Wednesday, November 07, 2012
A House Divided
I will quickly toss in another blog entry this morning after the tight results of last night's U.S. presidential election. In his concession speech Mitt Romney called for an end to political gridlock, and President Obama reminded the electorate that they are the United States of America, not red or blue states.
What came to mind was a speech by arguably the greatest American president, Abraham Lincoln --soon to be coming to a theatre near you. Lincoln was a remarkable orator despite his rather high-pitched voice, and amongst his many memorable addresses was the House Divided Speech, as it came to be called. Even though Lincoln was not overtly Christian, he was steeped in the words of scripture and the cadence of the prophets. This speech refers to a verse which in the King James Version of Matthew's gospel reads: Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Far too much religious talk was tossed around during this election while there wasn't much evidence of compassion, truth-telling, or fairness. Here is the key paragraph in Lincoln"s speech:
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
Even though this was about slavery, it seems to apply to the circumstances of America today. What do you think? Where are the United States of America going?