Other anniversaries besides Calvin’s 500th are being celebrated this year. We’ve just come back from England, where it’s all about Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and the 150th anniversary of his most famous book, On the Origin of Species. He is being fêted as one of the greatest scientific minds in history, even though his theory of the survival of the fittest has done untold damage when applied to the social realm.
For those who have noticed, it is also the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, the greatest rock festival of all time. Who can forget “three days of peace and love,” featuring the Grateful dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and so many others?
Yet these events should not eclipse the most important anniversary in recent history: the 20th anniversary of the “miracle year” of 1989. It all began inauspiciously with the DDR (East Germany) winking at escapees going through Hungary and on to freedom in Austria. The same began to happen through all the satellite countries. Within a few weeks the Berlin Wall was opened, and then destroyed. Soon the Soviet Union itself would dissolve. Statues of Lenin tumbled in many countries. For sure, the collapse of communism did not issue forth in “the end of history” as Francis Fukuyama had declared. But it was an astonishing turnaround, one which even the most optimistic pundits had not foreseen.
France, like many other European societies, had flirted with communism over the decades. Despite André Gide’s warnings, as early as 1936, that the Soviet Union was a sham, many were still attracted to the messianic promises of communism, at least until finally the truth about its brutality was impossible to deny. Twenty years out, France does not have any messiahs. Its people desperately need the true one, Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, who yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
Very Truly Yours,
William Edgar, President