Western liberals who believe God must be expelled from public life and law in the cause of preserving liberty should examine how a protestant American president and Polish pope explained the final days of an Evil Empire.
Both Ronald Reagan and John Paul II said it was religious faith that triumphed over Soviet communism.
If there was one prophetic moment pointing to that triumph, it came on June 12, 1987. On that day, Reagan was in Berlin and John Paul II was in Gdansk, Poland. But their message was the same.
On his way to Berlin, Reagan stopped in Rome to meet with the pontiff. "Perhaps it's not too much to hope that true change will come to all countries that now deny or hinder the freedom to worship God," he told the pope. "And perhaps we'll see that change come through the re-emergence of faith, through the irresistible power of a religious renewal."
Six days later, Reagan uttered his famous challenge, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." But almost never quoted in the liberal press is the story Reagan told to conclude his speech in Berlin.
"Years ago," said Reagan, "before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure -- the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today, when the sun strikes that sphere -- that sphere that towers over all Berlin -- the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
"As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, the embodiment of German unity," said Reagan, "I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall -- perhaps by a young Berliner -- 'This wall will fall. Beliefs will become reality.' Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith."
That same day, the pope said Mass in Gdansk, hometown of the anti-communist Solidarity trade union. It was the climax of his third visit home to Poland.