"Why does My Father Have to Go to Jail?"
Even in Danbury prison, I followed my principle of living for the sake of others. I would wake up early in the morning, and clean places that were dirty. In the cafeteria, others would lean over their food and either take a nap or chat among themselves, but I kept my back straight and waited my turn. When I was given work to do, I worked harder at it than others did, and I kept an eye out to see how others were doing. In my spare time, I read the Bible. One prisoner, seeing how I read the Bible day and night, said to me, "Is that your Bible? Here's my Bible. Take a look!" He threw a magazine to me. I took a look, and saw it was a pornographic magazine titled, "Hustler."
In prison, I was known as a person who worked without talking, read books, and meditated. After going three months this way, I became friends with the prisoners and the guards. I became friends with a person who was a drug user, and with the prisoner who had said the pornographic magazine was his Bible. After a month or two, the prisoners began to share with me the items they received from outside. Once we could share our hearts, it was as if spring had come to the inside of the Actually, the United States did not really want to send me to prison. They chose to indict me while I was out of the country on a trip to Germany, and they would have been satisfied if I had chosen not to return. They weren't trying to put me in jail, only to remove me from the country. I was becoming well known in America, and the number of people following me was increasing rapidly, so they wanted to put a roadblock in my way. Just as in Korea,! was a thorn in the side of the established churches. Because I knew this was their purpose, I chose to return to America and go to jail. I still had things that needed to be done in America.
I think that going to jail is not a completely bad thing. If I am to get people who are in the valley of tears to repent, then I must first shed tears. Unless I first experience such a wretched heart, I cannot get others to submit themselves to God. Heaven really works in strange ways. After I was imprisoned, 7,000 ministers and other religious leaders accused the U.S. government of violating religious freedom, and began an effort to save me. Among them was Rev. Jerry Falwell of the Southern Baptist Convention and the liberal Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, who gave the benediction during the inauguration of President Obama. They stood at the forefront of the effort to save me. Also, my daughter Injin marched with them. She stood before some 7,000 clergy and read a letter that she had written to me in tears.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is In Jin Moon. My father is the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I am his second daughter.
The day of July 20,1984, was as if the end of the world had come to my family. This was the day my father entered the prison in Danbury. I never imagined in a million years that this could happen to my father, particularly here in America, the land of freedom, the land of God which my father dearly loves and serves.
My father has worked hard since he came to America. I have almost never seen my father sleep. He is always up working and praying. I have never seen anyone so dedicated to America's dream and to God. Now America has imprisoned my father. He is not concerned with his personal suffering. His life has been filled with tears and tribulation as he tried to do God's will. My father is now 64 years old. He is guilty of no crime. Yet tonight, as we speak, he might have just finished washing dishes in the prison cafeteria or may have just finished scrubbing the floor. Last Monday when I visited him in the prison, I saw my father for the first time in prison clothes. I cried and cried.
But my father told me not to weep for him and not to be angry at the government that jailed him. He told me, as he has told his millions of followers throughout the world, to turn our anger and grief into powerful action to make this country truly free again.
I am so grateful for all of you here tonight because you are fighting for religious freedom for all Americans and for all people around the world. Religious freedom is the foundation for all freedoms. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for standing up for religious freedom."
My sentence was reduced by six months for good behavior, and was released after serving 13 months. The day I left the prison, a banquet to celebrate my release was held in Washington, DC. 1,700 Jewish rabbis and Christian ministers were gathered and waiting for me. In my remarks to the gathering, I repeated my position in favor of transcending religions and denominations. I spoke in a loud voice to the world at large, feeling no need for concern for the reaction from those opposed to me.
"God is not a demoninationalist. He is not bound by secondary arguments over doctrine. There are no distinctions over nationality or race in God's great parental heart. Neither are there any walls between nations or cultures there. Even today, God continues to do everything He can to embrace all the world's people as His children. America today suffers from racial issues, issued of the confusion of values and moral degradation, issues of spiritual drought and the decline of Christian faith, and the issue of atheistic Communism. These are the reasons that I answered the call of God and came to this country. Christianity today must have a great awakening and come together as one. Clergy, too, must reexamine the roles that you have been playing until now and repent. The situation that played out 2,000 years ago, when Jesus came and called on people to repent, is being repeated today. We must fulfill the important mission that God has given to America. The situation cannot continue as it is now. There needs to be a new reformation."
Once I had been released from prison, there was nothing to hold me back. I spoke with an even louder voice than before to give a message of warning to a fallen America. I repeatedly spoke in strong words that returning to God's love and morality was the only way to revitalize America.
I was imprisoned without having done anything wrong, but God's will was there as well. After my release, the people who worked for my release took turns coming to Busan, Beom-net-kol and Seoul. They came to find out what it was about Rev. Moon's spirit that had attracted so many young people in America. Their visits were short, but they found time to learn about our doctrine before returning. On their return to the United States, they organized the American Clergy Leadership Conference, an organization that continues to carry out activities in support of peace and faith that transcend denominations.