In that same speech, Reagan also cited the onetime communist and religious convert Whittaker Chambers, who, Reagan said, "wrote that the crisis of the Western World exists to the degree in which the West is indifferent to God, the degree to which it collaborates in communism's attempt to make man stand alone without God. And then he said, for Marxism-Leninism is actually the second oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation, 'Ye shall be as gods.'
"The Western world can answer this challenge, (Chambers) wrote," said Reagan, "'but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as communism's faith in Man.'"
Reagan's vision was not only true, it was profoundly optimistic: Our faith beats their materialism.
Obama would never say the words Reagan said. Instead, he told the crowd at a San Francisco fund-raiser that it did not surprise him that bitter people in small towns in Pennsylvania "cling" to religion "as a way to explain their frustrations." Obama, these remarks suggest, does not embrace the religious vision that won the Cold War, but the anti-religious vision that the Cold War defeated.