Truth Is My Sword Volume I -Collected Speeches in the Public Arena
by Bo Hi Pak
A Bicentennial Tribute
January 23, 1987
At an American Leadership Conference held January 23-25, 1987, in Washington, D.C., Dr. Bo Hi Pak delivered the following remarks.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of CAUSA International and the American Leadership Conference, I would like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., and to this first American Leadership Conference of 1987.
This year of 1987 has been long-awaited of us, for it is the bicentennial of the United States Constitution. Since our purpose in gathering here this weekend is to consider that inspired document as it celebrates its 200th year, this conference might be regarded as one of the of many commemorative ceremonies which will be held throughout this year.
As you know, CAUSA International is an educational movement working on a global scale. Yet, in this bicentennial year in particular, we are concentrating our efforts in the United States. The reason is simple. This holds the key to the future of the entire world. The United States is a young nation, yet she is a great nation and the leader of the free world today. This greatness is not the result of merely her geographical location. America has achieved greatness because of her compassion toward the world.
The American Tradition
One of the greatest sources of pride for many Americans is the tradition of self-sacrifice in dedication to God which was practiced by many of the early American forefathers. We are all familiar with the story of the Mayflower. The 102 brave individuals who sailed on the Mayflower did not seek wealth or titles of nobility. They sought a place to practice their faith in God.
They embarked from Southampton with a charter in hand to begin a settlement territory of the Virginia company, but they never reached that landfall. As Peter Marshall and David Manuel have pointed out, this may have been very fortunate. The Jamestown colony in Virginia had been marked by dissention and struggle. Furthermore, slavery had been introduced in Virginia in 1619, and would persist there for two and a half centuries. By coincidence or by providence, the Mayflower landed on the coast of what is now Massachusetts. The royal charter was not valid there, so before they could disembark, the men affixed their signatures to a new document, the first charter of freedom in the New World, the Mayflower Compact.
The Mayflower Compact begins with the phrase, "In the name of God, Amen." It says clearly that the voyage was undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of faith in God. It also states their desire "solemnly and mutually in the presence of God to covenant and combine together in a body politic."
They were inspired by God, and God's blessing was with them. They were greeted by friendly Indian tribes. Yet they endured an extremely difficult first winter. All but 47 of the original 102 perished. Even during that difficulty, they did not eat grain which had been saved for the next year's planting. They were committed to a vision of the future. Furthermore, they spoke of a covenant relationship which they had with God.
John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, warned of the results if Americans were to abandon this relationship. He wrote, "We shall be as a city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are on us, so that if we should deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken so to cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world."
The religious tradition of the American colonies came to be a major factor in breaking from Great Britain and becoming an independent and united nation. As historian Paul Johnson puts it, "It is probably true to say that the American Revolution was in essence the political and military expression of a religious movement. Its emotional dynamic was the Great Awakening, which began in the 1730s."
Jonathan Edwards, the foremost Great Awakening preacher, saw religion as the unifying force in American society. This attitude was carried on, and the force personified in his evangelical successor, George Whitfield. As Paul Johnson writes, "Until this time, America was a society of very different states, with little contact with each other, often with stronger links to Europe than to their neighbors. Religious evangelism was the first continental phenomenon, transcending differences between the colonies, dissolving state boundaries and introducing truly national figures."
Religion united the colonies, and it was concern over the future of their faith which underscored their objections to the abuses of taxation without representation.
God Was With the Early Settlers
What could unite these men together so strongly? They had different theologies; they also had different political ideas. We find the key to their unity in the phrase "we hold these truths to be self-evident." They recognized certain common truths which they regarded as self-evident. It was in defense of these truths that they were willing to suffer the devastating tribulations which the war with England brought.
And God was with them every step of the way. Over and over again He seemed to intervene on behalf of the revolutionary forces. Appreciative of this, George Washington wrote, "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand that conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced in the character of an independent nation, seems to be distinguished by some token of providential design."
The Articles of Confederation, adopted by Congress in 1781, were inadequate to secure the unity and therefore the survival of the fledgling nation. Serious forces of disintegration were at work from 1783 to 1787. Then came the great Constitutional Convention, the miracle of Philadelphia, where the living spirit of the Declaration of Independence was revived and set down in the plan of government.
