There is a gaping chasm of division in this country over the future of its political ideology. Whether the issue is gun control, abortion, gay marriage, or even the legality of building a wall, there is virtually no issue on which the U.S. public (and its lawmakers) are not diametrically opposed. In the 1850s, the hot-button issue of the day was "States' Rights" (the obvious elephant in the room being slavery), and then as now there was a division among the church about how to handle the issue. Some men, such as the would-be insurgent John Brown, believed that violence was the only solution. Others, such as the noble Fredrick Douglass and the radically-progressive William Lloyd Garrison (who was among the first public advocates of both abolition and women's suffrage), decided that political agitation and public discourse were more morally praiseworthy...until the war came.
When the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, everything changed. Americans North and South were faced with the inescapable choice of supporting or opposing secession, which carried within the folds of its garments many untold evils. Jefferson Davis would later write in 1864 as the Confederacy was uttering its death rattle, "If the Confederacy falls, there should be written on its tombstone: Died of a theory." Since their constitution was founded on the supreme law of States' Rights, his government was never able to unify the Southern economy or war effort to a truly effective degree.
Conversely, Lincoln's newfound dictatorial power (suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus, arbitrarily using the military to arrest any suspected Southern supporter, putting down riots with gunfire) allowed him to unify and mobilize the North to such a degree that their superior manpower and manufacturing capability virtually guaranteed eventual success (mitigated by the failures of their incompetent generals). Though the superior tactical prowess of the Southern commanders bought time, the war's result was largely a forgone conclusion. Without international recognition (which wouldn't come once the issue of slavery was raised by the Emancipation Proclamation), the "second revolution" was doomed.
Once again, we as a country find ourselves appealing to both State and Federal authority to solve difficult and controversial social issues. Since a representative government has been shown by history to be the least evil of government styles (though obviously not without its share of problems), it is only logical that elected officials would speak as polemically and virulently as the constituents by whom they are elected.
Unlike a hundred and sixty years ago, there is no true geographical boundary between "North" and "South" today. Arguably, the modern line of demarcation is now between urban and rural value systems, and even that is an imperfect division. I was born and raised in one of the most liberal states in the country, and nevertheless I still proudly espouse God and guns as two things which made this country great. That being said, you all know exactly where I stand when it comes to MAGA types.
I would love nothing more than to be wrong in this case; however my conviction grows with each passing month that, as Lincoln famously said (quoting Matthew 12:25), "a house divided against itself cannot stand." I foresee no lasting conclusion to this division that does not involve conflict, in part because those like myself who have tried to approach the political center have been savagely criticized and silenced by the hardline wings.
If it ever came to open conflict (and I regularly pray that it doesn't), I still haven't decided which side I would choose. The pragmatist in me says that picking the largely-unarmed side (liberals) would be foolish. Nevertheless, I could also never live with myself if I even once found myself shoulder to shoulder with "white nationalists" fighting to roll the clocks back to a time when racism and curable diseases were the norm. I believe that abortion is the willful and wrong termination of a human life, and I also believe that God does not distinguish between people of various nationalities. For this, I am likely to be banished from both political parties.
If you believe that the Bible is true, you should find yourself at odds with the world. That means that you do not compromise your interpretation of scripture to conform exclusively to one political platform. I will continue to repeat, The Gospel is not a Political Manifesto.
Let us please, for the love of God and our fellow human, stop fighting one another. If we cannot, we may doom ourselves to repeat a bloody chapter of American history.