Is Our Government ‘Adequate’ for Today’s Citizenry?

John M. Grondelski: If America becomes too secular, can our system of government – one “made for a moral and religious people” – survive?

In a recent column, “God and Caesar Today,” I raised the question of whether the Christian division of “things of Caesar” and “things of God” still made sense.  We live in a time when Caesar (at least in his “democratic” versions) professes to be agnostic about God.  It’s also a time when growing numbers of people couldn’t tell you where the idea of “God and Caesar” comes from.  So when we Christians talk about “rendering” each his due, we are speaking a language Caesar and his minions no longer understand. The issue is whether we are talking to or past each other.

Closely allied to that question is whether the citizenry we have can make sense of our system of government.  Writing to the Massachusetts Militia in 1798, John Adams made his famous observation that “[o]ur Constitution was made for a moral and religious People.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Adams could assume our Constitution was made for religious people because, 18th-century Enlightenment thought notwithstanding, a critical mass of American thought still coasted along on remnants of faith and morals that ultimately came from Catholicism.  But like many other revolutionaries who claimed to be just reformers, the Founders assumed (wrongly) that the theological adjustments they made would not affect the rest of the order in which they operated.  Removing the God of Creation and Redemption and replacing Him with the real absence of Deism is not going to give you the robust God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus.

That one cannot tinker “over here” without affecting “over there” was already evident with Luther.  He abandoned a real order of being and good in favor of nominalism. In that perspective, there was nothing intrinsically “good” or “evil” about “good” or “evil.”  They were merely commands that reflect God’s omnipotent will.  God goes from a Creator of reality to a divine labeler: truth is good, lying is bad.

But when people’s faith in God wanes, less-than-omnipotent men usually step into the void and, in this case, took over the divine labeling function.  From there the trip to moral relativism (and its dictatorship) is faster than you can say “intersectional gender binary safe space!”

And when the God of Providence goes on an extended vacation, leaving a windup clockmaker’s universe behind, who misses Him after a while?  It’s not God leading history; history suddenly has its own “arc” that “bends” (consciously? semi-consciously? unconsciously?) towards “justice” (meaning whatever cause du jour you want to stick that name on).

Justice William Douglas observed in Zorach v. Clauson that “[we] are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.”  But what if those institutions that presuppose God are administered by and serve people who are not religious?  Does that Constitution still even make sense?

Let me offer an observation.  One way in which the American Constitution has historically been considered a masterpiece is in its checks and balances.  In many ways, the system was designed to hinder rather than help doing things.  If things were to get done, they would take time, deliberation, and effort to build consensus across a variety of interests and a diversity of principles and representation, not all of which were reducible to “one man, one vote.”

Arguably, the genius of Constitutional checks and balances had a religious origin: the doctrine of Original Sin.  The Founders wanted to check what people could do because they were aware that people are more prone to do evil rather than good, to be selfish rather than selfless.  The occasional Deist enlightenment thinker like Jefferson might have warmed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s illusions that civilization, not sin, warps man.  But the mainstream Founders – especially those who took their Protestantism seriously – held to a more realistic (albeit pessimistic) vision of human possibilities after the Fall.

In our day, when Original Sin is regarded as a religious superstition, history is on automatic pilot, and all dogs and people go to heaven, do checks and balances still make sense?

Are they not, rather, vestiges of “privilege” (especially for dead white American males) frustrating all the “good” things government could do if “minority rule” were not restraining it?

Is the idea that consensus has to be built not only by headcount but across geography and geographical differences, with all their local interests (the reason both the U.S. Senate and Electoral College exist) just another artifact frustrating equality and majority rule?

Is the very idea of a written Constitution that constrains what people can do today by measuring it against powers and limits devised by people long dead alien to democracy – especially when those limits are interpreted not according to current predilections but on the basis of what they meant when people put them once-upon-a-time into force?

Christianity believes in a past, present, and future.  The past – the time of the Old and New Testaments – is normative for measuring the present and sets the trajectory for the future.  But does “passing on what you have received” make sense to a generation almost irretrievably mired in the immediate present?

Can our Constitution and the system of government it frames – one that “presupposes a moral and religious People” – survive if and when Nones acquire a critical mass?

The Founders’ generation extended the life of the religious remnants informing their culture by supporting at least some amalgam of “civil religion” that looked like mainstream, nondenominational Protestantism.  That “religion” is now gone, as is the Protestant Mainline.  For various reasons, as many observers have noted, the “Catholic Moment” that might have filled that vacuum never arrived.

While there still may be time to return to these issues, the warning light is on, and the car is cruising on fumes.  Current religious trends are not encouraging. If the near total secularization of our people occurs, can our system of government – one “wholly inadequate” to a non-religious people – survive?

We may soon find ourselves testing that possibility.

You may also enjoy:

Robert Royal’s We’ve Got Issues – and They’re Cosmic

Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s How to Make America Great


John M. Grondelski

John Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views herein are exclusively his.

RELATED ARTICLE: White House And Dark Money NGO Hype Hate Crisis To Demand Censorship

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.  © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

St. Augustine’s Two Trees

What’s to be learned from a man who died 1600 years ago, in a time and place so different from our own that it takes a serious effort – of imagination as well as study — to understand what he was all about?

Today is the Feast of St. Augustine – and also my late mother’s birthday. I don’t think she ever read a word of Augustine’s, but she may have caught wind of St. Monica’s tears over her young son (as recounted in Confessions) . . . and made the connection to her own son’s adolescent waverings. In any case, when you read Augustine, it’s almost impossible not to see parallels with your own life, and in a deeply personal way. Aquinas is primarily the great master of the mind, Augustine the passionate guide to the heart.

The very first page of Confessions, of course, contains his much-quoted line: fecisti nos ad te et inquietem est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te (“You made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”) You can read that as simply a pious expression, and no harm. (When I teach Augustine, though, I warn students not to assume they already know what “heart” signifies here.) If you read on, you get a profound exposition – amidst a story of worldly temptations and ambitions, intellectual and spiritual confusions, as powerful then as they are now – of what those seemingly simple words mean.

Social commentators sometimes talk about how “the world has lost its story,” meaning we no longer know why we exist as persons or societies. At bottom, the story we’ve lost is the Biblical view of history. As a result, the stories we substituted for it – enlightenment, national greatness, economic progress, even science – which depended on there being a sense and direction to life, no longer have any real substance.

And it shows. Desperate attempts at establishing “identity” by latching on to race and gender “communities,” or engaging in environmental or political crusades, are in the end, modern manifestations of unquiet hearts.

In a way, even a massive work like City of God, written to refute the charge that Rome’s abandoning of the pagan gods for Christianity led to its sacking in 410 by the Visigoths, reflects Augustine’s belief that our confidence in our own powers, independent of God, to establish perfect justice on earth is just another delusion we hope will quiet our restlessness.

Augustine’s Confessions first narrates what it’s like to lose the world’s true story and flail around.  He weaves much philosophy and theology – and astute psychology – into the drama of his own life and conversion, which involved some of the great figures of his time – prominent philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, St. Ambrose, even the Roman emperor, many friends and ordinary folk.

But his personal story finally makes sense only when he recovers the larger story, a natural subject for fiction writers. Louis de Wohl, half a century ago, wrote a still-interesting novel about Augustine, The Restless Flame. And the young Augustine’s concubine, unnamed in Confessions, has received imaginative treatment in Suzanne Wolfe’s The Confessions of X.

Fr. Aidan Nichols O. P., with a humility rare among great scholars, bluntly admits, “With the possible exception of Cicero, more is known about Saint Augustine than about any other figure from Antiquity. We know far too much about him for that knowledge to be readily manageable.”

Yet Nichols, in The Singing Masters: Church Fathers from Greek East and Latin West, manages marvelously. (In our own modest way at TCT Courses, we’ve tried to give you manageable introductions to Confessions and City of God.)

Still, what’s to be learned from a man who died 1600 years ago, in a time and place so different from our own that it takes a serious effort – of imagination as well as study – just to begin to understand what he was all about?

Well, perhaps the first thing is that despite all those differences there’s much that speaks, with sharp immediacy, to us because – pace the proud progressives of all ages –  many human things don’t change.

Fr. Nichols sums it up as a tale of “two trees.”

The first, the pear tree that Augustine and his teenage posse stole fruit from, early in Confessions, not because they were hungry, or the pears were good (they weren’t), but out of casual perversity. The deepest refutation of what we now call being “woke” is the classical and Christian belief that human hearts, all human hearts including the most “woke,” waver between good and – to use the tight term – evil.

In the ancient world, people were so aware of evil that a religion developed – Manichaesim – that posited two gods, one good and one evil. Augustine spent around a decade embroiled in this false faith until he thought his way through – and out. But many others did not. Fr. Nichols says, “The fullest set of Manichee writings are in Chinese, testifying that the ‘Religion of Light’ spread quite as far eastward as it did westward. From Algeria to China, it was Christianity’s main competitor until the rise of Islam.”

