Our Ideal Home: Part One
Sun Myung Moon
June 19, 1983
Translator – Sang Kil Han
America is a country which represents hope and the ideal for many people around the world. However, their understanding of this country is rather vague. They only think in terms of an abundant economy, advanced technology, and unprecedented freedom because these are the things which comprise their hopes and ideals.
Looking closer at this country, anyone can see that many homes and families are failing apart. The family is the building block of any society so any great nation must be built upon great families. However, many American husbands and wives are full of distrust for each other; even parents and children cannot trust each other.
There is no one closer to an individual than the members of his own family, so if he cannot trust them, who can he trust in the whole world? How can he trust his teachers, his politicians, even the president of the nation? Therefore, distrust is very widespread throughout this nation.
An individual suffers tremendous damage from being unable to trust the people around him. He feels a tremendous need to find something strong in which to place his trust. If a person cannot trust his family, they seem far away from him. Therefore the society, nation, and world will be extremely far away from him. It stands to reason that the concepts of religion, the Heavenly Kingdom and so forth are even farther away still from that person’s reality.
Many people become totally imprisoned by their inability to trust. They tell themselves, “I don’t need the world, I don’t need this country, and I don’t need my parents. I can even do without a wife/husband.” They dismiss all thought of the ideals of religion, claiming that they don’t need them either.
It is natural for an individual to want to feel valuable but when he realizes that he is not trusted by anyone in his environment-not even his parents and certainly not his society-how can he really believe that he is a valuable person? Thus he can easily fall into the philosophy that human beings are no better than animals.
Such a person will deny whatever his parents believe in, simply because he mistrusts them. Religion was flourishing in this country until just a few decades ago, but many of today’s young people are trying to deny the value of religion for their own lives. Wanting to rebel against past generations, many young people follow their impulses of the moment; whatever they feel like doing, they do.
There is no basic standard or trustworthy model by which such people can measure themselves. Thus they go after momentary stimulation more and more. Many people, feeling that they cannot trust the opposite sex, turn toward their own sex. Desiring even more excitement, they start to use drugs, different drugs for different occasions, and so forth. All these things are natural outgrowths of their deep-rooted lack of trust.
If the father and mother of a family do not exhibit respect for each other, how can the child possibly learn respect? Although knowing inside that it is not quite right, many individuals avail themselves to different sexual partners almost every day. Chastity disappears for them and they become accustomed to such a lifestyle.
Although people do not talk about it freely, incest has become very common. Parents and even grandparents molest their children! It is estimated that up to 20% of the families in this country are experiencing this terrible thing! The victims of such abuse lose their self-respect. Imagine a young girl who is the victim of this abuse. She would watch her father and mother going to church and she would come to despise their hypocrisy. She would want to do anything to rebel against her parents, especially against their religion.
This is no exaggeration; it is a common reality in America today. If nothing happens to change this situation, it will continue to slide downward further and further. Such things can never revert themselves automatically and start to improve. This very country which was founded upon the ideals of religion and, until very recently, strongly religious is still practicing the outer trappings of religion. Is there any way to regain the internal morality of this nation?
Why has this decline occurred? We can blame the abuse of freedom for all of the problems we have mentioned. Those who espouse freedom above all other values do not want any restrictions upon themselves. Such freedom lovers are inherently non-traditional. If the democratic world cherishes freedom so highly, how can there be any tradition passed on to succeeding generations? Certainly it is natural for people to desire freedom but when they put it above all else, they will never achieve it!
Democratic countries pursue freedom but do they have any common tradition by which they can preserve democracy itself? We can look back in history and see that when the political ideal of freedom was first espoused in the Middle Ages, it was linked with the guidance of God. But when people started to leave God out of their pursuit of freedom, freedom itself started to collapse. Only as long as people sincerely tried to live according to God’s will was a free society possible. By the same token, Catholicism became corrupted when the clergy started living only for their own interests, forgetting the reality of God.
Freedom for all people has become a pursuit devoid of God. Therefore it has lost its center. When people abandoned God as the proper center of freedom, they put themselves in that center. They began to deny cherished values of the past, including family and country. This is as dangerous as playing with fire when one is doused with gasoline. You can be burned up totally.
When this phenomenon is no longer limited to a few people but becomes a nationwide situation, nothing can be saved. If the rest of the world could see clearly what kind of situation America is actually in, they would be so shocked, especially if they were looking to this country as their hope. That is why the slogan, “Yankee go home,” started. People of other countries became disgusted by the way Americans behaved when they came to their countries.
