The Words of the Spurgin Family
Father has said that the person who loves something the most is, in one sense, its true owner. Who loves America the most? God and True Parents do! How many of you here love America? Father has asked us to claim ownership of America in the name of God. Who owns America then? We do! Though many of us are not originally from America, we still must be the new Americans.
After Father came here in 1971, he proclaimed the founding of a new, reborn America. For almost two decades, Father has been proclaiming a new vision for America. Father's speeches at Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Washington Monument explain that vision. The Washington Monument rally was on September 18. The U.S. Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. Do you see the relationship between the two events? There is often a close relationship between the history of our church and the history of America. Although the founding fathers of America had a plan for our nation, they did not always know what they were doing. Recently Father has made the vision for America more clear. When Father established Foundation Day on September 18, 1976, he was commemorating a vision of a new America as well as a re- founding of the old America.
God prepared America as a special nation that would be the foundation for the worldwide ministry of the Lord of the Second Advent. Never before was there an entire nation set up with a republican form of government. Prior to 1787, all other nations in the history of the world were monarchies or dictatorships. And in America, all ethnic groups or races of people co-exist. Today, some other nations are now diverse or pluralistic, but America was the first nation in which people from every background and every part of the world could live in harmony. Why is this? So that when the True Parents came they could have a nation that represented the entire world.
I want to talk about three areas in American history and how they relate to us today: the Revolutionary War period with George Washington as commander in chief and later as president; the era of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War; and the founding of a new America today, based on the vision of our True Parents. Each was a period of a "founding" of America. A spiritual battle has been going on in America between God and Satan -- a battle that Father is personally involved in. Father's battle is not so different from the wars that Washington or Lincoln and their generals fought.
The Revolutionary War officially began with the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that citizens have certain inalienable rights. It contained a list of grievances against the king of England and declared the colonies free and independent. Today, as Unification Church members, we need a new Declaration of Independence that proclaims our independence from Satan. Who does America really belong to? To God, True Parents, and to us! We have to claim the American people for God, but they are under bondage to sin. The original Declaration of Independence set people free in one sense, but not in the ultimate spiritual sense.
Recently, I visited and prayed at various historical Revolutionary War sites near Philadelphia, including Valley Forge. There would not be an America if it weren't for the faith and courage of George Washington at Valley Forge.
It was the darkest moment, the lowest point of the war. Washington's army was on the verge of collapse. In the autumn of 1777, the British came right into the heart of the nation's capital Philadelphia -- took over, and decided to stay for the winter. Washington could have gone south to a warmer spot, but he did not. He kept his troops 18 miles from Philadelphia in a field in Valley Forge because he wanted to keep his eyes on the British. There, in the middle of a bitter winter, Washington's soldiers built huts and just endured. The men were starving. They had very few clothes; some were practically naked. Many deserted; many lost hope. The army and the revolutionary cause were clearly in trouble. If Washington had given up, all would have been lost. But Washington was determined to keep his troops together so that when the spring came, there would at least be a remnant of an army left that others could join.
Miracles happened that winter. The French became our allies. That was a major factor in the outcome of the war. Other leaders came from Europe to help. A German general named von Steuben trained the ragged soldiers, who were neither unified nor disciplined. Each man had his own way of thinking and his own way of fighting, yet von Steuben was able to make them all into one army. And he couldn't even speak English? He spoke French to Lafayette, who then translated to the soldiers. He taught them how to fight European-style and how to be a unified, disciplined army.
Valley Forge was not a military victory; it was a victory of perseverance, faith, and heart. That winter Washington got down on his knees and prayed because there was no one else to rely on but God. That period of determination became the foundation for this nation. If Washington had kept his men down in Virginia, he would not have known what the British were doing. So the moment the British moved in the spring, he knew within a matter of hours where they were going and what they were planning to do. In fact, he immediately attacked and won a victory. From there, the Continental Army went on to win the war. There would have been no autonomous United States of America if it were not for what was accomplished at Valley Forge.
