Jim Caviezel tries to arm Christians for the coming battles in America
When Hollywood actors open their mouths, we're used to hearing overwrought, vapid attacks on conservatives and, especially, against Donald Trump. Whether it's Rob Reiner, Cher, Barbra Streisand, or all those actors who make public service videos in which they look earnest and promise to do or believe whatever the latest leftist orthodoxy demands, Hollywood types almost invariably debase public discourse. There are exceptions, such as James Woods and Patricia Heaton. And this week, Jim Caviezel is the Hollywood actor who showed philosophical depth about the war of values being waged in America.
Caviezel, an open Christian who starred in The Passion of the Christ, is making the press rounds because his newest movie, Infidel, is finally getting its theatrical opening. Caviezel plays an American man whom the Iranians kidnap from Cairo, and then try on fake spying charges. His wife, a State Department official, cannot get the U.S. government to help recover him, so she travels to the Middle East to look for him. The film's focus is on a Christian underground inside Iran.
On Sunday, Caviezel appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss the movie. Caviezel is a serious person, so he discussed the movie as a testament to his faith, one in which he tried to reflect Paul's letter to the Romans when Paul said he would soon die. Caviezel explained that part of being a Christian is a willingness to accept that it may be painful to be true to one's faith.
Pete Hegseth then asked Caviezel about his fascination with Ronald Reagan's famous (and still remarkably relevant) speech from October 27, 1964, now known as the "A Time for Choosing" speech. I highly recommend it if you're not already familiar with it. It also helps to watch it because Caviezel frequently quotes from it as he reminds Christians that they have a battle they must wage today.
The moment Hegseth voiced his question about Reagan's speech, Caviezel instantly launched into an impassioned two-minute-long statement about the fact that Reagan was right: the enemy is not war versus peace. It is, instead, fight versus surrender. Too many Christians are unwilling to step up and defend their values. We do not have to worry about war if our first instinct is pre-emptive surrender. Although Caviezel is speaking to Christians, he could equally well be speaking to conservatives.
I'm a very cowardly person, but I have to say that I felt all fired up after listening to Caviezel talk about standing up for one's principles, rather than constantly hoping appeasement will work. Caviezel's statement, which seamlessly interweaves Reagan's words with Caviezel's own, begins at 53:39 in the video:
He said, now, let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war. But there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace, and you can have it in the next second: Surrender. Admittedly there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement.
And this is a specter our well-meaning Christian liberal friends, our priests, bishops, and pastors refuse to face, that their policy of accommodation is appeasement. And it gives us no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender.
If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually, we will have to face the final demand, the final ultimatum -- and what then? When Satan has told the people of this world, he knows what our answer is going to be. He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of his Cold War. And someday, when the time is right to deliver his final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary.
Because, you see, by then we will have been so weakened from within – spiritually, morally, economically -- he believes us because, from our side, he's heard voices pleading for peace at any price, or "better red than dead," or, as one commentator put it, "he'd rather live on his knees than die in his feet."
And therein lies the road to war because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know it, and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin?
Just in the face of this enemy, or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge refuse to fire the shot heard around the world?
The martyrs of history were not fools, and our beloved dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis did not die in vain. Where, then, lies the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer, after all, that you and I have the courage to tell our enemies. There is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which evil must not advance. In the words of Reagan, evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.
Image: Jim Caviezel retells Reagan's "A Time for Choosing." Rumble screen grab.