Of course, there is no way for you to understand what I am saying because most of you have never even been outside of this country. But since I have come from the outside, I am like a third party observing the situation from an objective viewpoint. Do you think that I am observing things correctly?
Although the Unification Church is supposed to be the hope for eradicating all these problems, there is still a remnant of that distrust lingering among us. Unification Church members from this society have acquired the automatic habit of distrusting their superiors because of their early experiences. Thus, even though you join the church, you maintain that habit of rebelliousness and destructiveness. Many people have left without a word of goodbye to anyone, just packing up and going off the way they did before, wandering from place to place. That happens to represent the lowest possible way of behaving, according to Oriental customs. When a person in the Orient leaves a place without saying goodbye, he is lowering himself into the animal kingdom. But Americans have been taught these ways and do not know any better.
Hearing these words, how do you Americans feel? You feel bad. Once you feel bad, immediately you must try to do whatever is necessary to feel good. In other words, if you have been going in a direction which was wrong or bad, you have to turn around 180 degrees and adjust your course toward the right and good. But in turning, would you want to just turn part of the way, say 90 degrees? No, you should want to turn around completely. Do you think that can be easy? You must clearly understand how difficult such a thing is before you can practically seek to achieve it. We could say that the difficulty is comparable to a woman becoming a man, or vice-versa. How totally difficult it is to change oneself from bad to good!
Even though you know how virtually impossible it is to change yourself, if you hear someone telling you, “This is the way for you to change” your eyes would pop out and you would want to follow him. What Moonies are to the world, Reverend Moon is to the Moonies. When I speak to you, you become awakened and excited by the ideas. However, when someone who is not in our movement bears what I am saying, they think I must be crazy and seeing ghosts in the night, or something. They think we are not just a little bit wrong but totally wrong in every way.
I can understand that the average American would not be able to understand me or what I am saying. Considering the way America is today, I know that if an ordinary American tried to do the things which I do, all the people around him would think him completely insane. The Federal Government which has been in power for two hundred years may tell me, “Reverend Moon, we have technology, universities, power of every sort and we have tried everything possible to bring a better society, so why should we listen to you? What could you possibly have to offer us? You don’t even speak English!”
Furthermore, Americans would say, “Even though you criticize America so much, most of the rest of the people of the world admire us and follow our fashions! Do you still insist upon changing America?” They look at Korea, which is always begging for money from America and they know that is where I came from. Therefore, they cannot understand who or what Reverend Moon is.
Did Reverend Moon know about these problems before he began his task? Yes, I certainly knew them. One American might ask me, “How do you propose to accomplish your task, Father?” and I might not give him an answer. That is not because I do not know the answer, it is because that person would not be able to understand the answer.
Someone who has never trusted anyone else will want to trust himself but he cannot. Such a person will try to assert himself and his own freedom, yet he knows he cannot truly trust himself. Centered totally upon himself, he tries to insist upon his total freedom. That is a dangerous situation! We can see that the sooner this individual gives up that kind of freedom, the better off he will be. But how can that freedom be taken away from him and replaced with proper tradition and God’s righteousness? How difficult it is to replace that kind of freedom, that absence of all inhibition!
Our way of going about changing America has been literally that of confronting each individual one by one. Until we can penetrate people’s false armor, they cannot realize their true selves. We have been operating this way on the individual basis while on the cultural or society level, I have been leading a similar kind of confrontation. The first thing I did after arriving in America was to re-arrange the culture which the missionaries before me had built in the Unification Church. The members of the West Coast church were actually denied entrance to the church on the East Coast. Even the missionaries could not lose their attitude of “my church.” They had the same problem of individualistic, self-centered freedom.
That offended me very much at the time but even today we still have the same problem. We can see it when people say, “This is the American way of the Unification Church,” or “This is the way the Japanese members do it.” Some Western people say, “We don’t like the Oriental Unification system. We want an Americanized Unification Church:’ But I say such thinking is absolutely wrong. Sometimes I seem merciless in my attitude but it is like major surgery-whatever must be cut off, simply must be cut off. As we already said, for a person to really change is as difficult as a man becoming a woman. Some Americans say, “Yes, I want to change, I want to change!” But then they add, “But I will only change 50 degrees. That is my limit.”
Every Sunday morning you come here, some of you grumbling inside and unsettled in your minds, yet you come here to listen to me. Then I speak and show you the direction so clearly that even the most stubborn among you can understand the value of what I am saying. Then everyone raises his hand at the end and pledges himself, “Yes, Father, I will go that direction and I will change.” Before you came to that point, you were fighting against changing but finally you gave up your personal opinions and were willing to change.