After the military victory of the Revolutionary War, America went through a period of recovery. The question became, What do we do now? How do we establish a nation? There was confusion, uncertainty, and no central authority. The colonies had been basically independent and didn't want to give up their freedom to a national government, because they were afraid of central authority. They established a weak national government under the Articles of Confederation, but eventually they realized the need for a central government to protect them, and they worked together to establish a federal Constitution. The nation was founded on the basis of the Constitution, and Washington became the first president.
However, mistakes were made at the time of this nation's founding. One of the major ones was allowing slavery. Neither the United States Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence condemned slavery. The founding fathers should have taken a strong stand on this issue, but they did not because of objections from some Southerners. Seventy years later, we had to fight a civil war in America over the issue of slavery.
During the 19th century even the North resisted abolishing slavery in the South. Businessmen in New England didn't want slavery abolished in the South because it put money in their pockets. Initially, only a small number of idealistic or religious people cared about the abolition of slavery and decided to take a stand against it. At first they were rejected, persecuted, and ostracized, but within a period of three or four decades, that small group grew. Finally, a new political party, the Republican Party, was founded, which did not condone slavery. With the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate, the tide finally turned. September 22, 1862, was the day Abraham Lincoln bravely announced his politically unwise decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation to liberate the slaves in the South. He probably received inspiration from God to do this in spite of the difficulties. This is surely an example of restoration through indemnity, for what freedoms were not established at the beginning had to be established through bloodshed.
After the Civil War, America went through the same kind of problems it had gone through after the Revolutionary War -- a period of chaos, recovery, and economic uncertainty.
Today we are in a third period; we again are at the point of the re-founding of America, freeing it from the ultimate enemy -- Satan. True Parents have brought a higher vision for America. As Americans following our True Parents, we must realize how important we are. Do you see anybody else who is doing more than we are doing or who has a greater vision than the True Parents have? Because of who the True Parents are, we are the people through whom God is working. Each of us must think, "I am the person through whom God is working at this moment to restore America." History is being restored through us, as Unificationists. The founding fathers accomplished certain things in America, but they also failed in various ways. Through whom are they going to be resurrected, if not through us?
Unfortunately we don't know our value to God, to True Parents, or to history. America has to change, and the failures throughout its history have to be restored through us. America had certain great ideals from the beginning, but it has not always lived up to those ideals. And even when it did, we must recognize that the vision of the True Parents is much greater. An America that represents the entire world, that is unselfish, that is doing the will of God, that is fulfilling God's purpose in the dispensation of restoration -- that is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave. That is what America is to be.
Ultimately, people need to be free of Satan, of Satan's influence, and of Satan's environment. People today are slaves to alcohol, to drugs, to extramarital sex, to pornography, to materialism, to secularism -- to this and to that. People have limited control over their emotions. They are slaves to their passions, slaves to sin. True freedom is freedom from sin, freedom from Satan.
God and True Parents need America. Who is going to defend the world against the advance of communism? Who is going to liberate the people in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe? Inspiring, loving, and eventually liberating all the peoples of the world is our responsibility as a nation.
God loves the new America that we arc founding, but many of our members lost hope and gave up. There has been a spiritual battle going on, and they deserted the cause, just as at Valley Forge when many soldiers gave up and ran away. Wars are not pretty or nice. People get killed fighting wars. Father has been fighting a battle against Satan, and it has not been pretty or nice. When you are at war there is not much time for a lot of discussion and dialogue. But now the war is over, because True Parents have won a victory. The victory was won at Washington Monument and Danbury. But it was a tough battle. People were wounded; many were hurt badly. And many deserted. Satan told them that they were no good, that they failed to meet the expectations of the True Parents and of God, and that there was no hope. Satan told them that nobody cares, that nobody truly believes in the True Parents, and that nobody believes in our Parents' vision of a new America.
