Born on the Fourth of July

Alex Hunter
Unification Church Washington DC
July 4, 1999

Good morning. The title for today's message comes from a Broadway show by George M. Cohan about the Yankee Doodle Dandy who was the real live nephew of his Uncle Sam, born on the 4th of July. That show is interesting because it debuted at a time when the eyes of the world were on America, just before World War I. The character is someone who goes to Europe as a jockey. People don't really watch whether he wins races or not. They just want to see how an American acts, and everything an American does is impressive to them, and the ways of an American impacts on their lives. You would expect that a child born on the 4th of July would grow up to be a patriot and a person of consequence in America.

I'd like to start with Father's words from The Way for a True Child.

The attitude of the second generation who have entered Canaan.

You must know in what a momentous era of history you were born. In the past your parents walked a way of persecution and suffering for the restoration through indemnity. But from now even the words restoration through indemnity will no longer exist. There is a difference between the era when your fathers and mothers walked the way of persecution for restoration and your era. Your parents had to promote restoration through indemnity by defending themselves from Satan. But now there is no need to defend against Satan. There is no indemnity.

In the work of restoration you have to go on the way of restoration. Since Father has established everything in this way, from now on even if I am in Africa or South America or elsewhere, prime ministers will come to attend me. We have entered such an age. What era is your era going to be? It is the era of restoration. What era was the era of your parents? It was the era of restoration through indemnity. What is the difference? The difference is that there are no more conditions for accusation by Satan. It is that simple.

All the principles of the era of restoration through indemnity are the same. From now on it is your era. By the time you become 14 years old, you will have graduated from high school. After that you will start your seven-year-course and be involved in activities. The seven-year course is a must and you have to go. Then you will be welcomed. The course of restoration is always the same.

These are Father's words to the second generation, but my Principle tells me that parents and children are one body, so where they go I must go.

What you should be grateful for is that after passing through the 40-year process of restoration of Canaan the Unification Church is now already entering the blessed land of Canaan. I mean that from now on there is no opposition or obstruction against the Unification Church on the national level as well. We've now entered the stage in which all the people feel that unless they follow the way of the Unification Church, even their nation cannot survive. Therefore, from now on you have to become the locomotives or artillery shells that destroy the enemies. You have to develop a new history. Who is going to proclaim that? It is not your parents. It is you. In other words, you have to be there.

Where did the Israelites perish? During the process of the 40-year wilderness course the first generation died but still the nation of Israelites did not perish. They were marching on to the promised land of Canaan, which was their hope. Then where did they perish? They perished after they had entered the promised land. What was the cause of their destruction? They were not able to unite with their leaders centering upon the will of God. And they began to be influenced and absorbed by the environment. As a result, after they restored Canaan, the Israelites perished. They were divided into the 10 tribes of Israel in the north and two tribes of Judah in the south.

As I said, where did the Israelites perish? They perished after they had entered the promised land of Canaan. Therefore, if you are to perish, where will it be? You have to clearly know that. I mean that you may perish in the position of having received the blessing. Or you may perish after becoming blessed families. You have to know that. The way of decline starts from the position of having received the blessing. From these historical facts you have to understand the lesson, and with the mistaken past as a reference, you have to go over the way of decline and destruction in fulfilling your historic mission.

Therefore, you should not make your daily life ordinary. You have to develop from the position of today to the position of tomorrow, and then you have to march forward to further development. You expected to form starting from you a new family, a new tribe, new nation, and new world. You are not to repose at your current standard. To make further development for tomorrow, you must be careful not to make your daily lives habitual. Therefore, you should not be influenced by the environment.

The reason the Israelites perished, even though they had restored Canaan, was that they were influenced by their environment. As a result they became envious of the people who were eating good things and living a comfortable life. The men followed rich women of the gentiles. Also they admired the power and knowledge of the gentiles. Will you need all the knowledge you have acquired in the future? You won't need it. There is no need to study law or economics. If Japan perishes, all Japanese law and Japanese economics will be destroyed.

