“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” announced President Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall, JUNE 12, 1987.
Begun after Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Soviet Union existed from 1922 to 1991.
With its motto, ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ the Soviet Union had totalitarian control over an estimated 293 million people spread across 11 time zones.
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In the Soviet Union:
-privacy was nonexistent;
-health care was rationed;
-the economy was regulated;
-private industry was collectivized;
-the press was censored;
-political dissent was punished;
-media and entertainment was propagandized;
-education became indoctrination;
-religion was suppressed; and
-human life was valued only by its usefulness to the government.
President Franklin Roosevelt told the delegates of the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:
I disliked the regimentation under Communism. I abhorred the indiscriminate killings of thousands of innocent victims.
I heartily deprecated the banishment of religion though I knew that some day Russia would return to religion for the simple reason that four or five thousand years of recorded history have proven that mankind has always believed in God in spite of many abortive attempts to exile God…
The Soviet Union, as everybody who has the courage to face the fact knows, is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world…
Some of you are Communists… You have no American right, by act or deed of any kind, to subvert the Government and the Constitution of this Nation.
President Harry S Truman stated, January 20, 1949:
Communism is based on the belief that man is so weak and inadequate that he is unable to govern himself, and therefore requires the rule of strong masters.
Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.
Communism subjects the individual to arrest without lawful cause, punishment without trial, and forced labor as a chattel of the state.
It decrees what information he shall receive, what art he shall produce, what leaders he shall follow, and what thoughts he shall think.
Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of the individual and his freedom…
These differences between Communism and Democracy do not concern the United States alone.
People everywhere are coming to realize that what is involved is material well-being, human dignity, and the right to believe in and worship God.
President Ronald Reagan began his address at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, JUNE 12, 1987:
Twenty-four years ago, President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, speaking to the people of this city and the world…
Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe.
From the Baltic, south, those barriers cut across Germany in a gash…
There remain armed guards and checkpoints all the same – still a restriction on the right to travel, still an instrument to impose upon ordinary men and women the will of a totalitarian state…
Just as truth can flourish only when the journalist is given freedom of speech, so prosperity can come about only when the farmer and businessman enjoy economic freedom…
There stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity…
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:
Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Perhaps this gets to the root of the matter, to the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West.
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship.
The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront…
Years ago…the East Germans…erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz.
Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind.
Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere – that sphere that towers over all Berlin – the light makes the sign of the cross.
There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
President Reagan’s vice-president was George H.W. Bush, born JUNE 12, 1924.
Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his WWII service in the Pacific.
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He studied at Yale, was a congressman, an ambassador to the U.N., and the CIA director before becoming the 41st U.S. president.
Bush told Amish and Mennonite leaders in Lancaster, Pa., March 22, 1989:
Barbara and I went to China as your emissary…in 1974, and we had wondered about the family in China – Communist country, totalitarian…
We knew that there had been almost entire banning on practicing and teaching Christianity… This was right after the Cultural Revolution.
President Bush stated in his Inaugural Address, January 20, 1989:
I have just repeated word for word the oath taken by George Washington 200 years ago, and the Bible on which I place my hand is the Bible on which he placed his…
And my first act as President is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads…
On February 22, 1990, President Bush signed Joint Resolution 164 declaring 1990 the International Year of Bible Reading:
Among the great books produced throughout the history of mankind, the Bible has been prized above all others…
The Bible has had a critical impact upon the development of Western civilization…
It was a biblical view of man – one affirming the dignity and worth of the human person, made in the image of our Creator – that inspired the principles upon which the United States is founded…
The historic speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., provide compelling evidence of the role Scripture played in shaping the struggle against slavery and discrimination…
We recall the words of the prophet Isaiah, who declared, ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.’…
When you have read the Bible you will know that it is the Word of God…
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the year 1990 as the International Year of Bible Reading.
I invite all Americans to discover the great inspiration and knowledge that can be obtained through thoughtful reading of the Bible.
On May 3, 1990, President Bush declared a National Day of Prayer:
The great faith that led our Nation’s Founding Fathers to pursue this bold experience in self-government has sustained us in uncertain and perilous times…
Like them, we do very well to recall our ‘firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,’…and to pray for continued help and guidance from our wise and loving Creator.
In his 1992 National Day of Prayer Proclamation, President Bush stated:
Whatever our individual religious convictions may be, each of us is invited to join in this National Day of Prayer…
Each of us can echo this timeless prayer of Solomon, the ancient king who prayed for, and received, the gift of wisdom:
‘The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.’
President Bush stated in his Christmas Message, December 8, 1992:
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose life offers us a model of dignity, compassion, and justice, we renew our commitment to peace…
Christ made clear the redemptive value of giving of oneself for others…
The heroic actions of our veterans, the lifesaving work of our scientists and physicians, and generosity of countless individuals who voluntarily give of their time, talents, and energy to help others – all have enriched humankind and affirmed the importance of our Judeo-Christian heritage in shaping our government and values.
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