“This country is going nowhere…”

In Kiev, one must be careful when considering whether or not to date the local women. This is not an opinion I have been able to verify on my own, but one that was shared with me. A Japanese journalist working for the Kiev Post shared with me one night, a warning. 

“There are many foreign men that come here looking for wives,” she said. “They often hire dating services that are nothing but a scam and bear no fruit.” 

I thanked her for the warning, though I am not here looking for a wife. I am here looking for something spiritual, and I find it in the care free smiles of the youth. I find it in the laid back and leisurely lifestyles of men and women alike. I find it in the stunning churches that seem to be resting around every corner. But perhaps most surprising of all, I have found many answers to my spiritual and philosophical questions in conversations with others of Western European decent. 

Sometime after my conversation with the journalist, I found myself at a Karaoke bar. Ukrainians were belting out old Russian songs and the melody of an accordion echoed through the smoky air. I met a Brit, a young twenty something named Dan. I shared with him the warning of Ukrainian gold diggers and he gave a disappointed, yet understanding frown. We discussed in detail how one might be able to discern whether or not a woman genuinely cared or was merely looking for money. We came to the conclusion that it would indeed be rather obvious if a woman was using you merely for her own material benefit. Surely two young men here studying the Russian language will be intelligent enough to fend off beautiful gold diggers. 

Then, Dan laid out an off-hand remark that was meant to signal the end of our conversation on this topic. “I mean, look…these people are in quite the desperate situation…” I paused and looked off. I had not seen this desperation. I had seen people with an unflinching national identity, and uncompromising pride in that identity. He continued, “Imagine how poor these people are, mate. This country is going nowhere….”

This was the statement that echoed in my head long after I left the karaoke bar, bouncing around my head as I walked briskly through the cold, moonlit streets of Old Kiev.  

“This country is going nowhere…”

——

Must be nice, to be going nowhere. You don’t risk leaving anything behind. America has been going somewhere for a long time. We’ve made a lot of money along the way, too. Trouble is…turns out where we are going is straight off a cliff. So the question is: would you accept a winning lottery ticket for $10,000,000 if you knew you’d be paralyzed or dead two decades down the line? Or even worse you’d be fine but your children would suffer some irreversibly damaging fate through no fault of their own? This conundrum begs the question: wasn’t what the first Americans left behind in the old world good enough?   

Do we now have enough hindsight with which we can see what of value our ancestors left behind? The amount of irreplaceable Good they left behind in the old world seems to me immeasurable. I am basking in it now! 

An unquestionable home, for one. I am an American who has ancestors that fought in every war of consequence extending all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Now? I am told I somehow stole the land I call my home. This ostensibly means that some significant portion of my fellow countrymen believe that I am some sort of criminal, or at the very least a beneficiary of crimes they deem unforgivable. For these crimes I have been asked to decry and denounce my ancestors as wicked. I have been pushed by social forces to denounce the values my God deems virtuous. I wonder how often Ukrainians are being berated for being white? I wonder how often they are called colonizers, or blamed for being privileged? 

The founding fathers and the brave men that preceded them are heroes. Of this there can be no doubt. The danger they faced and the Goliath they slayed just so that they may be free is still astounding; the stuff of legends. However heroic they may have been, they were still human. That means that they were prone to error, as are we all. But the error they made was colossal; one that gave way to consequences we are only dealing with today. 

Now, self styled conservatives—that is the pro-American nation side of the political dichotomy—call America a propositional nation. What does that mean, exactly? In short it means that America was not founded upon, nor rooted in, aspects that every other nation in history adopted. The decision to base a nation on liberty may have seemed like a good idea those hundreds of years ago. But we are now coming to see the massive error in this decision. By contrast Ukraine is a nation rooted in blood, language, and culture—all impenetrable, inalienable, and unchanging characteristics of human life. 

Here we can now see, Liberty can only be appreciated by those who fought for it. This fight continued on well after the Revolution through the heroics of the pioneers, and even on into the Cold War. The pioneer’s chase for liberty came with great peril, using their genius and cunning to dominate what had remained for the entirety of the planet’s existence indomitable wilderness. Cowboys fought Indians. Starving Midwesterners went westward in hopes of being liberated from the misery they had found in the dusty plains. And just as this narrative began to run out, the question of the slave came bubbling up. 

What does liberty mean if not all men can have it? Fine question, though I have my issues with its simplicity. A civil war was fought to liberate the slaves, and it was successful; yet furthering the American success at wielding the sacred sword of liberty. The next conquest was a meaningless squabble based upon complicated and misaligned diplomacy(World War I) that resulted in the suppression of German aggression. 

Next, of course, came the big one: The Second World War. Here and now, Europe would be liberated from racist, homophobic, and repressive fascism. The American effort was successful, yet the blacks that fought in that war came home and still were not as free as the men they fought alongside. In less than two decades after the end of that Great War American would finally provide what was called black liberation. 

This, I believe, is where the problems with liberty became completely obvious, and am amazed—possibly blessed—that no buffoon before me has come up with these criticisms that I am laying out here before you. 

The issue was this: a nation founded upon liberty, indeed identifies themselves completely as the liberating force of all of human kind, well, how could such a nation move on into the future without their trusty sword at hand? Our marriage to liberty has crippled us, painted us into a corner. It has led us to the “liberation” of what were traditionally and religiously deemed degenerate and unacceptable behaviors. Homosexuality, Drag Queens, Interracial marriage, social acceptability of pornography and narcotic drugs, all okayed in the name of liberty; female liberation, gay liberation, trans liberation, this is paradoxically the world the founding fathers made, yet the very same world they never would have wished upon their worst enemies.

Do you think it is a completely comfortable venture to question the very founders of one’s homeland? It is rather uncomfortable, to be honest. But the truth here has been revealing itself for a while now, and has only been confirmed by the life I see here in Europe. 

These forms of liberation so many Americans detest? They truly have no room to detest them as Americans—we are the people of liberty until we proclaim otherwise. The only way in which these liberties can be argued against and/or pushed back against would be as Christians. For the American project was not founded upon Christian morality, rather opting instead to explicitly leave Christianity out of its founding documents. This having been wed to Liberty as opposed to taking up the Church as the Bride has doomed America. The worship of liberty is irreconcilable with the worship of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. 

“There is no other God before me.” This is a simple commandment. This means that Americans are now being faced with a choice: They can continue their worship of liberty or come back to a righteous and just worship of God, leaving behind the false duty of liberating the marginalized. For the very fabric of reality is comprised of a center and a margin. This is a fact that is not just being wholly ignored, but absolutely inverted. The evil and wicked are being treated with charity while the patriotic and faithful are persecuted well beyond the acceptable limits of the law. 

Though I will admit, I am writing this just after I ate a salmon that was rolled into the shape of a hotdog. Twas a most unnatural shape for a nice piece of fish; tiny, too. Americans, we love to eat. I admittedly miss eating 16oz. steaks. These Europeans eat like birds. Such a diet leaves them weak. I much prefer the hardiness of an American meal; it leaves me with a sense of being full, perhaps even a sense of power. 

This is what we Americans want? Fulfillment and power? It seems so. Will we wield this sword of liberation until our last dying breath, or will we live to fight another day? 

This, I pose to you, is the question of our age. I fear I know the answer, but I will not let this fear silence me. Liberty is a drug we must quit…put her back on the shelf for a day in which we need her again. The withdrawal will be painful, but I believe it will save our mortal souls and turn this project into a true nation—once and for all.

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