40 Years in America
Reflection on a 21-Day Condition and PLA
PLA members at CNN headquarters, Atlanta, GA.
During the tour I had a more glamorous image of PLA than I do now. Iíve realized how much work we have yet to do. At the same time, I have a deeper appreciation for the PLAís mission and understand more profoundly how desperately America and the world need to follow the PLAís path. Once while fundraising I met some people who were all addicted to drugs and seemed to have Chapter Two problems. One of them asked me if heíd go to hell if he committed suicide. I felt so much pity for him and tried to encourage him not to do such a horrible thing as taking away Godís gift of life. I felt I was able to experience a touch of Godís pain when He looks at this world in such a fallen state. I felt, if only everybody practiced Absolute Sex, we would have strong families which supported each other; we would have true love; we would have so much happiness.
This is how crucial PLA is; we literally are out to save this world. Nothing but Absolute Sex can do it. Purity is this important. By purity I mean purity before marriage, a purity of love for one spouse within marriage. It is like the cement of a true family. And true families are everything. Because in strong, true families, there is true love. And once we have true love, sacrificial love, we have a foundation to solve all problems. Personally, I still have a long way to go before my love is absolutely pure. My love is often self-centered and my actions are often not sacrificial. I have many regrets, but I feel I still have ample opportunity to cleanse myself. I just have to discipline myself.
During this condition there were several times I was able to experience Godís pain, but also Godís love, through the people I met. For example, I would feel Godís pain when I met a man with at least three wives, and I could feel Godís love when someone would willingly offer their money (even though it was a hardship for them). Many times, I could cry in prayer and thus grow a little bit closer to God, but usually this occurred after I experienced something during a run, feeling Godís pain or repentance. I think I can improve my prayers by trying to be more sincere instead of formal, and by saying things from my heart. I can put my prayers into action, but many times Iíve broken or forgotten my promises to God because of my own lack of effort or self-centeredness. Also, many times I didnít think of God. I feel I should constantly talk to God and invite Him into my life.
Last, I like our team a lot and feel we get along very well. Maybe, though, we could be more serious sometimes instead of being relaxed and playful. Also, we could make more effort to be alert and punctual. In conclusion, I feel Iíve changed a great deal since the first day and I was glad to end the condition with an offering heart.
At the PLA rally in Washington, D.C.
The work-hard, play-hard approach of PLA was effective. By Washington, D.C., which was the final stop on the í97 summer tour, the number of participants had swelled to 500, and members were welcomed by Mayor Marion Berry who recited the Pure Love Pledge with them. The tour itself generated three hours of television coverage and dozens of newspaper articles. It also contributed to the education and maturation of the movementís second generation. In Boston, near the end of the tour, PLA held its second Absolute Sex speech competition. The first such competition had been held at the Boulder, Colorado workshop halfway through the fifty-day tour. According to one account,
Brothers and sisters who had been timid and awkward in Boulder now exploded into Heavenly impassioned fire breathers. They all had matured greatly in their logical and heartistic expressions not only of the pain and misery of broken families and false love but also of their longing and determination to strive for pure love for themselves and the world.
One Unification parent expressed pride and gratitude upon receiving the fax of a newspaper article in which his daughter was quoted "speaking out for what she believes" in a front-page story about the tour. Other parents were moved to tears of a different sort when their second-generation offspring took part in such PLA spin-off activities as bungee-jumping "purity" plunges. However, on balance, the scales tipped decidedly to the positive side. Another positive benefit was the synergy that the tour created with the wider movement. The Pure Love í98 tour to the Orient stimulated the development of parallel efforts suited to the particular context in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and even on mainland China. The same occurred in Europe.
In 1999, PLA moved beyond an exclusively activist posture by creating CLUE 2000, a ten-chapter character development and abstinence education curriculum. The acronym stood for Creating Love and Uplifting Esteem, and the curriculum was built wholly around U.S. federal government guidelines for abstinence education. Previously, a PLA educational team had created many activities for young teenagers. These also were incorporated into the text. During the fall, the curriculum was taught in eighteen public schools in Chicago which was a focus of STF and PLA concentration. One report noted that PLA student-teachers, primarily second-generation STF volunteers, had access to 1,200 students and that each student received ten hours of abstinence education which was "12,000 hours of abstinence education being taught in the schools this fall that was not there before!" The report stated that the curriculum was also being taught "in after-school programs and communities in many states and several countries throughout the world."
The outcome of all these initiatives became clearer at the decadeís end. It was clear, first, that the Unification movement had targeted the issues of moral education and family values, as well as the assumptions upon which they rested, as the main focus of its worldwide activities during the 1990s. The True Family Values Ministry, the globalization of the Blessing, guidance from the spirit world, Ideal Family Education Workshops, and the movementís major educational efforts all focused on this area. It was clear, second, that the American movement was playing a leading role. Many of the movementís key initiatives in its earlier victory over communism struggle -- The Washington Times, the World Media Association, CAUSA International, the CAUSA Ministerial Alliance, CARP rallies, and the activities of innumerable movement- funded organizations all emerged out of the American context. To be sure, there was essential overseas funding and leadership. Nevertheless, much of the cutting-edge creativity and know-how was a product of the American movement and its contacts. This was much the same for the movementís efforts on behalf of pure love and second-generation education. In all of this, the U.S. movement as well as currents within American Christianity in the wider U.S. society played an important, perhaps even an elder-son role.
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