Updated and reprinted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall, and to honor my wonderful friends at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, DC, who understand what freedom and faith are all about.
(Originally published in 2014, republished annually to honor the victims of Communism, and those brave souls that fought and died for freedom)
The Institute on Religion and Democracy rejoices in the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989. President Reagan had urged, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Likewise, we implore the God of the universe to give us the grace and courage to tear down the remaining walls of tyranny, despotism, and injustice in every corner of the globe, and to awaken those in our nation who have fallen under the spell of socialism and identity politics.
Today, while most Americans still appreciate the blessing of being free in the United States and honoring those who died for freedom, we are threatened by those who either have amnesia about the past or who have allowed greed and envy to consume them and to seduce them into believing the lies of socialism. Can we identify with the hunger for freedom of a young East German teenager, Peter Fechter, who died rather than live under tyranny?
Peter Fechter was only 18 years old when he became one of the first victims of the Berlin Wall border guards and was shot trying to climb over the wall on August 17, 1962. He fell back onto the east side of the wall and bled to death. The boy’s agonizing, hour-long death was witnessed by people on both sides of the wall, but his screams for help went unaided, with both sides afraid to intervene.
This teenager’s story should be told in every high school and university in the United States. Far too many high school and college students know nothing of fighting for freedom. Instead they fight for “safe spaces” and intersectionality. They think they are “woke,” when they are actually in a socialism-induced coma.
The memorial to young Peter Fechter constructed on the Zimmerstrasse at the spot where he died reads, “he just wanted Freedom.” Today many Americans, as well as others, seem to have forgotten the value of freedom. Not our wonderful active military forces and the veterans that we honor this weekend. But many Millennials are shockingly ambivalent about, or even favorable to Communism, helped in that direction by politicians like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others.
In addition to Leftist politicians, much of the media has devalued freedom. A reporter for the left-leaning BuzzFeed declared on Twitter that “victims of Communism” is a “white nationalist talking point.” The reporter, Blake Montgomery, made his breathtakingly offensive remark after President Donald Trump signed an executive order making November 7 the “National Day for Victims of Communism.” After a backlash, Montgomery deleted his tweet and apologized. But Montgomery is just the tip of the iceberg. Antifa/Students for a Democratic Society (what are they in — a time warp? Or just a mind warp?) use social media to mock and disrespect victims of Communism.
In my most merciful fantasies, I would like to send them to North Korea.
In the swirling chaos of “a world turned upside down,” as the insightful Melanie Phillips has called it, some Christians acquiesce to this tyranny. They make blanket assumptions about all those who believe the world needs to be turned right side up, just short of calling them the names that the Left itself uses. Apart from the insult of sweeping generalizations, the critics of what they call “the far right” or worse ignore that in reality those whose favor they desperately seek hate them, with their moderate position, as much as they hate conservatives.
Better that we follow in the footsteps of the freedom-hungry Eastern Europeans and lay waste this tyranny. Otherwise, someday we may have to construct a memorial to our loss of America that reads, “We just didn’t want Freedom enough.”Google+