James Carville Blames Virginia Losses on “Stupid Wokeness”

Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s governor’s race Tuesday night. Many attributed McAuliffe’s loss to parental anger at his tone deaf statement, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Parents in Virginia were already upset with the Loudoun County school board over sexual assaults, CRT, and transgender issues. Others cite Biden’s unpopularity as the reason for McAuliffe’s loss.

But Democratic strategist and political consultant, James Carville, may have given the most eye-opening and candid explanation for the Democrats’ defeat in Virginia.

Carville appeared on PBS News Hour Wednesday night, and host Judy Woodruff asked him about the reason why Democrats lost. He summed it up in two words, “Stupid wokeness.” The rest of his answer did not disappoint:

“Some of these people need to go to a woke detox center. They’re expressing a language people just don’t use and there’s a backlash and a frustration at that.

Carville went on to say that the Democrats need to be about changing laws instead of dictionaries. He lambasted “these faculty lounge people that sit around mulling about I don’t know what.” And he even commented on Seattle’s CHAZ from last year, saying, “autonomous zone–who could even think of something that stupid?”

Wow! It’s an interview worth listening to, and it’s an indication that all of this wokeness is so out of control that even the Democrats are starting to wake up to its negative effects. The question is, “Will other Democrats wake up to the dangers of wokeness like Carville?”

The Courage of Luther

On this Reformation Day, in which we commemorate Martin Luther’s act of nailing the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, on October 31, 1517 (which began the Protestant Reformation), we can be encouraged by his boldness to stand for the Gospel and the Word of God.

Luther was protesting the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church. Luther wanted to get back to the heart of the Gospel–justification by faith alone, which is one of the Five Solas. They are listed below:

Luther suffered consequences for his principled stand. In 1521, he was excommunicated by Pope Leo X and called upon to defend himself at the Diet of Worms before the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. There he uttered these words:

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

Interestingly, it is debated whether he said the famous words, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Many scholars say there is no evidence for this particular phrase. Regardless, Luther showed true courage in standing against the Pope and Emperor.

In the Edict of Worms, Luther was declared to be a heretic and had to flee to Wartburg Castle, where he translated the Bible into German. Luther never was arrested. He was protected by German princes, and the Emperor was soon distracted by other problems.

On this Reformation Day, we should remember the courage that Luther showed in standing up to the Pope and Catholic Church, and the reason for his stance–fidelity to Scripture. We could use more people like Luther today, people with courage and conviction to follow Christ regardless of the consequences.

Politics in the Pulpit

I believe that we should trust in the Lord. The Bible is very clear on that principle. In addition, I believe that we should wait upon the Lord. I also believe that sometimes we must speak up, take action, and get involved. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for every season and purpose under the heaven.

“…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” –Eccl 3:7b

In our day and age when marxism, sexual anarchy, and general wickedness seem to be running rampant, I believe that it is time to speak out. Sadly, though, it seems many Christians use the concept of trusting in the Lord as an excuse to do nothing and say nothing. Or they might view speaking on politics in the church as somehow impure, worldly, or as a diversion from the true mission.

I’ve found that the people who believe this are sometimes judgmental toward those who do speak out or get involved in politics. They seem almost pharisaical in their attitude, as if they are somehow purer or more devoted than those wayward Christians whom they see as “trusting in princes.”

What I find surprising about all of this is that our Founding Fathers saw no problem with speaking about politics in the church. They trusted in the Lord and exercised their rights as citizens. An examination of Acts 22 shows us that the Apostle Paul did the same.

Consider the Reverend Jacob Duché’s The American Vine sermon, in July 1775, in which he blasts Britain for attempting to cut down “this branch of thine own vine.” He goes on to say:

“Go on, ye chosen band of Christian Patriots! Testify to the world, by your example as well as by your counsels, that ye are equally the foes of VICE and of SLAVERY.”

Or take for example the Reverend John Carmichael’s June 1775 sermon entitled, A Self-Defensive War Lawful:

“The angry tools of power who mislead government may call us American “rebels, who would throw off all government–would be independent and what not.” –But we can now, with great confidence, appeal to God that that is false — we desire no such things –we desire to be as we were in the beginning of the present unhappy reign –we have tried every lawful peaceable means in our power — but all in vain! . . .

