There is a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Moscow called Christ the Savior, and I often share its story as a cautionary tale of socialism. I’m going to tell its story because I believe that recounting it can reveal some lessons about historical socialism, modern socialism, and Christianity. The story takes place in three sections: detonation, delay, and rebuilding.
Everyone knows that socialists and communists are famously atheistic: they are so scientific and rational that they don’t need religion, which no less a communist than Karl Marx said was, “an opiate to the masses.” So to help prove their point, the communists generally in the form of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Stalin particularly detonated the Cathedral in 1931 even though it took nearly 40 years to build. It was a nice building, which hosted the first performance of the 1812 overture, but it was standing in the way of progress, so it had to go. Allow me to make a couple of observations. First, as with most thing communist and socialist, it’s easy to destroy but hard to build and create, and leftists excel at the former. In this way, communists and socialists are like ISIS and Muslim terrorists who aren’t very good at creating and building but are magnificent at destroying.
The Soviets didn’t detonate the Cathedral without a plan though — oh no! It was detonated to make room for a colossal Palace of the Soviets to house the USSR’s legislature, the Supreme Soviet. Construction started in 1937 but there were some flooding problems from the nearby Moskva River. Then World War II started, and a few million people were killed, by Stalin and Hitler, so the Palace never got built. Instead Nikita Khrushchev turned the flooded foundation of the Palace of the Soviets that never got built into the world’s largest open aired pool — like I said, it’s easier to destroy than to create as any communist or terrorist can tell you. Instead,
Eventually the communists and soviets ran out of other people’s money, and the flag of the USSR was lowered for the last time on Christmas 1991. The good thing is that the Russians, after having lived through the horrors of communism, socialism, and totalitarianism, had a deep understanding of their cultural heritage that was lost, and so the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was rebuilt between 1995 and 2000, with much of the funding coming from ordinary citizens, the purported beneficiaries of communism and socialism.
As Christianity is attacked in the 21st century by all manner of globalists, socialists, and terrorists — though thankfully, blatant communists seem to be quite rare — it is instructive to reflect on the cautionary tale of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior because destroying is a lot easier than building, and only after destroying may one realize what has been lost.