Cross In The Sand: John McCain Caught Lying in Church?

It appears John McCain’s very touching story about one of his captors in Vietnam showing him kindness and drawing a cross in the sand might actually be borrowed.

It is very similar to this story about Alexander Solzhenitsyn from his times in the Soviet Gulags.

Along with other prisoners, he worked in the fields day after day, in rain and sun, during summer and winter. His life appeared to be nothing more than backbreaking labor and slow starvation. The intense suffering reduced him to a state of despair.

On one particular day, the hopelessness of his situation became too much for him. He saw no reason to continue his struggle, no reason to keep on living. His life made no difference in the world. So he gave up.

Leaving his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to other prisoners.

As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.

As Solzhenitsyn stared at the Cross drawn in the dirt his entire perspective changed. He knew he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire. Yet he knew there was something greater than the evil he saw in the prison camp, something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that hope for all people was represented by that simple Cross. Through the power of the Cross, anything was possible.

Solzhenitsyn slowly rose to his feet, picked up his shovel, and went back to work. Outwardly, nothing had changed. Inside, he had received hope.

[From Luke Veronis, “The Sign of the Cross”; Communion, issue 8, Pascha 1997.]

Excerpted from “The Gulag Archipelago” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, which was released in the US in 1973.

It’s quite possible for them both to have had a similar experience while being held as prisoners, but the fact that John McCain seems to be bit of a Solzhenitsyn buff, recently writing this piece on him for the New York Sun, makes it very suspicious. After all this would not be his first time getting caught lying about his POW experience.


The Jed Report just put out this video pointing to some of John Mccain’s other lies:


Watch The Young Turks dig a little bit deeper into this story:


17 Responses to “Cross In The Sand: John McCain Caught Lying in Church?”

  1. luvangelHussein330 Says:

    Your a man after my own heart. I was so hoping soeone was going to do a video. I’m not well versed in that area just yet :0) but thanks for all the hard work on it!!

  2. Mccain wrote an article in the August 4, 2008 New York Sun called “solzhenitsyn at Work”

  3. writechicpress Says:

    Hi, I just wanted to stop by and thank you for “Keeping ’em Honest” outlook. I first read Solzhenitsyn in college and fell in love. This bit:

    “It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”

    remains with me always.

  4. Maybe McCain’s prison guard was a Solzhenitsyn fan. 🙂

  5. That’s one hell of a coincidence.

  6. […] heartwarming “cross in the dirt” story from Sunday’s Saddleback Forum was stolen in toto from Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag […]

  7. I sincerly hope it wasn’t borrowed, but that is a bit close…

  8. Jane Bolig Says:

    I don’t care where McCain got his story. I care that such pandering drivel can generate anything more than horse laughs and disgust. The religious right seemed to be a sleeping beast until the candidates and media prodded it awake. I’m so sick of the Republicans and Democrats that this will be the first presidential election I vote for Nader.

  9. Hey! McCain ONLY tells the truth. And now we have a photo of him in the “cone of silence” to prove it:

  10. Diatribical Idiot Says:

    It’s really not that huge a coincidence. I won’t buy everything McCain says about policy, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the guy who spent years getting tortured – something none of us know beans about. If you want to call it a lie, rely on proof and not conjecture.

    I, for one, find it hardly unbelievable that fellow Christians under similar circumstances would find a similar and subtle way of expressing their faith under such circumstances.

  11. doubletalkexpress Says:

    Diatribical Idiot,
    Isn’t it strange that McCain said “He will never forget that moment” yet never mentioned this story until campaigning in 1999….not even including it in his pretty extensive written account of his experience as a POW?

    I don’t think John McCain intentionally lied at Saddleback Church. I just think in his old age, after telling the story so much, he made it his own memory.

    Watch The Young Turks Take on this and see what you think. I just posted it.

    Obviously this is not a huge issue, just one more thing to add to the list of McCain’s character flaws. The maverick is a thing of the past.

  12. Jeri Jones Says:

    I think it interesting that in John McCain’s Christmas ad the “cross in the sand” is drawn with a stick which is much closer to the Solzhenitsen version than the sandal version McCain offered up at the Rick Warren event. Perhaps he thought he should tweak the story a little just in case someone actually read Gulag Archipelago and remembered the story. How sly – A sandal instead of a stick – no WAY anyone will make the connection! So folks, learn the lesson. John McCain is a liar and he thinks we are fools.

  13. Diatribical Idiot Says:

    All I’m saying is that it’s all conjecture. I’m not a huge McCain fan, but sheesh… Calling him a liar on this point is useless, unprovable, and quite honestly, a waste of time.

    But this all cuts both ways. Every piece of evidence you have that shows a McCain character flaw can be easily answered by an Obama character flaw.

    But go ahead and trumpet this. I guarantee that trying to make an issue out of this would more likely rally support to McCain than make people question him about it, even if you’re 100% correct. Logic dicatates that some things just ain’t worth pursuing in the quest to make someone look bad. You can make more headway in a number of other areas and continue to pursue the noble goal of finding every little character flaw of somebody so that other noble people can then answer with flaws of Obama and the world will truly be a better place.

  14. doubletalkexpress Says:

    No, I agree. Like I said I don’t think this is a huge issue. Of course I would have to argue that McCain’s character flaws are much worse than Obama’s…not that I want to get into that back and forth here. Anyway thanks for the comment.

  15. Jackie Chestnut Says:

    Just like Nixon “But it’s O.K. when a Republican (president) does it”

  16. Sheila Clevenger Says:

    That’s really nice..but when Nixon did it they were the Democrats of our day in their beliefs..Are they right? Of course not..Neither of them. I agree that that many Christians probably heard and shared that story and probably enacted it in different ways with a positive intent behind it..Why do you always have to put someone down.. You never told a lie? Just did if you said no..

  17. Gees, just shows how many readers have actually read the gulag. It is not in there, dare you find it. Not in someone’s post, in the books. This was an anecdote and the person that wrote it was asked where he got it from and he initially said the gulag, then he corrected himself and said no, he doesn’t remember.

    In reality the closest thing you can find is a private discussion that Billy Graham had with A.S. and graham relayed some of his discussions, but it was never documented, as Mr. Graham’s private discussions were never recorded or documented to preserve the privacy he as a Reverand offers to people.

    FR.Luke got his anecdote scrap from Graham in passing. So what if McCain likes A.S. they shared a lot of experiences.

    As to plagiarism: Mr. Obama has lifted the words of Bono and more recently the words of one of his VP hopefuls while at church… as the question was “above his pay grade”.

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