. . . Therefore you can, GENTLEMEN SOLDIERS, appeal to GOD for the justice of your cause.”

Or the Reverend Samuel Langdon’s sermon before the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay at the end of May 1775:

“That ever memorable day, the nineteenth of April, is the date of an unhappy war openly begun by the Ministers of the King of Great Britain against his good subjects in this Colony, and implicitly against all the colonies. —-But for what? —- Because they have made a noble stand for their natural and constitutional rights, in opposition to the machinations of wicked men who are betraying their Royal Master, establishing popery in the British dominions, and aiming to enslave and ruin the whole nation [so] that they may enrich themselves and their vile dependents with the public treasures and the spoils of America.”

And perhaps most famously, John Witherspoon’s The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men on May 17, 1776:

“God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable, and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.

One of the results of shunning politics in churches is an increasing ignorance in the pews of moral and contemporary issues. Many parishioners may know how to become a Christian but very little about how to live as one. Sometimes I feel as though we are winning people to Jesus who then go on to live like the world because they never hear that transgenderism, abortion, pornography, and other evils are contrary to God’s will. Or they may support a party or a candidate that promotes values which are in opposition to godliness because their pastor declared a moral equivalence between the two opposing political parties.

So if you’re a Christian who turns his nose at politics and pretends to be above such worldly matters, you may not be superior in your faith. You may just be a bad citizen. Or at least an ignorant one.

Wake Up, SBC Leaders!

The following article is directed toward the Ed Litton’s, Danny Akin’s, Adam Greenway’s, J.D. Greear’s, and other Big Eva members of the SBC:

If there is one word that sums up how I feel right now as a Southern Baptist, it is frustration. Our society is in the middle of a marxist revolution, and most SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) leaders are either silent or clueless about what is going on.

Communicating with these leaders often feels like an exercise in futility. Marxist ideologies like Critical Race Theory (CRT) are ripping up the foundations of our society, and many Christian leaders aren’t taking the threat seriously. They just laugh it off. In fact, some preachers are even endorsing these crazy ideas. I had an exchange with one pastor the other day, and he referred to CRT as a “boogeyman used to scare people.” He went on to use the word “equity” in a positive sense. He was employing the language of the marxists and probably didn’t even realize it. So much for the boogeyman theory.

Books like Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist are also circulating among Christians circles. DiAngelo says it’s wrong to be colorblind. Kendi says that you have to be anti-capitalist if you want to be antiracist. Yet there are few if any warnings about all this from the pulpits. The only Christians I hear talking about it on public platforms are podcasters like Jon Harris and radio hosts like Janet Mefferd and Sandy Rios. If it weren’t for them, we would be in the dark on these issues.

Many SBC leaders try to remain neutral as if they’re above the partisan fray. But you can’t remain neutral about evil ideas. You have to call them out. SBC leaders are masters of speaking out of both sides of their mouths, telling each side what they want to hear. It’s difficult to get a straight answer from them. Figuring out where they stand on an issue is like trying to pin jello to the wall.

Many of these leaders care more about their career, reputation, or paycheck than they do about the flock or speaking the truth. There is an overemphasis upon academic degrees within the SBC at the expense of fidelity to the truth. What good is your education if it doesn’t cause you to be faithful to the Bible and bold in speaking the truth? Many of these leaders were likely indoctrinated by marxist thought in college. Perhaps they are silent about CRT and other leftist ideas because they have fallen for these lies themselves.

We live in a time when the concept of objective truth is a forgotten idea. Pastors should be driving this concept home in their sermons. But sadly what you often hear is the same relativistic ear-tickling found on college campuses. CRT is built upon subjective things like emotion and experience. Standpoint epistemology, which is an element of CRT, teaches that authority rests in one’s personal perspective or experience instead of in objective, verifiable truth. We need our leaders to be refuting these errors and false teachings.

