The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009

Our Right to Religious Freedom

In Jin MoonAugust 23, 2009
Lovin’ Life Ministries

In Jin Moon and Toru Goto.

Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? Such beautiful faces in the audience! I have got to be the luckiest senior pastor in America.

I’m delighted to see you once again. This Sunday is a very special Sunday for me because last night I had a wonderful dream in which I was able to spend a loving and wonderful time with my older brother who has passed away [Hyo Jin Moon]. He was the one who was instrumental in bringing the vision of the Manhattan Center into fruition. He and I shared many years of laughter and tears, many years of suffering and great victories together. He remains with me every day when I come to work here at the Manhattan Center.

In the dream he was so beautiful. I saw him in his prime. His hair was flowing. He loved long hair and he loved to have it fly in the wind. In the dream we were talking about a lot of things, but one of the things that we used to love to do was get in a car, and he would crank up the stereo really loud and play some of his favorite pieces or songs he had recently written. Many times we would go through a whole catalogue of different types of music that we heard growing up, which he literally inculcated into my brain. We used to drive, with no particular destination, but just enjoying each other’s company and the power of music.

Music, for my older brother was truly something meaningful. Perhaps because I spent a great deal of time with him, I like nothing better than to spend a moment here and there to listen to my favorite tunes. And how lucky I am to have such a phenomenal band! Every time I hear the band, I’m reminded of my older brother.

One of the things we used to do when we were younger and our parents were encouraging us to experience the pioneering spirit and get a taste of what fundraising was like, my brother, and our siblings and I, with a bunch of blessed children, thought, “We have to spend some time in a van, and we’re going to live for the sake of others by dedicating ourselves to raise money for the great cause that our Heavenly Father wants to implement through the will of our True Parents.” But my brother always said, “If we’re going to do something, we might as well have a good time doing it.” Not only were we enthused by the spirit, but once we all got the van and my brother turned the ignition, the first song blaring out would be “Born to be Wild.” My brother loved that song so much because it had a feeling like the movie Easy Rider that was so famous and gave birth to a whole new generation of copycats, all these motorcycle gangs going around the country, wanting to experience America, being as free as the wind, riding the wind. This song represented freedom for my brother.

We would go on to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, and then we would invariably find ourselves listening to Scorpions’ Holiday and Winds of Change. He had a whole litany of songs that would get him in the mood to hit the pavement for fundraising. The van was quite an experience because he had a great stereo system, so the minute you got in and the van took off, you could not help but shake and rattle together with it. By the time we got to our destination and were dropped off, we were feeling quite good, really wild, and excited about making our daily goals. These are the kind of loving memories that I have of my older brother.

I know many of the First Generation went this course, too. Maybe you didn’t have the added benefit of a special stereo system, starting your morning out with Born to Be Wild and going on to Stairway to Heaven and so on. But each of us went through the pioneering years fundraising and witnessing, right? Our Second Generation now has an opportunity to get a taste of that -- not to go through the same process over and over again like a never-ending churn of the water wheel, but the Second and Third Generations have an opportunity through different programs like STF to get a taste of what it was like to be a pioneer in the early days of our church and to experience what it’s like to live for the sake of others 24/7.

Think about the way we were in the time of the wilderness, and fast-forward 50 years later to celebrating last May 1 the 50th anniversary of the founding of HSA. Now we are entering the age of settlement. During all this excitement, roving around the country, and doing wonderful things, we were like bands of crusaders, totally inspired to wake the people up, to let them know the breaking news that True Parents are here.

But here we are, several decades later and we find ourselves with families, with these beautiful sons and daughters we call munchkins, and we realize that we’re getting older but our families are growing bigger. Many of us can even look forward to becoming grandparents. The face of our movement is changing.

Over the years one thing has remained constant through our life of faith. From the beginning, when my father received the order from Jesus Christ to carry on his mission and to establish for the first time on earth the first true family of humankind, he has worked tirelessly, ceaselessly, and obsessively to substantiate what God has been waiting for ever since he thought about the purpose of creation and created his first son and daughter, Adam and Eve.

Throughout all these years my father has been so consistent, so loyal, and so dedicated in the face of persecution and accusation. We as his children, following in his footsteps, know that, as our reading from the Hindu religion says, a life of faith is really like treading upon the edge of a sharp razor. It’s extremely difficult, and it’s extremely painful. We are here because we have been called to rise and awake, and we have been called to experience oneness with our True Parents and with our Heavenly Parent, our God. We have consistently tried our best to walk this life of faith.

