Shoup’s actions during Christmastime 1955 offer an un-planned, un-staged snapshot of a political system and world view strikingly different from that of Lenin, Stalin, and Xi—a system founded on the freedom to believe in God or Santa or not, to believe in the meaning of Christmas or not, to believe in Immanuel or not.
That is my hope for this Christmas: in the midst of indifference to a genocide, Jesus’ word speaks judgment, comfort, and rest. God is not indifferent, cold, or distant. He entered the world amidst bloodshed, and he sits sovereign over it now. So, the weary world rejoices.
In this special Dark Ops episode of the podcast, Mark Melton and Marc LiVecche discuss the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life and the short story that inspired it, “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. The film premiered in New York City 75 years ago on December 20, 1946.
In short, America—and good, decent people who live here—has allowed me to become who I am and gave me everything I have. I doubt my story would be possible in any other country, but even if it was, it happened here.
The common thread across these scenarios is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to keep victims under control and extract profit. This is the defining feature of human trafficking. Fortunately, these heartbreaking, uncivilized practices no longer go unnoticed.