The American Century has been a disaster for Americans.rnWe lost our repuWic, local self-government, community stability,rnand hundreds of thousands of our sons and brothers and fathers.rnBut we are not vanquished. Not yet. A popular pin fromrnthe 1900 presidential campaign of William Jennings Bryanrnread, “No Foreign Alliance, No Trusts, No Imperialism ForrnU.S.” A century later, the pin still fits.rn(MsdbcKsrnThe American (Not Christian) Centuryrnby Harold O.J. BrownrnIn the late 1980’s, I predicted that by the end of the century,rnwhich is also the end of the millennium, “The Soviet Union,rnor perhaps by that time, Russia, would be Christian, and thernUnited States would be pagan.” The first, hesitant part of thatrnprophecy, Russia, has already been fulfilled. And while Russiarnhas not been transmuted into a Christian nation, Christianity,rnespecially but not only Russian Orthodoxy, already enjoys a statusrnin Russia that is increasingly denied it in the United States.rnIn the United States, the situation seems to be reversed. Atrnthe beginning of the 20th centur\ Russian Orthodox Christianityrnwas the established religion in Russia; in the UnitedrnStates, there was no “establishment of religion,” but the threernmajor faiths, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism,rnall flourished. Then came the Bolsheik Revolution in Russia,rnwhich officially proclaimed its atheism, expropriated thernchurches, and persecuted clerg)’ and believers alike with varyingrndegrees of severity. But the Russian churches survived. Orthodoxy,rnalthough weakened, persisted, and the registered andrnunregistered Protestant fellowships grew and flourished—if onerncan use that word for the situation of believers in an atheistic society.rnThe situation of the churches in early 20th-centuryrnAmerica was officially different, but if anything stronger in realit)’.rnNo church was officially established, but all were held inrnreverence and enjoyed the benign attention of government andrnthe courts, up to and including the Supreme Court.rnAmerica, unlike Russia, suffered no revolution, and the nationrnemerged not only victorious but triumphant, immenselyrnstrengthened and relatively undamaged, from two world wars,rnand perhaps fatally tempted to the sort of spiritual pride thatrnHarold O.J. Brown is religion editor for Chronicles and arnprofessor of theology and philosophy at Reformed TheologicalrnSeminary in Charlotte, ‘North Carolina.rngoes before a fall. Russia was savagely wounded by WorldrnWar I, revolution, and civil war, not to mention the organizedrnoppression of a totalitarian system. World War II carried firernand sword to the very borders of Moscow and cost the SovietrnUnion 20 million lives.rnYet at the end of the century, Christianity in Russia is showingrnsigns of vitality; by no means dominant, it is nonetheless farrnfrom dead. At the end of what has been called “The AmericanrnCentury,” Christianit)’ in the United States, once culturally andrnmorally dominant, is rapidly being reduced to the level of arnbarely tolerated eccentricity. G.K. Chesterton once called thernUnited States a nation with the soul of a church. As the AmericanrnCentim- reaches its end, the United States may be losing,rnor ma}’ already have lost, that soul.rnDuring a visit to Russia, Professor Ed Tiryakian of Duke Universityrncommented on what he called “the occult persecution ofrnChristianity at every level in the United States,” including therncourts, the legislatures, the universities, and the media. CommunistrnRussia, like the pagan Roman Empire, tried varying degreesrnof force to stamp out religion; it did not succeed. That wasrnovert persecution. The persecution in the United States is occultrn—that is, not officially declared and not acknowledged asrnsuch —but it is pervasive and omnipresent. Not merely publicrnprayers, but every vestige of Christianit)’ (as well as of other, lessrnnumerous religious groups) is driven from public view. Thernpublic expression of Christian conviction is coming to be regardedrnas only slightly less obnoxious, if that, than cigaretternsmoking.rnIn America’s schools, the Ten Commandments have beenrnpulled down from the walls, lest any student find himself “isolated.”rnAnd in the halls, students shoot classmates and teachers,rnand some find themselves dead. Bonne fin de siecle, America!rnC/GJbcKSrnThe “Suffering Love” of Patriotsrnby Wayne AllensworthrnT he Russian writer Valentin Rasputin, himself no lackey ofrnthe Soviet regime, once attacked Aleksandr SolzhenitsynrnWayne Allensworth, who writes from Purcellville, Virginia, is thernauthor of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization,rnand Post-Communist Russia (Rowman & Littlefield).rnfor having crossed the line where “war against communism becamernwar against. . . Russia.” In Rasputin’s eyes, the propheticrnexile had stained Russia’s reputation — not merely that of therncommunist regime—in his relentless assaults on Soviet power.rnThe line can be a very thin one. At the end of “The AmericanrnCcnturv,” I finallv understand how Soviet-era Russian dissi-rn14/CHROiNlCLESrnrnrn