Forgive, Love, Unite
The following is a republishing of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s “Answer to Watergate” statement on November 30, 1973, featured in a full-page advertisement published in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Ever since I was 16 years old, I have constantly encountered the presence of God. I have been able to share with the world numerous insights that He has shown me. On January 1, 1972, God spoke to me again in my prayers. He told me to go to America and speak to the American people about hope and unification.
In obedience to God’s call, I came and began the Day of Hope tour. In 1972 I took this message to seven American cities. The current nationwide speaking tour began in Carnegie Hall, New York, on October 1, 1973, and will go to 21 American cities, declaring a message of hope and unification.
After New York, I spoke in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Dallas, Tampa and Atlanta. The kind welcome I received in these great American cities deeply moved me. I am especially grateful to the mayors and other officials who responded by proclaiming “The Day of Hope and Unification” in their communities.
My travels in America have shown me a troubled land. The moral and spiritual decline is tragic and shocking. Many people are no longer proud to be Americans. The American nation seems mortally wounded in spirit and soul by the tragedy of Watergate. We are witnessing a crisis probably unprecedented in American history. The situation is very serious.
It is more than a political, social, and economic crisis. It is a crisis of the human soul. This is not only the problem of the man in the White House; it is a crisis for all of us.
On November 10, 1973, I took two weeks out from my tour and returned to Korea. I used that time for prayer and meditation in a desperate search for an answer and new hope for America.
Today we hear so much about America’s troubles — what is wrong and who is to blame, what should be done and what cannot be done. Vicious accusation is becoming a daily staple in the American diet. Hatred and bitterness are killing the human soul. Some people cry out “Impeach the President.” Opinion is divided, and the people talk on. Should the President remain in office? Should the President resign or be tried?
We were all witnesses to America’s assassination of her President, John F. Kennedy in 1963. But today, without many realizing it, America is in the process of slowly killing her President once again.
A bullet killed Kennedy, yet the nation united in a common feeling of sorrow and repentance.
This time the “bullet” of hatred and accusation is capable of destroying not only the President, but the nation with him in a war of hatred, no one is the winner.
All thinking American people feel grave concern for the future of their country. Some even believe America has been struck a fatal blow. However, at this critical moment in American history it is disappointing and strange that no one is asking, “What is the will of God?” If America was conceived as “One Nation under God,” then the answer must come from Him. Have we stopped asking?
I bend my head and place my ear upon the heartbeat of America. I hear no one seeking the solution from above. We keep on criticizing and the nation sinks; we criticize some more and the nation falls even farther, deep into greater peril. Now is the time for America to renew the faith expressed in her motto “In God We Trust” This is the founding spirit that makes America great and unique. God blessed America because of this spirit. Furthermore, America is fulfilling a vital role in God’s plan for the modern world. God is depending on America today. Therefore, the crisis for America is a crisis for God. An answer must come from above, from God, from the one who has the answer. I have prayed to God earnestly, asking Him to reveal His message.
The answer came. The first word God spoke was “Forgive.”
America must forgive. Whatever wrongs have been done, whatever mistakes are being made, and America has a noble deed to perform. America must forgive. The Watergate affair is an error: not only the error of a few men, but the error of humanity, the error of the American people. The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” If we want God to forgive us, we have to forgive each other first.
The Watergate is not merely a test of the President. The Watergate is a test of America’s faith. How will this nation stand before God in the midst of moral crisis? Can this nation, which was founded 200 years ago based on Christian tradition, uphold that same tradition today? Can this nation prove its generosity and mutual forgiveness? Can it love? This is the test for the American people. Long ago the American settlers on the New England shores made many grave mistakes. But with their trust in God they came through many crises. They could then lead America to prosperity.
The Bible speaks of the time the scribes and Pharisees tested Jesus. They brought him a woman to be stoned. She had been caught in the act of adultery. Mosaic Law demanded retributive justice. But Jesus’ message was forgiveness. “He stood up and said to them.’Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’… But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman. Where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said. ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you: Go. And do not sin again.'” (John 8:3-12) Nobody dared to cast the first stone!
Who among you will be the one to cast the first stone? This is no time to cast stones upon your leader. This is no time to cast stones upon one another.
I have been praying specifically for President Richard Nixon. I asked God. “What shall we do with the person of Richard Nixon?” The answer did come again. The second word God spoke to me was “Love. It is your duty to love him.” We must love Richard Nixon. Jesus Christ loved even his enemies. Must you not love your President?
What do you do when a member of your family is in trouble? Do you criticize him and tear him apart? Of course not. You guide him. You comfort him. You love him unconditionally. You belong to the American family, and Richard Nixon is your brother. Will you not then love your brother? You must love the President of the United States.
This nation is God’s nation. The office of the President of the United States is, therefore, sacred. God inspired a man and then confirms him as President through the will of the people. He lays his hands on the word of God and is sworn into office. At this time in history God has chosen Richard Nixon to be President of the United States of America. Therefore God has the power and authority to dismiss him. Our duty and this alone, is that we deeply seek God’s guidance in this matter and support the office, itself. If God decides to dismiss this choice of His, let us have faith that He will speak.
I continued in prayer, and the third and last word God spoke to me was “Unite.” America must unite.
Let us unite in the spirit of forgiveness. Unite in the spirit of love. Now is the time for national repentance. Love is the power to unite. America once knew how to come together to create a powerful nation for goodness upon the face of the earth. America is a beautiful land to behold, a nation of all nationalities, all races, and all religions united together into one working whole. The source of power has been love and faith in God and in one another.
The crisis in America today can be overcome. We must rekindle our faith in God and reunite ourselves in love. America’s destiny is inseparable from the destiny of the world. America’s well-being affects the plan of God. God chose this nation as His champion in his modern day dispensation. With the bicentennial celebration a few years away, God is testing America through the Watergate problem. America must demonstrate unity in love and forgiveness. Let us renew our faith in God, for this has been the wellspring of America’s power. America must live the will of God. She has no alternative.
Who am I to say this to the American people? I am not even a citizen of the United States. I am a Korean, a guest.
However, I do this because I love America as much as my own country. This is a country God loves. And I love God and He is our Father in heaven. Wherever God my Father dwells, there is my country. Indeed, the Father’s country is also the son’s. America belongs to those who love it most. I am as concerned for America’s well-being as for my own. This is the foundation of my courage to speak out on this issue.
Furthermore, I waited. I waited long. I anticipated that some great American spiritual leader or evangelist would rally America around God above the Watergate at this stormy and depressing time.
However, there has been no American spiritual leader speaking out for unity. I heard no articulate voice in the wilderness crying this to Americans. By this time, God spoke to me again, “Fear not! Remember Jonah in Ninevah. Speak out!” and I obeyed.
And this is why I am doing this.
As Founder of the Unification Church International, I have declared the next 40 days, starting December 1. 1973, as a period of prayer and fasting by our members all over the world.
In this we are determined to awaken our nation to this national emergency. America must unite in her Christian tradition of love and forgiveness in the face of the grave crisis created by the Watergate. We hereby launch this National Prayer and Fast for the Watergate Crisis as the only way to heal and unite this nation.
This is indeed the day of dismay and moral crisis. Yet, this is also a great opportunity for America, an opportunity in which the American people can demonstrate America’s true greatness in faith and courage. Historically, great peoples have proved their greatness not during normal situations hut in crises.
This is the time the American people must act as a great people who put trust in God. Then this day will he a day of new hope and unification.
“In God We Trust.” In these four words lie America’s key to survival and prosperity. America must live the will of God, and God’s command at this crossroads in American history is Forgive, Love, and Unite!