I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Vladimir Putin.  In a speech on Oct. 22, 2021 in Sochi, Russia, Putin strongly criticized the “woke” social justice warriors in the United States and Europe. This former lieutenant colonel in the KGB argued that they behave just like the Bolshevik Communists did in the former Soviet Union. “We see with bemusement,” Putin noted, “the paralysis unfolding in countries that have grown accustomed to viewing themselves as the flagships of progress.” 

The West is ruled by a “dogmatism bordering on absurdity,” he asserted, noting that “cancel culture” is nothing more than “reverse discrimination,” and teaching children that sexuality is flexible as potentially “a crime against humanity.” Wow!  These are strong words coming from a dictator. Yet, in my opinion, he is holding up a mirror so we can see what we really are becoming.  

Putin noted further, “The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of new and better consciousness…their prescriptions are not new at all.  It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already.”  Later in his speech he said, “I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the Soviet couture [Rabindranath] Tagore came up with [was] the so-called ‘Newspeak,’ believing they were creating a new consciousness and coming up with new values.”

Putin even talked about spiritual values: “We have a different viewpoint, at least the overwhelming majority of Russian society… We believe that we must rely on our own spiritual values, our historical tradition and the culture of our multiethnic nation… Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries” notes Putin, causes Russians to be amazed at certain destructive practices, “which we…have left, I hope, in the distant past.” 

Putin even quoted Martin Luther King as reflecting true values: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character.”  He then gave this warning: “The debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a phantasmagoria.  Look, beware of going where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only communalizing chickens, but also communalizing woman.  One more step and you will be there.”  

Men, this is an indictment of our culture coming from a dictator. Putin is calling us to “wake up.”  We are headed towards a soft, therapeutic form of totalitarianism, where we prefer personal pleasure over principles, including political liberties.  We are being deceived by our leaders and the elite media. When truth is missing and those in leadership completely disregard God, we are in trouble.

Before becoming Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla made this remarkable prediction: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through… We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence; it is trial which the whole Church…must take up.” 

Cardinal Wojtyla believed the church will come out of the confrontation much stronger and alive in the Spirit.  Men, are you ready for difficult days? Habakkuk knew judgment was coming.  So, he prayed: “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.  Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us…I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior” (Hab. 3:16, 18).