There was an initial rush -- and I’m talking about the American movement here -- an initial rush of excitement of young people truly being inspired and galvanized by this new message that Jesus’ mission needed to be fulfilled and we had an opportunity to take part in it. The young people of America could not have been more excited. We had hundreds coming to various workshops, flooding our centers and our homes, wanting to hear this breaking news, this glorious message, this undeniable truth that we call the Divine Principle.

Over the years we got the recognition of our politicians; we were given keys to every state in the United States. My father was heralded as a great religious leader. But of course we know that when the American people realized that my father was getting too much power over the young people, there was an incredible backlash, and we started hearing things like “Moonies, Moonies, Moonies, Reverend Moon, the cult leader.” We saw countless pictures of my father looking something like Hitler on the front page of the Washington Post or the New York Times or the Boston Globe. The most unflattering picture you could pick of this adorable man that I call my father was shown over and over again, not just in print media but also on television, and ceaselessly we heard our church called a cult, something weird to be avoided and that should not be embraced.

Being children of such a father, my brothers and sisters also went through a difficult time of physical, mental, and emotional abuse because of who we were. We were on the front line just like you, brothers and sisters. Just as much as you suffered, we suffered along with you. During this difficult time when we were trying to stay together as a movement, we were in a huddle position, trying to protect ourselves from incessant persecution, accusation, and misunderstanding.

We saw the rise of the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) as well as of something hideous called deprogramming. We were seen as brainwashed zombies, not able to think for ourselves, and therefore we were deprived of something as important and crucial to human life as free will. God gave us free will so that we can make a choice as to how we want to live our lives. Probably one of the most important human rights was taken away from us because we were seen as brainwashed zombies, as simply programmed robots of the Reverend and Mrs. Moon. Therefore came the concept that we needed to be deprogrammed. We were turned into debased, unfeeling, unemotional, illogical and crazy robot-people.

This understanding of us as brainwashed zombies deprived us of free will and the freedom to worship, which are so fundamental to this great country of America. The Founders came here with the belief that they should be able to exercise the freedom to worship their Lord, and that is what gave birth to this great country of America. One of the most important additions to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees our freedom and upholds this democratic country that we love so dearly, is the Bill of Rights.

When it was first introduced by James Madison, the Bill of Rights, The first Ten Amendments, was a series of articles. On the basis of his introduction of these articles to the first U.S. Congress in 1789, it was ratified by December 15, 1791. The most important amendment out of these ten of what we call the Bill of Rights, which is basically a set of limits on what government can or cannot do regarding personal liberties, is the First Amendment. It states that the Congress shall make no laws respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof.

It is this amendment that gives us the freedom to worship. It’s fundamental to our country; it’s fundamental to our way of thinking. It’s fundamentally a God-given right that Americans enjoy in this country. But what the Cult Awareness Network and different types of deprogramming associations did was basically paint our movement and us as something subhuman, not entitled to exercise our human rights or enjoy the right to worship in a manner that we would choose. To take away these rights, which are so fundamental to human beings, is the greatest crime, I believe, in this world. To be portrayed as an evil lot, something to be squashed, something to be thrown out, to be castigated, has been probably one of the most painful things that our movement has had to endure.

This Cult Awareness Network, what did they do to our beautiful brothers and sisters? And why did such beautiful brothers and sisters look brainwashed? A lot of you, before you were infused with the divine spirit, before you were inspired by this incredible truth, maybe led a life that was quite different. Your parents knew you as hippie / yippies, roaming around the country with your backpack, not concerned about anything, not wanting to be anything, maybe getting into trouble, dabbling in drugs and free sex, maybe even having a couple of visits to the police station. But once you heard the message by Reverend Moon, you became like enlightened saints. It’s almost as if somebody turned the switch on and you became a beautiful light colored with the color of true love.

Maybe when you next returned to visit your parents, the brothers’ hair was slightly shorter. Maybe the sisters in the room didn’t care about material things the way they did before because you were infused with a light. Maybe brothers and sisters who were partying with drugs and free sex, living the night life, had parents who wondered, “What happened to them? It’s almost as if somebody washed their brain, and they’re totally new people.”

The thing about most people is that we are afraid of change. Many times when we see change happening in our midst, the first response is fear. So when your parents saw this night-and-day transformation from a nightlife playboy or playgirl to a God-inspired saint like Mother Theresa, then I’m sure they were quite shocked by the change. Many times, the immediate response to change is fear. Then add that to the negative campaign that was churning out horrible things, the gossip, accusations, and lies about my father and about our movement.