I understand that politics isn’t for everyone, but it would be nice to see some concern for our country and some acknowledgement of the revolution that is taking place before our very eyes. Sadly, I suspect that some SBC leaders are secretly rooting for America to fall. If you doubt this, look at previous statements from former Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) president, Russell Moore, about Mayberry, Robert E. Lee, and Donald Trump. It’s clear that Moore hates America and probably agrees with Kendi that our country is intrinsically racist. Moore has since left the SBC, but his rants are typical of the woke nonsense that you get from evangelical elites these days.

SBC leaders continue to defend and side with woke teachers. They offer no criticism for anyone except conservatives, and they expect us to believe that they are something other than liberals or cowards. It’s time that they wake up to the truth of what is going on. It’s time that they start caring about more than money and power. It’s time for them to pick which side they are on.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” –Joshua 24:15

In Defense of Columbus Day

“Columbus, of course, has always held a proud place in our history not only for his voyage of exploration but for the spirit that he exemplified. He was a dreamer, a man of vision and courage, a man filled with hope for the future and with the determination to cast off for the unknown and sail into uncharted seas for the joy of finding whatever was there. Put it all together and you might say that Columbus was the inventor of the American dream.

After years of academic assaults on the legacy of Christopher Columbus and the riots of last year in which multiple statues of the Genoese explorer were torn down or removed, the celebration of the holiday bearing his name seems to be hanging by a thread.

Some objections to honoring the man who discovered the New World and opened it up to exploration and colonization by Europeans include the following: Columbus’ cruel treatment of native peoples, the fact that he never touched foot in the continental United States, and that he wasn’t actually the first person to reach the New World.

That his behavior was sometimes cruel and tyrannical is really undisputed, although it might be exaggerated somewhat. At one point the Spanish crown sent to have Columbus put under arrest and brought back to Spain. But we would honor very few people if we let their faults exclude them from recognition. Columbus did have plenty of blemishes on his character, but who doesn’t? He also had a lot of positive traits. He was willing to take risks and boldly embark upon an ocean-crossing adventure at a time when no one was sure what lay on the other side of the Atlantic.

It is also true that Columbus did not set foot in what is now the United States. In his four voyages to the New World, he explored the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Central America, South America, Trinidad, and the Lesser Antilles. But that does not mean he didn’t have a large impact on our country’s history. He let the world know it was possible to sail across the Atlantic and that there were undiscovered lands between Europe and Asia. Thus, Columbus’ successful voyages to the West Indies opened doors to European exploration of the future United States that would soon follow.

While Columbus was the second person to discover the New World (behind Leif Erikson and his voyage to Vinland, or Newfoundland, 500 years before), his impact may have been larger. As hinted at above, Columbus paved the way for the other European explorers and the English who would found settlements in the modern-day United States. The same can’t be said for Leif Erikson’s voyage. While there were lasting Viking settlements in Greenland, that wasn’t the case for the rest of North America. Perhaps, timing played a key role, but it is pretty clear that Columbus’ footprint in history is larger than Erickson’s when it comes to the exploration and development of the Americas.

So it is important that we continue to celebrate Columbus Day in an age when much of our history is being erased and rewritten. Our society is based upon the tradition of Western Civilization, and if we throw out our heritage, we will forget who we are and where we came from. If you don’t particularly like Christopher Columbus, remember that Columbus Day is about commemorating his contributions and impact upon history as much as it is honoring the person. If our nation cancels Columbus, it is cancelling much more than another explorer. It is cancelling an important part of her history.

Why Removing Richmond’s Robert E. Lee Statue was a Bad Idea

On September 8, 2021, a 21-foot-tall statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which sat upon a graffiti-covered 40-foot-tall base, was removed from a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Governor Ralph Northam had wanted to take Lee’s statue down previously, but lawsuits prevented the removal until a recent decision by the Virginia Supreme Court. As of now, the pedestal is staying. According to an NPR article https://www.npr.org/2021/09/08/1035085412/robert-e-lee-statue-down-in-virginia-artifacts-time-capsule-richmond, the base will contain a new time capsule. It will have inside it various items, including a photo of a Black ballerina in front of the statue, a Kente cloth worn at the 400th commemoration of 1619, a “Black Lives Matter” sticker, “Stop Asian Hate” fliers, an LGBTQ pin, and an expired vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

What are we to think of all this? The first place that my mind goes to is the Cultural Revolution in China under Mao Zedong. In the Four Olds campaign, young Red guards destroyed Old Ideas, Old Habits, Old Culture, and Old Customs. Anything before communist rule had to go. So those who tear down statues have a lot in common with communists. If there is doubt about this, just look at what and who will be replacing Lee–marxist ideas and personalities.

