Haves versus have-nots. Conservative versus liberal. Straight versus gay. Pro-life versus pro-choice. Republicans versus Democrats. The 1% versus the 99%. Left versus right. Secular versus sacred. Black versus white.
Cable news channels fill their airtime with little boxes of talking heads each yelling at each other about who is right and who is wrong, all while this nation is fractured into ever-smaller pieces who are at war with each other. These battles rage between classes, between races, between co-workers, between friends, and between family members. But why? How did we get here?
Every politician has turned every issue into an us-versus-them debate. Today not only are we months deep into the presidential political season, we’re decades deep into the politics of division. Division which has been used to secure entire blocks of voters. Division which has been used to win elections. Division which has been used to gain political power… at the cost of an ever splintering nation.
From the Gospel of Matthew: “Then they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Jesus healed him so that he could speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Could this one be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard this they said, ‘He does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebub, the ruler of demons!’ Now when Jesus realized what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and no town or house divided against itself will stand. So if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has already overtaken you. How else can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can thoroughly plunder the house.’”
For too long we as a nation have allowed our tongues to be tied, and as a result our house is being plundered by the very people we call our leaders. And now we are a house, a city, and a nation divided against ourselves. If our elected officials are truly representing we the people, then what does their divisiveness say about us as a nation? Shouldn’t we stop and ask ourselves where, exactly, are we are being led? And at the same time, why are we following? On election day if we are left to decide between the lesser of two evils, are we not still voting for evil? And are we not each responsible for evil being on the ballot to begin with?
The Declaration of Independence affirms that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. We as a nation have gotten here because we have chosen to be blind. We have chosen to be mute. We have chosen to allow our nation to be run by “the lesser of two evils.”
But just as we chose to accept Jesus Christ as our savior, we can choose to take a stand for unity over division. We can choose, like the Founding Fathers, to have “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,” and to “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” that we will not allow ourselves to be tied up any longer. That we will allow ourselves to be healed so that we may speak and see. That we will untie our tongues and speak out in support of leaders who truly represent us and what we believe. That we will untie our hands to do the seemingly impossible work of casting out the evil that is leading this nation further and further away from God. And that we will untie our feet from the weight of excuses so that we may go and carry the weight of the future of this nation, the United States of America, upon our shoulders.