Alexis de Tocqueville, the perceptive French historian and political scientist, observed that American political traditions cannot be understood apart from the underlying foundation of faith in God. He stated, "Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country is the first thing that struck my attention. The longer I stay here the more I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things."
The heart and soul of the American tradition is love of God. Faith in God was the first rock upon which the pilgrims placed their feet. Their devotion to God allowed the revolutionaries and constitutional framers to stand together. Humility before God enabled the nation to enact the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing equal justice for all, and to struggle for more than a century to see that the spirit and letter of that important constitutional amendment be carried out.
God has blessed America because of people of faith. Although American history is not unscarred by self-serving individuals, righteous men and women of God have come forth at critical junctures to lead America. Because of their faith, Americans are a free people, and liberty has made possible the great success story of America. The resulting environment of freedom has allowed the American people to direct their talents and energies to achieve virtually any goal. No nation on earth has provided as much material abundance and prosperity for its people. From the wellspring of their religious faith, Americans embrace life and the future with hope, optimism, and confidence.
Because they have historically placed God first in their national life, America is today the leader of the free world. American patriotism has always begun with one nation under God and embraced the ideal of one world under God. As the Declaration of Independence states, "all men are created equal." America sends a message to all people of the world. America is truly that "city upon a hill" that John Winthrop spoke of, and people of the world look to America for vision and hope.
Throughout her history, the faith of America has been tested many times. Today, once again, America faces a test of faith. The parameters of that test were brilliantly defined by General Douglas MacArthur as he received the surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945. He stated, "The problem involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advance in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh."
The Enemies of God
Since those words were uttered, we have seen millions of human beings destroyed by the forces of communism. We have seen a score of newly independent nations leave the shackles of colonialism only to stagnate as one-party dictatorships under the dogma of Marxism-Leninism. We have seen the encroachment of Soviet expansionism into our hemisphere and into the mainland of Central America.
It is precisely in response to this situation that the CAUSA movement has been launched. Human freedom and democracy under God are precisely the goals of CAUSA and the American Leadership Conference.
This movement promotes not only the opposition to communism, but the liberation of all mankind from communism. This "liberation movement" is gaining momentum. In recent years, the United States has given her support to liberation fighters in Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua. Together with the nations of the Caribbean, she has helped to liberate the tiny island of Grenada from the hands of Soviet-backed Marxist-Leninists. She has shown her steadfast opposition to dictatorships of all stripes and colors. We want to continue to pursue the goal of freedom. This does not mean that the solutions will always be military, but it means that positive action and total commitment is absolutely necessary to stop the international lawlessness of communism and share the blessings of freedom with the world.
This year of 1987 is the culmination of a period which can only come once every one hundred years in our nation's history. In 1976, we celebrated the bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of Lady Liberty, who as America's hostess has welcomed the poor and the oppressed from throughout the world. In 1987 we celebrate the bicentennial of our constitution, the document which gave form to and has guaranteed our unity.
Two hundred years ago, there was unity in our country at the moment when it was needed. The events of the past months call us again to unite. The Declaration of Independence reads, "We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Were the founders with us here tonight, they would unquestionably recognize that still today all men do not have the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We stand here today in place of the founders. They were bold enough to declare "one nation under God." Should we not today declare our commitment to "one world under God"?
Such a declaration might seem naive when 40 percent of the world's land mass and population are controlled by a militantly anti-God ideology. But it also seemed naive two hundred years ago to declare independence from the greatest empire in the world and to write a constitution that would unite various peoples and various regions into a single Republic that would become the most formidable nation on the face of the earth.
It was the Lord who told Joshua to be bold and strong as the Israelites approached the Promised Land. I believe that today it is the Lord who is telling America once again to be bold and strong for the sake of the world.
This is the crucial context in which we have convened for these deliberations. As you can see, you have come to a very special conference. This weekend we celebrate the historical events of 1787. At the same time, I believe that our gathering here is historical as well. If we can emerge spiritually and intellectually enriched and more determined to carry on the fight for freedom under God, then this conference will have been a total success.
God bless you. Thank you very much.
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