40 Years in America

Ralph Schell

I was out fundraising in the Mid-West one summer day of 1981 and, as sometimes happens in the Bible belt, was constantly harassed with the question

"What church is this for???" Oftentimes I dodged the question (the standard HSA line), but it did me no good. At one house no one came to answer the doorbell. After a while I decided to move on. Just then a bucket appeared out of the window and I received a free shower. Fortunately the water was clean and the weather hot, so it quickly dried. Sometime later I came to a door and a man answered, naturally asking the same question as above. A rough guess on my part made him out to be (most likely) a fundamentalist Christian. I decided I would be rid of all the questions and answer this man straight to his face. I replied "Its for the Unification Church. You know, Reverend Moon."

"Yes, I know Rev. Moon," he replied, and proceeded to name a number of negative reports he had gleaned from friends, news media and otherwise, and concluded with the remark "Youll go to Hell with Rev. Moon!!!"

All the while, hearing his response, I thought to myself, "What a self-righteous...." When he was done, my reply to him was terse, "Well, Id rather go to Hell with Rev. Moon than go to Heaven with you ANY day!!!" His jaw dropped, completely aghast, his eyes almost popped out of his head. He just could not believe what he had just heard. I politely bid him farewell, saying "Well, Im sorry but I cannot talk with you anymore; I must go on. You have a nice day, sir.... and left him standing there and proceeded on my way. He looked at me all the way down the street in pretty much the same pose until I turned the corner. Around the corner I myself proceeded to laugh until my belly ached with laughter. From then on my day took off and only got better. I can really say he *made* my day.

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