However, how many degrees have you changed? When you say, “Yes, I will go in your direction,” you then have to turn around 180 degrees. But since it is as difficult as a man becoming a woman, even though you pledged yourself to change 180 degrees, you have only changed a tiny little bit. This is a continual process. Remember your own pledges and how many times you have said, “Father, I will change 180 degrees” and then ask yourself how much you have actually changed. The truth is that you have not turned very far at all. It is as if you were trying to hold on to something great but it is not so great in reality! Are you that way? Yes, you are; I know you well.
You seem to understand clearly sometimes, beyond any doubt, and I think, “Yes, now they will change.” But the next time you come, I can see that you haven’t changed very much at all and I have to speak all over again about the same things. It is not easy to explain the same points over and over from different angles. But you begin to see, and then you pledge again. But once you change, you must turn 180 degrees; otherwise, it is not really a change.
Reverend Moon has been working very hard, enduring all kinds of persecution from the Western world and you feel very sympathetic- and sorry to see me going through this. But stop to think-Reverend Moon is in such a pitiful position because the members of the Unification Church themselves are not following him, let alone the people in the secular world. Have you ever thought that my difficult situation is because of your own poor response? Certainly I too, know that my internal situation is very miserable.
Even though I know how impossible it seems to get you members to listen and follow my direction, still I continue. Sometimes you even seem to ignore what I am saying! So there are times when I feel like just giving up on all of you and letting this country drift the way it wants; I often feel that kind of anger.
I know that you won’t change or turn from your position until you can understand the situation, so I explain everything to you. But you can change only to the extent of your changed understanding, not to the extent of my full explanation. Sometimes I might give you extra information to give you an extra boost of stimulation, but that boost puts you into a spin and turns you around to the wrong direction!
You must be able to think about where you really are. There is a great distance between the ideal home and where you are today. The usual concept of “home sweet home” is very different from the ideal home. The sweet home is one which is just horizontally devoted to itself and all the members of the family, while the ideal home is one in which both the vertical and horizontal relationships are important.
Since there is such widespread incest in this society, undoubtedly there are some of you who experienced that. This phenomenon alone shows us that the last days are here. Now that I have spoken to you for one hour, you probably understand one point at least: that you are at a low point which you must change but it is very difficult to do. Maybe this accomplishment is enough for this morning.
We must show the correct way of life to the rest of America and then we must show the rest of the world that they can have hope because of Moonies. Let me ask you a question and each individual must consult his own heart: How much have you changed your direction? Have you turned around 15 degrees, or 50 or 90 or 180?
Knowing that you must change, the second point you must understand is how difficult it is. If you think it is easy, you might as well forget about changing. If you think back to the toughest examination you ever had in school, you should realize that changing is more difficult than even that.
Another comparison is that of a war between countries. Imagine that you were a soldier doing hand-to-hand combat in a fierce fight. This is the same kind of battle you should consider yourself engaged in when you are trying to change yourself. In fact, the battle with yourself is more difficult and fierce. The internal battle is more difficult than any physical war. In that case how can you say, “We Americans have freedom and democracy; with these invincible qualities, we will win the battle”?
The reason why Americanism will never succeed in winning this battle is that the basic attitude here is humanism and pragmatism. Pragmatism is even lower than humanism because it is only interested in bringing some kind of profit to a situation. That profit is more often centered upon material than spiritual values. Neither humanism nor pragmatism will be able to help in the individual internal battle.
I know that if I expected secular Americans to understand these things, I would be too naive. This culture is saturated with humanism and pragmatism and it has known virtually no other way of thinking. Naturally I will be denounced by this culture. But what we are proposing is Godism, God’s way.
Before you can write something on a dirty blackboard, you must first erase what is already written there. First the materialism, humanism, and pragmatism must be erased in America and then we can introduce Godism on top of that. This is the only way we can go to save America, especially the white people and the white culture. We are going through many things here and discovering how feasible it is to do this. I haven’t yet seen anyone who can be the prototype for restoration here. When I asked you who had changed 180 degrees, no one raised his hand so our work is still continuing.
What is the unmistakable sign that someone has changed 180 degrees? If I see someone who is working day and night, putting his life on the line for God’s sake, I know he has changed. What I am saying here is not just Reverend Moon’s teaching. I am exactly repeating what Jesus said 2000 years ago: “Those who are willing to lose their lives for my sake will gain them; those who want to gain their lives will lose them.”
