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As The Cock Crew

Sen McCain, Solzhenitsyn and Compassion

First posted at The Minority Report

And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, “This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the man.” And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, “Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.” Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, “I know not the man.” And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, “Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:71-75)

Since the time of the Crucifixion, Christians have found it necessary to hide their true belief and faith for fear of the consequences. From the Apostle Peter to a young North Vietnamese guard, denial of faith was the path people chose to shield themselves from the wrath of higher authorities who would do them harm.To spare themselves imprisonment or death, Chinese Christians meet in secret. A prisoner in a Soviet Gulag, aware that to be a Christian could mean additional hardship and torture, makes his faith known to only a handful of trusted other prisoners.

A Christian North Vietnamese guard, a true dichotomy in a Godless society, makes his faith known in small humane ways — unable to communicate openly in any other way, except in a moment of shared belief.

It has been suggested by certain supporters of Sen Obama that the story of the humane guard, as told by Sen McCain, was nothing more than a plagiarized excerpt from a Solzhenitsyn novel. The two accounts, while similar, are not identical, and reflect a truth about Christianity and faith in God.

To those who choose to believe the worst of the Senator — who choose to believe that his account is nothing more than a plagiarism, I would ask these questions.

Was the huskiness that came into his voice as he related the incident — the upswelling of emotion that became apparent as he attempted to complete the account — plagiarized?

Were the tears that appeared at the corners of his eyes as he recalled that day and the moment shared with the Vietnamese guard, also plagiarized?

Was the moment he needed at the end of that account — the need to take a drink from his water glass to regain his composure — also plagiarized?

Or, are we to believe Sen McCain’s account of a moment shared between two people of faith in a time and place, now long past.

I choose to believe.

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