When my husband was in the Ph.D. program at Columbia University, completing his doctorate in finance, there were quite a few Korean students there. We invited two of them to dinner in our apartment in married student housing. I prepared a good Korean meal for our guests. We wanted to have a wonderful evening of conversation.

The first thing they did was walk into our apartment, and on my bookcase was a beautiful picture of my mother and father holding hands and gazing into the camera. Immediately these two students and their wives looked at the various pictures there but zoomed in on the one of my parents. One said to the other, “Isn’t this Rev. Moon?” The other replied, “I think it is.” I said, “You’re right. They are.” Then they said, “Why do you have a picture of Reverend Moon? I said, “Why not? Don’t you think they’re beautiful people?” They looked at me with a shocked expression and said, “Don’t you know who they are?” I said, “I know them really well.” They said, “Don’t you know, they brainwash people there? They’re always talking about change of blood lineage. They make you drink blood.”

I said, “Oh, really?” They said, “Yes, and they send you off to these horrible places and lock you up until you’re brainwashed and then they let you out.” I said, really? They said, “You must get rid of this picture. It’s bad to have it in the apartment.” I said, “No, I think I’ll keep the picture.” Then I thought I should let them in on my secret, so I had to tell them, “Actually these two lovely people in the picture are my parents, whom I adore.”

Then the other student said, “They call Reverend and Mrs. Moon parents. All the members call them parents. She’s just calling them parents. Maybe she’s a member.” I said, “No, they are my parents.” They looked at me strangely. I said, “No, we’re not vampires. We don’t drink blood. But yes, we do believe in the importance of lineage and the change of blood lineage from the satanic realm to the heavenly realm. That we believe in.”

Then they said to me, “What about all the sexual orgies? I hear that every member can swap wives and have sex with another member.” I said, “Really? Nobody told me that one.” I might have thought about that one. But I said, “No, look. When we celebrate and worship together, yes, we’re looking at each other like brothers and sisters. We’re very, very close. But do we swap wives? Absolutely not. We believe in loving somebody for eternity. We believe in dedicating ourselves to somebody special who has been prepared for us, who has been picked for us. It’s our duty and a wonderful responsibility to try our best to create this thing called an ideal family, by dealing with all the day-to-day opportunities and problems that arise when you walk in this life of faith.”

Then we tried our best to have a wonderful meal, but the evening basically turned into a question-and-answer session. Later on we were able to bring them to a workshop so they could get an understanding of what we believed in and what we stood for. That was a little taste of the perception of our movement held by people not in it. Because we are so phenomenal or maybe because you guys are so brilliant in your light when you are switched on, it caused a lot of people to be afraid.

Your poor parents were like the perfect victims for something like the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). It was with the help of your parents that something as hideous and horrendous as CAN could kidnap our members and put them through deprogramming, literally CAN-ing them into something that wasn’t human anymore.

I’ve noticed one thing about people who have gone through the deprogramming, have not survived, and have left our movement. It’s funny how they can still never forget about True Parents. Either they have to live the rest of their life by helping at CAN, helping by hating each and every day the movement that you used to belong to, or many of them end up coming back sooner or later because they tasted something that was beautiful, something that was real and genuine. The thing about human beings is, once you taste something and you know it’s a good thing, you cannot live without it.

American members are lucky in that we are living in a country with a constitutional government. We can rely on the due process of law, and even though the law may not be most favorable to us at times, we can still put up a good fight. But one of the things that I want to do this Sunday is to raise awareness of what is going on in the rest of the world.

I’m sure you heard about our sister who was imprisoned in Kazakhstan for two months, and that we had a brother, a Palestinian, who was tortured and abused over a couple of years and just came back to reunite with his wife in America. One of the things that I would really like to share with you this morning are the horrendous stories of deprogramming that are going on in Japan.

When I first got a report of what’s actually going on in Japan and I talked to some of my outside friends, they said, “But Japan is a democratic country! Something like this just cannot happen. How can something like this happen?” Well, brothers and sisters, we need to know very clearly that ever since 1966 until the present there have been over 4,000 cases of deprogramming and kidnapping in Japan. Our brothers and sisters along the way have done their best to fight each case, but the difficulty is that in Japan the authorities are many times working in conjunction with the parents, and the parents are working in conjunction with different ministers that they are bringing in to participate in this deprogramming effort.

