Guest post by Peter Falkenberg Brown
This is the text of a speech delivered at the program “Defending America: The Present Threats to Freedom,” hosted by the Gray Republican Committee of Gray, Maine, on June 14, 2021.
Tonight, I speak in defense of love and freedom. One might think that they need no defense, but tragically, love and freedom are continually under attack. If human beings fail to defend them both, they will lose them both, for they are inseparably intertwined.
In this discussion, I’m speaking of the love rooted in “agape: the love of God or Christ for humankind.” I’m referring to the sacrificial love that embodies the highest virtues, described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 when he wrote that:
4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
When we experience and embody this kind of unselfish love, we naturally want to bring joy and freedom to those whom we love. With this definition of love, I offer this premise:
Love is the reason and justification for freedom. Love gives birth to freedom, and “the Death of Love” destroys freedom. At the same time, freedom is the garden in which love can blossom.
It’s not difficult to demonstrate the relationship between love and freedom. Examine the life of any tyrant, and you will find a man or woman who has lost touch with the love that dwells at the center of their soul. When pain and coldness overwhelm a person, when love is replaced by resentment and hatred, cruelty soon follows. Tyranny begins with small actions of dominance over others and then grows if left unchecked. Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Zedong were small children once, but as their love died, they became monsters.
President Xi Jinping of China and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, who both want to create a global hegemony of enslavement, are not focused on a compassionate love for all human beings. President Xi feels no pang of conscience as he orders the Muslim Uyghurs to be tortured, while President Erdoğan is supporting the continued Islamic genocide of Armenian Christians as he works to build a new Ottoman Caliphate. If these two men succeed in their plans, the world will be divided between Marxist and Islamic empires.
How many freedom-loving people will die in the process? Over one hundred million innocent civilians were murdered by Marxist governments—death by government—in the twentieth century when the United States was at the height of its power. What will totalitarians do to the world if America no longer stands against them?
And then, of course, we have the orthodox Islamic tyrant from Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wants to turn Israel into a nuclear mass grave. And let us not forget the equally insane North Korean, His Plumpness, the Cannon Meister Kim Jong Un, who likes to shoot his relatives with anti-aircraft guns.
These are not men who are resonating with the virtues of kindness and the Golden Rule. They are dead inside, even though they, too, were created by God to become Beings of Love. How tragic it is that they did not fulfill their original destiny.
Tonight, we are gathered to discuss the topic “Defending America: The Present Threats to Freedom.” There are many threats, as we know. I would like to focus on what I would describe as the primary threat: the internal and spiritual threat that causes all of the others—namely, the loss of love.
One of the reasons that this is important is because the hard Left has co-opted the themes of compassion and love as “their thing” and has created a Great Lie that conservatives are hateful, selfish, and racist. Are you hateful, selfish, and racist? If you are not, let me hear you say, “No!”
The Left preys on guilt and the natural desire to be a good person. They use accusation as a weapon to destroy moral societies. They are master manipulators.
Large segments of the populations of the world are spiritually, morally, and physically collapsing in front of the false accusations and destructive narrative of the murderous Left. It is for that reason that liberals and conservatives must reclaim the truth about love and freedom, or our free societies may well be destroyed.
It’s time to push back against the propaganda of the Left and say, “No! Your accusations are hypocritical lies because your motives, your attitudes, and your actions are the worst of all.”
To clarify, when I speak of the Left, I’m not referring to classical, freedom-loving liberals. I’m referring to the Marxist Left, who actively work against love and freedom.
To examine love and freedom, we need to determine their source, which means that we need to look at the origin of the universe.
If Marxists are correct, and the universe randomly evolved from an unthinking void, and human beings are simply mechanistic creatures who clawed their way to the top of the food chain, then what is the foundation of morality? The answer is that there really is none.
A cold, black void—try to picture that—has nothing to say about love or mercy or beauty or freedom. Nothing at all.
In that world, humans are little more than organic thinking machines driven by the desire to survive. Food and shelter and personal comforts and desires rule each person. There is no higher purpose, no transcendent dream, no spiritual and eternal meaning in life.