Therefore, from now on, to accomplish your mission of doing God's will you have to make every effort to study theology. All of you who are gathered here were wrong in your thinking. The Israelites perished in the land of Canaan, which means that even though I give you the blessing, it is possible that you may perish. But you must not perish."

On this day, July 4th, the Founding Fathers put their names to a piece of paper and made a declaration to the world that this nation they were inventing would be a nation that had gone beyond all previous national environments, had gone beyond all history of the past. They were inventing something new. When they put their name to that paper, they were saying, "I will die for this." Not "I am willing to die," or "I might have to die." But, "I will die for this."

Their signature was a signature of treason against the crown, and if they lost that struggle they would lose their lives and their fortunes and their families and everything that had been given to them. They recognized that everything they had had been given to them by God. There was not a thing that they had that they could say they loved, they valued, that benefitted them that did not come from God. So with that understanding they were then able to put everything back in God's hands and say, "By following this inspiration to establish a nation whereby you can freely work through the people, we will offer everything in support of that. We will do our best."

I think so many times of those people who came forward to aid George Washington. We study these people's lives and see how carefully God prepared them. Not all of them were men of war but they had an aptitude to follow direction. They had a genius for the land. They had a genius for organization. They had courage and a willingness to forget themselves in order to accomplish a goal. And they had the determination not to waver from whatever goal was given them. So they had been prepared for that moment.

The ideas that came out in the Declaration of Independence were not new ideas in the sense that they had been talked on, thought about, philosophized about for about 100 years, leading up to the signatures on the Declaration. But the moment of action was at hand for those men. And for the nation they represented.

We know there's a world of difference between theory and reality, between strategy and practice. So when the time came, these men who did not know how to make a revolution did not know what the details and the day-to-day activities would be to accomplish that goal, set forth by putting their name down and saying, I will first put my life, my family and my fortune, my sacred honor at the disposal of God, to accomplish what he wants.

The reason I could come to tears was because they told me in the spirit world, and we could feel their spirit here on this day, the day when we honor their declaration that gave birth to this nation, "We will die for this. We will lose everything for this. Thank you that we can offer everything back to you, God." They made the declaration that all governments, all institutions, everything that man does by his conscience exists to facilitate and protect the rights of the creator, to fulfill the creator's purpose.

So we are at this juncture again today, in my opinion. What is God's hope for America in this room? You are God's hope for America. In times past I felt like an alien in my own nation. If only we could get those Americans to listen to True Parents. If only we could find those good, high quality people out there to unite with True Parents. Finally we could bring America to True Parents.

God said to me a number of years ago, you are an American. You are holding the place for the nation. You are America's response to True Parents.

The Founding Fathers had many, many limitations. They realized freedom only for some. They realized the ideal only for some. Our African-American brothers and sisters were left out of that process. But they did the best that they could. They did not have True Parents. They couldn't overcome the fall. They couldn't overcome racism. But they tried their best. They said, "We would like to have done more if we just had the support. But we had reached as high as we could reach. We had reached the ceiling of our connection with God. We went as high as we could with Jesus and did the best that we could."

I love history because it is a testimony to what God has done through man. This is a historical day when a revolution was started, not just to free a certain group of people from oppression, but to invent a society where God could dwell. And to the best of their ability, to the best of the age's ability to support that ideal, that was done.

Now we live in the age of True Parents. And we Americans gathered in this room, my wife included, though her land of birth is Japan, she has thrown her lot in with America, our Japanese brothers and sisters and Korean brothers and sisters following True Parents' direction have thrown their lot in with America and their destiny into this country.

We stand in the position, too, to foment revolution, to carry further God's providence, to make this nation truly a nation where He can freely dwell. As all eyes around the world since that day in 1776 have been trained on this country to see what would come forth, so too the nation has been put in that position again. But the world has benefitted by economic breakthroughs, technological breakthroughs, political breakthroughs. We've made the world safe for democracy twice over. What must come forth from America now, the world is looking for what is true, what is eternal. Every other way has been tried. They are looking to this nation again to lead the way. That falls upon our shoulders.

