Issues of the Day
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Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, I thank my good friend, Judge Al Green. He is a brother, and I appreciate him very much. We have differences of opinion, but I know we are going to end up the same place together.
Madam Speaker, there is so much that has been going on that has been disrupting the country, and I am not sure what all my good friend, a former judge in Houston, was saying. I didn't get to hear that. But I believe he was addressing some of the unrest.
He and I both want to see freedom. We want to see equality. We want to see people treated fairly and equally. Those are things we share, and I know that is what is on his heart.
But I am highly concerned about the legitimate peaceful protests that were taking place as a result of the cruel death, the killing of George Floyd. And his family, and the way they approached it, was inspirational. There deserve to be protests over that horrendous death.
The Floyd family pointed out they did not want the legacy of George Floyd to be violence and suffering and death and looting. That was not, and is not, what they want for the memory and legacy of George Floyd.
But the movement has been hijacked. The violence they don't want, just the justice they want. It has been hijacked. And it is very important that Americans understand what is going on here, so that it is not just those who have spent our lifetimes studying history that see so clearly what is going on by instigators who want to see the country that has been in an ongoing state of getting better and better--for years, even with unfairness and inequality, it has still been the hope of the world when it comes to freedom and a shot at equality.
Antifa, short for antifascist--and there has been no greater irony in the world that Hitler and Stalin--two mad men, evil men with a globalist desire--ended up against each other. Of course, it is quite ironic that when they got together and signed a treaty, both of them, behind the scenes, were talking about the day when that individual would breach the treaty with the other.
One of the things Stalin was so furious about when Hitler moved east was that Hitler broke the treaty before Stalin had the chance to. They were two evil people, and they were pushing an evil idea: with Hitler, the evil of fascism; with Stalin, the evil of Marxism, communism, socialism, whatever you want to call it. It is all about the same thing.
So, you have communism and fascism. Both of them want globalism. They want to control the world, and they don't want anybody else to control it. They want to control it.
The treachery and the evil that went under both of those leaders is legendary. Hitler killed over 6 million Jews in some of the most horrific and evil ways conceivable. Stalin did the same thing, except he killed many millions more.
Then in China, decades after that came Mao, who brought communism to China. It is hard to get your arms around a proper number. We know Stalin killed around 20 million Ukrainians, starving them to death, but he killed no telling how many millions more. You just look at the evil treatment of the poor Polish people that when he liberated them, he took so many who were what he saw as good slave labor and brought them back in slavery to the Soviet Union, where they either worked as slaves under Stalin or they were killed.
When the Iron Curtain fell, just as many historians, including a brilliant historian I eagerly learned under at Texas A&M--she was not allowed back in the Soviet Union after she wrote about the evil that was done to so many of the Polish officers and people. One of my favorite history teachers, she was terrific, brilliant. But when the Iron Curtain fell, we found out the things that she said and discovered, and others did, were exactly right.
Reagan was right. It was an evil empire. And the one Hitler was trying to build was just about as evil--in some ways, much more evil.
But it is important that young people and millennials understand what we are talking about here. This country, warts and all, has been, as moviemaker Ron Maxwell said, ``a history of liberation.'' It wasn't founded on slavery. It was on the march toward liberation, each step.
So many Christians, like the Pilgrims and so many others, came to avoid persecution for being Christians. Sometimes, people came who were considered unwanted in other countries.
If you look at the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, had entered what probably was the biggest paragraph setting out a grievance against King George. It is spelled out in this grievance against King George, that he ever allowed slavery to get going in the Colonies, because it was so terrible. It was evil, and it took too long and cost too many lives to get rid of it.
By the way, that grievance didn't end up in the final draft because there were States that objected, that supported slavery. So that grievance Jefferson had originally put in was taken out. It was not in the final draft.
But it took a war that took half a million lives in a country that didn't have half a million lives to spare, devastated the United States.
Lincoln believed the Union should be held together, and it would be held together, and this would be the capital of the whole country.
And he wanted no malice to anyone at the end of the war. He wanted to bring the country together. But it took an ordained Christian minister named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others, including some who served in Congress, it took them standing for equality and what is right to ensure that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would mean what it said.
In some ways, in recent years, we have been distracted by people who have been at war, on offense against Christianity, so that now we are to the point where, if you believe what Jesus said, as set out in the New Testament, then you, among so many millions now in our country, are to be an object of scorn and hate.
So, as you see these groups that are really Marxist groups-- antifascist does not mean it is a good group; it means it is Marxist. And that is where they want to take us, and it means Christianity will be persecuted to the extent we have seen, with the horrors we have seen over the centuries since Jesus was here.
