Last week movie director Oliver Stone told the television program Russia Today that America is now “the evil empire.”
This is in reference to President Reagan’s famous remark in the mid-1980s that the Soviet Union was “the evil empire.” Reagan got a lot of flak from the left for saying that. But Reagan was right. The USSR put to death tens of millions of human beings in order to force the country into communism.
Oliver Stone was bemoaning the “economic censorship” he claims to have experienced at the box office by ordinary Americans who don’t care to see some of his movies bashing America and all it stands for.
One of Stone’s biggest beefs is that both major political parties sanction wars and more wars.
Although he didn’t finish his thought, the Oscar-winning movie director essentially called for America’s demise: “Empires fall. Let’s pray that this empire, these evil things…because we are the evil empire. What Reagan said about Russia is true about us.”
It is not a news flash that Oliver Stone is not a fan of America. But to call America “the evil empire” is a new one. I agree with Reagan, not Stone.
In the 20th century alone, the Communists killed some 100 million (some say as high as 130 million) human beings, many of them their own people.
In every country where they’ve seized power, these atheistic regimes have declared war on the Church of Jesus Christ. Lenin ordered 70,000 churches to be destroyed. He wrote in his famous essay, “Socialism and Religion:” “We must combat religion—this is the ABC of all materialism and consequently Marxism.”
In 1925, the Soviets founded the League of Militant Godless (LMG) to eradicate all religion; by 1941 it disbanded in failure. Despite all the crushing, brutal attacks, they could not eradicate Christianity.
Ukraine is constantly in the news because of the impeachment trial winding down in the Senate as of this writing. Many people seem to forget that Stalin forced starvation on millions (3.5 to 8 million) of Ukrainians in the 1930s, to force them into communism. We don’t know ultimately how many Ukrainians he killed, even though he boasted to having killed ten million of them, because he had the census workers shot.
The Communists killed Christians in Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, and every other place where they have ascended to power. In some cases (though not all) the Church of Christ has survived these attacks and is the stronger for the persecution.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the great intellectual and Nobel-prize winning Russian author, said in his book The Mortal Danger (1980): “It is no accident that the Soviet Union has made no effort more concentrated and ferocious in sixty years than its attempt to eradicate Christianity, and yet they have proved incapable of destroying it.”
No wonder Reagan called the Soviet Union, “the evil empire.”
Meanwhile, virtually every time America has gone to war, it was either to fight for her own freedom or to win freedom for others. Even the Vietnam War, in which Oliver Stone served his country, was geared toward helping the southern portion of that country not fall into the Communists’ hands…which did happen after we pulled out. And millions were killed consequently.
Ironically, the kind of atheistic politics extolled by the Communists Stone apparently admires are leading us down a dark road—though I doubt it’s the one Stone has in mind. It’s a road of turning our back on God.
Solzhenitsyn spent about a decade in the Soviet gulag (sentenced for an oblique criticism of Stalin, not even by name). Years later, on June 8, 1978, he delivered the graduating speech at Harvard.
He was booed for saying that all our problems (including Communism) get back to forgetting God and that we must turn back to Him. Christian author and pastor, Dr. Erwin Lutzer says that Solzhenitsyn confided in a friend that that negative response at Harvard “hurt him more deeply than his suffering in the Russian gulag.”
Lutzer comments on the incident, “He understood more clearly than our self-styled intellectuals that when God is irrelevant anything is permissible.”
To whatever extent America has gone to the dark side, it is because we have driven God out of the public square. As a society, we are reaping the consequences of that.
In his Farewell Address (1796), George Washington declared, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
America is far from perfect, and we do need to get to God. But at this point, we are far from being “the evil empire.”