Never a Patriot, but an Anti-Communist Born & Bred
I come from a devout Roman Catholic family called the Corning family. Unlike many of the families of today, both of my parents were virgins until marriage. Like most pious Roman Catholics, I was never really raised to be either patriotic or nationalistic, but was told to look to God, the Pope, and the Church for guidance and leadership. Although there are more than a few Roman Catholic families with roots and traditions within the U.S. military, my family was not one of them. I was taught from a very early age that America was a Protestant, not a Catholic nation, with a mainly Protestant establishment that ruled the country. I was also taught that, on my mother’s side of the family, which was purely Slavic and Eastern European, my ancestors had fled the Soviet Union due to religious persecution by the Communists back in the 1920s and 1930s. I was an articulate, informed anti-Communist from Kindergarten in 1975 to the day the USSR collapsed and the Berlin Wall fell to freedom and democracy in the early 1990s.
It is the unlearned who bring misfortune on the world.
- Babylonian Talmud, Nezikin II, Baba Bathra 8a
From the cradle, my mother and her family taught me that the Communists were anti-Christian zealots who were bent on destroying Christianity and the Americans were our allies in the struggle to free Eastern Europe from Communist dictatorship and oppression. In my young mind, I was still a Czarist Imperialist who dreamed of the day when the Romanovs, or at least some royal survivors of the Bolshevik revolution, would take back their country and restore the great Russian Empire to its former glory. I was quite disappointed when Mother Russia decided to become a liberal democracy, rather than a kingdom. Given the fact I wasn’t even truly Russian, but Ukrainian instead, my Slavic pride was a bit overdone. Nevertheless, my grandfather Chester’s middle name was Nicholas in memory of Czar Nicholas II and his martyrdom. My own middle name Nicholas was given for the same reason.
The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.
- Joseph A. Schumpeter
To stereotype my background, I was a Roman Catholic with Eastern European roots that looked to the Church and not to the White House for marching orders. For me, the temporary alliance with Protestant America was simply to destroy Communism and not to defend the United States in any manner. I was never brought up to be a patriotic American. I was brought up to be an anti-Communist Christian at war with the Soviet Union and what it stood for. That is how I was raised by my family, the Corning family.
Now that the Cold War is over, I feel very little love for this country. In fact, I have every reason to hate this nation-state and would prefer to move overseas and never return. I am a Roman Catholic who has no guilt over the fact that my gratitude towards the United States has withered away and died. I now look to Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican City, rather than the U.S. federal government or its affiliates. That is unlikely to change anytime soon. After the destruction of the Soviet Communist regime, I was very pleased that we had defeated the Communists, not necessarily the Russians, and set their country free.