So there is an article by Igor Norinsky, June 28, in American Greatness, talking about Black Lives Matter.
I really don't believe at all that there is a single member of Congress who doesn't agree Black lives matter. I don't know anybody who is in Congress who does not believe that Black lives matter.
This article starts out saying: ``To the 60 percent of Americans not polling for Trump, many firmly left-of-center, a thought experiment as November draws nearer: What must be true so that Trump gets your vote? It is a miserable question because many Americans are, to put it mildly, negative on the President.''
The article goes on--don't have time to go through the whole thing. But the point is made here: ``The emotional call-and-response appeal of `black lives matter' ''--and that is with little B, little L, little M--``entices all who repeat it into believing they are antiracists and that everyone else must be the opposite. But `black lives matter'--with small letters--which no one disagrees with, is not the same as''--capitalized--``Black Lives Matter.''
They had what they believed at one time--that has since been taken down, as I understand it--and substituted for one that is a little more palatable, but make no mistake: You look at the history of this group, it is a Marxist group.
The article points out: ``Communism,'' which is simply ``Marxism applied, was responsible for over 100 million deaths during the last century alone, which says nothing of the psychological terror, the Auschwitz of the mind, that imprisoned the untold millions who did not perish. The systematic oppression and terror Marxist ideas engendered is nowhere better described than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's `Gulag Archipelago,' a painstaking and harrowing account of the forced labor camp system under Soviet Communism. In a telling passage, he provides an insight into the engine that made the tyranny possible.''
And he quotes from Solzhenitsyn:
``Macbeth's self-justifications were feeble--and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and spiritual strength of Shakespeare's evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology. Ideology--that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own or other's eyes. . . . That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills . . . the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race. . . . Without evildoers, there would have been no Archipelago.''
The writer says: ``I was spared those horrors thanks, in part, to being born near the dismal end of the Soviet Union and thanks, in part, to the courage of parents who dared seek permission to leave from a central authority notoriously brutal to the unbelievers. As Jews ostensibly bound for Israel, we had the great fortune of being unwanted anyway. Almost all of your life's possessions stay behind--they belong to `the people,' after all--but the scars most certainly do not. Scars travel with you. The many hundreds of thousands of refugees and exiles from Communist countries living in America today can fill entire libraries with the stories behind those scars. Go seek them out and listen.
``Whether in Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, the precepts of Marxism led humanity as close to the abyss as it has ever come.''
``Neither do Marxism's purveyors and apologists all sit in Beijing. For years, many intellectuals in the West openly espoused Marxism. Its great utopian appeal should come as no surprise particularly in our present age of social justice. Solzhenitsyn would later lament at the West's failure to accept the grim warnings of his testimonial.''
And, again, from Solzhenitsyn: ``Modern society is hypnotized by socialism. It is prevented by socialism from seeing the mortal danger it is in. And one of the greatest of all is that you have lost all sense of danger; you cannot even see where it's coming from as it moves swiftly toward you.
``You imagine you see danger in other parts of the globe and hurl arrows from your depleted quiver there. But the greatest danger of all is that you have lost the will to defend yourselves.''
Hate Donald Trump if you want. So far, for now, we have that freedom. But the fact is, he saw the dangers from China before anybody in public office did and talked about them.
But anyway, Solzhenitsyn wrote that ``in 1976 as the United States was deep into the Cold War. Nearly 45 years later, long after the Cold War has ended, the generation that is driving today's revolutionary agenda has little to no conception of what socialism is and what brand of misery it left in its wake. It is nearly impossible to cultivate any sense of dread or urgency in a society where connection to that chapter of the human experience has all but been severed. But we have to try.''
And he is so right.
``BLM,'' he says, ``is pure ideology. It appears bent on redefining America and its institutions pursuant to progressively tribalistic commandments. Draped in the powerful, albeit deceptive, cover of racial indignation''--which we should all stand for equality there--``the movement has convinced many Americans that being White is an original sin, that America is evil, and that the sinner's day in court has arrived. It prescribes class struggle, exponentially amplified by the battle cry of racial reckoning.''
``Revolutions vilify the past.''
And he goes on.
But it is important that people understand that, as we try and move closer and closer to end any injustice in America--it will never be perfect, but it is the closest humanity has ever gotten, and still there are things we can do to make it better--it is critical to understand the evil that is so close to taking over and embracing this country, because we have generations now that have not learned true history. They have learned some misbegotten professor's idea, as he or she dealt with their own hate and own prejudice, as they rewrote our history.
But if you look fairly at the history, you see injustice, none more so than slavery's existence.
