Unification News for July 2004
Chicago: My Hometown
I had the blessing of going to my hometown. First stop was with Bishop Kim and the ACLC monthly breakfast meeting. 200 clergy gathered as the ACLC monthly meeting in Chicago has become self sufficient and empowered with the same respect from Clergy and Politicians alike as that commanded by the major Ministerial Associations. In fact many believe it has become the central religious body of influence as the Mayor, Congressman, U.S. Senators and the Alderman of the city have grown to respect and love Father Moon for the amazing vision that launched ACLC.
In Chicago the dream of Father Moon has taken on a permanence and influence that is not something that comes because there are directions to work with clergy but rather an embodiment of the reality that a unified group of religious leaders, especially when crossing racial and religious lines has tremendous impact and stability in this modern day. The old alliances that were ethno or religio centric have lost their power as the diversity and need for understanding far and wide is the Dream that Dr. King saw for America and it is the mandate that heaven demands.
ACLC Chicago fulfills all this.
Results? What is the meaning of such influence. From Civil Rights leaders to the attraction that brought True Parents directly to Chicago of three occasions on a single event venue (never done at any time or in any other city or country in the world). Chicago has the first Christian Church that welcomed our True Parents on a public speaking tour. Breaking through the religious lines led the Chicago movement to bond with the Minister and the Nation of Islam opening the door not only to the Million Family March but to Al Aqsa Mosque. Detroit (part of Chicago Region under Bishop Kim) have brought very central and important religious leaders who stood on the stage with True Parents in the Coronation -- Imam Elahi and Rabbi W. The good Rabbi of Chicago Region was the one who said "this gathering of Muslims, Christians and Jews is in a harmony here at the Capitol that I must say can only be because the Messiah has come."
With that profound announcement the Rabbi stretched forth his hands , reminiscent of Isaiah, over the congregation of the Lord and offered the blessing of God for his diverse Children. Then as a cosmic moment forever indelibly etched in eternity he blew the Shofar -- sealing the Messianic proclamation. Results, it was the Chicago member of Congress who having been at the ACLC meetings since 2000 and having seen the unity of Clergy movement founded by Father Moon since the eighties was absolutely solid and deeply grounded in his faith in God as he lead the prestigious procession of the Coronation with Republican and Democrat, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim, Christian and Jew. This is real and the results are the tangible manifestation of the Mainstreaming of the Son of God. Something that Jesus dreamt of 2000 years ago and ever since.
As I brought the message I felt a sense of "heart" that was deeply comforting for one who wails over the suffering of God's children. From Rafa in the Gaza Strip to the streets Tel Aviv to the bloodied streets from Baghdad to Chicago. Please God, forgive us for not moving faster. If we just could move faster and proclaim and realize more successfully the cry that must be fulfilled at this time in History " Let My People Go!!" Our people are God's children, Christians that we grew up with, Jews that we have now repented with and our dear Muslim brothers who we now weep and march together with. Let our People Go. Just when your shout seems not to be stopping the bloodshed and violence, I find myself looking at God face to face -- in the face of A.I. Dunlap. Who 40 years ago as a youth and young A.M.E. Pastor faced another monster who many believed would never loose their legal sanction to kill in the name of the false superiority of one race. It was there in Danville, Virginia that Rev. A.I. Dunlap led a group of students on a march and met the white robed men with a Cross emblazoned in a small circle on their chests. These KKK with their pointed white sheet hats had Thompson Sub Machine Guns. As they faced down Rev. Dunlap and the youthful marchers the Holy Spirit came, as she always does in the moment of life or death, and gave Rev. Dunlap a scripture which he cried out:
Psalms 121:1 -- 4 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Upon reciting this verse a tremendous sense of power and energy from God swept over him (the same thing happened to David before Goliath), he then faced the Devil with a profound sense of inner peace and said, "Go Ahead and Shoot !!! For You Can Kill My Body But Not My Soul". Stunned in disbelieve as Dunlap began walking directly toward the central man they visibly shook and miraculously parted allowing the humble marches to walk right through silently. God made a way out of no way.
This is the A.I. Dunlap that I saw there at the Chicago Prayer breakfast on Tuesday morning. God sent me there so that I might gain strength as we go to Gaza. This is the Dunlap that when the Chicago Tribune smeared our work on the front page in 1987 saying "DuPage Officials Linked to Moonies.". The devastating headline caused the Superintendent of Schools (later state superintendent) who had been to 4 CAUSA conferences to immediately claim that "they lied to me" "I didn't know Moon was in it." A football star, a hero, a great politician, a popular guy. the superintendent with one word "MOONIE" became jelly.
