DECLINE: Demonizing dissent
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Gibbon, 1776) is a book that I read as a teenager. Since my paternal grandfather (1866-1936) was related to Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, I also studied the American Civil War.
From diaries and family records of my maternal grandfather (naval officer, World Wars I and II), I can trace the effects of wars back to at least the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Family died. And his great-grandfather fought against Napoleon at Waterloo (1815). Massive carnage.
I knew the histories of wicked men like Vladimir Lenin (Bolshevism). Though only 10, I remember when communist dictator Joseph Stalin died (1953). Along with Mao Zedong — another Marxist-Leninist — plus very cruel tyrant Adolf Hitler, more than 100 million people died and suffered.
I minored in physics, partly because of Albert Einstein. I also remember when he died in 1955. Supposedly Einstein said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe!”
Consequence of evil and totalitarian regimes is the demonization of dissent, leading to the criminalization of the voices learned from history and based on faith and moral principles.
Many voices claim to love their neighbor. But is it show and manipulation? There is voluminous slander against our neighbor in much of the media.
Relativism and lack of principles are again bringing only war, death and strange beasts to the shores of our nation and the globe.
“Take heed that no one deceives you.” (Matthew 24:4).