It is sad to think of the loss of culture and heritage to the city of Richmond by these actions. Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Obviously, Lee was from Virginia. So this is local, as well as national, history that is being lost.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.” 1984, George Orwell

It is also shortsighted, simplistic, and spurious to write off Lee as a racist or a bad person. Those who have studied Lee know that he was an honorable man of great skill as a general, as well as a man of noble character. One of the main reasons why he turned down an offer to lead the Union army was that he did not want to take up arms against his home state of Virginia. Contrast the honor and character of Lee with the vulgar graffiti found on the statue’s base. Who has more character? One of the most skilled generals in American history or some punk who spray-painted obscenities on the base of the statue?

“Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my sword.” -Robert E. Lee in a letter to his friend, General Winfield Scott

And just so my position on the Civil War is not misunderstood, let me explain my views on it. I love studying history, and I can appreciate that there were good people on both sides. I identify with the abolitionism of the North, but I also appreciate the states’ rights argument of the South. In addition, I realize that history is not always as simple or clear-cut as we would like it to be. It is often very messy. For example, Abraham Lincoln made plenty of statements that cast doubt on whether he wanted to abolish slavery at all. His primary concern, at least in the beginning of the war, was to preserve the Union. And you can find similar sentiments by other Northerners, such as General William T. Sherman. And in contrast to those examples, you can find evidence that Lee was more enlightened on racial matters in some instances than his Northern counterparts.

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.” –Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Horace Greeley, 1862

So why do I oppose the removal of Lee’s statue? The bottom line is that I dislike the erasing of history and tearing down of monuments that are central to a place’s identity and heritage. Think about it. Will ignorance of the past by our youth lead to a more enlightened society? Did not the statue educate and provoke discussion of the past simply by its existence there on Monument Avenue? Now that Lee is being cancelled, I’m sure that many youth in Richmond will grow up being unaware of who he even was and what role he played in the history of our country. Then you can ask yourself, “Who can better articulate the history of race in America? Those who know the history of the Civil War and the personalities on both sides or those who are ignorant of the other side’s heroes?”

Why Ed Litton’s Plagiarism is a Big Deal

If you’re a Southern Baptist, you’ve probably heard about the plagiarism controversy surrounding SBC President Ed Litton. He has been shown to be guilty of stealing multiple sermons from former SBC President J.D. Greear. In fact, he has lifted entire sermons almost word for word, not just an outline or a passage. If you have heard his sad excuse of an explanation, then you’ve probably lost any sense of trust in the man. If he were truly sorry, he would immediately resign.

I’ve been shocked at how other SBC leaders have defended Litton and made excuses for him. The fact that they have not pressured Litton to step down shows us that corruption runs deep in the SBC. So, since the SBC elites can’t recognize the obvious problems with Litton’s dishonesty, I’ve outlined below three reasons why this plagiarism scandal is such a big deal.

First, it shows us that Litton is not spending time in prayer and study of the Word to prepare for his sermons. If a pastor diligently studies and prays about the message he brings, there is no need to plagiarize. He will have plenty of material for the sermon. A pastor’s main job is to preach the Word of God to the people of God. If he fails in this, he has failed in his main responsibility. How can he tell the congregation what God has laid on his heart, if he has spent no time in prayer or the Word? The answer, of course, is that he can’t. So he must deceive and become a phony, a fraud–which leads us to our next point.

The second reason why this is such a big deal is because Litton’s dishonesty destroys the trust of his listeners. By presenting entire sermons as his own without attribution, he is engaging in falsehoods. He is leading the congregation to assume that he prepared this sermon. He turns preaching into a performance and makes a mockery of it. How can anyone look to this man for guidance or counsel after such hypocrisy?