Like Peter, just one week earlier at the state capitol at a conference for ALC this important person proclaimed in front of a bi-partisan conference of 29 State Legislators that this group founded by Rev. Moon was one of the "most important educational organizations to help the legislators know the "Constitutional Roots" of the great American Republic. It was hard to imagine when I called him the morning of the headline his saying to me, I can't be part of this, it will ruin me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. In interviews he claimed he knew nothing. Four times with Dr. Pak, four times watching the film on "Truth is My Sword" concerning the time when Donald Frazier held congressional hearings to try to destroy our True Parents. Did the superintendent know? You bet he knew. But in the moment of trial, he chose to save his own life. It was very, very sad. I will not recount the immense tragedies that befell this pour soul after this choice. However, this is real and it is history. He later repented to me and we embraced. He is forgiven. Lord let him be blessed now for he truly suffered great tragedies after his mistake.
That was the "Moonie" headline when read by Rev. A.I. Dunlap that caused him to say on his porch that August evening in 1987, "Mike, you want to picket the Trib?" I was stunned. When I asked others what they thought, they like me thought this idea was crazy.
When I looked out into the audience all these memories came back to me as I preached about the reality that we must build families in the image of God. That we must realize that Father Moon is the Messiah, that we must build the Peace Kingdom. Looking at A.I. my heart went back to where I came from and how God took me through the streets of this very tough city only to one day find myself walking side by side with some of the same Clergy -- like Rev. Levy Daugherty, Rev. Leroy Eliot and Rev. Jesse Edwards and Bishop Stallings and women like Bishop Margie Dela Rosa -- side by side in Gaza. Chicago was the training ground, just as God put each and every one of us in the training ground that he knew would best prepare us for the future. Looking at A.I. and Bishop Kim my soul was comforted and strengthened, then I saw Rev. Bruce Sutchar, true blue, always there, always brilliant with great wisdom about the city, the history, the Jews, the law and the clergy. Looking back further at the Prayer breakfast was Rev. M.E. Sardon.
The first day I arrived in Chicago in 1983 on IOWC I was taken by David Caprera to meet the clergy that was on the Project Volunteer Board, Rev. M.E. Sardon. The first pastor I met in this great city. Rev. M.E. Sardon, with us then and now 21 years latter at 92, with us now. It is amazing. This great civil rights leader was the first to say Amen when Dunlap said, "Let's Picket the Trib." Sardon and Dunlap were known names in Chicago. Before anyone hear of Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. M.E. Sardon was picketing the bread companies because they refused to hire black drivers even though the majority of their sales in that area was to black drivers. The Mayor at that time (we won't name any names), but it was in the 50's, asked Sardon to let go of the protest and said to him, "We can work this out with the Bread companies." So he went with the Mayor to one of the main bread company and was invited into the President's office.
It was there that the President pulled out a check saying, "Rev. Sardon, here is a check for $30,000 dollars to help your ministry and your fine work for the community -- all you have to do is call off the march." "Well, my, my, my" Sardon said. ( Sardon is big man around 6'2" and 260, a former Captain in the Army Corp of Engineers in WWII and one of the few black officers to serve under Gen. Mark Clark. ) "My, my, my. I'm sorry I just can't do that for we just want fairness and ask that you allow our certified black drivers to apply for work at your company. I'm sorry I just can't accept this check, what I really want is a chance to show you how well our young men will do under your employ." With that he tore up the check and before the disbelieving Mayor and Company President, he walked out the door, picked up his picket sign and took his place in the line.
The next day on the Picket line the police came roaring up in a squad car and handcuffed Rev. Sardon and took him to jail. He was booked on Felony charges of running a racket of "shacking down" the stores on the street that wouldn't hire blacks. Things became real dark in his life. A Felony Charge. Even family and friends and some clergy wondered if he had done something. Finally after many weeks in jail, he was brought before the judge. The case was presented and it just happened that the judge looked at Sardon and immediately upon hearing the presentation of the prosecuting attorney said, "Case Dismissed." "What" the prosecutor replied. The judge said, 'I've known and watched Rev. Sardon work in this community for many years and know that there is no way he has anything to do with this allegation. --- Case Dismissed !!" We serve a living God. Sardon went on to negotiate many, many opportunities and jobs for qualified black men. Sardon was now walking on the Trib to decry the discrimination of Rev. Moon.