The pear tree, like the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, tells a deep story.  Ultimately, it isn’t society, or economic conditions, or your family that explain your bad behavior, because any imperfections to be found among them stem from the same human source: restless hearts attracted to good and evil.

But there’s another tree in the story. At the moment of his conversion, “I flung myself down, how, I know not, under a certain fig-tree,” says Augustine. (Bk. VIII) Fr. Nichols notices what many of us might overlook: that the second tree is a fig tree, and it was from fig leaves that Adam and Eve fashioned themselves coverings after they sinned and felt naked.

Augustine no doubt had this in mind.  And so what’s about to happen is precisely a reversal of the direction that we took that fatal day in Eden.

Which happens every time someone is converted – turns in the right direction, recovers the world’s story, which is also our own personal story, and finds peace of heart.

You may also enjoy:

Benedict XVI’s St. Augustine’s strong hope

James Matthew Wilson’s Augustine’s True Story


Robert Royal

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Rich Men North of Richmond

Christian Virginian Christopher Anthony Lunsford, known to many as Folk Performer  Oliver Anthony  (his grandfather’s name) touched a resonant chord with at least 61 Million suffering Americans & Freedom Lovers worldwide, these past weeks *  –  all vibrating with his heartfelt lament,

Rich Men North of Richmond.


by  Oliver Anthony

I’ve been selling my soul,
working all day.

Overtime hours,
for bullshxx pay.

So I can sit out here,

and waste my life away,

drag back home

and drown my troubles away.

It’s a damn shame,
what the world’s gotten to,
for people like me

and people like you.

Wish I could just wake up

and it not be true.

But it is.

Oh, it is.

Living in the new world,
with an old soul.

These rich men north of Richmond,
Lord knows,

they all just want to have total control.

Want to know what you think.
Want to know what you do.

And they don’t think you know,

but I know that you do.

‘Cause your dollar ain’t shxx

and it’s taxed to no end,
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond.

I wish politicians would look out for miners
and not just minors on an island somewhere.

Lord, we got folks in the street,

ain’t got nothing to eat
and the obese milking welfare.

Well God, if you’re 5 foot 3

and you’re 300 pounds,
Taxes ought not to pay,

for your bags of fudge rounds.

Young men are putting themselves

six feet into the ground,
’cause all this damn country does,

is keep on kicking them down.

Lord, it’s a damn shame,
what the world’s gotten to,
for people like me

and people like you.

Wish I could just wake up

and it not be true.

But it is,

Oh, it is.

Living in the new world
with an old soul.

These rich men north of Richmond,
Lord knows,

they all just want to have total control.

Want to know what you think.

Want to know what you do.

And they don’t think you know,

but I know that you do.

‘Cause your dollar ain’t shxx

and it’s taxed to no end,
’cause of rich men north of Richmond.

I’ve been selling my soul
working all day.

Overtime hours,
for bullshxx pay.


WATCHOliver Anthony – Rich Men North of Richmond (Fan Edit Music Video)


During a recent performance, at  Morris Farm  in the little town of Barco  –  just a few miles north from where the Wright Brothers first achieved powered flight 120 years ago on North Carolina’s Outer Banks  –  Chris opened with a reading from the Book of Psalms, at Psalm 37, coming straight to the point,


12.  The wicked plotteth against the just,

        and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

13.  The Lord shall laugh at him:

        for he seeth that his day is coming.

14.  The wicked have drawn out the sword,

        and have bent their bow,

        to cast down the poor and needy,

        and to slay such

        as be of upright conversation.

15.  Their sword shall enter into their own heart,

        and their bows shall be broken.

16.  A little that a righteous man hath

        is better than

        the riches of many wicked.

17.  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken:

        but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

18.  The LORD knoweth the days of the upright

        and their inheritance shall be for ever.

19.  They shall not be ashamed in the evil time:

        and in the days of famine

        they shall be satisfied.

20.  But the wicked shall perish,

        and the enemies of the LORD

        shall be as the fat of lambs:

        they shall consume;

        into smoke

        shall they consume away.


Clearly, young Americans like Chris Lunsford, already intuit & pivot from the last century and more of Anglo-Banker Kommunist, Kritical Theory, Divide & Konquer Societal Dekonstruktion and Indoktrination of the old & the new world.  For in fact,

Twas ever thus.

We read in Proverbs 1  –  set down by the wisest man to ever live, King Solomon, some 3,000 years ago,


1.   The proverbs of Solomon the son of David,

       king of Israel;

2.   To know wisdom and instruction;

       to perceive the words of understanding;

3.   To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice,

       and judgment, and equity;

4.   To give subtilty to the simple,

       to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5.   A wise man will hear,

      and will increase learning;

      and a man of understanding

      shall attain unto wise counsels:

6.   To understand a proverb,

       and the interpretation;

       the words of the wise,

       and their dark sayings.

7.   The fear of the LORD

       is the beginning of knowledge:

       but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8.   My son, hear the instruction of thy father,

       and forsake not the law of thy mother:

9.   For they shall be an ornament of grace

       unto thy head,

       and chains about thy neck.

10. My son, if sinners entice thee,

      consent thou not.

11. If they say,

      Come with us,

      let us lay wait for blood,

      let us lurk privily for the innocent

      without cause:

12. Let us swallow them up alive as the grave;

      and whole,

      as those that go down into the pit:

13. We shall find all precious substance,

      we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14. Cast in thy lot among us;

      let us all have one purse:

15. My son, walk not thou in the way with them;

      refrain thy foot from their path:

16. For their feet run to evil,

      and make haste to shed blood.

17. Surely in vain

      the net is spread

      in the sight of any bird.

18. And they lay wait

      for their own blood;

      they lurk privily

      for their own lives.


Brother Lunsford’s songs are as nourishing now to humble souls of God-fearing American Patriots, as doubtless divine services had been then  –  160 years ago  –  ‘mongst the twinkling watch fires of his Fasting & Prayerful Forefathers, encamped in martial array, between Richmond & the Rich Men to the North, while upholding Christian Liberty on the American Continent.

Should the Lord tarry in His Glorious Return, one perceives events in the offing, in continuing American Defense of Christ’s Liberty on this Earth.


A Prayer by General Lee

General OrdersNo. 83

13 August 1863

The President of the Confederate States has, in the name of the people, appointed the 21st of August as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. 

A strict observance of the day is enjoined upon the officers and soldiers of this army. 

All military duties, except such as are absolutely necessary, will be suspended.  The commanding officers of brigades and regiments are requested to cause divine services, suitable to the occasion, to be performed in their respective commands.

Soldiers!  We have sinned against Almighty God. 

We have forgotten his signal mercies, and have cultivated a revengeful, haughty, and boastful spirit.  We have not remembered that defenders of a just cause should be pure in his eyes;  that “our times are in his hand” and we have relied too much on our own arms for the achievement of our independence. 

God is our only refuge and our strength.

Let us humble ourselves before him. 

Let us confess our many sins, and beseech him to give us a higher courage, a purer patriotism and more determined will:  that he will convert the hearts of our enemies:  that he will hasten the time when war, with its sorrows and sufferings, shall cease, and that he will give us a name and place among the nations of the earth.

R. E. Lee, General


*  It is widely reported  –  and empirically observed over & over  –  YouTube (YT), owned by Google, Inc., ‘haircuts’  View Numbers for Posts managing to get past  YT Censorship Algorithms or actual Direct Interventions of Google’s  ironically monikered  Truth & Safety  staff.  This unsatisfactory Orwellian Cultural Marxist Censorship  –  including ‘shadow banning’ & other dirty tricks  –  is applied under ruse of ‘User Agreements’ and contract law, to effectively neuter First Amendment guarantees of Free Speech for any posts not comporting with an arbitrary YT Globalist Narrative.  Net effect is, viewership is actually as many as five to ten times reported Views.

Thus, the  61 Million Reported Views  of Chris Lunsford’s folk song may actually approach 305 Million or more views, especially considering whole families of Americans are watching together a single view of Patriotic themed posts.

The  political consequences  of Public Comprehension of this Reality are devastating to the ‘New World Order’ Mammon Agenda  –  which seeks to hornswoggle The American People into believing they are naught but clinging remnant to past culture.  This, despite possession by 330,000,000 Americans of  Two & Three Billion, well supplied, Personal Arms  –  the most irresistible force for Liberty on the face of the Earth.

Meanwhile, your present correspondent, became intimately aware of deep & abiding connections between Google & the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)  –  from Google’s putative incept in 2003-2004  –  at the Agency’s heavily redacted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website pages, which notoriously published email correspondence between Google’s then Federal Contracts manager, a fully Beta-Maled, Marxized, Houston, TX Apostate name of Jon Venverloh and a CIA Contracting Officer  ‘with money burning a hole in her pocket‘.  The Agency was requesting quick receipt of Google Beta products, so it could fashion digital ‘trap door’ access to all communications passing through Google’s developing bandwidth.  Thus is it confirmed, no digital communication of any kind bears even a hint of privacy or security, be it email ( or in Google’s case ‘G’mail, the G surely standing for Gub’mint ), cell phone text messages, or even digitally processed cell phone spoken conversations.  When news of this incept correspondence broke in February & again in July of 2019, 45 days later on 11 September 2019, Venverloh was broomed from the Board of Anglo-Banker Globalist controlled Salem Media, after a ten year stretch, along with a handful of other Banker Globalist minions, who proved too visible to support the ongoing charade Salem is a nominal Christian media.  Salem’s Globalism-Kompliant leadership had its eyes squarely on black money DoD appropriations into the tens of billions, which Venverloh is waist deep in, providing access through his charter affiliation with the DoD Office of Net Assessment & its Highlands Forum, off books, Tech Industry-Gub’mint, ‘Profit Tank’  –  the Veritable Belly of the Mammon Beast.