If Reverend Moon is going the same direction as Jesus, then I can repeat the words of Jesus even one hundred times and there can be nothing wrong with that. Do you suppose that Jesus would say, “Hey, Reverend Moon, you can’t use my words without permission!” Would he claim a copyright? No, Jesus would be only too happy to hear me using his words.
Do you think my own attitude has been, “I will not put my life at risk for this dispensation” or have I been putting my life on the line from the very beginning? How about you? Are you willing to put your life on the line in doing your mission? Are you putting your very life into what you are doing? Here is a secret: This way of life is very difficult, but once you have committed your life, there is nothing to it.
Suppose there was a Unification Church woman who had no time to comb her hair or make up her face, so her hair always looked messy. Suppose that she grew old and never got blessed; she had nothing except her gray hair. If she felt most fortunate for being in the Unification Church and doing this work, God would really praise her. She would be in a most wonderful situation. How do you American women feel about that? What about you men?
You are following me in this impossible task but I have already succeeded. I have succeeded in the religious realm but also in the realm of economics, technology, media, and culture. Do you really know that I have won these things, or do you just recognize it with your mind?
I am a smart person so I could condense ten hours’ worth of speaking into one hour, if I chose to. You might say, “Father, your sermon jumps from one topic to another and your grammar is sometimes hard to follow.” This is true. Even in Korean, my sentences are sometimes very long but they are absolutely logical and grammatically correct. The reason I use such long sentences is that the thought I am expressing requires many different phrases and clauses. They have to be pulled together to convey the meaning. But my talks are always consistent in the overall view.
Sometimes I will speak for such a long time that I could have made a journey by jet all the way from Korea to America, gone to a restaurant and had a nice meal and then returned to Korea! Even if I speak for 17 hours, it is like a jet traveling-my topic is always aiming toward a goal and it always gets there and lands safely. I have never done it but I could speak for 24 hours straight. Likewise, I could give 24 different 1-hour sermons in one day’s time! If that was needed, I could do it.
As you see, I haven’t really spoken to you today about our topic, “Our Ideal Home.” Unless you are prepared to receive it, there is no use speaking about it. First, you will not appreciate the value of the words; and second, you would just forget them because you took them for granted. Perhaps I will speak again next week or next month about this topic. In the meantime, you can think more deeply about it.
What I have told you today has already filled you up. In order to turn around 180 degrees in the shortest possible time, you must simply bet your neck. If you are already sticking your neck out, you don’t need any more sermon. It is only when you put your own life on the line when you Bet Your Neck-that your can achieve your ideal home.
Perhaps you say to me, “I have been working in this or that office for five years and you can’t change me unless I give you my permission.” That is not a good response because you are not betting your neck.
Let me ask you, do you want to achieve your ideal home? Certainly that is a desire of everyone. Please think deeply about that idea and then come to the conclusion on your own that you must risk your life to achieve that goal
That would be fine.
Without this attitude — Bet Your Neck — saving America, or any individual, is just rhetoric. Betting your neck is not just a one-year affair; all throughout our lives we have to continue this attitude. If you live that way, you won’t even have to look for me in spirit world. We will all come together naturally in Heaven if we share that attitude.
Suppose your husband was given a new assignment, without your ever being consulted. Would you wives complain? Actually, you should have the attitude that if God needed it, you would even give up your spouse and take another one. Betting your life and changing 180 degrees involves such a total willingness. You should be willing to let your spouse be sent behind the Iron Curtain for missionary work.
We have a missionary in Zaire who has been very successful. However, when I first saw him I just shook my head and thought, “That person is too difficult to deal with. How can he ever make it?” Then he went to Africa and established a successful mission. He didn’t have to tell me all the details because I understood that he had truly put his life on the line for Africa. Because of that, all the future descendants in Zaire will bow down to him.
In the same way, I bet my life for the sake of America and the world. Those who didn’t do that will want to bow down to the person who did. Saints are those who laid their lives on the line for the sake of God. Sometimes I have been so badly seasick on the boat that I thought my intestines would come up, but I said, “No matter. I will not return to land.”
These days I am taking the children of blessed couples out to sea in order to train them. They are working so very hard. I watch their faces and can see that they become very weary. But they, too, are betting their necks. They are living up to our tradition.
That attitude is what matters. If everyone in our movement had that attitude, we wouldn’t even need as many people as we have! Only a handful of people is more than enough to accomplish our historical goal. Those of you who can pledge yourselves now to be the ones who can bet your neck for the cause, please raise your hands! God bless you.