Recently I finished reading a very good book about D-Day. D-Day was June 6, 1944, when the Allies attacked the beaches at Normandy, hoping to begin the liberation of France and of Europe from the Germans led by Adolf Hitler. While D-Day extracted a tremendous price from the Allies, it ultimately was successful. The Allies gained a foothold in France, and as the weeks unfolded, they continued to push eastward. Within a year Germany had surrendered.
The book was Landing on the Edge of Eternity: Twenty-four Hours at Omaha Beach by the English writer Robert Kershaw (2018). The book gave a feel for the difficulty of the invasion, and for the horrors involved. The raw numbers give us almost no feel for the death and crippling. When we read in Wikipedia that the Allies had 4,414 confirmed dead (not counting wounded), and that the Germans took anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 casualties, the numbers are just numbers, and roll off our minds like water off a duck’s back. Mr. Kershaw’s book is a corrective for that problem. He allows us to have at least some beginning understanding of the bodies killed, of the cripplings, of the fear the men on both sides felt and had to overcome in order to function. D-Day was, for me, painful to read about, and I think most readers will share that emotion if they read Mr. Kershaw’s excellent book.
What I want to do today, however, is to try to step back several paces, and to try to see the big picture. The big picture may be even more frightening than the horrors of D-Day.
Think about it. Christian Germany was fighting Christian England and Christian Canada and the Christian United States. How did this happen? The West was tearing itself apart.
For what? For freedom?
Two generations later, would a visitor from Mars be able to say that D-Day led to a great victory for the forces of good over the forces of evil? About 77 years after D-Day, the West seems completely doomed. Europe aborts its children, and permits the entry of civilization-destroying Muslims. The U.S., ditto. The West seems en route to ending, without one shot being fired in its defense. (Or even without one shot being fired in its conquering. Okay, maybe a few shots being fired in its conquering, by the most violent of the Muslims.)
Where is the great victory of good over evil, of freedom-loving good people over evil Nazis?
In fact, there was no great victory. We deceived ourselves.
Now we need to back up a bit in history. World War I (1914-1918) was the key event in recent world history. In those years the West blew itself apart. But we haven’t backed up enough. World War I was first of all a symptom. It was a symptom that our Christianity had something profoundly wrong with it.
A few people understood that at the time. Nikolaj Velimirovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest and writer, understood. In 1917 he gave a series of lectures in England. Published under the title The Agony of the Church, the book pinpointed the West’s problem: its failed Christianity. No doubt there were a handful of other people who similarly saw what had gone wrong. But the handful must have been tiny. No one paid any attention. We didn’t learn. Germany didn’t learn. Our churches didn’t learn. Half a generation later, we fought World War I over again, in World War II.
And, another two generations later, we still have not learned. “Oh, the evil Nazis! D-Day was the beginning of their defeat, and the triumph of democracy and freedom.”
The Allies lost 4,414 confirmed dead on D-Day. In round numbers, the U.S. aborts about 2,300 babies a day. So, in two days, we kill as many babies as the Allies lost on that horrific day of courage and carnage.
Something doesn’t compute. Men were torn apart on Omaha Beach so that self-absorbed narcissists could murder their babies? Apparently yes.
The German Nazis were evil, but they flourished because the German church, Protestant and Roman Catholic, was weak and foolish and compromised.
But not for one split second am I trying to single out the German Christians as being particularly foolish. Such bashing would miss the point.
Are we any better? Where has the American Church been, during the murder of 61,000,000 babies in the course of a generation and a half? We have been contemplating our navel.
Another aspect of the big picture, is that our elites are always the same. They always know best what should be done. Except that they don’t. “Why don’t you and you go kill each other, and I will look on and preen myself and direct from afar?” Our elites are filthy. Franklin D. Roosevelt is Lyndon Johnson is George W. Bush is William Kristol is John Bolton is Joe Biden. They are interchangeable, and they never learn and that is because they never want to learn. They cannot be reformed, any more than a rattlesnake can be reformed. They must be replaced. And when we replace them, we will need to work very hard to keep ourselves from becoming as evil as they are. It won’t be easy.
Along similar lines, the country needs to be broken up. This is absolutely essential. Enormous power in the hands of a few people is always going to lead to disaster. Leopold Kohr taught us that huge countries automatically turn to evil (The Breakdown of Nations, 1957). We need to dissipate power so none of us have too much.
The big picture tells us that the West is suicidal. We have been suicidal since well before World War I. That has not changed. ‘”But he who sins against me [wisdom] injures himself;/All those who hate me [wisdom] love death.”‘ (Proverbs 8:36)
Why are we suicidal? I think we are suicidal because we know we deserve to die. We have turned our back on God and on the moral goodness He sets out for us in His word the Bible. Instinctively, subconsciously–certainly not consciously–we agree with His judgment of our behavior. We know we deserve to die, and so we are killing ourselves.
The big picture tells us this fact: our only hope is to begin to develop a brand of Christianity which is biblical, highly principled, and uncompromising.
I understand the difficulty. Pietism and antinomianism are easier. They are easier in the short run, but much harder in the long run. In the long run, pietism and antinomianism lead to the horrors of D-Day, and to babies being killed. They lead to Black Lives Matter, to Antifa, to destroyed lives and destroyed property, to transgender and homosexual fantasies.
The men who fought on D-Day demonstrated terrific courage. That is true of both sides, Allies and Germans. We also need courage. We need moral courage. We need the courage to search the Bible for the truth, and to act in support of that truth. We will need to be willing to think and to act and to be hated. Our filthy elite wants to keep us ignorant and stupid and passive. We are easier to control that way. Then they can go on telling us what to do, and can go on pretending they are wise and good. But they are not wise and good, and we need to quit allowing these people to think and act for us.
Landing on the Edge of Eternity is a very good book. It gives the reader a feeling for the astonishing event which was D-Day. It also reminds us of little known facts, as for example that 19,890 civilians died during the liberation of France (p. 338), or that German soldiers made prisoners were murdered in large numbers by the Allies (p. 298). Robert Kershaw is himself a soldier, and has the ability to portray the events on Omaha Beach in a way that grips us, teaches us, and moves us. He has a very direct connection to D-Day. His father landed with the second wave on Gold Beach on D-Day, and subsequently met and married his mother in Hamburg, Germany. The book is dedicated to them. I have my own slight family connection to D-Day. My father landed in France–but not on D-Day. I think it was about the fourth day after D-Day when he landed. Had he landed on D-Day, someone else might be typing these words.
Landing can be obtained at a reasonable price on the Internet. Today I saw a price of $6.28 (shipping included, but sales tax will add a bit).
I wrote about The Agony of the Church on April 5 and April 12 of 2018. This short book is not quite as much a bargain. Today I found a price of $9.98 (shipping free). That’s a lot for a few pages. But the quality of the insights is tremendous.