Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reagan's Evil Empire Speech

Earlier today, I was discussing the second amendment with my boss.  He, correctly, pointed out that the entire gun control premise was based on the utopian desire to 'perfect' man, which is impossible in this fallen, sinful, world.  The conversation got me thinking about Reagan's Evil Empire speech.  That speech is famous for Reagan's devastating take-down of the Soviets, but the first twenty minutes were an equally stinging rebuke of domestic Marxism from a Biblical perspective.  Never forget, this speech was delivered to a Church group:

  • Reagan opens the speech thanking the audience for their prayers; "I believe in intercessory prayer."
  • "The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: “If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.” "
  • "I want you to know that this administration is motivated by a political philosophy that sees the greatness of America in you, her people, and in your families, churches, neighborhoods, communities–the institutions that foster and nourish values like concern for others and respect for the rule of law under God.  Now, I don’t have to tell you that this puts us in opposition to, or at least out of step with, a–a prevailing attitude of many who have turned to a modern-day secularism, discarding the tried and time-tested values upon which our very civilization is based. No matter how well intentioned, their value system is radically different from that of most Americans. And while they proclaim that they’re freeing us from superstitions of the past, they’ve taken upon themselves the job of superintending us by government rule and regulation. 
  • How far are American parents willing to go in giving to Washington "their prerogatives as parents?!?"
  • "Girls termed “sexually active”–and that has replaced the word “promiscuous”–"
    • Author's Note: Amen to that!!!
  • "Is all of Judeo-Christian tradition wrong? Are we to believe that something so sacred can be looked upon as a purely physical thing with no potential for emotional and psychological harm? And isn’t it the parents’ right to give counsel and advice to keep their children from making mistakes that may affect their entire lives?"
  • "But the fight against parental notification is really only one example of many attempts to water down traditional values and even abrogate the original terms of American democracy. Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. [Applause] When our founding fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself"
  • "The First Amendment never intended to require government to discriminate against religious speech."
  • "You…You may remember that when abortion on demand began, many, and indeed, I’m sure many of you, warned that the practice would lead to a decline in respect for human life, that the philosophical premises used to justify abortion on demand would ultimately be used to justify other attacks on the sacredness of human life–infanticide or mercy killing. Tragically enough, those warnings proved all too true. Only last year a court permitted the death by starvation of a handicapped infant."
  • "But we must never forget that no government schemes are going to perfect man. We know that living in this world means dealing with what philosophers would call the phenomenology of evil or, as theologians would put it, the doctrine of sin."
  • "Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness–pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world."
  • "It was C.S. Lewis who, in his unforgettable “Screwtape Letters,” wrote: “The greatest evil is not done now…in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is…not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result, but it is conceived and ordered; moved, seconded, carried and minuted in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.”"
  •  "You know, I’ve always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the Church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride–the temptation of blithely..uh..declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil."
  • "Whittaker Chambers, the man whose own religious conversion made him a witness to one of the terrible traumas of our time, the Hiss-Chambers case, wrote that the crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which the West is indifferent to God, the degree to which it collaborates in communism’s attempt to make man stand alone without God. And then he said, for Marxism-Leninism is actually the second-oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation, “Ye shall be as gods.”"
More context on the speech here.

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