I am not suggesting that every atheist is like this. There are many people in the world who do not believe in God but live exemplary lives. I believe that this is so because many individuals have been influenced by thousands of years of religious beliefs that have created a better and more civilized culture. For example, the Golden Rule, to treat others as we wish to be treated, is common around the world.
But for those humans who reject the ethical virtues of modern civilization and deny the existence of an Intelligent Creator?
Darkness surrounds them. The void offers no solace and extends no helping hand of kindness. Yet, those same humans still search for the reasons why, and if they have any heart left at all, wonder how life can sometimes be so cruel.
Marxism offers a seductive answer that blames other people—like all of you—for the tragedies of life and then presents a clear and simple solution. The victimized must rise up against their oppressors and eliminate them.
It is a solution born of resentment and hatred toward others, rather than a self-reflective look at how every person needs to grow and become a more loving human being. The black void that stands behind every Marxist has no love to offer, no respect for human life and freedom. It is just a void.
Fortunately for the world, it is illogical to assume that creative life randomly evolved from an unthinking state of nothing. The astronomer Fred Hoyle, who coined the phrase “Big Bang,” stated, “An explosion in a junkyard does not lead to sundry bits of metal being assembled into a useful working machine.”
An empty, unconscious void could not have randomly created anything and most certainly could not have created the invisible qualities of love and free will.
The commonsense answer is that the universe has an intelligent source who created everything, which means that God also created love and gave humans free will. But why? Why did God do that? Free will has caused all kinds of problems, like selfishness, greed, crimes, and even murder. And you know what? Junior-grade leftists, who still possess a modicum of heart and conscience, sincerely want to fix those nasty problems. But their approach is tragically wrong.
Totalitarian don’t like free will. They believe that flawed human beings are like cattle, troublesome bags of meat that need to be eliminated if they cannot be molded into “Better People” by a government that knows more than anyone else about what is right and good and proper. As Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge told their victims: “To keep you is no profit. To destroy you is no loss.” This reflects the attitude of totalitarians everywhere toward other human beings.
Tyrants may believe that humans have free will, but they don’t really know why they have it, and they don’t like it all, not even a little bit. They certainly believe that they should have free will, even if their slaves should not. We always have to remember that Marxists who talk about dictatorships of the proletariat and “power to the people” have no intention of giving any power to anyone. The people are just cogs in a wheel. If they can produce wealth for the corrupt oligarchs, well and good. If the people make trouble, give them shovels, make them dig ditches, and then shoot them.
Not all authoritarians who are attacking freedom around the world and in America today are atheistic Marxists. China has formed alliances with the Islamic countries of Iran and Turkey, with the goal of taking down America, “the Great Satan.”
Together with other Marxist and Islamic regimes, they are persecuting and killing Christians and other religious believers—in many localities around the world to the point of genocide.
It is absolutely shameful that Leftist media and activists are ignoring this global crime. Where is their love and compassion for those victims?
Freedom-loving, traditional Christians in America are also under severe attack. The Left has painted Christians as either extremists or idiots or both. They are neither. The teachings of Jesus have been the preeminent force of love and charity in the world for the past two thousand years.
We can see then that the common variable between totalitarians, whether atheistic or not, is a rejection of the value of love. Both atheistic and theistic totalitarians have no awareness of the actual Intelligent Creator of the Universe, the God who created unselfish love, kindness, compassion, honesty, integrity, humility, laughter, joy, beauty, gratitude, and all of the other transcendent virtues of goodness.
The void did not create them!
And puppies! We cannot forget puppies. The void did not create puppies. Look in the eyes of any puppy, and you will know this to be true.
An atheistic leftist might think that since there is no God who created love, then love—if it exists at all—is simply a convenient tool to be cynically used or rejected without much thought, like choosing what color clothes to wear. This is why they can say that the ends justify the means instead of acknowledging the truth that the means to the end are the same as the end. If you want to create a loving society, you must speak and act with love.
Theistic totalitarians cannot accept that God loves every person equally, all as sacred individuals. Instead, God is viewed as a Being who loves true believers but hates unbelievers, those whom the totalitarian also despises.
