Bitter Division & Truth-Telling

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the political arena has become bitterly divided. As a historian, let me first say that this is not unique in American history. There have always been periods of strong division: the 1790s, the Jacksonian era, the entire 1850s through the Civil War, the beginnings of the Cold War in the late 1940s-early 1950s, Vietnam and Watergate. And for those who think everyone loved Ronald Reagan [which is what you might surmise from current rhetoric], he was regularly accused of being a warmonger and a dastardly evil fellow who couldn’t wait to starve schoolchildren and throw old people out on the street.

No, what we’re experiencing is not unique. What is unique, though, is that I believe we are at a tipping point as a nation. We are now more divided culturally than at any point in our history, even including the Civil War. During that era, both North and South at least professed allegiance to Christian faith; both said they were fighting to preserve a way of life based on that faith [however inconsistent some of that way of life was to actual Biblical belief]. Today, we are split between Christian and secular. Our future as a nation depends on which vision becomes dominant.

These differing visions naturally play out in politics. If you are an orthodox Christian who holds to time-tested moral underpinnings for a society, you align with the political party that has the closest connection to those beliefs. Right now, that’s the Republican party. Democrats, on the other hand, while they can be vaguely “spiritual,” and can draw some support from Christians who don’t really understand the Biblical limitations on the authority of civil government, are generally further removed from basic Biblical morality, particularly on issues of sanctity of life, sexuality, and marriage and family.

In this blog, I have tried hard to point to the Biblical way as the solution for our societal problems. In so doing, I have to demonstrate the false premises of the opposing vision. My goal has been to do so in a Christian manner. Some people may think that to be a Christian, one can never criticize or judge. I disagree. Christians have a God-imposed responsibility to showcase the errors in thinking and policy that lead a society down a wayward path. Therefore, I do not apologize for attempting to reveal false concepts of governing.

I have been critical of President Obama because I firmly believe that his worldview, and the policies that emanate from that worldview, are dangerous. I also use cartoons to point out the hypocrisy and foibles of the “other side.” All of that is perfectly legitimate. You can search this blog, and I trust you will never find anything that is simply name-calling or an attempt to misrepresent another’s beliefs. I try to be as straightforward and honest as possible.

That’s not the case with some of the political rhetoric you hear nowadays. Might I use a couple of cartoons to illustrate?

The elderly lady on the right represents the Tea Party movement, which has focused on the out-of-control spending of the government. Yet what are these people being called currently? The cartoon makes the point and shows the hypocrisy involved. Who is really responsible for undermining the economy?

Those of us on the “Right” are constantly bombarded with accusations:

Yet when we use the “S” word, we are the ones who are portrayed as extremists. No, the use of “socialism” to describe what Democrats are doing is simply an accurate observation.

I will continue to offer truth-telling because I believe the fate of this nation depends upon the faithfulness of the few who are willing to tell the truth.