“If Churchill were on Twitter today, he would be shouting against this deal with Iran and saying that this is the second most unwise thing we have ever done, the first being allowing Hitler to rise,” Sir Winston Churchill’s great-grandson Jonathan Sandys tells The Daily Caller. “And he would be warning the world to sit up and wake up.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action adopted by the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, the Russian Federation, and Germany with the Islamic Republic of Iran gives the sworn enemy of Israel the privilege of doing business with the U.S. provided they promise to tame their nuclear program. Implementation begins in early 2016.
We can learn a thing or two from Prime Minister Churchill about contending with manipulative powers bent on global subjugation. A flesh and blood legacy of the World War II champion whom he knows as Great-Grandpapa, Sandys is committed to informing the world of the most vital and yet mostly omitted part of Churchill’s life: his faith.
There is ample documentation that Churchill’s convictions stemmed from belief in Jesus Christ and the revealed Word, belief instilled in him by his devoted nanny Elizabeth Everest and strengthened as he overcame secular fallacies and near death experiences in his youth. But Churchill’s Christianity is usually ignored, perhaps because he doesn’t fit neatly into a denominational box, and, as Sandys suggests, because some “don’t want to consider the possibility” that Churchill was “a man of faith.” Traditional caricatures of the half-American, war-correspondent-turned-statesman haven’t helped.
“It’s a misnomer that he was a heavy drinker,” says Sandys, who often encounters skepticism of Churchill’s Christianity on simply that point. “But even Jesus drank.”
Furthermore, there is a difference between a religious leader and a political leader who is a Christian. “We’re talking about a man who led Great Britain as the Prime Minister, not the Archbishop of Canterbury or indeed the Pope,” says Sandys. “That wasn’t his calling. He wasn’t called to bring people to God, he was called to lead a country – in fact lead a world – to safety and freedom.”
Along with co-author Wallace Henley, a White House aide during the Nixon administration, Sandys has contributed some timely, well-sourced scholarship to conversation about Churchill in their new book “God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Destiny Changed His Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours.”
Hoping for that sense of destiny in American politics, radio host Michael Savage declared presidential candidate Donald Trump to be “the Winston Churchill of our time.” Sandys doesn’t know if that’s an accurate assessment, but hopes Americans will choose their next president “knowing the characteristics of my great-grandfather, and applying them to the people’s requirements of a leader. We need a leader today who leads with courage, faith, and integrity, just as Great-Grandpapa did.”
Like some descendants of another formidable British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Sandys and his family live in Texas. “I do think there are a lot of Brits that have moved over here, possibly because of the weather. The weather in England is typically bad,” laughs Sandys, who is a grandson of Churchill’s eldest daughter, Diana. Sandys says he first visited and fell in love with America in the latter part of the 1980s.
“I was captivated by the people and by the culture, and the kindness and generosity of those that I met, and I was actually in Florida at the time. I determined I wanted to come back, and I didn’t return to this country until the 2000s, and then it just reconfirmed to me everything that I had discovered in the 80s.”
Three decades after Sandys’ first U.S. encounter, 16 trillion more dollars in national debt, and multiple warfronts against terrorism later, the Obama administration is downsizing defense and trusting a volatile Iran to make and keep reasonable agreements. Does that sound like naive pre-World War II Britain disarming and trusting negotiations with Adolf Hitler?
“Yes,” says Sandys. “We are in 1938 again…because once you tell Iran that they can have ten nuclear bombs, you can’t stop them from building a hundred.”
“It’s like when Chamberlain told Hitler, ‘You can take the rest of the Rhinelands back and yes, you can have part of Czechoslovakia…Well, Hitler took the whole lot, and that forced us into making the agreement with Poland, that if anyone invades Poland then we’re standing by them. So that ended up leading to the situation that then caused the Second World War,” he continued.
“This is the situation in Iran, and especially with ISIS around,” says Sandys, “you do not give this type of technology or allow this type of technology to fall into the hands of fanatics who have no value on human life, and have made it very clear that they are going to start World War III. Because anyone who hits Israel – immediately the response will be given by Europe, and by America. This is a trap, and we are walking into it eyes wide open.”
Born ten years after Churchill’s death, Sandys is a reminder that we are not far removed from the generation that fought Hitler. Post-war, the mainstream of the Greatest Generation spared their children from dwelling on the causes and ends of war and civilization. But sheltering from the knowledge of demons excludes angels too, and in holding to a form of godliness yet denying its power, the resulting society obscured why it’s necessary to preserve Judeo-Christian principles. There arose a generation that did not know Churchill knew the Lord, and that didn’t think such matters affected their lives, according to Sandys.
Thus, in the writer’s opinion, we come full circle to misplaced trust in government dependency, and naiveté in foreign affairs. Like King Amaziah of Judah (II Chronicles 25:15), America is falling for the same false gods of regimes she helped defeat — idols hungry for the sacrifice of life, liberty, and faith for the expansion of the state.
“The difference between Great-Grandpapa and Hitler was Hitler pointed the hope of the people towards himself,” Sandys explains. “He had the audacity to equal himself with Jesus. What he once said to Martin Bormann was ‘What Jesus was unable to finish, I, Adolf Hitler will complete.’”
For the youth, Hitler’s regime spoofed the Lord’s prayer to deify the Führer, declaring “thy Third Reich comes, thy will alone is law upon earth.”
“Great-Grandpapa never did that,” says Sandys. “He clearly pointed the hope of the people towards God.” At the age of sixteen, Churchill shared with a friend his premonitions of London being under attack and himself being assigned to defend it. But Churchill’s hope was not in himself, because he acknowledged the higher power of God to whom he was accountable.
Churchill recognized the limitations of human nature even in his daily routine, understanding the importance of rest. During the war, Churchill worked from his bed until around eleven o’clock in the morning, and took a rest in the afternoon so that he could stay up through the night into the early hours of the morning. “It was vital,” says Sandys. “It was wonderful to know that there was a leader awake, while everyone else was asleep.”
Churchill was awake in more ways than one. Sandys hopes that learning about Churchill’s worldview will be revelatory for the world today — a world reeling in light of ISIS waging war in the streets of Paris.
“I’m hoping that this book is going to give people a perspective on my great grandfather that is basically going to bring some sort of a spiritual awakening,” says Sandys. “If God intervened in Great-Grandpapa’s life, then it is entirely possible that He is intervening in our own individual lives today and He is intervening in the world.
“It’s obvious that He intervened in Great-Grandpapa’s life, it’s obvious that God intervened in World War II…if that is the case based on the evidence that we have presented, is it too much of a stretch to ask people to believe that God is working today, and that God will raise up a leader to help us and to protect us?”