At the Prayer breakfast Tuesday, I looked over further and there was Rev. James Bevel, now a special advisor to Minster Farrakhan, and one of the most known and written about young civil rights leaders who walked with Dr. King. Jim taught me for many years the principles and ways of inclusion and non violence. Jim was the one that after the Dr. King was jailed in Birmingham and the adults were afraid to keep going he organized the Children's crusade and marched with students against Bull Connors fire hoses and police dogs. He taught the children, some grade school girls, "when you look into the policeman's eyes, do not fear, love him. Imagine that he is just like your uncle and say I Love You !!" These children won the day and the heart of America was turned. Jim also strategized and led the March on the Trib to clarify that the word "Moonie" was a label that was designed by haters to destroy the work of the man of God. Some Unificationists protested and said, we like this name, and Rev. Bevel would teach, "Who came up with it? " We answered that it first appeared in Time Magazine. He said, you don't realize do you that these terms are designed to isolate, ostracize and destroy you. That's why "Nigger" could cause people that normally would come to black peoples aid to tremble and run. No one wanted to be called a "Nigger Lover". These hate terms can kill. They cause death and destruction. "No, No, No he said. We have to a do a movement to educate the Publisher and the editors about this."
Thus the march on the Trib began. With these Civil Rights leaders that were convinced to their life’s blood that another "King" was on the planet. Another "Martin" had been sent by God. Only this time God was being even more clever, he sent this preacher from Korea and gave him a name that has the Sun and the Moon. With this kind of preaching in New Macedonia Baptist Church our hearts became light. About 40 gathered that first day of our rally and march on the Trib. We were encouraged. Then a new experience came about for Bruce and I that day... Everyone was excited, everyone was ready... We preached and worked all day and clarified the violation of the Trib and the hate behind the word. We wrote our statement and Rev. Bevel gave it a title .... Are the "Moonies" our new "Niggers" Wake Up Your Hearts. We all protested the title. "Jim", I said, "this is too strong". He said, it doesn't matter if its strong or not, it is true.
We went down to the Trib, leaving in many cars to carry the 40 preachers. When we go to the Trib, No One Showed Up!! Just Bevel, Sardon, Rev. Jakie Roberts and Dunlap, Bruce, Rev. Tommy Watson and I. "Man", I thought to myself, "We're going to get creamed by the Trib!!!" Rev. Watson, Bruce and I stayed outside with the picket signs (as Rev. Bevel requested). Sardon, Bevel and Jakie went in to see Jim Squires the managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. They discussed the whole term and Squires was unconvinced claiming , "I can write whatever I want to." Rev. Bevel said no, your privilege to write doesn't supersede our rights in America. You cannot violate other people and get away with it. If you keep violating minorities and discriminating against people of faith you eventually will make our community angry. You don't want our community to get angry believe me. The meeting ended in a deadlock. That night Mr. Squires called Rev. Bevel and said, "Jim, I've been following your career for many years. You have done a fine job and we wouldn't want to see you good name ruined. What are you doing with Moon. You don't know what I know. We have sources as a newspaper that give us in depth information. Moon is no good." Rev. Bevel said, " Oh I see, what is that information. I would like to know about this for if this man is as evil as you say he is, I would like to be the first to pick up a stone and join in the stoning. If he's that evil I need to know. Let me see what you have on him " Then Mr. Squires said, "It's confidential information that I can't let you have, just know that it is very bad." Rev. Bevel said, "If its that bad we should bring it out." Mr. Squires said, "Listen Jim, if you don't hear me we may have to dig up your background." Jim said, "Fine, please do, if you've got some dirt on me we should put it all on the table so I can clean myself up." The threats failed. Jim was standing on faith and principle. Rev. Moon was like Dr. King. Cut from the same cloth. He was sure of it.
The next day our rally at the church grew, we broke through and eventually 100 gathered at the Trib. Dr. Pak and old warrior for justice gave incredible and courageous advice each step of the way, he told me, "Michael, what ever you do don't let this cool down. Keep up the pressure." The local Family Church leaders totally understood and did not allow the fire to dwindle.
A sit in at the Trib was organized and Bevel, Sardon, Roberts and Dunlap were arrested. At the jail I went with Rev. W.M. Johnson to post the bail and as we walked through the doors you could here them singing at the top of their lungs old spirituals. The Jail house was rocking, the police were smiling.