The third reason why Litton’s plagiarism is a big deal is that it shows Litton to be incapable of doing his job. If he has to steal others’ sermons, one must wonder if he even knows how to rightly divide the Word. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 3:2, and again in 2 Timothy 2:24, that an overseer, the servant of the Lord, must be “able to teach.” At the very least, Litton’s plagiarism brings into question his ability to carry out this duty.

To make all this even worse, Litton didn’t even steal a good sermon. He lifted a heretical sermon from the woke J.D. Greear on Romans 1. I’ve listened to the original from Greear, and it is clearly unbiblical. You would think that if Litton was trying to portray himself in a good light, he would at least find a sound, biblical message to use. But maybe this further brings into question Litton’s discernment and character.

The fact that the SBC is being led by someone who we can’t trust, and that other SBC leaders seem to be fine with his deception, shows us that this problem is much bigger than Ed Litton. It is a black eye on the entire denomination. And it is evidence that the SBC’s problems are much deeper than one man’s duplicity.

Twelve Things to Do to Help You Keep Your Humanity and Sanity

In our technology-obsessed, groupthink-culture, it is easy to lose one’s sense of humanity. We live in a world where iphones and online interactions have replaced personal, face-to-face conversations. We also live in a callous, fast-paced society that can easily leave many people behind.

If we’re not careful, we can lose a sense of who we are and what really matters. We have to be intentional about maintaining our humanity and sanity in a world which seems to be intent on taking those things from us. Listed below are 12 things to help you do this:

1. Take a walk outside and enjoy nature.

2. Take a break from your phone, social media, and all electronic devices.

3. Spend time with your family.

4. Spend time worshipping God by praying, reading the Bible, or attending a church service.

5. Listen to or play music.

6. Think original thoughts.

7. Let go of bitterness and forgive those who have wronged you.

8. Take a hot bath and read a book.

9. Drink a cup of hot cocoa or have some milk and cookies.

10. Schedule some downtime where you simply relax and do nothing.

11. Enjoy a good laugh with friends.

12. Write a poem.

Remembering 9-11 — Twenty Years Later

As we approach the 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon America on September 11, 2001, we need to help those of the next generation, who were not even born yet when the attacks occurred, understand what happened on that tragic day.

I’ve been watching the remembrances of that day on various news programs and documentaries the last several days. My kids even watched one of the programs with me, and they asked me why those planes flew into the buildings. I tried to explain it to them in a way that they could understand. My youngest one now sees all planes as a threat and calls them “mean planes.” I wonder if maybe he was too young to watch the footage. It seems to have frightened him a bit. Yet I feel like it’s important that we teach the next generation about what happened, just as earlier generations taught us about Pearl Harbor.

So I’ve come up with seven lessons that I think we need to teach to the younger generations about 9-11. Actually, these seven items are good reminders for us all, no matter our age, to keep in mind as we remember that day:

1) Honoring the Victims and Their Families

First and foremost, our hearts go out to the families of the victims and those who were directly affected by the events of that day. We remember them in our thoughts and prayers, and we listen to their stories to help us understand what they’ve been through.

2) Honoring the Sacrifice of the Heroes

From the first responders who rushed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon to the people on United Flight 93, whose brave actions prevented further devastation, there were many heroes that day who sacrificed their lives to save others. We should be thankful for these wonderful people and remember what they did. They are examples of bravery, selflessness, and love to us all.

3) Each day is a gift.

If there’s one obvious lesson from that day, it’s that it started out as a normal day and what happened was completely unexpected. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. We should see each day as a gift from God. And we have to be ready to meet Him at all times because none of us know when our last day will be. Listening to the phone calls of people on board Flight 93 to their family members is heartbreaking and sobering. We are reminded to hug our families a little tighter and tell them that we love them.

4) The Horror of that Day

After 20 years, it is natural for the intensity and horror of that day to subside somewhat. Whenever I watch a documentary about 9-11, the news footage of the attacks brings back the feelings of shock and dread. FDR called Pearl Harbor a day that “will live in infamy.” Similarly, I think 9-11 is such a day, probably even more so.

5) Our Society Changed Forever that Day

Things were never the same for our country after 9-11. It was like much of our innocence was lost. From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to increased surveillance and security to new feelings of vulnerability, 9-11 was a watershed moment, a dividing line in our history. Sadly, the unity of 9-12 quickly evaporated, and we are now a bitterly divided nation.