We stand in the elder brother's position, praying and discussing and studying and poring over Father's words to understand what that means. Father said when he was a student he used to read a page of a book as though the answers to the ages might be found on that page. That's how seriously he would train himself.

One thing that strikes me, though, is we are in a position to lead, to use our ideas and our creativity and to be in a position of authority, which is what many of us felt we've lacked in the past. But I believe that Father is also telling us that no longer will we have the excuse and luxury to hide behind our Japanese and Korean brothers and sisters. We are responsible for the result of bringing America now, so Father will treat us accordingly. That's a glorious opportunity.

The feeling and direction for this message this morning came at pledge service, in this morning's prayer, when I just was so grateful that I could be alive at this time, alive with all the ammunition and the support of the spirit world. The air power, the weaponry of this spiritual war has all been put in our hands. Those left on the battlefield to perish said, "We could have accomplished if only we'd had just a few more bullets. If only we'd had the support, we could have done the job." They had to go to spirit world with that thought in their minds. They are with us today.

Those Founding Fathers who said, "We couldn't overcome slavery, we were racist and we didn't have True Parents who could teach us not to be racist", they are with us today. Because in you they can overcome racism. Our Parents are not racist. Our Parents are not limited to one nation or one culture. They are not favoritists. Rather they are the living embodiment of the true God, and through them love from God, true love, which all people in all ages have sought, is embodied and has been pouring out. It's been poured out to us and we are to pour it out on this nation.

We had a program last Wednesday. We felt pushed to do something in response to what Father said about saving young people. Truly this is a master stroke from Father. Leading up to our program we struggled and prayed what we would actually say when we make ourselves visible to our community and nation. What is it we are going to give when people finally have an ear to listen? When the day came it turned out we did not have so many guests but we had the program anyway to proclaim publicly what we were about.

As you heard before, we had beautiful testimony from two of our second generation. As I listened to them, it struck me how much of what they had to say was the result of the input of their parents' words and examples. We had in our mind an idea that we are going to call all the young people from across this nation to a standard of purity and an ideal of chastity in preparation for marriage, and how wonderful that would be. I was even convicted for a time of the idea that somehow a young man's opinion of himself was so profoundly linked to some young girl's opinion of him that it was important somehow as a natural segue into a purity partner situation for our nation, where young men and women together could center on these high ideals, that somehow they would carry and support each other through the time of their adolescence and not fall. But what was missing was the foundation of parents.

I like to tell the story of the man who wanted to learn to play the guitar, so he went to a friend of his who was a guitar teacher, and the friend understood that this man had no ear for music, no sense of rhythm. From working in the fields so long his hands were not able to finger the frets. But this teacher was a kind-hearted man who wanted to let the other man down gently. He thought about how he could discourage the man from pursuing this rather than telling him that he had no hope of playing.

He said, "I'll teach you the guitar, and here are my terms. Your first lesson will cost $150, your second $100, your third lesson will cost $75, your fourth lesson $50, your fifth lesson $25, and your last lesson 50 cents." The man thought about it and replied, "All right, I'll hire you on those terms but I want the last lesson first." I feel this was the way we were approaching this situation.

I've been feeling strongly that whether it is universalizing hoon dok hae, or encouraging young people to be pure that the main thing is to be visible as who you are and the spirit world can then bring people to the center. If we don't stand up as the center, there's confusion as to where to go. That's a challenge to the whole fabric of this nation and structure of this society.

I've been studying the Korean war and two episodes stand out that I feel apply. No one except for Gen. Douglas MacArthur believed the Inchon landing would succeed. Everyone advised elsewhere, some other time, some other place. At that time the American and UN forces were overrun by the North Korean forces from the surprise attack and had been reduced to a small perimeter around the city of Pusan. What no one knew at that time was that within the perimeter of Pusan where the US forces were, there were 140,000 troops and virtually unlimited supplies of ammunition and heavy artillery coming ashore, while in the rest of Korea the communist troops numbered 70,000 and were about played out, and they had no strong supply line.

