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Focus On Preparing Your Family For Persecution

Three months and twenty pounds (oy) ago, I went out to Colorado to meet the Focus On The Family folks, and to do some interviews about Live Not By Lies. I loved being with those brothers and sisters in Christ, and I’m thrilled that they like the book and are now promoting its message. This just dropped yesterday:

Part two will be up tomorrow, I think (I will post it here as an update). Focus is also putting out audio-only versions of the interview on other channels.

I am so grateful to Jim Daly, Glenn Stanton, and their team for their attention to my book. It’s rather timely too, given events in

Canada around the truckers’ protest. Whether or not you agree with the truckers’ cause or tactics (and I understand that there are Canadians who are no fan of Justin Trudeau, but who don’t support the truckers either), the important thing to observe is how the Trudeau government is going after them — specifically Trudeau’s invocation of an emergency law that permits the state to freeze the financial accounts of anyone the government deems sympathetic to the truckers. What’s more, Trudeau is trying to smear the truckers as nothing but a bunch of deplorable bigots. This week, The Economist magazine, the influential neoliberal publication that has been a supporter of the prime minister and his government, sounded an alarm about the shocking tactics Trudeau has now embraced:

Mr Trudeau’s government has expressed shock that racist symbols were displayed during the protest. It appears to be planning to reintroduce an “anti-hate” bill that could lead to the imprisonment of people who use racist speech. This could include a clause which would allow individuals to take other people to court if they fear that they may be about to say something which falls under the definition of “hate propaganda”. They could also be charged for contemplating an offence “motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.

Hate pre-crime — can you believe it? You had better. Take a look at this stunning clip from a session in the Canadian parliament in which a visibly outraged Conservative parliamentarian demanded that the prime minister apologize for comparing them all to Nazi sympathizers for supporting the truckers. Trudeau, disgracefully, didn’t give an inch:

What the Canadian government is doing is a preview of what the US government in the future will likely to do dissenters: brand them as “domestic terrorists,” use anti-terrorism laws to persecute them (including seizing bank accounts and bringing them to heel by threat of economic ruin), and passing more laws to crack down on free expression, under the guise of fighting “hate” and protecting America from would-be terrorists, or pre-terrorists.

I woke up a short time ago here in Budapest, and see that things are heating up between Russia and Ukraine. I hope and pray (literally) that Russia does not invade, even as I believe that the United States would be foolish to risk any kind of military showdown with the Russians. But if the Russians go in to Ukraine, the woke in the West, and the national security/foreign policy class in Washington, will lash out against internal dissent from its belligerent policy. I expect they will label any dissent from the official Washington line as “Russian disinformation,” and go after dissenters. Look also for coming fabricated accusations of bigotry against people like Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald, who call out the war party.

My point is, what’s happening in Canada — the government crushing dissent under the guise of keeping Canada “safe” from haters and deplorables — is a prelude of what’s to come here. Of course we have to fight it! For example, if you have never joined a public demonstration, you need to prepare to do so. But you should also read Live Not By Lies and follow the practical advice of the dissidents who lived under Soviet communism. Here is a link to a free, downloadable study guide I wrote for the book. You — we — need to be ready for these people. If you wait until active persecution starts to get your family, your church, and your community prepared, and to get your networks in place, it may be too late.

The emigres who came to America decades ago escaping Soviet communism are sounding the alarm about what they see emerging here in the West. Their testimony, and their advice, is a gift. From the book:

It is very hard for Americans who have never lived through this kind of ideological fog to recognize what is happening. To be sure, whatever this is, it is not a carbon copy of life in the Soviet Bloc nations, with their secret police, their gulags, their strict censorship, and their material deprivation. That is precisely the problem, these people warn. The fact that relative to Soviet Bloc conditions, life in the West remains so free and so prosperous is what blinds Americans to the mounting threat to our liberty. That, and the way those who take away freedom couch it in the language of liberating victims from oppression.

“I was born and raised in the Soviet Union, and I’m frankly stunned by how similar some of these developments are to the way Soviet propaganda operated,” says one professor, now living in the Midwest.

Another émigré professor, this one from Czechoslovakia, was equally blunt. He told me that he began noticing a shift a decade or so ago: friends would lower their voices and look over their shoulders when expressing conservative views. When he expressed his conservative beliefs in a normal tone of voice, the Americans would start to fidget and constantly scan the room to see who might be listening.

“I grew up like this,” he tells me, “but it was not supposed to be happening here.”

This week in Budapest, I was having a conversation about the book with a Hungarian I met at a conference. He was telling me how the habits of those who were formed, and deformed, under Communism die hard. Even today, he told me, when he’s listening to his older relatives, and the talk turns to politics, they all instinctively lower their voices. If we allow this evil to take root in our country, the habits of mind that emerge from simply having to survive under wokeness will mark us for the rest of our lives.

Don’t you dare think that it can’t happen here. It can, and it is. Canada is farther along the road than we are, but not by much.

UPDATE: Here is Part II of my Focus On The Family interview:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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