Recently, Barack Obama selected Marine General Joseph Dunford to succeed General Martin Dempsey as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That means Dunford will be the top mac military daddy, and will be bending the president’s ear on all things involving everything from the best Gomer Pyle reruns, to whether we use nuclear weapons on Iran.
Or, as George W. Bush would say: “nucular.”
Dunford stood before the press after his appointment, and proceeded to identify Russia as the number one threat to the security of the United States.
That’s right. Russia.
Not North Korea.
And glaringly, not, uh, Isis.
My grandmother often used an expression whenever she would hear some troubling news from Walter Cronkite, or Paul Harvey. I was but a wee lad then, but remember her one-word conclusion to the cause of all evil in the world.
She would recount the news, shake her head and utter, “Russia! Russia!”
It is humorous to remember it now, and when she would utter such a thing, it had a tinge of truth to it, for back in those days, Russia was indeed a different place. It was part of the old Soviet Union, mired in the hopeless clutches of God-less communism, led by despots who followed in the footsteps of Lenin and Stalin.
Not long before I started elementary school, students would routinely be given bomb drills, where an alarm would sound, and they would quickly huddle under their desks, waiting until the all-clear was given. The air of imminent attack from the great world evil was ever present. Soviet ballistic missiles were parked in Cuba, 90 miles from Florida. Nikita Khrushchev seemed postured to obliterate the west as we knew it.
The Cold War was on.
And The Cold War continued until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.
The Cold War was over.
Cemented in the minds of a generation of Americans, however, was an image of Russia as the nuclear-armed bear, an ever-present threat to our homeland. The fall of the USSR did little to cause most of them to reconsider the paradigm. To this day, the mention of Russia has them looking for furniture to crawl under.
Such Americans likely know little of Russian history, pre-Lenin. The roots of Russia are firmly planted in Orthodox Christianity which was brought to the Slavs by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the year 988.
The Russian and Bolshevik Revolutions in 1917 resulted in the assassinations of the Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, and their children, Crown Prince Alexis, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, the holy royal family thus becoming martyrs. Lenin assumed power, ushering in the socialist state. The USSR was born, and a time of great persecution was visited on Christians behind the Iron Curtain at the hands of Lenin, and his successor, Stalin.
Stalin’s successors were all committed to the dominance of the socialist state on the world stage, thus, the fears of a generation of Americans were justified.
That was then.
This is now.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, and the rise of Russia under its leader, the Orthodox Christian Vladimir Putin, Russia stands in stark contrast to its former image. Russia is on the rise again, and has re-embraced its Christian moorings. As America continues its rapid decline into the moral sewer, led by socialist politicians, Russia now stands as a beacon of light on the world stage, a truly Christian nation with no tolerance for perversions America now proudly flaunts.
It would be good for American Christians to hit their reset button and revisit Russia in the light of its pre-Soviet history, and its current state. No longer is Russia the bad guy. The bad guys are people like Joseph Dunford and John McCain who still view Russia in a Soviet paradigm.
This is not your elementary school principal’s Russia.
Still in the American news media, Russia is cast as evil, and this notion continues to be embraced by the American oligarchs. It serves a useful purpose. It is good for Russia to remain in this role, in order to justify the ever expanding American empire. By and large, Americans fall for the bait.
Some things never change. Just wave the flag, and the gullible are on board.
Russia, however, is flowering again, as liberty for Russians spreads its wings, amidst a dawn of rediscovery of its Christian roots. Right under our noses, we have passed each other like ships in the night, with Putin undoubtedly watching in astonishment as America embraces the Godless hell Russia has exited.
Russia is what America never was: a Christian nation.
“But wait, the Supreme Court declared in 1892 that America is a Christian nation!”
And the Supreme Court decided last month that Ben and Jerry can do more than just make ice cream.
It’s time to reconsider Russia. It is also time to reconsider the emptiness of American protestantism, which has no more in common with Christianity than Taco Bell has with Mexican food.
And may the memories of the holy royal Martrys of Russia be eternal.
© Copyright 2015 Tim Holcombe