MacArthur didn't know that, didn't understand that the positioning and reinforcements and the whole situation was right for an American victory. Nevertheless, he was inspired to land at Inchon. In doing so he flanked and cut off the North Korean troops. For a time the situation was completely reversed in favor of the United States and United Nations and the freedom of Korea.

I feel that Father has assessed the situation so beautifully in saying, go to the root of the problem of our society. Go to the root of restoration, which is to save the young people, and give the message that not only the young people will respond to but their parents will support. And through that, transform the nation and liberate our country. We've been overrun with the culture of free sex, overrun with the culture of self-centeredness, overrun and entrenched with the idea that you are God, separate from the real God, that you make the rules.

Even the theory of relativity says there's one absolute standard through which all physical things operate. You have the speed of light and everything else works accordingly, if I'm not mistaken. If I were to jump off of this podium I would go to the floor, and I don't think anyone would assert they could jump off the podium and not go to the floor. There is a certain consistency in law that seems to elude us as human beings because of the fall.

The second episode is the episode of the Chosun Reservoir. When the Chinese entered the conflict in North Korea they came in overwhelming numbers and surprised the UN forces. Two different armies were faced with the Chinese attack. One was the 8th Army in the east, and one was the X Corps of Marines in the west. They were separated by a mountain range so they really couldn't contact each other, but they each had to face their circumstances pretty much alone.

The 8th Army made the decision from the beginning to retreat, to leave their equipment, leave their dead and wounded, leave everything, and get out alive. That's pretty much how it went for them. Tons of equipment, materiel of all kinds, wounded and dead were left, and it became a rout. In the west the X Corps of Marines made a determination in the beginning. They faced the same number of Chinese in much more difficult circumstances in the winter. Their decision was, we will leave with our equipment, with our dead, and with our wounded. We will not leave anything behind and we will come out of here on our terms. There was a famous line from that time: "Retreat, hell. We're just attacking in a different direction."

They were grateful for the winter because the cold weather kept the bodies of their dead comrades from decomposing. They loaded them on trucks, loaded the wounded on trucks, and they fought their way out, carrying every last piece of equipment with them. The difference was in their stated goal at the beginning and their determination in carrying that out.

The crux of our conversation about young people and purity here was that the fall, as we've seen now from Dr. Lee's book, came about when those two young people we call Adam and Eve were estranged from their parents over a period of time by a false god, by someone who sought to interpose his concept, whose opinion became more important to Adam and Eve than the opinion of their parent, God.

In our society we have bred generation after generation of people who come to believe that their girlfriend or boyfriend's opinion is more important than that of their parents, that their peers' opinion, that society's opinion, the prevailing opinion is more important and carries more weight than that of their parents. Generation after generation we have a tradition of looking outside the home for God. Anywhere but here. I have to follow my conscience and go somewhere else to find my purpose in life.

Because of the fall, parents in this nation could not stand in the position of visible God to their children. Yet the Principle tells me that the institution of the family is exactly that: God dwelling in the parents, the visible God to their children. It's not without reason that children are born smaller than their parents and stay that way for a long time, so that they can be directed as well as protected.

So we came to understand that this is a problem that we have to deal with. God is not interested in dwelling in one couple alone. He's not interested in having His fullness and glory displayed through one set of True Parents alone. He has determined that none should be left out. So we look at the situation and say, we must turn the hearts of the sons toward the fathers, for as we gather a whole generation of young people, give them the blessing, teach them the Principle, but in substance tell them, your parents are junk, then the condition exists for their blessed children then to accuse them in later life. If I hate my father and don't resolve that and don't repent for it and don't restore it, my son has a condition to hate me.

So we've got to judge carefully what is our goal here. Father talks about the quiet revolution of heart. We seek to revolutionize this nation from the bottom up. For all the preparation that went into Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and all the Founding Fathers was not to continue the same path, but to invent something new that was separated from the tradition of the past. So Father said, be careful that you aren't swallowed up, influenced by the environment.