6) Who Committed the Attacks

Sometimes I’ll watch a news story on the attacks and there is no mention of Al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorists. I think this is a mistake. After all, whenever we talk about Pearl Harbor, Japan is usually mentioned. If we don’t remember who it was that attacked us, how will we prevent it from happening again? This issue is especially relevant in light of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban to power in that country.

7) Freedom is Fragile

Finally, we need to remember and teach others that freedom is not guaranteed. It is fragile and must be preserved and maintained. Ronald Reagan reminded us that freedom is “never more than one generation away from extinction.” He went on to say that freedom “must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.” We would do well to remember that we have enemies who want to destroy our country and the freedom that we enjoy.

“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” –John Philpot Curran

On this 20th anniversary of 9-11, spend some time reflecting upon the events of that day. Pray for the victims and their families. Pray also for healing for our nation and wisdom for our leaders. May such reflections cause us to appreciate our families more and not take them for granted. And may it make us more grateful for the blessings and mercies that we enjoy from the hand of God.

The Horrors of Communism as Revealed in The Killing Fields

I recently watched the 1984 film, The Killing Fields, for the first time. It is a deeply profound movie which changes you and stays with you long after you see it.

It is the story of a friendship between two journalists, an American (Sydney Schanberg) and a Cambodian (Dith Pran), set against the backdrop of the horrors of the Khmer Rouge’s tortuous and oppressive reign in Cambodia. The cast includes Sam Waterston as Schanberg, Haing S. Ngor (a Cambodian gynecologist who endured living under the Khmer Rouge and won an Oscar for his role as Dith Pran in the film), John Malkovich, Julian Sands, and Craig T. Nelson. It was directed by Roland Joffé. The name of the movie comes from Pran’s term for the site of the mass killings in the Cambodian genocide. The movie is rated R. It contains a lot of violence and some foul language so it’s not appropriate for children. The lessons of the film, however, still need to be passed down to the next generation.

There may not be another film that so clearly captures the horrors of communism as well as The Killing Fields. For those unfamiliar with the history of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge was the name given to the communist regime which ruled Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia) between 1975 to 1979. It was a time of great suffering for the Cambodian people. Nearly 2 million people are estimated to have died under the murderous policies of Pol Pot, the prime minister.

“We must be like the ox, and have no thought, except for the Party. And have no love, but for the Angka. People starve, but we must not grow food. We must honor the comrade children, whose minds are not corrupted by the past.” Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields

Hundreds of thousands of people also died from starvation and disease. Cambodians were taken out of the cities and forced to work on collective farms. They were indoctrinated in Communist reeducation camps. Private property, religious freedom, and individual liberty were all eliminated. Family ties were severed, and snitching on others became commonplace. A “Year Zero” policy was instituted in which old customs were forbidden. Intellectuals like doctors and other professionals were killed. The only thing that was allowed was loyalty to the party. It was truly a nightmare, and the movie does a superb job of portraying the hopelessness of the people under this harsh regime.

“The wind whispers of fear and hate. The war has killed love. And those that confess to the Angka are punished, and no one dare ask where they go. Here, only the silent survive.” Hang S. Ngor, The Killing Fields

I won’t give away any spoilers, but the bulk of the movie deals with Dith Pran trying to survive the extreme hardships of forced labor, starvation, and torture at the hands of the communist leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Pran’s friendship with Schanberg adds warmth and humanity to a film whose brutal realities might otherwise overwhelm the viewer.

After I watched the movie, I reflected upon what I had just seen. I worried about a similar tragedy happening here in America. At one time that seemed far-fetched, but sadly that is not the case anymore. One thing that I kept thinking about was how many young people seem to be unaware of communism’s murderous past. Socialism and communism seem to be in vogue these days, and I think that is largely due to both ignorance and indoctrination. Many of our youth are not only failing to learn the history of communism, but they are also being taught to hate America, capitalism, and Western Civilization.

It should probably be noted that the film doesn’t present the United States in the best of light, either. It offers harsh criticism of Nixon’s bombing campaign in Cambodia and even suggests that he was partly responsible for what happened there. But that is a minor aspect of the film. The vast majority of the movie deals with the terrible conditions under the Khmer Rouge.

