“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
11 April 2012: In present-day America, we are being bombarded with increasingly dire headlines about the condition of our nation. Common elements among these headlines of domestic disorder and discontent are reports of unbridled government overreach into our lives, from much-publicized gun control laws, warrantless searches and seizures, to the perverse and absurdly shameful degradation of our human dignity at the hands of the TSA and the DHS. Today, we are facing an assault on our freedoms for which those who lived before us have shed their blood, entrusting us with the gift of an indivisible nation under God. Yes, under God.
Time seems to have separated us from the ultimate sacrifices of our forefathers, for we no longer see their blood that once stained dirt on the battlefields of America. We no longer relate to the sorrows of our ancestors or their sacrifices, nor do we feel the pride of their successes. We are no longer taught the history of a nation that freed itself from tyranny and oppression. Instead, we are subjected to the deliberate perversion of history that characterizes our founders as terrorists - along with portraying those of us who object to such depictions as threats to the state - by an ever-increasing totalitarian government operating in tandem with modern-day academia and a state-sponsored press.
As Americans, we are witnessing the systematic dismantling of our country by the incremental erosion of our liberties and rights by methods that are shaking the very foundations upon which this country was founded. We’ve seen this before, as history is filled with examples of our current predicament; but somehow, today, things seem different to those who are paying attention. In many ways, things are indeed different, yet it is fitting to cite what was written long ago: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
Today’s headlines proclaim that those of us who cherish the rights bestowed upon us by our Creator are now considered to be terrorists. This is the result of the cancer of moral and cultural degradation that we have allowed to take root in the very soil stained with the blood of our forefathers. The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. What are we going to tell our children and grandchildren about what we’ve done to stop the metastasis of tyranny?
Answering the call
Just as the insidiously evil oppression by our government existed in many forms in the past, so does the template for freedom. The question is whether we are prepared to answer the call to preserve our remaining rights and regain our liberties lost. To do so, however, requires us to recognize not just the symptoms, but the disease itself. For it is the disease of evil - aided and abetted by silence in the face of evil - that allows tyranny to exist and flourish. Fortunately, we have an example to which we may refer. There are lessons to be learned by history, and examples to personify.
Sixty-eight years ago this week, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (pastor, martyr, prophet and spy)[i] who was arrested in Hitler’s Germany, was hanged in Flossenburg, a Nazi death camp. Much has been written about the life and death of this man, with particular focus on his faith-based convictions in thought and deed. The manner in which he lived his life in a country that experienced the perverse incremental transformation of political, moral and religious values should not only serve as an example to us in America, but as a warning. Properly viewed, his senseless execution by the direct orders of a maniacal and tyrannical madman exists as a metaphorical exclamation point at the end of a sentence – his death sentence. He met his fate as he lived his life, with such unwavering convictions that even the most respected of his peers were unable, or perhaps unwilling, to stand firm beside or behind him.
Sadly, most high-profile Americans claiming to possess intellectual honesty and moral integrity (particularly those with a microphone or keyboard and an audience of significance) seem to lack the corresponding desire and courage to point out the disturbing similarities between the state of Hitler’s Germany and present-day America. And there are many such parallels. The precious few who do point them out are the victims of a relentlessly vicious campaign of character marginalization, and accusations of racism and bigotry. We become “magnets of marginalization” by people with a rabidly Progressive and Socialist mindset. Unsurprisingly, the tenor and tempo of such accusations are rising, as they are met with little resistance.
The reason for this tenacious campaign against men and women of faith is simple. It exists in the legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and has the ability to exist in each of us, should we summon the courage to be steadfast in our refusal to acquiesce to the tolerance of evil. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was outspoken against those who remained silent in the face of the moral and religious degradation of his country. He spoke out against lukewarm pastors and cultural Christians who supported Hitler, or acquiesced under the pressure of the false doctrine of tolerance.
As we’ve seen from issues ranging from infanticide to the insidiousness built into the health care bill that requires Christians to act against their beliefs, the majority of the Christian conservatives have capitulated through compromise. Unlike Dietrich Bonhoeffer, they endorse the perversity of political and social correctness that exists in present-day America, opting against taking a stand for their faith.
As God-believing Americans who cherish the rights bestowed upon us and enumerated within our Constitution (perhaps better known in the Western media as “bitter clingers”), we are in the midst of the destructive transformation of our nation. The tinder is present and ready for ignition, needing only one spark from any source to ignite America into a state of chaos that would result in a tyrannical clampdown.
The firewall to prevent this transformation - the Christian leaders and the body of the church – is crumbling by inaction and outright apostasy. The parallels between the present-day United States and Hitler’s Germany are evident. Just as the similarities are evident, so is our collective inaction, which is eviscerating the very soul of America. It is this silence and inaction that will rip America from her Judeo-Christian foundations, and make it possible for a fall of biblical proportions.
Sixty-eight years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer died not only for his faith, but to illustrate that we must not be silent in the face of tyranny. If not for our own sakes, let us summon that same courage for the sake of our children and their children. After all, the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children[ii].
[i] Metaxas, Eric Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Thomas Nelsen, 2010