This led to a four month court battle. The first court appearance, everyone said, would be just a day to through out the case. Nobody cares about a misdemeanor trespassing charge. We went in kind of carefree that day. Bruce Sutchar though I better call Don Kaplan my best friend and Jewish Lawyer. Don showed up. (Thank God). We got there and two well dressed attorney's were there for the Trib. I asked them, you're going to throw this out aren't you. They said, "No, we want a conviction." A conviction, woa. They wanted to humiliate the clergy. However as we stood before the Judge, the clergy were very seasoned over many years. The bailiff called The Chicago Tribune vs. Sardon, Bevel, Roberts and Dunlap. Then again, I watched the history unfold. They were there willing to go to jail for Father Moon. This set a different kind of condition. Amazingly the 30 or so clergy that came with us to the court that day all knew what to do. They all stood up and walked through the wooden gate of the Perry Mason style old Chicago courtroom. 34 ministers stood before the judge. All the clergy had the clerical collars on. Then the judge said, the Trib versus all these clergy. I don't know what this is all about but there is no way I can win in this situation. I recuse myself from this case. The court date was continued. The next time the Judge didn't show up. The next time the judge was sick. Don Kaplan, a pro bono Jewish tiger attorney had a subpoena served on Mr. Cook the Publisher of the Trib. His lawyers frantically fought to dismiss this subpoena but it couldn't be done. The Publisher of the Trib was going to have to face these civil rights leaders and explain why he wouldn't meet them the day they came. ( Because of his refusal to meet they sat in on the Tribune).
Each court date was electric. The word was out in Chicago. 10 to 15 TV and print media would come with cameras clicking away, but each time there was nothing in any paper the day after!!! Wow. The Trib had collective power with the media. The clergy were most surprised that the Chicago Defender reporters article got spiked. They called the owner who sheepishly told Rev. Dunlap, A.I. I'm sorry. We get all our newsprint paper from the Trib and they threatened to cut us off if we weren't silent."
Man, more goes on than meets the eye.
The Trib lawyers fought with Don Kaplan and then Don hit with the Rap sheets of Bevel, Sardon and Dunlap. All deep in the Civil Rights history. Countless arrests between the three of them. All for civil rights. No crimes, just righteousness.
The Trib realized that the clergy would gladly go to jail. They were going to take this one all the way. They were having a religious experience dealing with injustice.
The Trib called back. We drop the charges, but on one condition, the clergy sign a waiver saying they won't sue the Tribune for false arrest. The Clergy refused, the case was dropped anyway.
We sent a Christmas Card to Mr. Cook renewing our request for a meeting. One month later our delegation met in the top floor of Tribune Tower in the office of the Chairman, CEO and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Like Rev. Bevel always taught most of the people in leadership that are doing us wrong are just good people who have been misinformed. Some are hateful bigots, some are just ignorant and some are communists committed to destroy God's people. Mr. Cook was a very fine man, he had the wrong information. He knew from that day on that Rev. Moon was real preacher. Like Rev. Sardon said, "Rev. Moon reminds me of Dr. King. In fact this is the first time I really felt that Martin was around again."
Mr. Cook set the policy. The Trib never used the word "Moonie" again. With this spiritual victory, the rest of the media let this pejorative fall without a fight. Injustice and hate eventually, when uprooted with love and sacrifice will eventually fall. It was a classic Jacob and Esau battle. Jacob can only give God's love and heal Esau, not from a position of weakness, but only from a position of victory. When we won the court battle we could have sued the Trib. However, we wished Mr. Cook a Merry Christmas and assured him that we meant no harm but only to discuss with him how we might work together to build a better city. His heart opened because from a position of strength we chose to love.
I sincerely thank God and True Parents for those clergy and for Bishop Kim who has grown the movement into the most real and viable living witnesses that I know of.
Thank you Chicago. Now I'm ready to March with the Women of Faith into the heart of Gaza, Jerusalem and Ramallah.
America, is the only nation truly prepared by God to be the Elder Son. We must cleanse her now. The False (Gay) Marriage teaching and practice will dissolve in our path, the immorality and hate in America and throughout the world will dissolve in this path. How important is the Interreligious Council and the work of the Prophets.
Rise America. Land of Ancient Dreams. Send Forth Your Light In Sacred Holy Beams.
America -- Your light is you beautiful Holy Daughters that will fly across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean today to meet our destiny. Alexa and Karen lead us on. Dr. Yang will give True Parents heart and spirit on the front line there. True Parents and Rev. Kwak will pray for our victorious walk. Pray for Dr. Abe, Hod and all our Israeli brothers and sisters and Ambassadors for Peace. Pray for the Fatherland, Motherland and Elder Son and Younger Son (European) Women as they walk in total faith. Who would send the best women of the movement into the fiery furnace. Only the Lord would do this because he knows that just as Shadrach, Meshak and Abednego went into the fire and survive, they also found one more there. That one more is Jesus. Jesus is waiting for us now. The King of Israel and Palestine. Glory to God. We serve a living God.
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