One person in particular, Mr. Goto, is a wonderful brother who was studying architecture. He’s a shy, mild-mannered man. He’s slightly over six feet tall, and spiritually he’s a giant. He is a wonderful brother who was actually witnessed to by his elder brother. But that elder brother ended up leaving the church and became disillusioned, and joined the president of a deprogramming company in Japan run by a man named Takashi Miyamura.

Mr. Goto’s family kidnapped him first in 1987. Mr. Goto was able to escape, but then eight years later they kidnapped him again. He was pushed into a car, taken off to an apartment, and was held for 12 years and five months, brothers and sisters, against his will. What is so horrific about his situation is that his family took part in confining him all these years. I want you to look at the different pictures of what Mr. Goto had to endure over the years. This is a picture of him when he was released. He used to weigh 150 pounds, but when he finally defeated his captors -- because they realized that after 12 years and five months, this man’s faith is not going to break, and they threw him out onto the street with a pair of shoes -- he weighed only 85 pounds. He lost half his body weight. As you can see, he could barely stand because of malnutrition and lack of exercise. His muscles had atrophied.

Even though the distance from where he was released to the nearest church headquarters was only 10 kilometers, he couldn’t even make it halfway before collapsing in the street. Luckily, by the will of God, the second person that he happened to meet was a sister. She was able to bring him to the headquarters, and then he was taken to a hospital.

When I first saw these pictures of his hands, it looked almost like the sign of the stigmata. Mr. Goto is the second son in his family, truly in the position of Abel and coming from the country that represents Eve, I felt that his suffering was truly a sacrificial suffering in that through everything he has endured, we can raise awareness of the human rights violations that are taking place in Japan.

Mr. Goto is just one example. They held him captive in this eighth-floor apartment, where he was confined to one little space, Room 804. This picture was taken after he was released and revisited the place. When he revisited the apartment, he actually went down to the seventh floor apartment just below where he was confined. He asked the woman there, “Did you not hear my screaming? Did you not hear my kicking?” She said, “No, I did not hear anything.” In the course of the 12 years he was confined there, he realized that on the fifth floor the deprogrammers were using another apartment to deprogram someone else in the same way.

Mr. Goto’s suffering is the incredible suffering of one individual, but the awareness that I want all of us to have is that thousands of our brothers and sisters have suffered, and many are still suffering. Members in Tokyo right now are unaccounted for and are believed to have been abducted with the help of their parents, the police, and some ministers representing established religions.

Mr. Goto’s suffering is just one extreme example of such a prolonged confinement, but there are people like Dr. [Hirohisa] Koide, who was confined for two years and actually lived to tell about it in a book. He recounts how he would have daily debates with his captors: “Do you realize what you are doing is a violation of human rights?” He was so articulate and intelligent -- unlike the stereotype of what a brainwashed zombie is -- that they actually had to bring a lawyer to talk to him. The lawyer was making the case: “It is not illegal to deprogram criminal organizations like yours in Japan.” These were the words that the lawyer was using.

How can a lawyer, whose job it is to uphold the law, come to a place where somebody is held against his will, where his free will is thrown out the window, where all the windows are bolted and doors are locked, where he is given meager nutrition so that he would be easier to break, and kept under severe mental duress? For a lawyer to walk in and say that what they are doing is not illegal is absolutely ludicrous.

Then you have somebody like Mr. Kobayashi, who was kidnapped three times by his family with the help of a deprogrammer. The third time he was confined for over six months. At the beginning of this kidnapping, he managed to alert police who took him and his captors to the police station, where he expected relief from his confinement. But what did they do? They gave him over to his family, saying it was a “family matter.” Brothers and sisters, holding an adult who is over 21 years of age against his will, forcibly confining him, physically abusing him, mentally abusing him, and emotionally abusing him cannot be categorized simply as a “family matter.”

You have the case of Mr. Nozoe, who went home to visit his Christian minister mother, but unbeknownst to him the deprogrammers were there waiting for him, and they whisked him off for 23 days of confinement. He escaped by jumping out of a third-floor balcony. This is how desperate our brothers and sisters are. These are the things they have to endure to seek the freedom to worship.

I just named three brothers, but there are many sisters who, because they come from an Asian culture, have a very difficult time coming forward. The deprogrammers know we believe in the importance of purity, in the importance of fidelity in marriage. So some of these single Japanese sisters, as well as sisters who were already blessed, were raped to break their faith because they know that if these women are raped, they will be seen as dirty and feel incredible shame. But they also know that because the women are Japanese, they will not readily come forward to talk about their difficulty and the cross that they had to bear.