If we take a look back, communism has resulted in horrendous suffering, mass murder and violence, starvation, and the loss of personal liberty nearly everywhere it has been tried. Just look at the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, Cuba under Castro, and China under Mao, who interestingly supported the Khmer Rouge (Mao even met with Pol Pot in Beijing). This evil ideology has been a complete disaster.

Communism has killed at least 100 million people (The Black Book of Communism) since the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917, with 45 million of those dying under Mao in his Great Leap Forward (The Washington Post, “Remembering the Biggest Mass Murder in the History of the World”).

Communist China looms large in geopolitics these days as power seems to be shifting from the West to the East. China poses a real and serious threat to the United States of America. Its communist leaders have no interest in personal or religious freedom. They have one concern–loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

“We are not waging war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class….Do not look for evidence that the accused acted in word or deed against Soviet power. The first question should be to what class does he belong….It is this that should determine his fate.” –Martyn Latsis, an official of the Cheka, Lenin’s secret police, in a 1918 instruction to interrogators

Most alarming of all is what is currently taking place within the United States. American films are regularly censored by the studios to placate Chinese officials, cancel culture seeks to punish people for “unorthodox” non-woke views, freedom of speech is no longer valued, people are encouraged to snitch on each other for not wearing masks, and vaccine mandates are promoted. In some places, those who don’t comply are expelled from college, prevented from entering restaurants, and generally shamed. In addition, Marxist philosophies such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) are being taught in schools and also in books like Ibram X. Kendi’s, How to Be an Antiracist.

Private property has even been attacked by the Biden administration when the CDC attempted to halt evictions during the pandemic. Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled against the CDC’s power grab, saying it needed Congressional approval.

Woke General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, in the context of the January 6 Capitol Riot, that he wants to understand “white rage.” He went on to say that he has read Mao, Stalin, and Lenin, but he made it clear that that didn’t make him a Communist. He seems more concerned about diversity than getting all the Americans out of Afghanistan.

Social media companies routinely ban conservatives for their political views as well as anyone who posts information about COVID that doesn’t line up with what Anthony Fauci has said. President Trump was banned from Twitter and Facebook while he was still President.

And wokeness isn’t limited to secular institutions. It has entered the evangelical world. Woke leaders abound, and running down America or hating on Trump now seem commonplace among preachers. Left-wing ideologies and agendas which were once reserved for the world have now, sadly, entered the church house.

One could not be blamed for thinking that we are in the middle of a Marxist revolution. Many don’t see it because the changes to our society are often subtle. The revolution sometimes takes the form of Cultural Marxism, which originated in the Frankfurt School in the Weimar Republic in Germany. Since Marxism seems to have failed in the economic sphere, its proponents now seek to first transform the culture. The proverbial frog in the slowly boiled water comes to mind as we observe the incremental changes in our society which seem to align with Marxist ideologies at the expense of traditional American values.

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” –Mao Zedong

Sadly, many Americans have given into fear and seem to value safety and Big Brother’s handouts more than they value freedom or liberty. Businesses and churches alike were forced to shutter their doors for months last year during the pandemic but were promised aid by the Federal government. Many went along with it in the name of loving your neighbor or public safety. Those who didn’t comply were sometimes harassed and even arrested by authorities drunk on power.

What everyone needs to realize is that communism and freedom cannot coexist in the same place. They are antithetical to each other. Communism has no place for freedom because it interferes with obedience to the state. Communism has no place for religion because it is a competitor to people’s loyalty to the party. And communism has no place for freedom of thought or speech because the party must suppress the truth in order to stay in power. Communism’s shortcomings and failures are evident to all. That is why it is always enforced with violence. It never wins in a battle of ideas.

We must do a better job of teaching the next generation about the horrors and history of communism. We must remember the sufferings and miseries it inflicted upon others so that we do not have to learn the dangers of such ideologies the hard way like millions before us. We must speak out against the encroachments upon freedom that we see taking place in the West while we still can. And we must prefer liberty over safety, for as Benjamin Franklin said:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”