With the 2018 election cycle in the rear-view mirror, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Gone are the yard signs and those annoying campaign ads, and with all but a few close races that have yet to be decided, the results are what we had expected.
In Montana, Republicans hold strong majorities in the House and Senate, and with Democratic Governor Steve Bullock in firm control of the Executive Branch, the order of the day will be continued gridlock. Some think that’s a good idea; others get frustrated wondering why Democrats and Republicans can’t get along and work together. They don’t realize that the latter is unrealistic. You can’t take two groups of people who are ideologically opposed on every major issue and ask them to compromise their beliefs for the sake of getting along. It simply doesn’t work that way. And I, for one, am glad. I don’t want my legislators to campaign on one set of values, then reinvent themselves when they get to Helena for the sake of bipartisanship, especially when I think the beliefs of the other side are dangerous and risk the long-term health and security of our state, or our nation, for that matter.
And while we’re on the long-term health of the nation, there’s a worrisome trend that raised its head during this election cycle. It began in the primaries with the huge level of support for people like Bernie Sanders and culminated in the election of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The trend is the number of voters who seem to think that socialism or even outright communism, is a good idea. We see this especially in younger voters and in the intelligentsia class that controls our colleges and universities. The problem is that they understand communism in a theoretical sense. I, on the other hand, have had the chance to witness the effects of communism, first-hand, in places like China, Vietnam, Laos, and the former eastern bloc nations.
What I’ve seen bears little resemblance to the theories taught in college level Political Science classes and even less resemblance to the equality and social justice promised by politicians like Ocasio-Cortez to people in the less well-off neighborhoods of New York City. Planned economy shift power to a central government, and always, ALWAYS, result in a lower standard of living, less freedom and less security.
Such is the case currently for the Christians in China. We’ve seen for years the persecution that comes in waves. The government strikes hard, then backs off, then strikes hard again. Ironically, it never seems to make the nightly news here in America. But the crackdown on Christians has begun again. Churches that I’ve been to are now shuttered with police blocking the entrances. Christian pastors are disappearing in the dead of night. Those who take Bibles into China are reporting even more confiscations at the borders, and Christians that once met publicly are, once again, being forced underground.
This is the reality of communism, and unfortunately, it’s the reality for Christians living in communist countries around the world. Fortunately, the Chinese government has been known to back off when public pressure is applied. We’re asking everyone to call or write the Chinese ambassador in Washington, D.C. and tell them to stop persecuting Christians. It’s time to wake up. The story of Christians in China will become the story of Christians in America if socialists continue to gain ground in the U.S. Congress.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America
3505 International Place, N. W.
Washington, D.C. 20008