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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2009 Gary Hardaway
695 words


By:  Gary Hardaway

To many Americans, the saga of genocidal Communist imperialism is an ancient tale, seldom recalled except by a few old men, whiling away their hours on park benches. It somewhat resembles a Grimm fairy tale, with a big, bad bear that eventually decided to stop being quite so mean. There are characters whose names are dimly remembered: Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John II, and the Russian guy.

The Russian guy won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for losing the Cold War. To his credit, when millions of ordinary citizens amassed in the streets and squares of Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, and Sofia, Mr. Gorbachev – with gracious magnanimity – decided not to slaughter them all, as his predecessors had done and would have done. The Nobel Prize panel found such statesmanship worthy of its highest honor. Mr. Gorbachev joined such luminaries as Le Duc Tho, who captured the committee’s glorious award for jointly negotiating the Vietnam “peace accord” in 1973. (Mr. Le Duc Tho had the honesty to decline the prize, perhaps because of future plans he harbored in his heart.  After the Americans left the field, the mass murders of Vietnamese resumed.  The Committee had no comment about that).

Due to historical amnesia, deliberately abetted by a mass media unwilling to celebrate liberty, it may surprise us to realize that only twenty years ago (November 9, 1989), the Berlin Wall fell and East Germans came pouring into West Berlin like the Niagara River spills into Canada. Some may even imagine that the hero was Mr. Gorbachev. He does appear in a rather minor role. When in June 1987 Ronald Reagan spoke at the 750th anniversary of the founding of Berlin, he placed dynamite under the concrete and steel of the wall’s foundations: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Gorbachev didn’t go straight to work on the demolition, but the restless slaves on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain took heart and the rest is history. Gorbachev had the honor of being addressed by the heroic Reagan.

While standard leftist ideology gives credit to Premier Gorbachev for his magnificent open-mindedness and humanitarian impulses, sane observers must cherish the impact of John Paul II (who, of course, never won a Nobel Peace Prize).  On June 2, 1979, at Victory Square in Warsaw, the Pope, returning to his homeland, declared to the nation, "It is not possible to understand the history of the Polish nation without Christ.”

During the Pope’s electrifying pilgrimage, he addressed his beloved nation over forty times in nine days, lifting their vision beyond their drab, debasing bondage toward a horizon of regained humanity. He reminded them of their dignity. God had said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness.” No circumstances, no matter how depressing or brutal, could extinguish their innate worth as human beings. No tyrant could surgically remove their souls, with the soul’s longing for freedom. John Paul II breathed new fearlessness into Poland, and that contagious courage overcame half a continent.

Later the Pope would declare in Prague, “The claim to build a world without God has been shown to be an illusion.” For John Paul, the eternal truths of Christianity, its moral principles, and God’s irrevocable imprint on the human person, brought down the regimes of Eastern Europe and, ultimately, the Soviet Union itself.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose colossal literary achievements and public pronouncements greatly undermined the Soviet Empire, wisely warned the West that we also suffer from the same spiritual poverty that created the Gulag. Such poverty ignores God, fails to resist evil, and wallows in mindless amusements while liberty erodes. Internationally, America had shown lack of resolve in opposing tyranny and genocide. Internally, he worried that the United States could fritter away its spiritual capital and succumb to politics promising ease and comfort for all.

It is not possible to understand the United States of America without Christ.   And Christ’s question still haunts us: “What shall it profit a man [or a people] if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul’? As citizens we can lose our human rights without a shot being fired.

Gary Hardaway, a regular contributor to the Amy Internet Syndicate, directs Summit School of Ministry in Bellingham, WA.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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