The Words of the Yang Family
Welcome Remarks at the First Million Family March Prayer Breakfast
Chang Shik Yang
Continental Director - Family Federation for World Peace & Unification
Interfaith Prayer Breakfast for the Million Family March
September 29, 2000
Rev. Fauntroy, Minister Benjamin Muhammad, Archbishop Stallings, Dr. and Mrs. Ballard, Dr. Reid, Dr. Taylor, my dear brothers and sisters. It is my great honor to welcome you to this Interfaith Prayer Breakfast for the Million Family March on behalf of the ACLC- the American Clergy Leadership Conference. Who are we? And what is the ACLC? We are pastors and imams, priests and clerics of all kinds, going beyond what ANY ministerial association has done before: ALL faiths, ALL races, working together, beyond denomination, to uplift and renew the family. We recognize that the family is the first institution created by God, the building block of healthy communities, the cornerstone of strong nations, and the foundation of a peaceful world.
Why do we call the faith community to support the Million Family March? Because our families are the lifeblood of our nation. The mightiest empires in history rose and fell not by the might of their armies, or the authority of their governments, but by the strength of their family life, and the moral character that arose from strong families. Now, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan calls people from across America to unite together to strengthen and renew our families. The themes that the March is lifting up are simple, clear, and sorely needed for this nation: Atonement, Reconciliation, and Responsibility.
Some may say: "the Minister is a Muslim, and I am a Christian. I cannot fellowship with him." But both the Bible and Koran tell us: "The Lord our God is ONE." The only reason we see God differently is that we do not yet see Him as He is. The scriptures teach: "now we see dimly, through a glass, then we shall see face to face." Others may say: how can one who has represented division now call for unity?" But this is what is most significant and beautiful. America was born from a beautiful vision: "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL." But you and I know that to this day, that vision is yet to be fulfilled. America’s founding ideal and God’s standard for this country is: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that ALL men are created equal." But the founding fathers, though they were great men, never envisioned a nation like we have today: with diverse races, faiths, and ethnicities. And America’s original sin is the gap between that ideal and our reality.
Minister Farrakhan’s tradition and work was born at a time when America was in fact an apartheid nation. And the minister’s clearly stated and focused mission was the reclaiming of the lost identity of black Americans- the restoration of the human dignity and self-worth of a people who had been valued as less than human. However you or I may feel about how this was done, it is a deep part of the American drama; an important step in this nation’s journey toward redemption. Now God has lifted our brother’s vision to the whole of America, and the whole of humanity. In his recent personal journey, he has truly stood on the precipice and stared into the abyss of death, and God has brought him back- not a different man, but a deeper man. Like you and I, he is growing, and God is leading him. We can only marvel at the greatness of God; at the power of His mercy and steadfast love. And we should only encourage and embrace brother Farrakhan on his personal and public journey.
And so we cannot help but respond to Minister Farrakhan’s call for unity. To be sure, the majority of those who come to the national mall on October 16th will be those who have yet to experience: "liberty and justice for all." But if we love America- and I love this nation deeply… if we love God- and I do with all my heart, soul and strength… then we all must make the Million Family March OUR OWN. Why? Because nothing is more important for the future of our children- and our nation, than the renewal of our families; because atonement is something we ALL need- for America’s racial divide, religious bigotry, and family breakdown; because we need reconciliation: between husbands and wives, parents and children, and between a nation still divided and struggling; because you and I must take responsibility- to guarantee the American dream to ALL of our children, and to heal our nation.
So I, and my wife, and my 8 children will be standing together at our nation’s capitol on October 16th. We will make the Million Family March our own. And I promise you that with the wholehearted support of Rev. & Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, all the families of the Unification Movement from across the nation and many from around the world will be there. I hope to see you there as well, and together we will make a rainbow of religions, races and cultures, to celebrate and renew that most precious institution that is the lifeblood of our nation- our families. I welcome you this morning in fellowship, in prayer, and in searching- that we may each and every one make the Million Family March our own. May God Bless you, and your family… and through us, may God Bless America. Thank you.
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