My political and social world was shaped by my conservative birth family, but when I turned nineteen, I became --miraculously it seems -- an expert on all things political and religious, bravely and regularly informing my parents of their benighted understanding of our world. I became a real-life protester and then, for a long time, lived comfortably in a social justice world, but in 1998 I encountered the first real challenges to my worldview. It began with my first trip to Ukraine where the ruined remains of Soviet occupation jolted and unsettled me. A few years later, when I helped record the stories of Reformed Hungarian men and women who had survived Communist tyranny, it was impossible to quiet the persistent, nagging questions.
The stories themselves are worthy of retelling, but seeing the ruins left in the wake of Communism, left me deeply troubled. For a long time, I looked for answers to questions like: How and why did Communism take root in Russia and spread, some say, like a malignancy to much of East Central Europe? Why was the West willing to take on National Socialism but unwilling to stop Soviet expansion? For a number of years, I got bogged down trying to find a way to combine the interviews transcripts with the historical background and my uneasy reactions. It was impossible! I have come to realize that the stories of faith and courage can and should stand alone, and I still plan to make them available. But I have also decided to make my personal journey (pardon the cliché) available in a blog. The next few entries will be largely autobiographical. The first few describe living Right, the second, Leaning Left, and the following entries will describe the journey beyond left and right.