These atrocities are not happening 500 years ago. They are happening now. They are happening in a country that professes to be a democratic nation. And they are robbing the free will that every member of our community and every individual in this world should have. These poor brothers and sisters have been suffering in silence, but no more. It took about a year for Mr. Goto to come here and for us to finally welcome him to the country that was born from a concept of religious freedom.

Don’t you think, brothers and sisters, that as Americans we need to do something about raising the awareness of these human rights violations that are taking place in Japan? Absolutely. In the past maybe we treated the problems of Japan as Japanese problems, we treated the problems that the European countries were dealing with as European problems, and we treated problems we dealt with here in the American movement as American problems. But I said to Mr. Goto, “We are supposed to be a movement that represents one family under God. Japan’s problem is our problem.”

As long as our brothers and sisters in Japan are fighting for their right to exercise their freedom to worship, we need to be right there behind them. We need to be supporting them by talking to anyone who has an ear to listen, letting them know what’s going on. This is not an atrocity taking place in some unknown place with a name that’s unrecognizable. This happens to be one of the superpowers of the world in this modern day and age, a place where human beings should have the dignity to be able to choose for themselves how to worship God, our Heavenly Parent.

Brothers and sisters, I feel like this is a calling from God to the American movement. Our problems are nothing compared to what Mr. Goto and other brothers and sisters like him had to endure in prison; our small day-to-day problems are nothing compared to what our True Father went through over six times in different prisons, being thrown out for dead, having endured the extreme hunger, the extreme mental fatigue that comes from constant accusation, constant verbal abuse, constant emotional abuse.

When I saw the picture of Mr. Goto, I saw a picture of my father walking out of Hungnam prison, liberated by the allied forces. In those pictures, I see my father. These are the pictures that I want us to remember because our children should not ever be in that kind of photograph because of who they are or because of what they choose to believe in their lives. If we don’t stand up for our own, what are we going to stand up for, brothers and sisters?

This country, at the start of a new millennium, witnessed something incredible. We witnessed the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King realized in the election of President Obama to the White House. The impossibility of a black man being elected to the White House, built with the hands, with the blood, sweat, and tears of the slaves of America: That impossibility happened. We have broken down the barriers of race. But, brothers and sisters, what lies ahead for us and for the rest of the world is the barrier that still divides religion, that still divides and urges people to not love each other, to hate each other, to be fearful of each other, to attack what we don’t know, to malign what we don’t understand.

Different types of religion are like different fingers on a hand. We may be a different phalange, but we belong to the same hand. We belong to the same parent, which is God, our Heavenly Parent. So this issue of human rights violations, which is an infringement of every individual’s right to worship in the manner that he or she sees fit, is an incredibly important one. Instead of trying to squash something that people cannot understand or are fearful of, we have to say that at least understanding ourselves to be the children of God is better than not knowing that God is our Heavenly Parent at all.

So why can’t we concentrate on our common denominator? Why can’t we work on something that we can agree on? We might look different, we might smell different, we might come from different cultures, but we are all sons and daughters of God, and that’s what we need to concentrate on.

Father said to me many years ago, “America is providentially such an important country because from America you can manage the world.” America has to give birth to a new culture based on God-centered principles, based upon an understanding of God as our Heavenly Parent. I feel we have been so blessed to be a part of this country, to be citizens and enjoy freedoms that we take for granted. But these are the very freedoms that our brothers and sisters around the world are fighting for. We need to help them to the best of our abilities and fight along with them because their battles are our own, and their suffering is our suffering. Their victories are our victories.

My father said in a speech earlier that suffering and hardships are the instruments by which we give everything but gain everything. The interesting thing about Mr. Goto is that he gave everything; he lost 12 years and five months of his life. But God works in mysterious ways. Because he had an unbreakable faith, he had an infinite faith in his relationship with God, he developed a place where only God and he could go. He could channel this incredible landslide of emotion, this power of love, to light his way even in his darkest moments. So when he comes out, not only will he be a symbol of hope, like a saint who represents unbreakable faith, but he will be a living testament to the beauty of the human spirit, showing that regardless of what suffering and obstacles stand in our path, it’s the power of the spirit that will drive us into an incredible relationship with eternal God, our Heavenly Parent.