You wanna know where the full spectrum, copious, digital, Global Election Management Fraud of 2020 came from?

Carefully read above Anglo-Banker, CIA, Google paragraph agin Brother.

Unprecedented events, like the 4.7 Million Americans arriving in Washington, DC on January 6th of 2021, at the request of their duly re-elected President Trump to Secure Their Election with Parade of Their Numbers, or the 96 mile long ‘Trump Train’ on Arizona’s freeways prior to the 2020 Election & the simultaneous 30 mile long Trump Train on the I-15 Southbound Lanes in Riverside County, California, likewise witnessed by your present correspondent, or the tens of thousands of vessels involved in many ‘Trump Flotillas’ across the country, or the tens of millions of Americans attending the Trump Rallies yet ongoing, or the documented paltry mere hundreds, including paid stooges, in evidence at Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden political occasions…all sharply burst a facile, sortied YT Globalist Propaganda Balloon, like so many pin pricks  –  giving the lie to an obscene fiction of the death of American Christian Patriotism.

The Constitutional enforcement of Christ’s Liberty in America  will ultimately have quite dire consequences for such outlaw pernicious prevaricators  –  and in their Godless delusions, deep down …they know it.


© 2023 DEACON.  All rights reserved.

Music © 2023 Christopher Anthony Lunsford.  All rights reserved.

Attribution 2019 Patriots4Truth.  Creative Commons.



Oliver Anthony Turned Down $8 Million and Turned to Scripture

OLIVER ANTHONY  –  Rich Men North of Richmond (Live From Morris Farm Market 8/13/23)

Oliver Anthony LIVE at Morris Farm Market  (Aug 13, 2023)  –  Full Performance

Oliver Anthony’s Emotional Speech About the Future of America

Oliver Anthony – Rich Men North of Richmond (Fan Edit Music Video)



‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Singer Opens Show in Perfect Way

Legal Brief – US Civil Liberties Authority From God Through US Code

Vivek Ramaswamy Wants to Phase Out Military Aid to Israel by 2028

Among the Republican candidates for President whom you likely had not heard of until the recent debate in Milwaukee is the Indian-American Vivek Ramaswamy, a near-billionaire biotech entrepreneur and investor who has never held elective office. He has strong positions on domestic policy, but in foreign policy he has focused almost entirely on reducing American dependence on China. He has expressed a desire to learn “the truth about 9/11,” which could indicate that he thinks there has been a cover-up, leading some to fear he is a conspiracy theorist. Though a Hindu, he has never shown the slightest interest in the history and present condition of Hindus in southeast Asiaincluding the mass murder of 80 million Hindus by Muslims, nor in the continued aggression by Muslims against Hindus, both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in India itself. He has had no comment, for example, on the Muslims who attacked and drove out 350,000 Hindus from Kashmir — the “Kashmiri pandits” — in recent decades.

Ramaswamy considers himself to be “pro-Israel.” He supports former President Trump’s moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem. At Yale Law School, Ramaswamy belonged to Shabtai, which he has described as a “Jewish intellectual group.” On the other hand, he drew attention for criticizing a bill signed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis that penalizes antisemitic harassment.

Ramaswamy has been in the news for proposing that American military aid to Israel be cut off within five years. He is not anti-Israel, he reminds his critics, but thinks that by then Israel will no longer need such aid because it will have integrated into the region. “6 Jewish facts about GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who proposes cut to Israel funding,” by Andrew Lapin, Times of Israel, August 23, 2023:

In June, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Ramaswamy suggested that he would be open to ending aid to Israel as “part of a broader disengagement with the Middle East.” He later walked back those comments. But last week, he told actor and podcaster Russell Brand that he does, in fact, want to end US aid to Israel in 2028, the year when the current US commitment to provide $3.8 billion annually to Israel expires.

Ramaswamy said that decision would come as Israel receives recognition from more countries in the Middle East. Israel has signed normalization deals with several states in the region in recent years, a framework called the Abraham Accords, and is now pursuing a treaty with Saudi Arabia. Ramaswamy told the Jewish News Syndicate that he’d also like to spearhead Israeli accords with Indonesia and Oman.

Come 2028, that additional aid won’t be necessary in order to still have the kind of stability that we’d actually have in the Middle East by having Israel more integrated in with its partners,” he said on a show Brand hosts on the video platform Rumble.

More of his thoughts on ending aid to Israel by 2028 can be found here: “Republican Jewish Group Pushes Back on Ramaswamy’s Stance Against Israel Aid,” by Alana Goodman, Washington Free Beacon, August 22, 2023:

Republican Jewish leaders pushed back on Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s proposal to cut off military aid to Israel within five years, arguing that “such a move would very decidedly not be in America’s best interest.”

Matthew Brooks, the CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, in a letter on Monday praised Ramaswamy as a “strong and passionate supporter of Israel” but urged him to rethink his stance against U.S. military aid to the Jewish state.

In light of your overall support for a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, I believe that a closer look at the issue of U.S. aid will convince you that now is not the time to end an aid program that provides so much benefit to our nation, strengthens our key strategic ally Israel, and contributes to the stability of the Middle East,” Brooks wrote.

The letter comes as Ramaswamy has climbed in the polls, prompting new scrutiny on his foreign policy positions….Ramaswamy reiterated his position to the Washington Free Beacon, arguing that the aid will be unnecessary after he successfully negotiates new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors during the first year of his presidency.

Ramaswamy’s success as a businessman has gone to his head. Now he is putting himself forward as a wonderworker, able to “successfully negotiate new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors.” Presumably he also means bringing about a permanent “peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. How does he propose to end the Palestinian jihad against the Jewish state? And when he talks about how he will negotiate “new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors,” what does he mean? Israel already has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. But there is no chance that Syria will ever sign a peace treaty with Israel, a country that it has been at war with since 1948, especially since the Golan Heights have been annexed as part of Israel in 1981. And if in 2028, Lebanon is still under the control of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, it will not agree to a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Nor will Iraq, where Iran-backed militias now dominate the country, be willing to “normalize ties” with Israel and sign a peace treaty. Ramaswamy, a self-made billionaire, has convinced himself that he is uniquely qualified to achieve an Israel-Arab peace, thereby obviating the need for American military aid to Israel.



What Israel’s Military Provides to the Americans

How Iran Would See A Cutoff of US Military Aid to Israel

What will keep the peace between Israel and the Arabs is not treaties, as Vivek Ramaswamy seems to think

Ilhan Omar Met With Al Qaeda Allies on Trip Funded by Islamic Terror States

Denmark capitulates, abandons freedom of expression, bans burning of Qur’an

Pro-jihad media outlet calls for beheading of Qur’an burner, invokes Muhammad calling for massacre of his critics

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin: Man Was Made In God’s Image, But The West Aims To Replace Him With ‘Transgenders’, ‘Biomechanoids’

At an August 15, 2023 speech at the 2023 Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergey Naryshkin said that mankind was created in God’s image, but that the West aims to replace God with “transgenders” and “biomechanoids.” Criticizing senior EU diplomat Josep Borrell, Naryshkin said that Europe is “unpleasant” and “scary” for people who are “spiritually and physically” healthy because “perversions of all kinds have multiplied there.”

Sergey Naryshkin: “Man was created in God’s image and after His likeness. Meanwhile, Westerners are striving to replace him with all kinds of transgenders and biomechanoids. The colleagues have already mentioned today the odious phrase said by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who compared Europe to a flourishing garden, and the rest of the world to a jungle.

“So, I would like to open the leading European diplomat’s eyes to the fact that a spiritually and physically healthy person actually finds it unpleasant – and sometimes even scary – to come to Europe, since so many perversions of all sorts have multiplied there.”

EDITORS NOTE: This MEMRI column with video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Faith in Jesus Christ Alone’: How Americans Agreed Christianity Is Core to Conservatism

In the years leading up to the birth of the nation we know as America, political discourse was exercised in pubs, in the pages of newspapers, in the town square, and on the steps outside courthouses. The patriots who forged America would define and refine together what liberty means and what responsibilities are carried with it, how men are governed and by what authority, and what a nation is and what it means to be an American.