So I could see my thinking was still the thinking of a 15-year-old adolescent. I wanted to introduce the idea of some pure young girl out there to some pure young boy, and somehow through their horizontal relationship they'll establish a foundation of purity that will protect them from millions of years of tradition of the fall. God deliver me from such wisdom!

Our challenge is very deep and broad, I feel. When I had the opportunity to hear Father at Belvedere Thursday morning, I'm not a crying man but I was balled up in tears when I heard Father's speech, that in God's Principle the parents should stand as a visible God to their children. Because the parents of the nation I felt cried out to me, "Teach us to be true parents, please. We're losing our children; please teach us how to be true parents. Don't only bless our children. Teach us how to support them. Teach us how to be their visible God. We want to be that. And they are in pain and they are in agony because they can't find it in us right now."

But Father and Mother removed the obstacles by which a person is unable to become true parents. So the value and the preciousness and the absoluteness of Father's tradition comes to bear and the importance of proclaiming who is the founder of the Family Federation, and what is the value of his tradition becomes clear. In the spirit world the thousands of generations, the millions of people, all of them wishing to be true parents, all watching their children flee from them. Because of the necessity of history for them to find God, and it was impossible for them to find God at home, God is looking for a reuniting, so that the conscience of a child can naturally turn to his own parents, and that the parents can embody God's love and wisdom. We have that to offer. We have that to share.

Many of us are feeling, what is the most practical way, as though we wanted a guarantee of victory before we would even embark. Before taking one step I want a guarantee. I feel this way very often, trying to think of what strategy will work. We searched until the last second of that Wednesday program, and when we opened our mouths, the Principle is the same. God had something to say. Don't worry what you will say. Do your best and then open your mouth and let the Lord speak through you.

As it was in those days, so it is today. Father has told us to expect miracles, incredible historical events. So every one of your voices will speak with the same authority of the Founding Fathers. None of you was born expecting to be a soldier in this war. None of you were expecting to be the founders of a constitution of a new nation. Yet when history came around for those men in 1776, they simply said yes. And in the course of their practice they found and marveled at how much God had prepared them.

We must turn the hearts of the sons and daughters to their parents. If we want to bring young people to a place where they can remain pure, I truly believe that without their parents they will fail. Even if we gather numbers and numbers of young people in this movement, if ultimately they come to be alienated from their own parents, if that model cannot be universalized in America, of father and mother embodying God visibly to their children, then this will not last. Our children will be faced with the chaotic situation of having to restore the next generation. I feel that prospect is there.

We are responsible to bring this nation to True Parents, and in what condition and with what tradition and what root will we bring this nation to True Parents? In 1776 there were precious few men who felt compelled to revolutionize the nation and create a society where all men could truly be free to pursue their conscience. Again, there are precious few of us compared to the nation, but unlike those times we have the support. Those men in Pusan in Korea did not know that around the world troops were being organized and arrayed to come to their aid. They didn't know about Inchon when they were sitting in Pusan perimeter trying to survive day to day. They held their position, but they didn't understand the big picture. How blessed we are that our father would convey to us the totality of the strategy. We can understand that our help is here.

Just as at that time when the breakout occurred in Korea, the enemy was a pie crust. With just a little effort, it caved in. The Bible says that in the last days when Satan goes roaring like a lion in the streets, there's nothing there.

When the Israelites went to Canaan, God said, "I'm going to give you all the land that your feet can touch." How far do you want to run is the question, and old Caleb, 80 years old, ran up a mountain saying "I want that," and he took it. I'm grateful I still have legs and that we can walk around this nation. Wherever we go we can claim it for God at this time.

The Founding Fathers proclaimed freedom not only for those who were revolutionaries but also for those who were loyalists because the loyalists did not understand the time of their deliverance. And the Founding Fathers were opposed by their own countrymen. But in the end, history proved them right.

We stand in a position right now where if we only look at our circumstances here, it's difficult to judge the opportunity. Father has given us his grace of the high viewpoint. It does require absolute faith and love and obedience. Just as in the time of war, our ancestors displayed those things. Some of them died in faith to something greater than themselves, and they also are with us here to give us that kind of guts.

