Col Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson): You want answers?
Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I’m entitled.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!”
–from the movie, A Few Good Men
I am a brand new Christian (one year ago this week!) and also a newbie conservative. There’s so much I need to learn.
In fact, given that I had everything wrong, I need to begin at the beginning, to relearn absolutely everything. This is because the Left, and their mainstream media, gives out all of the wrong information.
One of the areas that I have to get up to speed on is religious persecution. I thought the only people persecuted were the Muslims, with the perps being Christians and Jews.
But now I’ve learned to my utter shock that most of the religious persecution in the world is carried out by Islamic fanatics towards Jews and Christians, especially the latter given the large numbers. So I was horrified this week to learn about the torching of 69 churches in Ethiopia by Radical Islamists.
It was awful news, and ironic for me personally since I just had a conversation last Sunday with Ethiopian refugees. It was at a church I attended nearby my home in California.
I noticed a family gathered together admiring their beautiful, new baby girl. I sat on a bench besides them and began a conversation with one of the women. She told me that they were Christians from Ethiopia. Then she informed me about the violence that Christians face there at the hands of Muslims.
The woman even confided her worry about Egypt being ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Something else I didn’t know: that Egypt is logistically close to Ethiopia.
Gazing at the sweet little baby girl, I said, “I bet the treatment of Muslim women in Ethiopia is far different than for Christian women.” She shuddered even thinking about the conditions for Ethiopian women under Islam. She shook her head yes, but clearly didn’t want to go there.
And now several days later, I read of the church burnings and murders, and I can’t help thinking of this family and their loved ones in Ethiopia, and about how poorly informed Americans are. At least, I’m trying to catch up in my knowledge of religious persecution and everything else. But the sad thing is that most liberals refuse to see what is in front of their eyes.
Why? There are so many reasons. For one, it is terribly uncomfortable realizing one was wrong all these years. I know this from personal experience. Each day I eat humble pie knowing that I was hoodwinked. But more than that: I have to admit that I chose the convenient route by refusing to see what I didn’t want to see.
Truly beholding horrors — in Ethiopia, in Egypt, and right here in this country — evokes feelings of powerlessness. It’s far easier to not look, to not worry, to instead embrace one’s liberal ideology like a security blanket to keep one warm in the dead of night.
I think that many people on the left avoid the truth because they are constitutionally weak. They are limited. I know that I was.
And these days, when I try to talk to liberals about Libya, Obama, the Federal Reserve. . . they turn away; they change the subject. They are unable to handle the truth.
They may be strong in body, but there’s something half-formed and deficient about them. No wonder they look to thugs on the left to fortify their strength.
Why do liberals remain affixed to their beliefs even when reality gets in the way? There are the usual suspects: family breakdown, substandard schools, liberal brainwashing from day one. But I think there’s a deeper reason as well: most people on the left have rejected the idea of a Higher Power.
Because, shorn of God, we may not have all the power that we need to navigate this human life, to embrace the bitter and the sweet. It’s as though we’re running on empty 24/7.
That would have been me, just a few years ago, so entranced by progressivism, so convinced that it would save the world. I was able to leave it behind when I became fueled by a Force vastly stronger than my own.
And now I have the courage to look and to bear the pain — even when reality really hurts. I can handle the truth. I can do this because I’m no longer helplessly alone.