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“WE ARE LEGION, FOR WE ARE MANY” IS COMING THIS FALL… Therefore, Let Us Reconsider The Wisdom Of Ronald Reagan, Religion, And The Evil Empire

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This article is part of a series on the 40th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s famous “Evil Empire” speech which includes essays by Nina Shea, Paul Kengor, Robert Rowland, and Elizabeth Edwards Spalding. Historian Paul Johnson once observed that one of the most important qualities of a statesman is the capacity to make moral distinctions in the realm of geopolitics. Probably no president over the last century enlisted this quality to greater effect than Ronald Reagan. Indeed, Reagan’s ability to discern the nature of the existential crisis of his day—the ideological war between democratic freedom and communist tyranny—undoubtedly hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one,” Reagan told a gathering of evangelicals on March 8, 1983. “At root it is a test of moral will and faith.” It was this conviction that lay at the heart of Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech, delivered forty years ago. It is hard to think of another world leader who could combine, convincingly, the themes of spiritual salvation, the reality of evil, and the nature of the totalitarian state: “Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness–pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world… (READ MORE)

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