Some former members have declared independence from the church. They thought the problem was the church, and so they left life in our church centers. They have become private people with little or no connection to the church. Unfortunately, they didn't realize that a real war was going on, and that it was with Satan, not with the church. We have to find those private citizens and make them public citizens of our new nation, encouraging them to participate in some way with the church's activities.
These former members don't know who and where their real enemy is because the war has been more of a spiritual than a physical battle. It was very clear that the enemy for America during the Revolutionary War was the British. The enemy for the Union at the time of the Civil War was the Confederate States. But today many people fail to recognize that the enemy is Satan. We must help them declare independence from Satan.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in America, probably millions, who at one time loved and were inspired by our True Parents. Tens of thousands of people have heard the Principle in this country. There are also thousands of blessed members and others who for many years worked and fought in the battlefield.
Many ministers came to Father's speeches, to rallies for religious freedom, to CAUSA banquets and various seminars. Many people were in the audience when Father spoke at Washington Monument and elsewhere. They heard, and they have surely not forgotten. They are among us; we have to find them. We have to carry the message to them that the war is over, that we now have a new opportunity, and we must ask them to join us in "founding" a new America.
The second seven years of the Children's Course began in May of 1988. What is our responsibility as adopted children of the True Parents? We are to carry on Father's tradition. As well as finding new people, we have to re-inspire those who left because of frustration and resentments and bring them back. We need to find "citizens" for the new spiritual nation we are founding.
We need to begin by taking the themes and ideals of the old America and raise them to a higher level. All of the same patterns exist for our movement today that existed in the Revolutionary War period and the Civil War period. The major problem after the Civil War was race relations. The slaves were emancipated and officially granted citizenship and were told they were equal. But after 1877 other forces brought about segregation and separation of the races, instead of harmony. Ultimately we need to become one nation under God that unites people of all races, creeds, nationalities, and backgrounds into one harmonious unit centered on the will of God, in order that there be a foundation for a new America to which the Messiah can come.
We are the people of this new nation, and of the worldwide Kingdom to come. Because of who True Parents are, we are the citizens of the Kingdom of God. We are the ones to liberate and free the people. We are the ones through whom the founding fathers of America are working. We each have to realize our importance. The most important question is not whether we were born in America, but whether we love America.
True Parents have loved America more than anyone in history, even more than George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. We are their children, so we must also love the vision of what America can become -- not only out of duty, but out of our heart. On that foundation, we can win the hearts of people who are still under Satan's bondage.
Can you believe and visualize that the founding fathers are working with us?
We are restoring their mistakes. We need to pray that the spirit of the founding fathers will come to us, and we need to repent for the failures of America -- for our racism, for what the early Americans did to native American Indians, etc. On a foundation of repentance and with the help of God, we will be able to build a new America.
Please think, "I am a true American. I am founding the new America based on the True Parents' vision for it." Either you are a patriot or you're not. Either you are doing God's will in America or you are not. Either you are restoring America and loving God and True Parents, indemnifying the failures and repenting for America, loving the people, and proclaiming True Parents' vision, or you are not.
Let us tell those who lost the vision that the war is over and the victory is won. Let us heal their wounds and hurts. Let us go out and re-inspire them to participate in the Kingdom-building. Let us tell them that we are entering a new stage for our movement in the United States. We are still restoring the past, but we, and most especially the True Parents, have paid the price for that evil history. The victory has been won. Now we have to start anew. Let us tell them that it is possible.
Let us proclaim the Liberty Bell's message of "Let Freedom Ring" -- especially for America's youth. A whole new generation of idealistic youth is rising up now and waiting for us to reach out to them and teach them. Since many of today's teenagers were very young when the media were condemning our church, they have never heard the negative publicity. They can become the foundation for our new nation and world. But they have to be inspired by us.
I believe the vision of a new nation and world will come through us. Let me ask you again, "Who is a true American?" We are! "Who loves America the most?" We do!
Who else is going to love America? Father has given us the vision; thus we have the responsibility to fulfill it. We must "be responsible" to do what is right. Let us become true children. Let us found a new America that will serve the "nation of the world" to come.