Unification News for October 2000
The Beginning and The Ending of a Perfect Day
Rev. Levy Matthew Daugherty
It was early in a morning just before dawn, the moon was fading and the sun was rising, the weather was mild with a touch of dew on the grass and flowers. Birds were chirping as the crickets were quieting. In a moment of stillness came a sound over the loud jumbo speakers that were beside jumbo-tron T.V. screens that suddenly lit up the path on the Mall in Washington D.C., early in a morning that will soon be the embracive fields where children will run and play and laugh, reflection will begin and end this perfect day.
The call of prayer began, and it seemed at that moment that the Earth stood still. Even the birds grew quiet for a few moments in expectation of the beginning of the perfect day. As the sun rose higher, the crowds grew more in numbers, families from all over the nation and different parts of the world, everyone unique, who came looking for something different yet the same. They are asking the question, what is in this day for me, and what can I take back home that can help my family and community to become better? They came in as if the sun was pulling them with an invisible cord, as the sun rose higher the crowds grew bigger.
There were four stages: the Capitol Hill stage, which drew the largest crowds; the Lincoln Memorial stage, which drew the second largest crowds, some have estimated in a range of around 5,000. This was also the stage where the main wedding vows were taken. About 100 couples stood on the stage and another 900 stood in reverence when the vows were being taking along with those who were standing on the stage in their wedding gowns reciting the pledge as Minister Louis Farrakhan asked them to repeat it after him. The third stage was on The Ellipse, which did not draw a large cloud or much activity. And finally, there was another stage that is a permanent stage in the mall, adjacent to The Washington Monument. This stage was where the childrenís area was. Young musicians graced the stage with violins, drums, and piano, musical instruments of all kinds. Children sang and danced, whilst proud parents in the audience looked on with excitement and joy and applauded every chance they got with out caring whether it was appropriate or not. You could feel their joy in saying, " thatís my son!" or "Thatís my daughter!" This group did not care much about what was being said or what was happening on the huge jumbo tron screen because the biggest moment of their lives was happening on their own stage. There was free food for the children in the form of fruits, soft drinks, snacks or chips. There was also a white tent with lots of electronic equipment where parents and children could browse and discuss what they needed to further their childís educational skills.
All these things were going on under a perfect blue sky and the wind was blowing just enough to give a gentle breeze as if God was giving air-conditioning to adjust the blaze from the sun. Shade or sun, it was truly a perfect day.
All of a sudden, you understood something was about to happen as the crowdís anticipation grew more intense. Around this time, Al Sharpton, and former mayor of Washington D.C. Marion Barry and his wife, along with other so-called " radical black leaders" graced the podium with their traditional rhetoric with their sense of political undertones defiantly led towards the democrats. Shouting that everyone should register to vote, one would wonder if everyone who had registered that day, would then vote Republican? Would the same intensity and urgency take place? All of this was happening while white and foreign religious leaders were sitting on the stage with dignified gracious smiles upon their faces. You might wonder, if they were really listening or were off in space. However, Dick Gregory gave a jovial light moment to the rally when he began to talk about his cousin. He said that among the poor people down South, his cousin was so poor that he bought a car, and even though the car was so raggedy, he still did not want anyone to steal it. So he bought a club to put on the steering wheel. That night, someone broke in the car and stole the club and left the car. Dick said that his cousinís house was so small, that when he stuck his key in the front door he stubbed two people sitting on the back porch.
There was an international choir that sang a song like " When I get to heaven, Iím gonna walk around heaven all day". To make the rally truly international and inter-religious, Dr. Chang Shik Yang, North American Continental Director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which was founded by Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, spoke with fire, eloquence, and deep conviction. Truly his speech was one of the most powerful and moving among all the spokespersons before the Minister Farrakhan. After Dr. Yang spoke, Rev. Michael Jenkins, the president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, took the stage. He is a white American and he stood on the stage with his wife who is Japanese and three of his five children, two girls and one boy. Rev. Jenkins also spoke with great conviction repenting and asking the black people of America for forgiveness as a white person who has sinned against God and his fellow men for the act of slavery in America. He said that he was ready to reconcile and work hard for the sake of making things right and asked God to heal this land for the wrongs of white Americans.
A commotion begins to take place stage right. Is it? Yes, it is. It is the minister himself, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is now standing on the stage surrounded by security guards. He broke rank to a Japanese lady who was standing and holding a box of candy for the wedding blessing. " May I have a piece of candy?" She gave him one, and he immediately put it in his mouth. This was a special holy candy that was blessed for the wedding, which was to take place at the end of the Ministerís speech. He quickly then asked for more and stuffed them in his pocket as he begun to walk towards the podium thanking her for her good deed. The Japanese lady, Mrs. Kazue Hamada, who is a volunteer and a member of Rev. Moonís church started to blush and bowed several times.
When the Minister Farrakhan stepped up to the mass white podium with columns that matched the Capitol building that stood as a back drop, he started his speech behind the decorative bullet-proof glass. He begun with the traditional Muslim greeting, " As Salaam Alaykum", which means "peace be on to you." Then, thanking everyone who helped to make the march possible, he gave a special acknowledgment to the Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. " I have no notes. I came here this afternoon asking God to speak through me." This was how he begun his speech. The Minister spoke very powerfully and inspiring with verse as applauds sprinkled all through his speech. Even one time, the crowd began to chant, " Farrakhan for President!" after he criticized both presidential candidates saying that neither one of them was qualified. After having spoken about 45 minutes, he called for representative candidates to be blessed on the stage. There was a definite international flavor to the ceremony. Then he asked for the ministers of different religions to come on the stage for the final benediction. Bishop Joong Hyun Pak was among those in the ministerial group who was asked to give the benediction. There is an old saying " the greatest flattery one can give to another is to imitate that person." Surely, Minister Farrakhan was imitating Rev. Moon in the wedding ceremony.
There is lots more to say but I will save it for next month.
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