Lastly, I want to say that we are proclaiming a way of life that is 180 degrees opposite the way this world carries itself, and we're blessed in our own life. People say, "What is this tradition you're talking about, and what about overcoming sexual sin and adultery and pornography? My young people are out of control; I'll be happy just if my daughter doesn't get pregnant. That's my last line of defense. And what's this thing about you're going to teach children to be loyal to their parents, and you're going to teach them to look to their parents with help finding a spouse? You're going to try to tell me we're going to be able to create a society where the children are going to look to their parents for the absolute last word, to help them with their own family?"

My parents are far from perfect. My parents are far from the ideal. But every one of you in this room went through a course of life where you came to love your parents. You went through a course of life where you abstained from sexual intercourse, with man, woman or beast. Is that true? Did you live that kind of life? Somehow God stopped the fall in us, didn't he? Somehow God instilled the tradition of uniting mind and body, didn't He? Somehow God instilled in us a love for country, didn't He? And the willingness to change our life around and give up our life if necessary to fulfill God's ideal, didn't He? Is that who you are? Is that who we are this morning? Don't we have a history of victory over all those things?

Take off all the problems confronting our young people -- hatred of parents, addiction to pornography, drug abuse, infidelity. Our ancestors did not have the blessing, did not have the benefit of victory over those things, but in this room are testimony after testimony and advice as to how to overcome that. You can tell any young person how to overcome those things because you overcame those things. You can tell any parent the value of obedience to God and the value of filial piety because you did those things. You are the living embodiment. You're the best we've got to offer this nation.

But we didn't get those things from studying a book. We didn't get those things from going to church on Sunday. We didn't receive everything that has value to us -- our lives, our families, our sacred honor, our fortunes -- from studying some book, from going to church on Sunday. We didn't receive them from a correspondence course or a theological school. In God's plan those traditions are properly embodied and passed on to children through the parents. It is through my parents that I learned to love my country again. It's through my parents that I learned to control myself, that I learned that my sexual organ belongs to my spouse, and until such time that my spouse has access to it, I'm not to mess with it, that it is a holy thing.

You have that victory in your life. You must not keep that light under a bushel basket. You have to shine that light out. What I've come to understand for myself was that at that Wednesday program I had to get to the point of saying, "Yes, I looked to my parents for help with my spouse. Yes, I understood that my parents were able to convey to me the absolute will of God." And who are my parents? Father Moon and Mrs. Moon. Don't be ashamed of your parents. You got the way you are not by studying a book but because your parents taught you. Tell everyone that you have parents. Proclaim the news today. Don't be embarrassed by it.

I have a testimony. I was a sinner. We have a testimony that puts to shame any Christian's testimony. We have to understand that the fall was stopped, that fall which could not be stopped in all of human history until now but it has been stopped in us.

Truly we want to teach our blessed children to be proud of their parents. We have to leave behind the idea that it's for someone else to be the visible God for our children. God is united. He's one. So for a father to love his children and a mother to love her children and for them to dislike each other will not work. We are faced with many challenges in embodying and substantiating, but we are now the ones who will be visible. The way we live is going to determine the victory or the defeat of this nation because people will say, I don't believe it works. But you can say, it does work; it worked in me. All your course in the church is preparation to find that one person to whom you can exactly address and give a victory in their situation.

I feel we have the goal of uniting children and parents in this nation. That will revolutionize this culture. It will revolutionize this society. Many will stand up and oppose it, not understand it, but that's pie crust. It's a toothless lion roaring in the street. Where we go and what we do, Father said God is piggybacking on us. Feel that where you go God will go and claim what is His.

How can we go to God and say, "God, you've brought many millions but there are a few who will continue to go hell and you'll just have to take care of those later. We didn't make plans for those." What is the acceptable rate of attrition? I say it's zero. If that is our stated goal then we can find a way to accomplish it.

Thank you very much for your attention. May God bless you.