In the afternoon of Sunday 10th November 2013, Famillies unies pour la paix convened a conference at the Centre Sociétaire in conjunction with Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP).
The main speaker was Dr Frank Kaufmann, visiting from New York. Dr Kaufmann approached explaining Reverend Moon's various peace organisations in a somewhat novel way, beginning with an account of Rev. Moon’s background and upbringing, even including the situation in Korea before Reverend Moon's birth, and then also the story of his childhood. He explained that Reverend Moon was strongly influenced by the struggle to free Korea from Japanese occupation, and especially the great influence on Reverend Moon from his admiration for his for his great uncle, Yun Guk Moon, a famous patriot and freedom fighter. While praying for solutions, Rev. Moon had a spiritual encounter with Jesus when he was 15 years old.. He sought answers in many places, but including in Christian scriptures, which led to him eventually to discover that the enduring structure and wellspring of human problems stems from the failure of the first human family. Thus, in creating his various peace organisations, Rev. Moon organized them to match the need to address the core “Edenic” collapse. Reverend Moon knows that family holds the secret to health or horror at every level in global and human affairs. Dr Kaufmann explained that all violence devolves from the original struggle between brothers, Cain and Abel, even struggle at the worldwide level. This problem can be resolved only through the love of parents who can harmonize the extreme differences in the human family. World problems can be solved effectively only when tending to the resolution of these fundamental issues.
We were also pleased and most fortunate to have Professor Jacques Steiwer and his wife Mrs. Niki Karatzas attend (and quite surprised too! He had not confirmed his participation, so to see them walk in was a happy moment indeed). Professor Steiwer, a philosopher and author of many books including “une morale sans Dieu” or “Morals without God” presented a counter-proposition. He explained that he was a left-wing student in Paris at the time of the 1968 student uprisings. He posed the question as to why after such a long time, religion has not been able to bring an end to what a history of constant religious war. He rightly pointed out that it was Christians who created the inquisition, although he felt that the original Christianity was quite peaceful. He explained that in philosophy there is a theory dealing with “just wars”, but that even in such wars millions of people have died. Freud talked about the double nature of man, involving love (eros) and aggression, and some scientists think that without aggression man might not have survived. Professor Steiwer cited the theory developed in his book that man has always been searching for ever higher forms of sociability without creating too many conflicts. Therefore, the point that we have reached in which we have states with certain “rights” is already a great achievement.
Afterwards, we watched the video “Rev. Sun Myung Moon, A Life Dedicated to Peace and Unification” followed by a question and answer session in which Dr Kaufmann and Professor Steiwer fielded questions, which were mainly about Reverend Moon’s life and work. During this time, in responding to a point raised by Professor Steiwer, Dr Kaufmann was able to explain that Rev. Moon had been badly misunderstood in the United States, due in part to a subtle racism that still affects parts of American society.