Our nation seems more divided than ever. The polarization and malice of our politics are apparent to everyone, but it also seems strange to almost everyone as to why. As our nation continues to rage and simultaneously scratch its head, we inch closer and closer toward a fate we pretend isn’t a possibility.
First, we are definitely not more polarized than anytime in American history. The period of time before he Civil War definitely takes that dubious prize. That hasn’t stopped many people from pondering how close we are to that scale of divide.
It is a fair question. How close are we to that time before the Civil War when our division caused us to take up arms against one another and kill each other at a rate still not equalled by all other conflicts combined since our nation was born? Even though the issues at hand were more complicated, that division all boiled down to one thing: slavery.
We haven’t taken up arms against one another yet, but the violence on a near-weekly basis, justified by some arbitrary wrong perpetrated by the “other side,” is palpable. So if slavery was what caused the divide over a hundred years ago, what is it now?
Almost everyone sees the divide, and the same number of people ask themselves, “why?” There doesn’t seem to be one issue that is causing this divide. There doesn’t seem to be a singular polarizing topic that causes students at universities to riot when opposing viewpoints come to campus. What is it that is causing our streets to erupt in violence at the inauguration of a new president? What is the issue that brings tempers to the boiling point in our streets, places of worship and the halls of government?
In the past, we were divided on issues of finance. That doesn’t seem to be the case today—both parties seem equally willing to tax and spend. Idealogical viewpoints between our two ruling factions have been entrenched for decades without talk or action of violence, so that isn’t it either? What is this apparition that divides us and causes the rage we see today?
There is an evil lurking in the shadows of every political discussion today. It is a ghost of elections past that has scarcely spoken its name in years, but it is alway ever-present. It is the one thing that divides us and causes the kind of fear that could lead us to a second Civil War.
Behind every election is the issue of abortion. Behind every Supreme Court nomination is his or her stance on abortion. Every act of rage on a college campus has much more to do with abortion than any view on governance, international policy or financial prudence.
The reason the nation scratches its collective head trying to figure out what has caused our current divide is because what divides us is not something many people ever see. Before the Civil War, slaves were everywhere. A trip across the country would yield endless visions of people forced to work against their will and treated as less than human. How many dismembered baby parts do we see on a regular basis?
The reality of abortion is so gruesome that there has been, in recent years, a de facto media embargo on talking about it. The specter that haunts the halls of our nation today is one that is all too easy to look away from, but it is the demonic rage that fuels our nation’s anger industry today.
The fight over the presidency, the Supreme Court and the halls of Congress have little to do with policies that have amicably divided us in the past. No, we stand today on the precipice of abortion being legally struck down, and the accuser of our nation stands in rage against it.
To end such a bloodshed will likely not come without cost. Just as it was when demonically fired bullets were used to protect a way of life that depended on the blood, sweat and tears of people made to be inhuman, so it will likely be when the inevitable end of abortion draws nigh.
As we race toward a new Civil War with little insight as to why we fight, remember that our battles are not primarily against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities that we do not see. When we cut off their destructive abilities, rage almost always ensues.
Unfortunately, our nation has had an equally heinous agreement with the death industry of abortion as it did with the dehumanization industry of slavery. We are well aware of our history, but to our shame we are headed toward repeating it, because the next test rarely looks enough like the last one for history to be valuable enough to prevent itself from recycle.
As you pray for our nation, and I hope you will pray with us twice a day at 7:14 am and pm, that you will remember what is actually tearing us apart right now. As you watch our enemy pull us apart from within, please don’t be deceived that it is because of some philosophical difference of opinion on governance, finance or international diplomacy. No, pray for our nation, because if we do not see an end to the evil of abortion, we will likely hear the words of Abraham Lincoln all over again:
Neither party expected for the war 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 slavery 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 North and South this terrible war 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 war 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.”