“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
This weekend the United States Senate will vote on the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It is a significant understatement to say that we as a country are very divided and this issue is the center piece of that division at the moment. I've weighed in on my thoughts elsewhere and will not continue to do so here. Instead, I would like to address the division we see in our country. Why are we more divided and political than ever? Can the divided States of America become the United States of America?
Why are we so divided? The answer is simple and complex. The simple answer is that we are fallen people, we are totally depraved (to use more theological terms). Put another way, we are fallen in every aspect of our lives. That is not to say we can do no good; however, our ability to reason, our emotions, our moral compass, our sexuality, our work, and much more are all impacted by our fallen nature. That, quite obviously includes our politics. Division is part of our fallenness. Because we are all impacted by the fall we are all not only capable to arrive at wrong conclusions and passionately support them as truth, but we all absolutely do arrive at wrong conclusions. The search for truth is mitigated by our fallenness and sin nature. This has come out in the Kavanaugh hearings quite explicitly. Our emotions and our inability to synthesize all the known facts with all the unanswered questions has led to a variety of beliefs. That doesn' mean no one knows or that the truth can never be known, but in many cases the truth can be difficult to ascertain.
Our fallenness creates division. If truth were readily available and not veiled because of our fallen nature there would be little to no division in our world not to mention our country. Reality is different though isn't it? The reality we face is that a search for truth is as much veiled by reason impacted by fallenness as it is our search for utopia or our imperfect and fallen emotions. Division has existed since Cain killed Abel and it will continue to exist until Jesus sits on the throne.
Fortunately, the American system of government was designed with division in mind. There was great division even as the constitution was being ratified. It was obvious that a king, like King George, could abuse a governmental system, but it was unclear if this new republic could or would avoid such corruption and abuses. Nevertheless, there are three branches of power specifically so that one party, no matter how partisan, would have a very hard time acquiring all the power. In other words, division was anticipated by our founding fathers and the checks and balances that are in place are intended to mitigate division.
We are a divided country, but this isn't as new as the media would have you believe. There have been many divisive times in our history. None rings truer that the civil war, but there are many others as well. Our founding was a divided time, the civil rights movement was a divided time, and there were others. The good news is that we have been able to come together when we needed to often having fought it out. let our prayer be that we will lay claim to the phrase, "one nation under God..." once again. It is only under God that we will be able to be united. Checks and balances may provide enough time for our nation to come together again, but unless it involves submission to God, unity will be fleeting.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.