The Words of the Burton Family
Dear Unification Community,
Sometimes, your Pastor needs to step aside and let the voice of God be heard from whomsoever is called to give such a message as this one.
I hope you will resonate with and benefit from our Care Team leader, Mr. Doug Burton's appeal to our hearts to share the breaking news.
Are we proud of True Parents? Are we proud of our parents and our children? Do we want strangers to associate us with True Parents and with the Unification Church?
There are no boiler-plate answers to these basic, hard, existential questions.
Most of us want to say "yes" to all three questions. In fact, our real feelings often are more conflicted than we would like to admit. And that's been true of all believers since the time of Jesus. Just ask the Apostle Peter. All of us want our friends and families to affirm our faithful position at our Seunghwa ceremonies. In our dying moments, all of us will voice gratitude to True Parents, the True Children, to our spouses, our children and our friends in faith.
Our community of first and second generations has a strong identity. There is plenty of evidence that we love who we are. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all related by marriage [through the Blessing], and quite a few of us are in-laws. We are like a new tribe in formation. But do we love our identity enough to give it away to non-believers? Think of Bono's phrase in "With or Without You" -- "And you give yourself away..." This is the question.
There is a big difference between an ethnic fraternity/sorority and a house with open doors on all four sides. Fraternities are closed societies (except during Rush week). Even during the party season of Rush week on campus, any student of any race or ethnicity can visit an ethnic fraternity, or sorority, but visitors from outside the ethnic identity of the house in question have a snowball's chance in hell of getting offers of membership. You are either born into the tribe or you aren't. That's because closed societies are more fun and far less messy than open houses.
Some say that persecution of Unificationists by the broader society has inclined many in our community to circle the wagons and take comfort in our concentrated numbers. That was understandable 20 years ago, but the fact is, that nowadays, there isn't much persecution. There likely are many, many people around us who are searching for the Divine Principle, hungry for a community like ours, and yearning for a challenge in life. They would LOVE to be invited to our house during Rush Week.
If each one of us would dig down deep into his or her psyche, we would likely find that we are profoundly grateful for the Divine Principle and the True Parents. Those of us who are 2nd Gen or 3rd Gen will say the same, even if we have conflicts with Mom or Dad, because in the end, without the blessing, we wouldn't be on earth. On our dying day, none of us will be wringing hands; all of us will want to be shaking hands. We will only be grateful. We will look around and count our blessings, count our family members and count our friends.
We wont' have to tell those present why. They will know why.