Third Party & Independents Archives

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

I take no pains to hide nor apologize for my rich distain for George W. Bush and his crooked, dysfunctional Administration. It still troubles me greatly that an admitted mediocre performer in life can gain the highest political office in the country. And what rankles me more is that the man is so adept at obfuscating the truth that no one seems to bother calling it to our attention. And so the real state of the Union was buried last night, glossed over by a wink and a smug arrogant smile.

Try as I might my fellow Americans, I can not escape the realization that the state of our Union is precarious; we are a fractured nation, a house slowly dividing, a society leisurely decaying in the quicksand of our own unfettered greed and ignorance of the true meaning of freedom and equality. We are all familiar with that famous axiom uttered with such eloquence by our sixteenth President:

"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."

Can this quote be applied to today’s America? Is the discordant slavery issue of old taken on a new guise and morphed into the Gay Marriage and abortion (Liberals vs. Conservatives) issues of today? There can be little argument that the Gay Marriage and abortion rights issues are dividing the nation, and that our inability to address the twin concerns from a purely legal and fundamental rights standpoint has put liberty and equality in jeopardy for more then half the population. And the President’s call for a Constitutional Amendment to ban Gay Marriage; to write into our founding document the articles of discrimination and bigotry is unforgivable, but not unremarkable given the fanatical conservatism infesting our nation and the man who champions their cause.

Bush stated last night:

“Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them...Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage.”

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Are discrimination, bigotry, and intolerance values we want to continue to pass along to our children? And how do they (discrimination, bigotry, and intolerance) sustain a free society? Is Bush saying we don’t want to recognize and celebrate the difference between human beings; is he saying that homosexuals are immoral and incapable of forming families and raising responsible, moral children? And while marriage may be a sacred religious institution, no institution regulated and governed by the many states or federal government can, or should be considered sacrosanct. And I will say it again and again, and again until we all get the message, the tradition of marriage as regulated by the many states (not federal government), is a civil institution governed by civil law. Religion, of course can play a part in the ceremonial aspect of the tradition if the parties so choose, but Canon Law holds no sway over the administration of marriage in America. Marriage licenses are not issued at the local church, you have to go to the county seat to obtain one in my state.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

And if I hear the term “activist judge” one more time coming from the President mouth—a man who should know better then to undermine a fellow branch of government so cavalierly—I think I shall pull what little remaining hair I have from my head! The term activist judge is wholly an invention of the religious right, it is a term used to divide the citizenry, to sow the seeds of disrespect into the fabric of the judicial process in this nation and undercut the rule of law. If the people do not trust the judicial branch to be faithful stewards of the law, how long can the rule of law hold sway in a free society that counts on it to maintain good order and personal responsibility?

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

The judicial branch is a co-equal branch of our government, be it local, state, or federal. It deserves, nay should demand, the respect of the other two branches of government. Indeed, the Supreme Court should decry the term “activist judge” once and for all and admonish all who use it including our dimwitted President. This continual undermining of judges and their authority cannot stand, and in the end, is and will continue to subvert judicial authority to society’s determent.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

We cannot be the beacon of liberty and equality aboard if the light of freedom is being extinguished at home. We have lost the meaning of freedom and its sister, equality, within our Republic. We would endow it to our personage but deny it to others for reason of faith, faith; an intangible, something that cannot be proved. Faith is not the basis for public law. Half of the population knows this, while the other half wallows in the ignorance the umbrella of faith provides, convinced that beliefs should govern the masses, should inform public policy, and hold sway over every citizen despite his or her own belief system. Faith is personal and should remain such. Your morals are your own to grabble with, just as mine inform my life. Of course there should be societal norms that govern us all, but those should spring from the Constitution, not the Holy Bible, or the Koran, or any other spiritual tome.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

How long my fellow Americans, will it be before the light of liberty in our Republic goes out? And the Constitution is relegated to just another meaningless artifact, it Articles and Amendments referred to as “quaint” and no longer relevant in a society that places religious beliefs and structured pious control over person above personal freedom and equality?

Am I crying wolf? Is the state of our Union sound or are we like so many civilizations before use slowly eroding, devolving into ruin? Or are we special, immune from the wash of history, strong enough to withstand the ravages of human nature? Will our grand experiment in democracy hold despite the cracks that threaten to split the house asunder? If history is our guide—and we would be foolish to dismiss her as such—then we as a nation are not long for the dais of self-proclaimed greatness, unless we mend the cracks in the foundation of house and truly live the laudable principle enshrined in our national pledge…and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
"A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Posted by V. Edward Martin at February 3, 2005 11:24 AM