The Words of the Salonen Family

The Mission of the God Bless America Festival Is to Finish the Work of the American Revolution

Neil Salonen
June 16, 1976
New Hope News

As long as I can remember, I've always been very concerned about America and her mission. My class took on a big responsibility in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. We wrote letters everywhere protesting what was happening. Many times in my life I felt that while I was on the right side, I was on the losing side. I knew that it was tight tot America to do something to help the Hungarians but we didn't do anything at all.

Being right or being aware of the problems is just not enough. We have to organize and mobilize. No individual, just by being right, can necessarily carry the day. God is tying to raise up champions. He didn't just need Jesus to speak out 2,000 years ago; He needed Jesus to build a movement which could create a new family, a new clan, a new nation, a new world. It has to be built and created through the efforts, one by one, of each person as he expands and accepts his responsibility.

The same thing is true with Yankee Stadium. God does not just need Father to get up and speak there, but it has to represent an organized effort so that with the 200,000 people at Yankee Stadium will be Unification Church members who are really going to embrace them. Out of Yankee Stadium has to come the nucleus of the Washington Monument campaign. Yankee Stadium is not just a puff but it has to represent a testing of the strength of the Unification Church, a milestone in our growth and organization.

When I came to our Church, I was involved in FLF work for a number of years. In that time I could see that only America had the strength to stand up to the advances of the Communists. Because we didn't have the willpower to do it, however, we stood by while the whole world was sliding into the hands of the Communists.

Unless someone can take and use the power of this country to not only strengthen ourselves and solve our problems but to bring that same hope to the world that we gave 200 years ago, we will find out house surrounded by fire with no one to call for help. Then the days will be numbered on a simple calendar, a few days, a few weeks. In the end, the Communists won't have to do anything; they can just cut us off and we will wither. When Father announced that the theme of this campaign was going to be the Bicentennial God Bless America Festival, I realized that it is a key for making this campaign successful. If we picked another title, it would not have the meaning for changing the consciousness of America it would not really be a step in building the kind of determination that this country needs. We have to focus on the heart of America's problem. We have to remind people of the mission of this country.

People all over are waiting for someone to sound that call. They will report for duty. They are disgusted with the lack of moral leadership in our country, but they themselves are not heroes. They are waiting for someone to stand up and say something. If someone does that, they will join and speak out.

In Russia the Communists took over the country with just a handful of people. They did not even make the revolution; they just stole it. If we have a small but really enlightened and inspired minority who is willing to provide the leadership everyone will respond.

I feel very strongly that the Day of Hope tour was an internal tour making the internal foundation for the Unification Church. This campaign is an external course, a manifestation of what the Unification Church can do for America. After Yankee Stadium, Father intends to take a campaign to every state in America and to the Washington Monument. At that time, the real face of the Unification Church will be clear to everyone.

Then when someone tries to attack the Unification Church, those people who know what we stand tot will have something to say back. Therefore, regardless of what they think about out beliefs, our clothes of out looks, I believe Americans are willing to respect us as long as they can see that we are doing something which needs to he done. This is a great moment in American history because this will be the moment we mobilize the people for a tremendous new revolution. This has to he the time when we finish the task that was started 200 years ago.

200 years ago the newness of the American Revolution electrified the world. It gave hope to people who were in complete slavery. It gave hope to people who would not have dated to believe such a thing was possible before. Its words, documents, ideas and beginning institutions were tremendously inspiring. But because we rose higher than any nation had ever risen before, we lost sight of the ultimate goal. We began comparing ourselves to other people; when we found that we were ahead we stopped.

That was such a mistake, because we are still fat short of the goal. Unless we continue to work until we reach that goal, even the things that we have achieved now cannot last and will not mean anything. The mission of our church and the mission of the Bicentennial God Bless America Festival is to finish the work of the American Revolution.

There are millions of people just like I was, waiting for someone to sound the alarm. I did not think I was looking for a religious group. I did not understand a lot of the problems. But if someone at that time had really sounded the call to bring the American Revolution back on the track, I would have jumped in. There are people just like that, waiting tot someone to sound the call. They do not want to take just one step, if someone can remind them of the ultimate dream, they will join.

People are looking. They are more aware of the problems of our society. They are more willing to face them and discuss them, so they are more aware of the need for a solution. This is our chance to show them the Unification Church's solution. Doing this on the level of America's mission is the key to bringing Father to the people and the people to Father. And this will be the beginning of salvation.

I couldn't be more inspired about the Bicentennial campaign! We have one short year to do incredible things. It is such a heavy responsibility to use this year wisely. After this year, if we haven't fanned the flames, the time will pass. To prepare it again would be impossible, it would take more than another hundred years. This is the year that people will dare to hope again. This is the year that God has to answer their prayers we are the people who will carry the answer to them. It can be done only if all of us work together in complete oneness, centered around Father's desire to give the American people a feeling of a new American Revolution. 

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