Today, that same patriotic spirit that burns in the hearts of conservatives articulates itself largely on social media. On Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and even on less mainstream sites like Gab or former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, conservatives carry on the work of their forefathers and clarify ideologies, debate traditions, and ask what it means to be an American conservative. Just as early American patriots made their voices heard in the streets of Boston, Philadelphia, and Annapolis, so American conservatives made their voices heard on Twitter last week, resoundingly declaring that Christianity is core to conservatism.

Lizzie Marbach, a former Trump 2020 campaign staffer and current Ohio pro-life advocate, tweeted last week, “There’s no hope for any of us outside of having faith in Jesus Christ alone.” The tweet itself garnered a moderate amount of notice and many social media users agreed with Marbach, who was essentially repeating longstanding (and, honestly, pretty basic) Christian doctrine. And then along came Max Miller. The Republican congressman from Ohio and former Trump staffer reposted his fellow former Trump staffer’s tweet with his own derisive commentary, saying, “This is one of the most bigoted tweets I have ever seen. Delete it, Lizzie. Religious freedom in the United States applies to every religion. You have gone too far.”

First of all, it is important to note that Marbach is not a sitting legislator, nor even a government employee. Her tweet did not advocate, endorse, or even remotely suggest the suppression or persecution of any religious group or set of religious beliefs. This makes Miller’s comments all the more infuriatingly ironic: while claiming to support “religious freedom,” a sitting U.S. congressman told an American citizen to delete her profession of one of the most fundamental doctrines of her faith — a faith shared, by the way, by an estimated 70% of Americans.

Miller, who describes himself on Twitter as a “proud Jew,” was instantly ridiculed, shamed, and flatly contradicted by conservatives. Political commentator and podcast host Matt Walsh asked, “Do your constituents know that you consider basic Christian teaching to be ‘bigoted’? They do now I guess. Good luck in the next election!” Journalist Jack Posobiec, senior editor at Human Events, posted a meme reading, “[T]he best time to delete this tweet was immediately after sending it, the second best time is now.” Media personality and former GOP congressional candidate Lauren Witzke quipped, “Mask off moment.” Countless others commented simple variations of “Christ is King.”

Miller went further than merely airing his ignorance, though; he complained to Marbach’s employer, Ohio Right to Life, where his wife is a board member, and she was fired from her position as communications director. Ohio Right to Life stressed that Marbach wasn’t fired due to “any single event,” but even the ol’ post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy might be a bit of a stretch in application to this particular scenario.

In 2020, President Trump famously said, “It’s called ‘we do a little trolling.’” Well, trolling works. After the torrent of purely-digital backlash from Americans, Miller was forced to apologize. He said, “I posted something earlier that conveyed a message I did not intend. I will not try to hide my mistake or run from it. I sincerely apologize to Lizzie and to everyone who read my post.” Now, whether the apology was sincere or simply a PR necessity in the wake of denigrating the beliefs of over two thirds of Americans is not yet clear, though it’s worth noting that Miller did not delete his tweet calling expression of Christian thought “bigoted” and ordering an American Christian to “delete” her tweet, nor has he apologized for his role in having Marbach fired.

In fact, Marbach herself showed Miller just how “bigoted” and threatening Christians are by publicly forgiving him. She tweeted, “Max, I accept your apology 100%. However the truth is that it is not me from whom you need forgiveness, but God himself. I genuinely pray you seek him and find salvation!” She also posted the text of Matthew 18:21-35, in which Christ tells the parable of the unforgiving servant and instructs His disciples to forgive others not just seven times but “seventy-seven times.”

Aside from Miller’s appalling behavior and lackluster attempt at an apology, this episode demonstrates the commitment of conservatives to Christian ideals. Those who do not identify as Christian — atheists and agnostics, even some of Miller’s fellow Jews, were among his detractors — but as conservatives recognize the inherent truth that, without Christianity, there is nothing to conserve. The entirety of the conservative movement is founded upon distinctly Christian principles, traditions, and culture: liberty, order, virtue, duty, sacrifice, and all those noble ideals Americans have fought, bled, and died for over the past 250 years. These ideals were practiced, preached, preserved, clarified, and dogmatized by Christianity.

While nations and empires have risen and fallen, while the Roman republic decayed into tyranny, while kingdoms and races warred across medieval Europe, while European powers pioneered new lands, while the dream called America was realized, while bloody revolutions felled and founded new cultures and governments, while world wars raged, and even now into the present age, Christianity has stood strong, lovingly maintaining the doctrines laid out 2,000 years ago by a Carpenter from Nazareth, Who was also told, “Delete it,” in the parlance of the day, and lost far more than just His job.

Just as American patriots once agreed on what liberty is while sitting around their drinks in pubs, just as they once proclaimed what they knew to be true in the pages of their newspapers and gazettes, just as they once shouted their common beliefs in the streets, so too have today’s American patriots, speaking in today’s town square, agreed that conservatives must not condemn or denigrate Christianity but embrace it.

Hopefully, today’s patriots will continue following in the footsteps of their forefathers and will not be content with pub-table conversations, printed words, and marching in the streets, but will speak at the ballot box too and elect representatives who respect and even share their beliefs, the beliefs that this nation was built upon.


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Would You Insult God?

Being the youngest son of simple folk who had even less education than I, but who loved God as Jesus commanded, and who for the most part lived by God’s word spoken by Jesus during His time on this Earth, I had very good basic training as a child. I didn’t always agree with their instruction, but I learned to accept it out of love for them as my parents. I also learned what they expected besides my love: RESPECT. I can honestly say that I did respect them both, but occasionally, I allowed my youthful ignorance, or more likely, stupidity, to cause me to say things that were the opposite of respect. For example……

I called my mother “crazy” once when I was around 14 years old.  Wow, what a terrible experience that was. I was a typical teenager and my teenaged friends and I used that expression as an ordinary means of addressing one another; for example, after bantering around about a subject, perhaps girls, or sports, one of us would say’ “Aw, you’re crazy” and no offense was intended or taken, but my mother did not find my words questioning her intelligence amusing. Was she offended? Oh, yes indeed, and  being a fiery, red-head of Scottish descent, she let me know it in no uncertain terms. I felt terrible for showing disrespect and tried to make it up to her. Eventually, she forgave me and the incident was forgotten. Out of respect for her, I never once after that even considered letting my tongue control my actions in her presence. My stupid remark had hurt my mother’s feelings immensely.

Now, had I said those same words to my Dad, I might not be alive today to write this article. Why did I not do that? Because I knew of my Dad’s penchant for “instant retribution” and I avoided that potential thrashing by holding my tongue, even though there had been numerous incidents when my youth, ignorance and stupidity might have dictated saying the same words to him. But I respected my Dad and his authority over me and, as I said, I tried my best to avoid his retribution (he was a big, strong man).

As bad as calling my mother “crazy” truly was, it would have paled in comparison to calling her a liar. She would have been completely mortified at my arrogance, thinking I had the right to call into question her honesty, and would likely have slapped the living snot out of me, instantly, and rightly so since I never knew my mother to tell a lie, to me or to anyone else.

God’s Feelings

Does God have feelings? I know that may sound like a ridiculous question, but, humor me. As humans, we are sometimes run by, or controlled by, our feelings. I’m sure I have been involved in many situations where my feelings determined my actions, and likely every Christian has done so as well. Feelings are very “human” and they do have their place in our lives, but we must try to control them rather than allowing them to control us.

Out of curiosity, I searched for the definition of “feelings” and in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I found this:

Feelings (noun) plural of feeling: an emotional state or reaction; capacity to respond emotionally especially with the higher emotions

Emotions (noun) plural of emotion: Emotions are mental states brought on by neurophysiological changes, variously associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioral responses, and a degree of pleasure or displeasure

Now, according to the writer of Genesis, we were created by God when He said, “Let us make man in Our image and after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). It appears certain that, God does have feelings, just as all humans do. The big difference is that God can perfectly control His feelings, in any situation and doesn’t allow them to control Him. And, as I will explain in this article, that is a very good thing for mankind.

God Demands……God Deserves

In the commandments given to Moses by God, we are told exactly what God expects of us. Each of the Ten Commandments is quite clear and concise but they stop short of the commandment we were given by Jesus and recorded by the Apostle Luke: “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live(Luke 10:25-28).

Being only a simple man from North Carolina with no letters after my name and little education beyond high school, I try to draw the most usable information possible from the fewest words. Here Jesus is telling an unbeliever what is needed to gain eternal life. Wrapped up in His words is all we need to know of God’s expectation of us. But taken as a whole, we can see that respect for God, Who He is, What He is, and How He acts could sum up what is really expected. I will try to explain further.

The Story of Job

In the Book of Job, we read about a righteous man, declared by God to be upright and perfect. Being the oldest book of the Bible, many believe it was written by Moses, but the actual authorship is uncertain. It is likely, because the entire book is about the tragedies that befell him, that Job wrote part of it.

I’m sure that most people who have ever attended Sunday School or read the Bible to any extent are aware of the story of Job. He was regarded as one of the wealthiest men in the East. He had seven sons and three daughters and possessed large herds of cattle, camels and oxen, plus flocks of sheep and other livestock.