Totalitarians come in all shapes and sizes, from all races and both genders, both male and female. Their path toward tyranny often begins with a childhood filled with misery and pain that produces a complicated mixture of resentment, self-hatred, disillusionment, and arrogance. Finally, filled with rage and hatred and jealousy, they march: looting, burning, screaming, and accusing, and ultimately murdering.
Leftists have been marching through our institutions for over sixty years and have thoroughly infected our schools from K-12 to the universities.
Very, very young students, who might otherwise grow into kind and loving adults, are taught the virulent ideology of Critical Race Theory, which teaches them that all whites and the country of America are irredeemably racist forever. It is ludicrous nonsense, but it is also a deeply pernicious poison that destroys love and forgiveness.
CRT indoctrinates students to hate and to be racist and intolerant, all in the cause of “anti-racism,” all for the cause of fighting mostly-imaginary oppressors.
The toxic, leftist ideology infecting our young people today is producing millions of activists who are convinced that they are victims of everything and everyone. Resentment, complaint, and anger have replaced love and gratitude and have engendered depression, hopelessness, severe unhappiness, and even suicide.
Think how our young people would grow in their capability to give love to others if they were taught to be grateful and to take responsibility for their decisions to love—or not to love—and were guided to love and forgive those who transgressed against them.
What a wonderful idea!
Have you noticed that hard-core, angry, resentful leftists do not recommend or practice love and forgiveness?
We watched the evil results of this leftist indoctrination in the violence of Black Lives Matter and Antifa. We see it in the hateful rhetoric of leftists who curse at conservatives and accuse them of the very crimes that they are committing. We see them lie without remorse, for remorse engenders humility, and in both, they are lacking.
The Great Lies of the Left are exposed when we see that the Left is not a movement of love and compassion at all, even though it says it is. The Left, and all totalitarians—by definition—are “anti-love.” And, as we watch people become more totalitarian, we can see their love draining away. That is a terrible tragedy: for them—and for the world.
The Left is trying to make everything and everyone the same: genderless machine-people living in crumbling, ugly cement buildings with bad plumbing and no hope. “The Left destroys everything it touches” is now a truism.
The source of the darkness of tyrants is described in Revelation 12:10 as the devil, “… the accuser of our brethren … who accuses them day and night before our God,” and described by Jesus in John 8:44 when he stated:
. . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Whether one believes in the Bible or not, one can’t help but notice the uncanny similarities between the Biblical devil and the God-hating Marxist Left. The modus operandi is the same.
When a man or a woman with a dried-up soul looks out at the world, love is absent, and violence and horrors can soon follow. Those individuals have free will, which gives them the freedom to create and multiply love, but they cannot muster the heart to do so. With that absence of love, why would anyone defend freedom?
Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote of this in his 1880 novel The Brothers Karamazov, with the character Ivan Karamazov stating, “Without God and the future life? It means everything is permitted . . .”
Thus, with everything permitted, totalitarians destroy love, destroy freedom, and end up creating hell.
This is why the destruction of love is the primary threat to freedom, and this is why freedom is so essential to the flowering of love.
Our beloved Founding Fathers created a country based on the truth that freedom comes from a loving God, that all humans are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That founding concept was historically revolutionary and was the core reason that America became, over time, the freest and most exceptional country in the history of the world. Yes, we can say it: America is exceptional!
Because America is exceptional, we cannot allow the Marxist Left or Islamic oppressors to remove the precious gifts of love and freedom from the heart of America.
How then do we defend love and freedom? We defend them with strength and bravery and words and actions! The hour is late, and it is time to stand up.
When America is faced with implacable forces like American Marxists and Antifa, the Chinese Communist Party, and Islamic jihadists, we will indeed push back in direct and substantial ways. We cannot allow hostile forces, either foreign or domestic, to destroy our beautiful country.
Totalitarians are fighting a cultural and political information war that liberals and conservatives must join together to win. Freedom-loving Americans are still a majority. We must keep it that way.
But, ultimately, after those battles are won, we need to recognize again that all human beings come from the same source and remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 when he stated, “Love your enemies.”
This was the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he dreamed of
. . . that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’
Peter Falkenberg Brown is the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee in Gray, Maine. He’s a writer, author, and public speaker and hosts a video / podcast channel called “Love, Freedom, & the World,” at his website https://peterfalkenbergbrown.com.
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