As we get ever-closer to the Presidential election, we see once again that we are a divided nation. We are one country, but the divisions are plentiful: liberal vs. conservative, Democrat vs. Republican, urban vs. rural, coastal vs. “middle America”, rich vs. poor, and still the divides based on the Mason-Dixon line.
Generally, this has always been the case- but I believe it is more evident due to, and because of, the 24-hour media and news channels. It is much better fodder for ratings to report on verbal, or other, lashings that one party or group directs to another. It makes for more entertaining TV viewing, or newspaper reading. If all the politicians got along and agreed on things, my guess is some TV ratings would decline.
Whomever wins in November, wouldn’t it be shocking if their inaugural address read something like this:
“Neither party expected for our ideological disputes the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American divisiveness is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both parties this terrible socioeconomic breakdown as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of economic and moral downturn may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
In a mere two paragraphs there are 19 mentions of God, the Bible, prayer, or the like. Could this happen from a President or other government official in 2012 or 2013? It could, but of course it will not. And therein lies the base of why our current nation is far removed and unlike that of a mere 50 or 60 years ago.
Students or fans of history will recall that much of the above “hypothetical” address is taken from President Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address. It was given as the Civil War was still in full swing. At that time, we truly were a nation divided. Lincoln is heralded as potentially the greatest President to ever serve this country. Where did his guidance come from? Surely common sense and intelligence (and from history), but also from the Lord and the Bible, and his understanding of such.
We hope that whomever we elect as President will have a similar passion for the Scriptures. In doing so, we have a better chance of doing what is best for this country overall. And, more importantly, doing the right thing- which has become a near impossibility in today’s political landscape.