Satan made an appearance before God one day and when asked by God where he had come from, Satan told the Lord he had been going to and fro in the Earth and walking up and down in it. God asked him if he had considered His servant Job, saying that there was not another man like him  in the Earth, calling him a “perfect and upright man, one that feared God and refrained from evil (Job 1:8).

Satan complained to God that Job had no reason to fear because He (God) had placed a hedge of protection around him, and he then challenged God to “put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he (Job) will curse Thee to Thy face” (Job 1:11). Please note that God did not say that He would pull back the protective hedge, He only told Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand”.

Satan then moved to attack Job, destroying or stealing his herds and flocks and then causing a house to fall wherein all his children had been feasting, killing all ten of them. In the midst of all these calamities, while he was grieving, Job was visited by three friends who sat with Job for seven days, commiserating with him in his grief and loss.

Again, after some time had passed. Satan again appeared before God and God again asked him where he had been and again, Satan stated he had been “going to and fro in the Earth and walking back and forth in it” (Job 2:2). This time, after having stolen or destroyed all that Job owned, Satan challenged God to “put forth Thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face” (Job 2:5). The Lord responded, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life” (Job 2:6).

It could be asked why God did not restore the hedge of protection around Job, especially since Satan had already done his worst to Job and yet, God still considered him “perfect and upright” (Job 2:3). Keep reading…

I wondered for a long time why God initially decided to remove the hedge of protection from Job, thus allowing Satan free reign to attack God’s righteous servant, but the reason for this is explained when Job, after several long discourses with his friends stated, For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Even though God considered His servant Job to be righteous and perfect, his (Job’s) fear had not yet been dealt with and that fear not only destroyed the hedge, it prevented God from renewing it.

Job had long been living in fear of the very events that claimed his possessions and destroyed the lives of his children. He had often made offerings to God for the protection of his children, but the fear that gripped him far outweighed any faith he may have had in God’s ability, or His desire, to actually protect Job. The fear that he expressed had negated his faith in God for whom nothing is impossible; one important point here is that Satan was unaware that Job was unprotected or he would not have challenged God to remove His protection. Unless the reader of the story of Job understands this, it could be easy to blame God for the disasters that came on Job.

Unfortunately for Job, with the words of his friends as support, He did exactly that and began to whine about his misery and place blame on anyone but himself, including God. He said to his friends, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In effect, Job stated his belief that God was responsible for all the grief that had befallen him, and that was his biggest mistake.

Job and his friends spoke at length about his trials, trying to reach a decision about who was at fault and his “friends” seemed to state that, for whatever reason, Job was an unrighteous man and therefore to blame for his misery. However, during their conversations, they all made remarks that were not pleasing to God.

At some point, God, after hearing the words of Job and his three long-winded friends, spoke to Job out of the whirlwind and He demanded of Job an answer to the questions He would ask him.Those questions illustrated the wisdom, the knowledge, the majesty and power of God and delineated the differences between God and man.

It is quite easy to understand from God’s words to Job that He was not entirely pleased with Job’s speech as he sat complaining, wishing that God would just go ahead and kill him; God’s demands to Job and His questioning of him and his friends fully illustrated this.

However, after a long back and forth conversation between God and Job, Job was made to realize his errors and repented of his whining and misplaced blame, and in those final chapters of Job, God gave him a serious dressing down for his wrong thinking. I strongly suggest you read the entire book of Job and let its message penetrate your mind and reside in your heart.

The end of the story indicates that Job was then restored to his original position in his relationship with God. God then blessed Job with seven new sons and three new daughters, plus double the possessions he had originally.

My point with the story of Job and his failure to accept the blame for the losses of his possessions and his children, based on the constant fear that dominated his life and his time, is this: No matter what our circumstances are, we should never blame God for our problems. Does He allow us to go through trial and trying situations? Yes, the Bible explains in James 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.

What does it mean to have your faith “tried”? Life is a constant battle between good and evil; the evil that now exists will work to undo any blessings God has bestowed on those who love Him. When those attacks manifest in our lives, our faith in God is beingtested or tried. It is critical that we learn how to place all our faith in what God has said because faith is the spiritual force by which we have access to God and all His blessings. However, when fear in a person’s life overpowers his faith, the fear will win out and separate the person from God and all that He provides for us. The presence of fear accepted will destroy our hedge of protection.

Job stated that the thing he “most feared”, the loss of his possessions and his children, had “come upon him”. Even though God had told Satan that Job was righteous and perfect, when Satan challenged God to “remove the hedge of protection” He had provided around Job, God only said, “Behold, all that he hath is in thy power” (Job 1:12). God was fully aware that Job, in his great fear of loss, had placed himself in a vulnerable position, but Satan had no idea that Job’s fear had caused the protection of God’s hedge to disappear. God, in His honesty only told the truth about the situation to Satan. Job’s fear had destroyed the hedge of protection that God had provided and Satan was able to enter in and rob Job of all he had.

My personal opinion is that Job had gotten accustomed to having such great blessings that he began to take them for granted and when they were lost, He needed to place the blame on someone other than himself and his great fear.

Whether or not Job realized that, by putting the blame for his disastrous circumstances on God, instead of admitting that his own “great fear” had been the cause of them, He committed the act of insulting God, calling into question His honesty, His perfection, and His love for Job.

I have no doubt that every Christian has experienced the same thing, only on a much smaller scale than Job. But we, the believers in our current time, have so much more knowledge of God and His righteous attributes than Job had, that we should not ever question God’s honesty or His word. When we face what we believe to be a loss of our possessions, we MUST remember who the thief is, that fallen angel whose only purpose is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

When we find ourselves in such a position of calamity as did Job, the first thing we must do is thoroughly examine every aspect of our own lives to determine if we are living and acting in faith or in fear. Have we damaged or removed the hedge of protection God has placed around us by our own sinful, fearful actions and words? If so, repentance is the first order of business.

The last thing we should do is to insult God by placing any blame for our circumstances on him.

Blessings and Maranatha!

©2023. Bud Hancock. All rights reserved.

NETHERLANDS: Leader of Dutch Party PEGIDA Tears a Qur’an Apart

On August 11, 2923, in front of the Turkish embassy in The Hague, the leader of PEGIDA in The Netherlands tore a Qur’an apart.

Sophisticated people with more than a little class, don’t like this kind of primitive protests. But right now it might be the only way that the topic of ‘Islam’ can be forced on the agenda of our politicians.

The leader of PEGIDA in The Netherlands is Mr. E. Wagensveld and he is very articulate. He knows exactly what he is doing and why.

The Dutch news site AD has an article with a video of the action. You can see the Muslims who came to counter-protest boiling with anger and throwing stones.

Dutch Pegida leader tears up Quran outside Turkish embassy in The Hague

Pegida leader Edwin Wagensveld tore up a copy of the Quran during a protest outside the Turkish embassy in The Hague on Friday evening.

Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz said earlier in the day that Wagensveld should take into consideration that destroying or burning a copy of the Quran can lead to an increased terror threat, as it did in Sweden.

A police officer then picked up the Quran. The road on which the embassy is located, the Prinsessegracht, was closed for some time.

There were also counter-demonstrators present, who shouted “shame on you” and tried to reach Wagensveld. Rocks were also thrown. Wagensveld eventually left the area, but during the demonstration he directed comments, like, “You don’t belong here,” to the Turkish embassy. He also said, “Your Erdogan is the son of a whore.”

The Mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, already stated that he distances himself from behavior that does not contribute to “a respectful and inclusive city,” such as “unnecessarily provoking people and deliberately hurting them.”

At the same time, he said that freedom of expression and demonstration are constitutionally enshrined rights in the Netherlands. Yesilgöz said that she “personally finds destroying or burning a book rather primitive and sad,” but added, “it’s allowed in our country. You have that freedom.”

Wagensveld has previously torn up a copy of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, which led to protest. The leader of the Dutch branch of anti-Islam movement Pegida has yet to appear in court for hate speech, for saying, that the Quran “is a fascist book” when he tore it up.

On Thursday, Sweden’s security service raised the terror threat level in the country to its second highest level. According to Swedish media, the threat increased due to the incidents where the Quran was set on fire in the country, and the anger that has since arisen in Islamic countries.

Reporting by ANP

©2023. Matthys van Raalten. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Iranian Mullahs’ Death Wish is Coming True

Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly stated that he will never follow the path of the late Shah of Iran and leave the country peacefully.  Instead, he has insinuated that he would stay and massacre the enemies of Islam: the Iranian people.

According to a 1989 leaked video, Khamenei was selected to a one-year caretaker period as supreme leader. The 20-minute footage, posted on social media (below) by exiled Iranian journalist Shahed Alavi, reveals that Khamenei said he was not qualified enough for the post.

The illegitimate mullahs presently ruling Iran have been blatantly violating the sacred covenant of human rights by attacking large numbers of peaceful demonstrators demanding nothing more than their God-given right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The mullahs and their mercenaries are wasting precious human life to maintain themselves in power while terrorizing the Iranian population and giving away the nation’s wealth to numerous terrorist organizations.  According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Iran’s regime spends $16 billion annually to support terrorists and rogue regimes.

