Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian author and critic of Soviet totalitarianism. He had great reason to be a detractor given his years of imprisonment in Soviet gulags and forced work camps after being charged with writing anti-Soviet propaganda during Stalin’s reign. Later in life, Solzhenitsyn captured what it was like to live in those times in a book called The Gulag Archipelago. Those were very dangerous days when anybody at any time could be arrested and sentenced or murdered for basically nothing. Here’s one haunting story from his book :
A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on—six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.
That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”
What haunting words! “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!” Arrested simply for being the first to stop applauding. What insanity!
Yet, in that story, I see a reflection of America in 2015. We now find ourselves in an increasingly oppressive situation being foisted upon us by the sexual radicals in our midst. No one can deny that the homosexual movement in America has been gaining power. They have organized and fought very hard to bring about social tolerance for the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning lifestyle. They have been very successful.
However, it’s becoming clear that tolerance is not their end game. The sexual radicals, it seems, will not stop until society celebrates their lifestyle. Toleration is not enough. We must say, they seem to be telling us, that what they are doing is good and righteous. We must smile approvingly and march with them because those who are not with them are against them. We must stand and clap for the LGBTQ community and never stop. Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding the LGBTQ community!
Case in point is the recent termination of Altanta’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. This exemplary African American man had served the fire department with honor for nearly four decades. Being a firefighter had been his dream since the age of 5, and he had worked his way up the ranks until he was hired as the Fire Chief of Atlanta in 2008. He served there until 2009 when he joined President Obama’s office as U.S. Fire Administrator. He did a fine job in that post as well, but in 2010, he returned to Atlanta where he was unanimously given his fire chief job back.
Everything was great until the homosexual movement got wind in 2014 that Chief Cochran had dared to state in a book he had written that homosexuality is immoral. The entire book wasn’t against homosexuality. Not even a full page out the 160-page book covered the topic of homosexuality. In fact, his references to homosexuality might cover a half page. But, it was way more than enough to put the Homosexual NKVD into action.
What exactly did he say? In one spot, Cochram stated, “Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.” In another section, he wrote, “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God.” Cochran didn’t refuse to put out a fire at a homosexual’s home. He didn’t terminate a gay fireman because of his gayness. He didn’t stand in a staff meeting and berate the lesbians in Atlanta. In fact, the mayor’s investigation found no evidence of discrimination from Cochran toward any member of the LGBTQ community or an LGBTQ member of Atlanta Fire and Rescue. He, in essence, merely stopped clapping for them.
And the Homosexual NKVD were watching. They always do, especially over public officials. They quickly sprung into action, demanding that the chief be terminated. Nothing else would satisfy them. They demand tolerance for themselves but refuse to extend it to anybody else. Anything less than celebration and approval must be punished. They mayor promptly put the chief on a 30-day suspension WITHOUT pay and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. I’m sure the mayor would have preferred a gulag, but the budget is just too tight here lately for that sort of facility. A reeducation class would have to suffice. At the end of those 30 days when Cochran was supposed to return to work, the mayor announced the chief’s termination. According to the mayor, to simply believe that somebody is acting immorally is to discriminate against them. The Ministry of the New Morality has spoken.
The revolution is almost complete. If you know what’s good for you, comrade, you’ll keep on clapping. Don’t ever be the first to stop! Welcome to the new homosexual totalitarianism!
Yes. In writing the above you’ve connected our survival responses to our conscious thinking. Something few of us do. In the Mayor’s statement reprinted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution he said no firemen were found who agreed with Cochran. None. Not one. Yet Georgia’s pro-family marriage amendment passed by 76 percent. Some fire fighters had earlier dared to post a photo of themselves at Chick Fil-a, after the company said they thought it was a mistake to normalize gay-sex relationships. (They were disciplined pretty severely) Yet, in the Mayor’s statement not a single fire fighter agreed with Cochran. Michelle Nunn, reluctantly pro-LGBT Senate candidate from Georgia started campaigning from Chick Fil-a parking lots when it was clear that she, like 8 other pro-LGBT senate candidates was about to lose the election to a candidate that openly stated they supported the traditional definition of family. Message heard but it was too late. Yet Mayor Reed says not a single fire fighter agrees with Cochran.
For me the scariest part of this is that the conversion of America was achieved by the TV networks simply by normalizing gay-sex relationships in show scripts. You will occasionally hear journalists celebrate this fact, but as a citizen, who values free speech, not free journalism, I am concerned by this. We elect the people who establish our laws, but we don’t elect the people who establish our cultural norms by pouring more than 30 hours of thoughts and feelings our thought world each week over television. The people we elect to make our laws are more afraid of the TV people than they are of us and you can see why.
The networks also had a strong hand in the legalization of marijuana, which, until then had been declining in use. In this case they got some help from the libertarians, but the power of the TV producers, living near and working in Times Square should concern us. What will be next? The norms of that area are very different from the rest of the country, yet they have the power. Obviously the founding fathers never foresaw this and the only way around it would be to pass a law or amendment to the constitution allowing local stations to pick the individual shows they wanted to broadcast — from any source — and allow the people the right to veto, by representative government, any thing that violated the community standards of decency.
Excellent story and excellent parallel. Sodomy is an abomination, so is the same sex marriage. Abortion is murder. Edward Gibbon describes the fall of Rome with these examples being part of the causes for the decline of Rome. Many have already said this same thing, and yet it continues. Pray for revival. Perhaps some plague will stop the decay and awaken the masses. Perhaps a war with millions dead will do it, who knows, but the fact is, repentance is required for our survival as a nation.