A few days ago I offered a useful analogy for abortion from Israel Hernandez, the founder and head of the Freedom and Virtue Institute. He moved from being a hard socialist to a Christian and political conservative, a movement he describes in a Front Page interview.
This movement included a close but difficult relationship with his father, for whom socialism was an almost all-consuming religion.
In his universe, nothing was supposed to interfere with a revolutionary’s commitment to the cause, nothing. This explains why my father grew so detached from his children and wife, as if coming too close to us was adulterous. I can still see him now, standing with pumped chest and eyes wide open while mother sat at the table and contended with him:
“Revolution is my life. You see these children, [pointing toward us] if I could offer their lives right now for independence and revolution, I would do it without hesitation!” He yelled at mom.
I can remember mom crying while we tried to console her.
But that isn’t the end of the story. “He died a communist,” Hernandez writes, but when he buried his father, he silently sang the revolutionary songs they had sung together in tribute.
Failing health and the nearness of finality notwithstanding, his closing days were met by a measure of God’s love. Absolute coalescence between his politics and faith was never achieved, but I know that God likes fighters on his side. Although his revolutionary utopian plan remained unrealized, he fought the good fight. Where there is no passion for truth, there can be no yielding before its throne. Therefore, by the end, the communist warrior prayed daily and with devotion and received communion. I have no doubt that in the heavenly abode, the full truth now finally discovered, he is still gathering the angels around to do more than just sing.
Looking back to my father’s journey, I feel a sense of contented thankfulness for the mercy of God upon me in revealing through my father that life is nothing but a meaningless eventual vanishing if truth, as the key to open the mysteries of existence, is not passionately pursued. It is true, the air of freedom now filling the lungs of my soul killed the fantasies of socialism within me but dad’s committed life taught me how to retrieve and wave a new flag, the flag of freedom. And now, I am convinced, he still looks on in contented approval.
The Institute’s work he describes this way:
Our mission is to learn about and live freedom in the minority community. The task of bringing the truths of freedom to minorities is one that must be effected by people who are already invested in the lives of our people. Major conservative institutes often remain foreign to the real lives of real people in minority communities, thus the ideas of freedom are associated with elites telling people what to do and how to live.
We believe in the creation of a movement of community organizers for freedom who while offering intellectually rewarding opportunities also operate from within communities. Decades after the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement there are still walls of silence, oppression and division erected in minority communities by governments, organizations and leaders invested in a government-centered vision for minority America. Such vision limits our civic engagement and prevents individuals from their right to life, liberty and property. A soft socialism threatens to suffocate our liberty and development and channels our aspirations of prosperity through narrow collectivist alternatives. We intend to change this.