Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Book Review of Let Freedom Ring

I read a historic novel Let Freedom Ring (Thorndike Press). Al and JoAnna Lacy are the authors. The story takes place in the 19th century and centers around Russian characters struggling to maintain their Christian faith under repressive Czarist regimes. The book is packed with adventures involving conflicts between ordinary Russians and the dreaded Cossacks. Eventually a small group of Russians manage to save their lives, find their way out of the country and immigrate to the United States.

One part of the book was particularly striking to me. Chapter Nine, pages 190-191 contain the passage. The Czarist government had become callous to the needs of the people. But what was interesting was the route by which this came about. One of the main characters pointed out that in the prior century a combination of governmental promises and apathy among the populace led people to place too much trust in their government. Political leaders, acting on their greedy impulses, became increasingly powerful and abusive.

This parallels what is going on in America today. Apathy is pervasive and increasing power in the hands of greedy legislative and executive officials all too common. The trust placed in government officials is way out of proportion to what is merited. History shows that trends toward ever centralized and expanded government power erode the freedom of those governed. It may take some time before the ugliness of the power shift becomes apparent but it will. There is something pathetic about people placing too much faith and trust in the power elites of their society. It's a form of self-emasculation which burdens posterity with the consequences of the foolish choices made by their forefathers.



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