But if you go back to the late 1940s, early 1950s, when Whittaker Chambers, who had had a very unpleasant childhood, unpleasant family life growing up, thought maybe communism, Marxism was the way to go, and he began working with people like Alger Hiss, who was one of the most respected people in the State Department, right at the top. And because he had an Ivy League education, Ivy Leaguers loved the man, just thought he was fantastic.
But both Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, and others with whom they worked and believed in communism, were working to bring down the United States, just as antifa and so many others are today.
When Whittaker Chambers began to see that this Marxism that he thought so much of actually caused more suffering than the very type of government he was trying to bring down, that was revolutionary in his mind, and he realized he was fighting the wrong people.
His book ``Witness''--I should have read it years and years ago, but it is only in the last couple of years I read it. Some great statements he has in his book.
``Few men are so dull that they do not know that the crisis exists and that it threatens their lives at every point. It is popular,'' he said, ``to call it a social crisis. It is, in fact, a total crisis-- religious, moral, intellectual, social, political, economic. It is popular to call it a crisis of the Western world. It is in fact a crisis of the whole world. Communism . . . is itself a symptom and an irritant of that crisis.''
He quoted Stalin's statement: ``Is it not true that social democracy and social fascism are twins? ''
Our current chairman of the Judiciary Committee has gotten very upset when some of us have pointed out that Hitler and Hitler's party were the National Socialist Workers Party in Germany. And he tried to draw that distinction, but Stalin himself says: Isn't it true that social democracy and social fascism are really twins?
But Dostoevsky, he quoted, saying: ``The problem of communism is not economic problem; the problem of communism is the problem of atheism.''
I have seen it, lived it for a summer in the Soviet Union. They didn't want Christianity. They only allowed one authorized seminary. I was told, when I visited there, that they allowed only 40 people to go to the only authorized seminary back during those oppressive years under communism.
Whittaker Chambers says: ``One day the Communist really hears those screams. The screams . . . do not merely reach his mind. They pierce beyond. They pierce to his soul.''
``A communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites--God or man, soul or mind, freedom or communism.''
This Marxist ideology that is being pushed on us by groups that hate America is very dangerous. Chambers points out `` . . . the crisis of the Western world exists to the degree it is indifferent to God. It exists to the degree in which the Western world actually shares communism's materialist vision, is so dazzled by the logic of the materialist interpretation of history, of politics, and economics, that it fails to grasp that, for it, the only possible answer to the communist or Marxist challenge is to choose either faith in God or faith in man. . . . `'
He said: ``Freedom is a need of the soul and nothing else. It is in striving toward God that the soul strives continually after a condition of freedom.''
I think every American has felt that.
He says: ``God alone is the insider and guarantor of freedom. He is the only guarantor. External freedom is only an aspect of interior freedom. Political freedom, as the Western world has known it, is only a political reading of the Bible. Religion and freedom are indivisible. Without freedom, the soul dies. Without the soul, there is no justification for freedom.''
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin made this comment on religion in a November 1913 letter: ``Every religious idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness . . . of the most dangerous kind.''
I think that is why, on visiting that sole recognized seminary at Zagorsk decades ago, I was struck because there was a building there, and on the side of the building--this is where you turn into the gates of the seminary--was a big painting of Lenin's face and the words: ``Lenin s nami.'' ``Lenin is with us.''
So anyone going into this Christian seminary had to see, as they went in, that message from the government. You may be going into this Christian seminary, but don't ever forget it is Lenin who is with us.
Now, I had a chance to see Lenin in his tomb. There were rumors that his ear was deteriorated and had been replaced by a rubber ear. I don't know if that was true, but Lenin was not with us, I can verify. He is long gone to his just reward, such as it was.
Whittaker Chambers said: ``If I had rejected only communism, I would have rejected only one political expression of the modern mind, the most logical because the most brutal in enforcing the myth of man's material perfectibility. What I sensed, without being able to phrase it was what has since been phrased with the simplicity of an axiom.''
This axiom is: ``'Man cannot organize for himself without God; without God, man can only organize the world against man.' The gas ovens of Buchenwald and the communist execution cellars exist first within the minds.''
He said: ``What I grasped was that religion begins at the point where reason and knowledge are powerless and forever fail--the point at which man senses the mystery of his good and evil, his suffering, and his destiny as a soul in search of God.''
``Against liberalism's social optimism,'' which is progress by reform, ``and the social optimism revolutionary left,'' which is progress by force, ``Dostoevsky asserted the eternal necessity of the soul to be itself. But he discerned that the moment man indulged his freedom to the point where he was also free from God, it led him into tragedy, evil, and often the exact opposite of what had been intended. In human terms, there was no solution for the problem of evil.''
Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
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