It goes without saying that our hearts bleed to watch how brutally the government agents attack, assault, and beat up peaceful demonstrators.  Regretfully, the ruling regime sees these actions as part of their sacred duty.  They see any defiance directed at the supreme leader as defiance to Allah.  After all, Ayatollah Khamenei sees himself as the representative of the Hidden Imam, al-Mahdi, hence the custodian over the people.

Iran’s rulers have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, chaos, and terrorism.

Mullahs Are Panicking

Now the mullahs are in a state of panic.  They know the current protests across Iran differ greatly from the 2009 Green Movement.  The current protests show the working-class and lower-middle-class Iranians in small towns and medium-sized cities within Iran calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and chanting in support of the monarchy and the exiled Prince Pahlavi.  For many demonstrators, the wretched state of the Iranian economy and corruption provided the perfect vehicle for pent-up expressions of Persian nationalism.

Iran has been a driver of change for centuries: “Where Iran goes, so goes the region.”  The 1979 Iranian revolution ushered in a period of intense sectarian conflict and unrest in the area.  But most Iranians are tired of Khomeini-style Islam.  Younger Iranians are embracing and reasserting their Persian national identity, almost in reaction to the regime, and in ways that will impact the region for decades to come.  We can confidently assert that the post-1979 chapter in regional history has ended, and a new chapter has begun.  If present trends continue, I see Iran heading for a major change toward a Western way of life.

The current protests by millions throughout Iran clearly signal that the Islamic theocracy is in irreversible decline.  The overwhelming majority of the people are no longer willing to settle for a vote recount or reformists’ deception and a less repressive Islamic rule.  They are determined to establish a fully secular democracy with complete separation of mosque and state.  They demand regime change.

Moreover, deep cracks are popping up in the system and among the contending factions.  Realistically speaking, 10-15 percent of the population still supports the clerical system to various degrees.  Many in this group are government employees, mullahs, and hired elements such as Basiji.  Also, the regime has some backers from its proxies’ elements from several regional countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria.

The best strategy with the greatest chance of success and the least risk of starting a cataclysmic chain reaction is for a “coalition of the willing,” to borrow a phrase, to rally behind Prince Reza Pahlavi and the Iranian people.  The democracy-seeking secular Iranians are thoroughly capable of dislodging the tyrannical mullahs.

Unlike Obama,  President Trump, some Cabinet members and U.S. lawmakers have resoundingly answered the opposition’s call.  The recent protests are just the beginning of the end for the Iranian rulers.  It may take several months, but the main concern now is ensuring a smooth transition from Islamic radicalism to a secular democracy.

VIDEO: President Trump vows U.S. support for the people of Iran

In short, the Iranian people are happy to grant the mullahs’ death wish.  However, they object to their design of taking us along with some sons and daughters of the “Great Satan.”  After all, the heavens they fantasize about are exclusive to the rabid believers of Muhammad, and that – fortunately – excludes us all.

©2023. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

We Need Kids to Be Real Rebels

H.W. Crocker III: You want a restoration of America? You want more faithful, patriotic Americans? You want a happier America? Emulate Robert E. Lee.

Do you remember “good ole boys”? They liked fast cars, long-legged women, and ballcaps with Confederate battle flags. I certainly do – and I grew up in California. In the 1990s, I wrote speeches for the governor in Sacramento. Every Sunday, I had brunch at the same Mexican restaurant; and every Sunday I parked next to a car decked out like the “Robert E. Lee” from The Dukes of Hazzard. I never found out who drove that car, but I admired it; my own key chain had a laminated mini-Confederate battle flag on it; and it was not unusual in northern California to see the battle flag on the grills of big-rig truckers.

Around then, Ken Burns’s PBS series, The Civil War, was a television sensation. It was a liberal take on the war, but as was traditional back then, that meant taking the Southern point of view seriously, even sympathetically. The star of the show, whose sweet molasses drawl won many admirers, was historian Shelby Foote, who was partial to the Confederacy.

But oh, how times have changed. These days, Critical Race Theory dominates all, and its anti-American rage – abetted by Democrat politicians and more than a few Republicans – has torn down not just Confederate memorials, but the reputations and representations of Columbus, the Founders, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and just about every other former American hero conceivably at odds with “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

It should have come as no surprise – except to clueless conservatives – that as Confederate names come off military bases, schools, and streets, “pride” flags go running up the flagpole at every level of government, including the White House.

The Left’s objective is not just to eradicate regional pride and patriotism (now, at its lowest ebb ever). It’s not just to snap our nation’s mystic chord of memory (though if you want to revolutionize society, that helps). It’s not just to deny the military valor, genius, and sacrifice of Southern soldiers, which formerly inspired Americans North and South alike (Theodore Roosevelt, among others, reminded us that we, as a country, had the “proud right” to claim as our own “the glory won alike by those who wore the blue and by those who wore the gray. . .for both fought with equal bravery and equal sincerity of conviction, each striving for the light as it was given him to see the light”).

No, fundamentally, the Left hates Confederate monuments (and memorials to the Founders and other traditional heroes) because materialist Marxism’s ultimate enemy is Christianity, and the torn-down statues celebrated Christian men: men who put duty above self, who prayed, who believed in self-sacrifice, righteousness, service, and heroism (and recognized it in others), who trusted in God and relished life as a gift.

During the Civil War, many observers noted how Confederate soldiers, despite every misery they faced, remained carefree, happy, and resolute. They were, in fact, good ole boys. They certainly offer a stark contrast to today’s young men and women, who are the most anxious, depressed, shallow, irreligious, unpatriotic, and immoral generation in American history, even though they have I-phones, Instagram, and computer games.

Confederate officers and their men not only expressed themselves – in their correspondence or recorded conversations – better than most people today, but they knew their place in the universe. They knew what a man is and what a woman is. They understood (and for the most part tried to follow) the basics of Christian morality. They knew (or thought they did) their rights under the Constitution. They knew that patriotism and defense of hearth, home, and family were positive goods.

Chesterton wrote that “the men signed of the cross of Christ / Go gaily in the dark.” The Southern men marching beneath the Cross of Saint Andrew certainly understood that. In the words of historian Clifford Dowdey, they lived in “an age in which men held heroic concepts of life and its meaning.”

Their lives were infused with a sense of purpose. The standard to which they aspired was one of Christian heroism. And they saw that standard exemplified most especially in a man like Robert E. Lee.

While Lee is now a subject of leftist disparagement, he is, actually, the perfect antidote to the anomie and alienation of today’s young people. In a world of self-centeredness (so self-centered that young people invent “gender identities” and demand that society affirm them), Lee is the great counterexample.

When a young mother asked Robert E. Lee what she should teach her infant son, he said: “Teach him to deny himself.” Not “teach him self-expression” or “teach him self-esteem” or “teach him that good boys don’t make history.” No, “teach him to deny himself” – and to take on his duty to serve others.

For young people who are depressed or anxious (or eager to claim some sort of victim status), Lee offers the advice of a Christian realist: “Shake off those gloomy feelings. Drive them away. . . .Live in the world you inhabit. Look upon things as they are. Take them as you find them. Make the best of them. Turn them to your advantage.” He believed that God would, in the fullness of time, turn all things right. Our duty, in the meantime, was to do the best we could.

To his daughter Mildred, Lee wrote, “The struggle which you describe you experience between doing what you ought and what you desire is common to all. You have only always to do what is right. It will become easier by practice, and you will enjoy in the midst of your trials the pleasure of an approving conscience. That will be worth everything else.”

All the strange social contagions of our time – tattooing and piercing and dying one’s hair green or pink, becoming an alphabet person, and all the rest – are all about expressing one’s alleged self by conforming to what everyone else is doing. That’s why nearly 40 percent of Brown University’s students now claim to be in the grip of some sort of sexual perversity (which also, of course, raises their social standing in a tacitly anti-Christian society). It’s what drives the Left’s war on free political speech. It’s why the Left will never leave conservatives alone. Because the Left is about conformity.

That’s why we need young people to be true rebels again – to recognize that they need to be in rebellion against the world, the flesh, and the devil; to raise the rebel flag in favor of faith, family, and God.

Years ago, I was summoned by a trio of nuns to visit them at their monastery. I assumed they wanted to talk to me about my recently published history of the Catholic Church, Triumph. I was wrong.  One of them said, “Oh, yes, of course, we all love Triumph, but what we really wanted to talk to you about was your book Robert E. Lee on Leadership.”

“Lee,” I reminded them, “was an Episcopalian, not a Catholic.”

“Well,” one of them said, “he’s a Catholic now.”

Quite so.

You want a restoration of America? You want more faithful, patriotic Americans? You want a happier America? Then we need to consign Critical Race Theory – and every other attendant aspect of cultural Marxism – to the rubbish bin, and return our nation’s traditional heroes to their pedestals. We need to teach Christian morality and heroism. We need to incorporate them into our own lives. And we need, with God’s grace, to become joyful rebels again.