When I had the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Goto, he gave me a brief outline of some of his ordeals. I said, “God works in mysterious ways.” Many times my father used to joke with me, saying, “Your husband spent almost 10 years trying to get a doctorate. It’s an arduous process. It’s a lot of work, of sleepless nights, of exams he had to pass.” In a way Mr. Goto’s incarceration was like a Ph.D. program. The exams that he had to take, the incredible amount of time he had to spend in truly trying to understand himself -- not only did he come out with a victory of true love, but he came out as a Ph.D. of all the negative and anti-Unificationist material available on the planet.

I said to him, “In the last 12 years and five months, God has been training you to become our spokesperson, to become our representative to the world in telling people about the importance of human rights, and the illegality of the human rights violations that are taking place. The best way to defeat the enemy is to understand the enemy. You’ve got a Ph.D. in anti-Unificationist literature. You probably understand the enemy better than anybody.”

How wonderful that the second son from this Goto family can now stand in this position as a saint, symbolizing unbreakable faith. Not only can he inspire, but he can also guide us as a movement in the knowledge of what these people are saying about our community and about our precious True Parents.

As a mother, when I hear stories like Mr. Goto’s, I am confronted with desperation to raise up this awareness and really support the young people to take ownership of their generation, to call themselves a generation of peace -- meaning they are going to revel in knowing that God is their eternal True Parent. Be people who celebrate knowing that we are the eternal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Parent. We are going to live lives of altruism, for the sake of others, just because. Not because we are seeking any reward or because we’re eschewing any type of punishment later, but just because we want to be good people and we want to help.

This generation of young people needs to instill within us this understanding of compassion. We must be kind people to each other, to our friends, to our families, to our communities -- kind in the sense that we’re loving. But kind does not mean weak; kindness can be incredibly strong. And we need a spirit of cooperation to stand together against violence of any kind, against injustice of any kind, against this horrific thing called deprogramming that is taking place in Japan, even as we speak.

If we can inspire our young people that we need to be the embodiment of excellence because we are truly the manifestation of divine light that God is just waiting to turn on like a light bulb, then can you imagine a world where every young man and woman can come together into his understanding of what the word peace actually means? In the understanding that we belong to the same parent, God, our Heavenly Parent? Then there is a natural desire to love.

Here we are on stage. The band was singing about the speed of sound, and we’re always talking in science classes about the speed of light. But here at Lovin’ Life Ministries we’re talking about the speed of true love. It is incredible. It is profound, and it’s instantaneous. The only thing we need to decide to do with our free will is to turn it on.

Brothers and sisters, each day that our Heavenly Parent has given us, He is giving us that decision to make again and again. Are we going to turn the switch on and allow the heavenly electrical current of true love to flow through us so that we can truly be a brilliant light in the world? Are we going to be the kind of brothers and sisters who are going to honor each other and stand by each other, not only in the good times but as true friends who stand by people in their darkest hour?

For a lot of our brothers and sisters in Japan, this is their darkest hour. What they’re doing by deprogramming -- taking the emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being of our brothers and sisters -- is something that we cannot stand by and watch, thinking that it is not our problem here. What’s going on in Japan is our problem as well.

Please, I encourage all of you after service to greet Mr. Goto and the others who have come here. Welcome them to America. Let him feel your love. Let him be engulfed by our love, by the love of our Heavenly Parent, so that at least when he is with us here he can forget about 12 years and five months of suffering and really celebrate the fact that he is here with us. Just last year he was matched and blessed to a wonderful sister. So his life has just started.

I was joking with him about that 12 years and 5 months. His numbers, 1+2+5, add up to 8, the number of a new beginning. Just as the snake sheds its old skin to start a new life, this is the new phase of Mr. Goto’s life. He was preparing to be an architect, but now he has been touched by God and put through this special training by God, and he has turned into quite a phenomenal activist to help raise awareness of the injustice that is taking place.

We have asked the support of ACLC, of ministers all around the country, to be aware of what is going on in Japan. I’m going to ask the new CARP leader in America, Hero Hernandez, to take up the mantle of raising awareness of the human rights violations that are taking place in Japan and elsewhere all around the world against our brothers and sisters, and to really help people see that, in something like this, we cannot just turn the other cheek. That’s what we did in the time of wilderness, but in this time of settlement, it’s time to face the world and look at it confidently as sons and daughters of God and love the world with the true love that is just waiting for them through your hands.

Please help me welcome Mr. Goto into our congregation this morning. I hope that you can truly have a wonderful Sunday and a wonderful week to come. Please speak to your neighbors, your children, and to your relatives about the injustices that are taking place and the need for our community to support something that is worth fighting for. God bless. 

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