Speaking the Truth to Jumped up Gangsters and Political Thugs
Maybe you saw it…I hope you did! And if you didn’t…go watch it now! It’s a short video of the nightly newscast on the Russian state-run news station simply called Chanel One.
First, let me just say that Chanel One, the Russian national TV station, is a station committed to the opposite of truth. Indeed, it is working for what I would call “the big Lie”: a lie that is now sponsoring the slaughter of innocent people in the Ukraine.
But on March 14th, the nightly news on Channel One was interrupted by one of their editors, Marina Ovsyannikova, bravely holding up a sign behind the news anchor that read “No War” and repeating these words over and over again: “You are being lied to”. As the whole world looked on, Marina bravely told the truth about a propaganda machine that continues to fuel the war crimes and atrocities in the Ukraine. And I, for one, was shouting “AMEN!”
What a beautiful moment. If you are looking for the Sacred at work amid this war, Marina Ovsyannikova is that moment! And my hope and prayer is that Ovsyannikova’s act of bravery will inspire more and more people in Russia and in the world to seek the truth and begin to stand up to the evil forces of people and regimes like that of Vladimir Putin.
As I watched this moment over and over on my computer, I was reminded of how powerful one voice can be, and how important it is for us to stand up to “the big lie” in whatever forms it presents itself! Too often we give in to a silent fear and cower away instead of standing up. And every time that silent fear wins, our world shrinks in its potential for good.
Listen to what Marina Ovsyannikova shared later that this wasn’t just decided in one moment. It had been “brewing” for a while. "I have been feeling a cognitive dissonance, more and more, between my beliefs and what we say on air," Ovsyannikova said. "It was a brewing sense of dissatisfaction that kept increasing every year. And the war was the point of no return when it was simply impossible to stay silent," she continued. "And I realized we would have to do something, or we will reach a point of no return, and it will be more and more difficult to do anything."
This moment, for me, has made me rethink my own voice. How often do I rise and speak the truth in the name of the Prince of Peace, and when do I choose, instead, to shrink into fearful silence? Because of this I have decided to start collecting my own “great moments” in history and film. Those moments when people like Marina have made the decision to stand up for the truth. Every day, I have decided to watch one of these clips, or read one of these stories, so that I will be encouraged to do the same.
One such moment came to me while Cyndy and I were watching the movie “Belfast”. This movie, nominated for an Oscar this year, is about a little boy growing up in Belfast in 1969. During this time there was a movement in Belfast by the Protestant leaders to remove any Catholic from their neighborhoods. During this time Protestant families were violently coerced to give money to these “thugs” working under the guise of religion. At one moment, Buddy’s father is confronted by one of these “religious thugs” in the movie. The religious thug’s name is Billy Clanton. Here’s the scene:
Billy Clanton: Do you know the problem with men like you? You think you’re better than the rest of us.
Buddy’s Dad: And the problem with men like you is you know you’re not.
Billy Clanton: We’ll keep it simple. You’re with us or you’re against us. Clock’s ticking.
Buddy’s Dad: You’re a soft touch.
Billy Clanton: Time for real Protestants to step up!
Buddy’s Dad: Ach, you’re no real Protestant. You’re a jumped-up gangster and always were.
What are some of the inspirational moments that help you rise and stand up for truth? Share them with me and maybe we can make a list together!?
Your pastor and friend, looking for the Sacred inspiration to stand, Brook
PS: The movie "Belfast" has an amazing soundtrack with so many cool songs from an artist who grew up in Belfast: Van Morrison. Here's a link to the soundtrack: https://youtu.be/0gZFHx1JrDc