Click to order Robert E. Lee on Leadership: Lessons in Character, Courage, and Vision Paperback – August 8, 2023

You may also enjoy:

Anthony Esolen’s Remember the Boys

Brad Miner’s The End of Memory


H.W. Crocker III

H.W Crocker III is a popular historian and novelist. His classic bestseller Robert E. Lee on Leadership has just been reissued in paperback

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Pastor Urges Prayer for Devastated Hawaiian Town

A devastating wildfire that ripped through the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii last week has left 96 people dead so far, with the number of fatalities likely to climb significantly higher in the coming weeks. A local pastor is urging believers to pray for the specific needs of the local community.

As details slowly emerge following the destruction of all of the cell towers in the Lahaina area, the extent of the damage was difficult for observers to comprehend, with virtually every building in the town of 13,000 burned to the ground and an estimated loss of $5.6 billion. The cause of the wildfires are still under investigation, which were fueled by dry summer conditions and strong winds from a nearby hurricane, causing the fire to spread at speeds of up to one mile per minute. As the town became inundated by the wildfire, local officials failed to activate warning sirens and instead used social media posts. The disaster is already the deadliest wildfire in over a century.

“The descriptions that we are being given is nothing short of Hiroshima,” Pastor Waxer Tipton, of One Love Ministries in Hawaii, explained on the August 11 edition of “Washington Watch.” “… [T]he guesstimate right now for those that are on the ground is [there could eventually be up to] 800 [fatalities or] more. … So it is devastation beyond compare.”

Tipton went on to describe just how harrowing it was for survivors, many of whom were forced to flee from the approaching wildfire on foot into the ocean to escape the flames due to traffic gridlock.

“[I]t’s definitely the time right now [for] the church to mobilize,” he emphasized. “As soon as we heard about it, we started to make our church a sanctuary so that families and all the tourists, we have 4,000 tourists there, [so] there’s not even enough food and supplies for all of the locals there. … And so families are able to come there and have some place to stay in the meantime. And so what’s happening here is the churches are rallying together with food and water and supplies and especially fuel … But the main situation, the main need … is going to be resources and getting those resources to the churches, to the pastors, because even if you’re in the shelter and you ran for your life, you don’t even have a blanket, much less an air mattress of some kind. Many of them don’t even have their IDs because it happened so fast.”

Ministries such as Samaritan’s Purse are also responding to the disaster. Edward Graham, chief operating officer at Samaritan’s Purse, recently described on “Washington Watch” how his organization would be deploying volunteers to help those who lost their homes to sift through the remains. “This is where we go through and we look for materials or for artifacts. Maybe it’s a trinket, maybe it’s a ring, something that’s important to that homeowner. It helps them bring closure during a time like this. … [S]o we expect to go there and work through the local church and help with sifting once this this fire is over.”

“We should be praying,” Graham continued. “I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer.”

Pastor Tipton concurred, pointing out the need for prayer for the specific needs of those affected by the ongoing Hawaiian wildfires, which continue to burn.

“Pray for calm,” he underscored. “People are in a state of panic and fear which is creating some hostile situations at the moment. Secondly, pray for rain. This is a dry side of the island, and we don’t really see any in the forecast, and it is much needed. Third, pray for power and cell towers to be expediently returned so that help can begin. And fourth, pray for all the agencies seeking to gather together can coordinate and work together alongside the churches to bring much-needed aid.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Obama Still Scolds Americans for Offering ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ During Maui Tragedy

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Remembering the Infighting Among Iran’s Mullahs

First published in 2007

Looking past the narrow prism of the mainstream media, one is struck by a seemingly severe anomaly in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Mullahs presently ruling the country are fighting for their life on two fronts. The external battle is with the United States—the Great Satan and its adopted child Israel, or the Zionist Entity, as the Mullahs call it. The other front we don’t hear much about is the Mullahs’ infighting, which presents an even more significant threat for de-frocking the in-power cleric conmen.

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader called on the country’s ruling elite on July 4 to stop infighting, which he called a propaganda gift to the Islamic Republic’s foreign enemies.
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments aimed to ease mounting criticism of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who faces a possible summons to answer questions from a hostile conservative-dominated parliament, some of whose members have discussed impeaching him.
  • “We should try to reduce differences in opinions as much as possible,” the 71-year-old cleric told a gathering of senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards in a televised address.
  • In March, Khamenei said Iran would make the coming year one of “economic jihad.”
  • Reuters story: Iranian leader says infighting is a gift to enemies

Why are the Mullahs of Iran battling each other instead of fighting the Great Satan? It is the nature of the beast. As with all other Islamic offshoots, the Shiite sect of Islam is a conglomerate of many feuding factions. Even before the last spade of dirt covered Muhammad’s grave, jockeying for power began earnestly among his chief disciples. Muhammad’s son-in-law’s cousin Ali felt he should take over the family business as the boss’s kin. Other more powerful and cunning contenders elbowed Ali out of the way, and Ali got to run the business after three others in succession held the office. Ali’s turn was concise since some of the believers who had been angry at him for allowing himself to be kicked around by the ones who preceded him—the usurpers of the mantle of Islam, as they saw it—daggered the man to death. At the same time, he was on his way to pray at a mosque.

So, the rest is history. Feuding, infighting, and bloodletting are the standard operating procedure in the religion of peace that aims to do whatever it can to snare the world into its fold.

Historical precedence aside, the present Shiite Iran is home to over 300,000 Mullahs. The most descriptive term for Mullah is a parasite. A Mullah begins his career as a parasite, lives as a parasite, and dies as a parasite, simply because he contributes absolutely nothing to the necessities of life yet gobbles disproportionately more of whatever resources he can devour.

As a true parasite, a Mullah’s very survival depends on others. A Mullah must procure and maintain docile, obedient hosts. A flock of gullible, ignorant fanatics makes excellent hosts, and the Mullahs’ main task is to keep the sheep in their pen by hook or crook. They scare the flock with horror stories of hell and entice them with the promise of unimaginable glorious paradise if they behave and keep supplying them with milk, wool, and meat.

So, the infighting is all about survival. One bunch is having it all while another is sidelined. We must understand that there has never been one united house of the Mullahs. Mullahs are like packs of wolves. Each pack hunts and eats its prey. Packs of wolves fight one another for valued game, particularly in the face of scarcity.

The coffer of the Islamic Republic of Iran is flush with extortion-high oil revenues. A reasonable question is: why don’t the Mullahs share the wealth and attend to the business of fighting the external enemy? When it comes to money, enough is never enough. “There is enough to meet everyone’s need, but not enough to meet everyone’s greed,” observed Gandhi. And greed is in the very bones of the Mullahs since it is the only way parasites know how to live.

The present Mullahcracy is in the form of a pyramid. The Mullahs in the game at the top have skimmed and continue to skim inordinate amounts of the national income. Mullah Akbar Rafsanjani, a past president of the Islamic Republic, and his family, for instance, have reportedly stolen enough to give Wal-Mart’s Waltons a run for their money. And there are hundreds of lesser Mullahs, like the late Rafsanjani, who are pocketing huge sums.

The ruling Mullahs—the in-boys—are master practitioners of trickle-down economics, except that by the time they are through with pocketing some of the national income and paying off their supporters, there is little left for the out-boys—the sidelined Mullahs.

The in-boy Mullahs must pay for the loyalty of the military, the police, and the thugs to keep them in power. Furthermore, in contrast to their mastery of machination, treachery, and cruelty, they are inept at managing the affairs of the state.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a unique creature—it is best described as Theocratic Aristocracy. The “divinely ordained” rulers maintained power through an elaborate patronage system. Lucrative positions, contracts, and valued privileges are distributed by patronage. The result is that the ruling Mullahs enjoy a significant number of supporters in all strata of society—the civil service, the military, the powerful Revolutionary Guards, and the hooligans and thugs who are ready to unleash their vicious attacks on anyone or group that dares to challenge the in-charge men of Allah.

Another seeming anomaly is that many Mullahs are also in the Islamic Republic prisons. The reason is that these are the out-boy Mullahs—the parasites that are deprived of the dole—their very means of livelihood. Their mosques are often shut down, the system’s agents harass their flocks, and their sources of income are dried. And, as we said, it is the nature of the beast, for parasites can only live from the products of others.

The out-boy Mullahs hate the in-boy Mullahs, not only for looting Iran’s oil money but also for badly impoverishing the masses who had traditionally fed and pampered them. The per capita income in present Iran is about two-thirds of what it was before the catastrophic Islamic takeover of 1979. The flock of ignorant fanatic fools, the Mullahs’ traditional source of sustenance, can barely feed itself and has very little to spare for the leeching Mullahs.

Another point that needs clarification is the myth widely circulated by the mainstream media and the ivory tower pundits: the claim that there is a significant division among Shiites regarding the relationship between the mosque and the state. Let this myth be dispelled once and for all.

