A House Divided

by E. P. Unum

June 21, 2021

(emphasis added) 

Hat Tip: Rip McIntosh

           On June 16, 1858, in Springfield Illinois, some 163 years ago, and only 82 years after our Republic came into being, Abraham Lincoln spoke to over 1,000 delegates and eloquently addressed the hotly debated issue of slavery. In that speech, he uttered these famous words: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot permanently endure half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided”            And so it was, but not before we engaged in a great Civil War resulting in the loss of more American lives than the sum of all the other conflicts our nation has ever been involved in at any time in our 245-year history.            Today we are once again a House Divided. A great schism has been driven through our nation dividing us on deep political, moral, and religious issues that go to the heart of who we are as a people. For example, there are serious questions that strike at the core of our very foundation and the principles we stand for: Are we to remain the Constitutional Republic as envisioned by our Founding Fathers, or are we to become a socialist nation? 
Should our government be centralized with all decisions coming out of Washington D.C. or should we continue, as we have since the beginning of our Constitutional Republic, to be decentralized with States sharing responsibilities for governance? 
Should we rely on big or small government, each with their respective consequences of whether power should be vested in a central government that is all-encompassing or, in the alternative, continue with a decentralized system that has helped America become the greatest most prosperous nation in the history of the world; a nation based on the belief that government should be an extension of the will of the people with power vested in the consent of the governed? 
Should we be a nation that prides itself on the rule of law, or should we resort to the rule of the street?  The division today is also sadly and inexorably tied to pure hatred and vitriol directed at one man, President Donald Trump, whose only “sin” is that he is not a politician, not a lawyer, speaks in very blunt, direct, and sometimes crass terms, and does not come from the “elite class”. He is, instead, a successful businessman and CEO, and has an excellent command of economics, is a master negotiator, and knows how to lead and get things done. He also worked on our behalf for free, donating his entire salary as President, $1.6 million over four years, back to charities and government programs. Yet the vitriol continues to this day even after he has left office. For me, the most difficult aspect of our Divided House is seeing my countrymen so filled with anger and hatred that it cripples their ability to reason. I have been confused by the hostility of family and friends. I look at people I have known all my life so hate-filled that they agree with opinions they would never express as their own. I am puzzled by the sacrifice of journalistic ethics on the altar of financial and power expediency, and, at times, I think that I may well have entered the Twilight Zone. 
One can’t justify this insanity. Neither can one reason with people so entrenched in their beliefs that they are unable to even listen to alternative opinions and instead resort to name-calling and insults.
We have become a nation that has lost its collective mind! Consider the following sometimes offered as jokes but more often than not are sad doses of reality:
●  If a boy or man pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him. Boys can compete against girls in athletic events destroying every aspect of competition and fair play. The ‘playing field’ is no longer fair.
● Somehow it’s un-American for the Census to count how many Americans are in America.
●  Russians influencing our elections are bad, but illegals voting in our elections are good. Russians have always attempted to influence our elections. China now does it in plain sight, but, according to Joe Biden, China “are not bad folks”. Right.
●  It was cool for Joe Biden to “blackmail” the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquires about it.
●  Twenty is too young to drink a beer, but eighteen is old enough to vote.
● People who have never owned slaves should pay reparations to people who have never been slaves. I often wonder whether the descendants of some 360,000 Union soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War to free the slaves should not somehow be compensated by the generations who were freed? No one ever talks about that.
●  People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for their degrees in music history and essential oils and cannot find a job.
● Immigrants with diseases such as tuberculosis and the Chinese Virus are welcome, but, as citizens, you better be able to prove you have been vaccinated.
●  South African doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate to the US must go through a lengthy rigorous vetting process, but illiterate gang-bangers who jump the southern fence ( or walk through openings these days) are welcome. I am still trying to figure out how you can walk 2,000 miles from South America in a caravan of immigrants and reach our southern border overweight and with a cell phone.
● $5 billion for border security and a Wall is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care is not. Heck, the Obamacare website cost more than the Trump Border Wall and the Obamacare website didn’t work! Trump’s Wall did.
●  If you cheat to get into college you can go to prison, but if you cheat to get into our country you get to go to college for “free.” (Of course, it is not free because this cost is paid for by the taxes you and I pay.)
● People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President. Boys can use Girl’s restrooms and vice versa, and no one sees anything wrong about this?
● We read about and see other countries like Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia adopting Socialism and their economies collapsing, but it seems like a great plan to us. And college professors teach this to our young people.
●  Some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, and other people are not held responsible for what they are doing right now. Look at cities like New York, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. Churches are burned, businesses destroyed and looted, monuments torn down, police and innocent people killed, but no one is held accountable….all because of blind hatred.
●  Criminals are caught and released back into society immediately, then hurt more people. Stopping them is bad because it’s a violation of their rights.
●  And, pointing out all this hypocrisy somehow makes us “racists”? Indeed, today the word “racism” is the most common word used to somehow justify everything and anything.Nothing seems to make sense anymore, no values, no morals, no civility, and people are dying of a Chinese virus, but it’s racist to refer to it as The Chinese Virus even though it began in China. We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.
           In 245 years, a mere blip on the radar screen of existence compared to other nations of the world, our country has endured incredible hardships and built the most remarkable country ever known to man. 
●  We pioneered the west, conquered disease, created the most respected healthcare system on earth with innovations in medicine and research that have saved millions of lives, and we shared all of this with the world. 
●  We have fought two World Wars freeing Europe from totalitarianism twice in the twentieth century, then rebuilt 19 nations in Europe and the entire country of Japan from the devastation of WW II. 
●  We have put men on the moon and begun the exploration of our solar system, and we have created more wealth and the greatest standard of living of any country on earth…and, 
●  We have based all of this on a firm belief in freedom for every individual and a government whose only sovereign power comes from the people. 
And today, somehow, young restless people in government want to cast all of this aside in favor of some fleeting, socialist, utopia they seek to impose on us.           It is a blueprint for disaster and it must be stopped.
           I believe that today because our House is again divided, we must once again take pride in American Exceptionalism. We need to return to doing the right thing as opposed to doing what “feels good”. We need to return to teaching our children about our history, about those who came before us, what we have accomplished, about values such as integrity, honor, commitment, courage, perseverance, and respect for authority and our elders, and, above all, remind them that we are a nation founded on the Judeo-Christian belief in an Almighty God whose Providence has blessed this great land.           Abraham Lincoln led our great nation through difficult and challenging times and a bloody Civil War where more Americans perished than in all the other wars our nation has been engaged in. But he reminded us, that even in times of great despair, he was driven to his knees in prayer “because he had nowhere else to go”. He also said so eloquently, that “it is difficult to get mud on your face when your eyes are fixed squarely on the stars.
           Those words have always made sense to me. I hope they do to you as well. All of us today have a sacred responsibility to stand up and be counted; to express our concern about how our children are being educated; to cast aside the destructive, divisive, and corrosive Critical Race Theory and reinstitute American History and civics in elementary and secondary schools, and once again bring God back into lives, our government and in our classrooms. Even if you no longer have children in school, each of us has a responsibility to step up and do the right thing.           Let your voices be heard. 

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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