The Words of the Graham Family
There have been queries as to why the Hyun Jin Moon article posted last week in the Cornerstone is no longer available on www.utsalumni.org. (Moral and Innovative Leadership: Building Healthy Families, Ethical Societies, and a Global Culture of Peace -- Hyun Jin Moon -- November 29, 2012)
The simple answer is that a majority vote by the UTS Alumni board in an emergency meeting on Monday 10th December called for the Hyun Jin Moon GPC plenary speech to be taken down both from the UTS Alumni site and from the UTS Alumni Facebook page. Complaints from several alumni had been arriving at UTS (the seminary) which were then brought to the attention of the UTS Alumni board members.
Please be aware that UTS Alumni Association is an independent organization, a charitable organization, with 501(c)(3) status, recognized by the United States IRS. It is a separate organization from UTS the seminary. It has its own board of directors. It serves a different purpose! Please visit www.utsalumni.org/about to check on the mission, goals and values of the UTS AA. (Visit www.uts.edu to read about the UTS (the seminary) mission and purpose).
The UTS AA board (i.e. not the UTS board) convened an emergency meeting, voted upon the issue, and decided the article should be removed. As president I respected the policy decision of the board and removed the "offending" article.
As UTS Alumni Association president I am nevertheless dismayed by the decision reached and will continue to advocate for and seek to represent ALL UTS Alumni, irrespective of their religion, nationality, politics, economics and gender. I believe that the UTS Alumni Association ought to be open to listen to ALL alumni voices.
In my training at UTS I was exposed to a myriad different views, listened to all kinds of argument, and, I assume, was trusted to arrive at my own conclusions. It seemed that the UTS Founder actively wanted all UTS students to be tested, confronted, and forged in the fires of complexity, ambiguity, difference and even controversy.
Even if you do not like Hyun Jin Moon, he is and remains a UTS alumnus.
Let me know if (as fellow UTS alumni) you think there should be limits on which alumni be allowed to speak, and which alumni articles can be published, and the reports on areas of alumni involvement which you think should be off-limits to the wider alumni community. (Each week 280-320 alumni read the Cornerstone).
In future if you have something to say about the articles which get published then please bring those complaints (or compliments) into the open. I would prefer to see honest communication rather than behind the scenes maneuvering (Noon-day sun-no shadows?). At the end of every article there is a comments section. It is there for you to use. Speak up.
Seminarians in every religion explore their faith, and are trained to be leaders, not followers. They can be the change-agents; they may challenge the status quo or shake up their churches; they shape the future world. They are not necessarily the favorites of "the establishment". Martin Luther King Jr., himself a seminarian, was such a person, and has since become a national and world hero because of his leadership.
I graduated UTS and soon after, worked with the student based organization CARP where I discovered many CARP personnel referring to me and my class mates as "cemetarians". This was not exactly the welcome I expected from people who, supposedly, shared my faith and culture. I have lowered my expectations since then. However, I have always had hope that my fellow UTS alumni would hold themselves to the highest standards.
UTS Alumni please help. Help me share your story. Are you a change agent? How are you doing? What are you doing? Did you become a preacher, a community activist, a parent, a missionary, a lawyer, an engineer? Did you shake things up? Are you happy? Do you have a vision for the future? Do you have a plan of action? How well did UTS prepare you for the life, career, or mission you now have? Do you have results and a successful story to tell?
I have written before about the UTS alumni "front line". I like to think of each UTS alumnus and alumna being on their own unique front line, taking on the challenges that God presents, and overcoming the obstacles that the world throws in their path. Tell the story of your front line, so that other alumni and current UTS students can benefit from your life lessons. As we are students of religion, recipients of God's love and peacemakers we are able to read and listen to each and everyone's story.
Jesus taught us:
New King James Version
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
For those who are still uncertain about the policies of the Cornerstone, here is the publisher's note which appears at the bottom of each newsletter.
Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the founder of UTS. Several Cornerstone contributors recognize him with this title. Others may use the terms True Parents, True Father, or Father. These are various expressions of respect and personal faith that Rev. Moon is fulfilling a mandate from heaven to establish a Kingdom of Peace on Earth, and that he and his wife are the first to establish a family centered on God's original ideal. The alumni/ae of UTS form a diverse group who relate to and understand Reverend Moon in very diverse ways. Please keep this under consideration when reading the newsletter.
Additionally, the views and opinions expressed within do not necessarily represent those of the UTS AA Board, administration, publishers or its supporters. The UTS AA newsletter seeks to promote robust, healthy, productive and authentic dialogue for the sake of honest self-reflection and responsible improvement.