There is no such division among the Shiites. The perceived difference is, in fact, a strategic one. One camp, led by the late ayatollah Khomeini, believes it is admissible for the Mullahs to rule the state directly, as is the case in present Iran. The other camp believes that the Mullahs should only supervise the civilian government. In other words, one group wants to be the king, while the other wants to be the kingmaker. The difference is academic. The latter camp led by the grand ayatollah Al-Sistani of Iraq can have its cake and eat it, too, so to speak. It can have all the say and power it desires by proxy and simultaneously absolve itself of any responsibility for governmental wrongdoing or failure.

In conclusion, Iran’s deep-seated problem lies in Islam itself and its beneficiaries, the parasitic mullahs, the Basij, and the Revolutionary Guard leeches. There is nothing new in Iran under the Imamate rule or “Velayat-e faqih,” (Islamic jurisprudence). Feuding, infighting, raping, torturing, stoning, and killing are longstanding practices of the religion of peace. If and when the non-Islamic world solves its myriad problems ranging from dealing with a pompous lunatic playboy (Kim Jong-Il) with nuclear weapons to that endemic hunger, disease, and environmental degradation, it can embrace Islam to avoid the boredom of peace. “Peace is boring, war is exciting,” is an old saying. And Islam has never been boring.

©2023. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Iran Has Enough Uranium To Produce 15 Nuclear Bombs

Iranian political analyst Emad Abshenas discussed his country’s nuclear program on an August 12, 2023 show on Asharq News (Saudi Arabia). He said that before the nuclear deal was signed, Iran had enough uranium to produce 20 nuclear bombs and it now has enough uranium to produce 10-15 bombs if it only wanted to. Abshenas said that Iran doesn’t want to produce nuclear weapons, but it has technology and science to do so if it wanted to. He suggests that Iran might be using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip so that the other side lifts its sanctions.

View the clip of Emad Abshenas:

Emad Abshenas: “If Iran had wanted to produce nuclear weapons – before the nuclear deal it had enough uranium to produce 20 nuclear bombs, and it could have produced them. Today as well, Iran has enough uranium to produce 10-15 nuclear bombs. So had Iran wanted to produce a nuclear bomb – there is enough uranium, the technology and the science are there.

“However, Iran does not want to produce nuclear weapons. Perhaps it is using its [nuclear] program, as a bargaining chip, so that the other side lifts its sanctions.”

Source: Asharq TV (Saudi Arabia)

EDITORS NOTE: This MEMRI column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Do Satanists Truly Understand Who Lucifer Is? Do They Really Care?

“And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:26

I recently came across a NETFLIX occult detective fiction television series titled “Lucifer.”

Lucifer is an American urban fantasy developed by Tom Kapinos based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg. The character was introduced in The Sandman comic book series and later became the protagonist of a spin-off comic series, both published by the DC Vertigo imprint. The television series premiered January 25, 2016, and concluded September 10, 2021.

The main character in the television series is Lucifer Morningstar, played by Tom Ellis.

Interestingly Lucifer’s last name Morningstar is taken from Isaiah 14:12 “son of the morning” in the KJV Bible.

Watch this short video on the evolution of Lucifer.

After watching a season of Lucifer I decided to write this column about the star of the show Lucifer, the Devil or Satan.

Lucifer in the series has left Hell and settled in Los Angeles, California. Or am I repeating myself?

The producers, Tom Kapinos, Ildy Modrovich, Len Wiseman, Jonathan Littman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Joe Henderson and Tom Ellis, of the NETFLIX series try to depict Lucifer as evolving from pure evil into some sort of a redeemed savior. Yes, it is a comedy.

Lucifer becomes friends with a Los Angeles police detective, played by Lauren German, and he helps her solve a series of vicious murder crimes. In the process Lucifer begins to see the true evil being perpetrated in Los Angeles and he is seemingly repelled by it. LOL!

Who is Lucifer?

Isaiah 14:12 in the KJV Bible we read: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

2 Peter 1:19 in the KJV Bible reads: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”

Job 1:7 in the KJV Bible reads, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”

Is Lucifer the son of the morning or the prince of darkness?

WATCH: Satan: The Book of Luke by Eyewitness Bible.

Lucifer is a mirror image of those who do evil. Lucifer for me is the keeper of the keys to Hell and he tortures those who are sent to Hell by God and His Son Jesus—forever.

To avoid Hell one must simply believe, with all of their mind, heart, and soul, what is written in John 3:16,

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.


Today, we see Satanists occupying key positions from the school house to the White House and from the schoolroom to the boardrooms of mulitple companies, corporations, non-profits, every political party and global organizations like the International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, etc.

The Satanists are targeting our children, grooming them to become sex toys for pedophiles, pederasts and perverts.

We see politicians spending billions of tax dollars to promote, support and glorify evil doers, e.g. the gender Queer movement.

These Satanists glorify evil and hate the good in mankind.

They want to destroy God and replace him with Lucifer. Sadly, in some places, like California and Washington, D.C., Lucifer is now in total control.

Do Satanists Truly Understand Who Lucifer Is?

Do They Really Care?

We think not.

But perhaps as a Satanist draws his or her last breath they may see the light.

We pray that they do.

©2023. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Vladimir Putin, Man of Faith?

At an Orthodox Easter service in April, a “somber looking” Vladimir Putin joined with other worshippers in saying, “Christ is truly risen.”

He probably believes this. Mark Hollingsworth has detailed how Putin’s religious allegiance has infused his life. He concludes that his Russian Orthodoxy is an essential part of his intense nationalism. For Putin, he writes, “promoting the mystical belief that Russia is the Third Rome, the next ruling empire of the earth, has been part of his appeal to the masses.”

This mystical belief has caused Putin to believe he, himself, is imbued with the spirit of his nation. Shortly before Lent, one of his business associates asked Putin about asking forgiveness before a priest. Putin responded, “‘I am the President of Russia. Why should I ask for forgiveness?’”

When a leader believes he is the personification of the state itself, specially chosen by God to lead his country to conquest and triumph, trouble looms — as the people of Ukraine have learned with great pain.

The German philosopher G.F. Hegel claimed that the state — a centralized government with power over every institution and person within the borders it controls — “is the march of God on earth.” This is precisely the approach taken by the Nazis concerning Adolf Hitler. The so-called “Fuhrer (leader) principle” was made clear by one of Hitler’s lapdog apologists, Rudolf Hess: “Hitler is Germany and Germany is Hitler. Whatever he does is necessary. Whatever he does is successful. Clearly the Führer has divine blessing.”

This is why negotiating with Putin has proven so difficult. If he is filled with the spirit of his nation, and if Russia is uniquely a Christian space, then how can he be held accountable for anything he does? Using his reasoning, his purity of vision and action is axiomatic. He is incapable of error, a secular pope speaking from a place of political ex cathedra.

How does this factor into the invasion of Ukraine? That nation, Putin said in a speech last year, is “an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” It is true that the leader of Kyiv “accepted Christianity in 988 and established a devout kingdom that became the predecessor to the modern states of Ukraine and Russia.” But it is not true that Ukraine has always been part of Russia, nor does it follow that Russia’s affirmation of Eastern Orthodoxy for 1,000 years justifies the violent and vicious assault on Ukraine today. This last proposition is so illogical it does merit lengthy refutation.

Putin gets heavy political backing from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I. Kirill, reportedly once a KGB agent under the guise of his priest’s habit, has done quite well for himself for a man of the cloth. In 2006, prior to his accession to his church’s highest position, the Moscow News estimated he had a personal fortune of about $4 billion. As journalist Jason Horowitz reports, “Kirill has in recent years aspired to expand his church’s influence, pursuing an ideology consistent with Moscow being a ‘Third Rome,’ a reference to a 15th-century idea of Manifest Destiny for the Orthodox Church, in which Mr. Putin’s Russia would become the spiritual center of the true church after Rome and Constantinople.”

Late last year, Kirill said in a sermon of those Russian soldiers dying in Ukraine: “sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty washes away all sins.” This is not unlike the Islamic promise that to die for Allah gets you into the Muslim heaven, a promise used to induce terrorists to tie bombs to their bodies and fly planes into buildings.

A “third Rome?” Putin’s enablers in his church benefit right along with the Russian president. “Putin has allowed the (Russian Orthodox) Church to return to prominence and supported it in a way unheard of since the Revolution,” writes religion scholar Ben Ryan. “The Church has, in turn, provided some of the intellectual and cultural backing for Putin’s Statist vision for Russia and the wider Russian sphere of influence.”

Putin could well believe in essential Christian teachings and even practice the rites of his church. He speaks fondly of his mother. “Mama gave me my baptismal cross to get it blessed at the Lord’s Tomb,” he once reported. Yet his faith is not the faith of the New Testament. It’s a perverse version of what Scripture teaches, one that “has a form of Godliness but denies the power thereof” (II Timothy 2:6).

Putin’s affirmations of certain biblical truths do not mean he has ever personally come to repentance and trust in a Savior Who alone can redeem. Until he does, he can, like the Pharisees of old, perform all the rituals and recite all the creeds of his tradition, but “neglect the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23-34). The suffering people of Ukraine can speak potently of this truth.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Lecturer in Regent University’s Honors College.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.