[Note: This post is written as Russia is poised to invade Ukraine. By the time you read it, it may well have already happened].
Putin is ready to launch a blitzkrieg war to crush Ukraine. Like most wars, it will produce nothing of benefit, but inflict death and misery to countless thousands. Could this have been avoided? Not by American evangelicals. They helped cause it.
Let’s start here in the U.S., where evangelicals overwhelmingly supported a despotic President who flaunted the rule of law and attempted a coup. A man who tried to bribe Ukraine into helping him lie to influence the 2016. A man who tried to dissolve NATO admired Putin. Both men clever enough to say whatever evangelicals want to hear.
Let’s talk about American evangelicals, whose media constantly barfs out anti-American (and particularly anti-Biden) desinformatsiya. They have become a quasi-religious lobby group who have dismissed Democrats as “just another word for godless”, and who look to enforcing “One Nation Under Their God”. Whose Dominionist totalism sees no room for democracy – either in America under Biden or in Ukraine joining the godless EU. Whose dispensationalism relishes human suffering because it verifies their nihilistic theology.
Let’s talk about their leaders, like Franklin Graham, having come away from personal audiences with Putin having nothing but praise for his anti-gay and anti-abortion policies, widely reported by Russian propaganda outlets. Not to mention having met several times with Vyacheslav Volodin, sanctioned Putin aide and architect of his takeover of Crimea “to strengthen relationships between the Christians in our countries”. And smoozing with Russian Orthodox spiritual leaders, each bemoaning the “ever-declining moral values in western societies”, and agreeing to joint “defense of traditional morality”. All this cordiality despite the fact that Putin is repressing Russian evangelicals.
Or, Larry Jacobs of the World Congress of Families, who spoke for many evangelicals by declaring, “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world”. We shouldn’t forget wholehearted welcome of Mariia Butina, an FSB honeypot who attended the National Prayer Breakfast at the invitation of influential evangelicals. “The value system of Southern Christians and the value system of Russians are very much in line,” one connected lawyer mentioned.
Franklin Graham’s latest biblical worldview effort has been to support the Canadian truck blockages. “The issue is FREEDOM, the freedom to make our own choices”, he declares. But what about Ukraine’s freedom? Nary a word, and silence likewise across evangelical media. Not even any wan “hearts and prayers” being pronounced. A queue of Western politicians flying to Russia in a desperate sue for peace, but Franklin Graham hasn’t booked a ticket. And he hasn’t pushed for a trucker’s protest in Moscow, either.
Influential evangelicals like Sen. Josh Hawley thinks it wrong to expand the West’s “liberal order” around the world. Meaning – parroting the views of Tovarich Carlson – there is no reason why the U.S. should help Ukraine defend its territorial integrity.
Ukraine is ripe for the picking, and evangelicals have already picked the side they want to win. They’ve helped make the bed the rest of us will be forced to lie in. Evangelical guilt for Ukraine’s downfall – may God intervene – will be great. Lord have mercy on us all…