As a former Air Force intelligence officer, I have always been a dabbler in languages and the cultures surrounding them. I was involved mostly in the more technological aspects of intelligence regarding the USSR and Communist China, but I learned enough Russian to enhance my understanding of Russian culture.
One of the most fascinating subcultures of southern Russia and Ukraine are the Cossacks. They are a Slavic people but the origin of their name is said to be related to the shared Turkic and Russian word Kazak, originally meaning “the free men.” The Cossacks are famous for their military prowess, horsemanship, swift sabers, lively singing and dancing, and commitment to the Orthodox Church. They opposed the Communist Revolution in 1917 and backed the “White” Russians against the Reds. They suffered for it, but the Cossacks retain their historical attachment to honor, faith, and homeland.
The Russian cavalry saber is called a shashka, and both men and women dance and twirl and spin one or two in a fantastic display at meetings and festivals, usually accompanied by folk music. You can easily find these on YouTube under Oysya.
In a lively Cossack folk song translated, Oysya You, Oysya, which is affectionately addressed to calm the fears of “Oysya,” we find a prayer to God for truth, justice, freedom, peace, humility, and the daily necessities of life for all, It contains this line:
“Where there is truth on earth, there will also be freedom.”
The Russian word for truth, pravda, is also close to the Russian word for justice. The point of this educational diversion is that truth, justice, and freedom are closely related. Justice is impossible and, in fact, injustice, without truth. Where there is no truth, freedom cannot long endure. Without freedom, truth is in mortal danger. Without truth our country and all of Western civilization is in danger of utter chaos and destruction.
Our country has never been a perfect purveyor of truth, but however imperfect, for most of our history, truth was the very foundation of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, democracy, culture, and justice system. Judeo-Christian ethics provided the backbone of our national truths. But since the 1960s, and most ominously in the last decade, respect for truth has been in alarming decline.
I do not believe either major political party has always been as strong a bastion of truth as needed, but in recent years, especially this election year, it is blatantly obvious that the Democratic Party has become so depraved in its now thoroughly Marxist ideology that it has rejected both truth and reason as restraints upon its political dialogue. No deception is too vile or too poisonous enough for their use. When the Democrats talk about “science,” regarding the coronavirus, the only science that fits is the “science” of deception. No lie, no matter how far from reality and common humanity is beyond their rhetorical bounds.
Democrat lies and completely bogus assertions about Trump’s performance on the coronavirus crisis abound. They are, in fact, now the centerpiece of the Biden-Harris-Democrat Party campaign. Trump closed travel from China almost immediately, while Joe Biden called him a xenophobe and bigot for doing so. Urgency was needed and probably saved tens of thousands of lives. It was not unthinkable at the time to treat China’s spread of the coronavirus as a serious biological warfare threat.
Trump accomplished tremendous government and business cooperation and unity in eliminating any critical shortage of major medical equipment necessary to treat the coronavirus. There turned out not to be a single person dying of coronavirus because of a lack of a ventilator. Biden’s plan is actually to do what Trump has already done, except that Biden currently wants to make masks mandatory in every state even though the crisis has greatly diminished in many states. The Democrats’ use of statistics is a study in ignorance, dishonest manipulation, and deception. They have had the help of a U.S. media that consistently slanders Trump and covers for Biden-Harris and the Democrat Party Line. They do not let truth or logic interfere with their relentless stream of propaganda and lies.
Moreover, character assassination based on lies has become a trademark of the new Democratic Party. Its most offensive and unscrupulous demonstration was the attempted character assassination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Democratic Party was not always the party of deception and outrageous lies and character assassination. There are still strains of truth and a nobler past, but these strains and nobility have largely been crushed by the dominance of political correctness and Marxist operational tactics in the party. During Kavanaugh’s Senate ordeal, they developed the dangerous doctrine that their opponents could be slandered and condemned by mere accusations without proof.
The latest orchestrated character assassination attempt is directed at President Trump, making an outrageous and completely unsupported anonymous claim published in the Atlantic that the President told people on a visit to an American military cemetery in France celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on November 3, 2018, that it was “not important to honor Americans killed in war.” This has been refuted by at least four people who were present: former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Saunders, Hogan Gidley, a former White House aide, White House aide Dan Scavino, and senior Trump advisor, Stephen Miller.
Nothing from the Atlantic surprises me these days. Several months ago the Atlantic ran a hit piece trying to discredit the character of Robert E. Lee. Trump did have to miss one of the ceremonies in France, because of security concerns, and the Leftist media tried to make the most of it. Part of the media’s published outrage was that the President had missed the ceremony because he feared his hair would become disheveled. This is hardly credible, however, because he attended and spoke at the second ceremony in pouring rain and refused an umbrella. These stories are particularly outrageous in view of the many instances Trump has clearly demonstrated his warm heart and grateful appreciation to military personnel and their families.
As a veteran, I watch these things closely. My estimation is that Trump has shown far more respect for and done more good for the military, veterans, and their families than any president in recent history.
Not many Christian pastors these days venture to preach sermons directly critical of National Party Platforms, but before and during the Revolutionary War it was common to preach an Election Sunday sermon. This did not address candidates and parties but did inform their congregants of the importance of truth, character, and godly wisdom in policy. The march of the Democratic Party to anti-Christian extremes, however, has moved some prominent pastors to speak out. John MacArthur is pastor-teacher at Grace Community Church, a megachurch in Southern California, and President of The Master’s College. He is known for his internationally syndicated radio program, Grace to You.
MacArthur has recently described the Democratic National Party Platform as endorsing the sins of Romans 1. Romans 13 established the role of government to serve and protect the good and punish evildoers. Romans 1:18-32 outlines the sins that bring individuals and nations to ruin. I leave it to the reader to read those verses and decide for themselves, whether they can feel good about the new Democrat Manifesto. MacArthur has also been bold enough to point out in a sermon that although Black lives, of course, do matter, the Black Lives Matter Manifesto of the Black Lives Matter organization and its Marxist founders and leaders is clearly an abomination in Biblical terms, glorifying many of the sins of Romans 1. These sermons and parts of sermons can be found on YouTube. MacArthur also rightly laments the current Evangelical trend to adapt the church to the culture rather than witness to influence the culture. He is also critical of the lack of discernment in the church evidenced by uncritical acceptance of left-liberal definitions and understanding of “social justice” issues.
There are many very important issues emerging in this election: law and order, immigration, national security, the coronavirus, the economy, and jobs are most often mentioned. Potential vote fraud should be mentioned more. None of these issues can be understood or wisely treated without simple honesty. The times demand the courageous honesty that comes from a sacred reverence for truth. If we lose truth, we lose everything, including freedom and the hope that freedom brings.