all brothers and sisters-one human family. When we recognize God as our Father, this ideal can become a reality.

Without religious freedom, however, God cannot fulfill His ideal. The Pilgrim Fathers understood that if you do not have religious freedom, you have no freedom at all. They risked their very lives to secure freedom of worship.

Now, that freedom of worship is in danger. A dark spirit of atheism and religious intolerance is found in America today, and this time there is not another "New World” to receive us as refugees. We have no choice but to restore America as the land of religious freedom. If not, this Nation will perish and the world will perish.

In 1971, God called me to come to America and lead a movement to revive the fervor of Christianity and restore the founding spirit of the Nation. God has sent me to America in the role of a doctor, in the role of a firefighter. He has sent me to bring about a dramatic spiritual awakening. The survival of the entire world depends on America fulfilling her responsibility. America is the last bastion of freedom. For the last 12 years I have given my heart and soul and every drop of sweat and tears for the sake of this Nation.

In the process of fulfilling this mission, I have become controversial, and in some quarters, unpopular. And I have been persecuted. However, I am by no means the first religious leader to have experienced persecution. Many of the major religious figures in the

udeo-Christian tradition have walked this path of suffering through persecution. Today, I am honored to follow the same tradition.

I believe that God's hope is for freedom on the Earth, and the greatest threat to freedom today is totalitarianism, particularly in the form of communism, which systematically opposes freedom of religion. Communism has killed more than 150 million people. Many of these were religious people. I myself suffered nearly to the point of death in a Communist prison camp. Communism is the worst inhumanity in the world today.

Freedom has been retreating for the past decade. In 1975, freedom retreated from Southeast Asia. Millions of people perished. Nation after nation in Africa and Latin America has been communized. One and a half billion people have fallen under Communist tyranny. Now Central America, the backyard of the United States, is the frontline of battle. I know that the enemies of freedom will not stop until they achieve their final goal: The conquest of this very Nation, the United States of America.

I supported Ronald Reagan for President because I hoped that he would do God's will to stop the spread of communism, and truly bring this Nation back to God and to her founding spirit. It is disappointing that under this man, who was elected with the treatmendous support of the religious community, the state is encroaching more than ever on the affairs of the church. For the first time, ministers are being jailed. Truly, religious freedom is being dealt a devastating blow.

In the last 12 years, I have done everything I could for America. I have had just one goal in mind: To strengthen the moral fiber of America and enlarge her capacity to fulfill God's will.

Through projects such as the International Religious Foundation, the New Ecumenical Research Association and the Conference on God, I have sought to bring theologians of all faiths together to better understand God and one another.

I have worked to bring God's will into the academic world. The International Cultural Foundation sponsors annual conferences on science and absolute values, and brings scholars together in organizations such as the Professors World Peace Academy, Paragon House Publishers, and the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy.

In the area of cultural expression, I have endeavored to reinforce the theme of reverence toward God. In the movie Inchon, for example, I have tried to portray the historical importance of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, a great American devoted to God and humanity. It is vital for American young people to have such a hero figure.

Because religious ideals must be expressed in service to humanity, I initiated the National Council for the Church and Social Action, the International Relief Friendship Foundation, and Project Volunteer.

To work toward the liberation of all people from totalitarian ideologies, I established the International Federation for Victory over Communism, the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles, and CAUSA International.

To set a standard of responsibility in the communications media, we founded the World Media Association and News World Communications, which publishes several newspapers. One of these, the Washington Times, was created to present an alternative view to the Nation's Capital. This project alone cost our movement over $100 million.

These projects have required a vast amount of financial resources, as well as the hard work and loving sacrifices of fellow church members. Several hundred million dollars have been poured into America, because this Nation will decide the destiny of the world. These contributions are primarily coming from overseas. In my movement, the United States has been a recipient, not a source of funds. I have acted from the firm belief that if America is lost, everything is lost. There is no other country that God can turn to.

When you understand the scope of my work, can you really believe that I came to America to defraud the U.S. Government of an estimated $25,000 in taxes?

From the very beginning this was not a tax case. It has been an invasion by the Government into the internal affairs of religion. They chose the Unification Church because they thought that no one would come to our defense. However, this is where they miscalculated. The religious community of America knows that unless everyone is safe, no one is safe. When one is threatened, all are threatened.

When the Government abuses its authority, the consequences are fearsome. It was the Roman State which crucified Jesus Christ. In this country it was the State which burned witches, persecuted Roman Catholics, shunned Jews and prolonged black slavery. It was the State which allowed Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to be killed by a mob in

« AnteriorContinuar »