United We Stand

by Mark Klages , Christian Examiner Contributor |

(Photo: Delano Scott/U.S. Air Force)Jussie Smollett, known for his role as Jamal Lyon on the television series Empire, performs at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Dec. 15, 2015. ()

Ok, so here's the thing. We're a divided nation. That's nothing new, seriously. Our social media-loving, 24-hour-news-cycle-watching, Tweeting and Instagramming selves do not have a monopoly on a divided United States.

Anyone over 100 years old might still remember the nation so divided that Teddy Roosevelt declared himself Progressive and split the vote, handing the White House to Woodrow Wilson over incumbent President William H. Taft. Just 5 years later, the US enters WWI and Congress votes on prohibition. In the 1920's, we pass the 19th Amendment – because before that women could not vote. The Emergency Quota Act "curbed illegal immigration" and Native Americans were finally declared citizens! Al Capone orchestrates the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and the Stock Market crashes. In the 1950's, labor threatens to strike and the Government federalizes steel mills, which is overturned by the Supreme Court. Racial segregation ends with Brown v. Board of Education.

I could go on and on, but by now you should get my point. These United States of America still exist 243 years after declaring our independence, not because we are wholly united in our theology, our politics, or our opinion, but because we have always overcome our divisions for the betterment of all. We are West Virginians, Texans, Californians and New Yorkers, but we are all Americans. We are Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, and Socialists, but we are all Americans. We are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, and Mormons, but we are all Americans.

Recently, newspapers and web pages would have us all believe that anyone who rejected Jussie Smollett's attack claims is a racist bigot, not an independent thinker. Those same "news" organizations would have us believe anyone who supports a Southern Border Wall is also racist, while anyone against the Wall is somehow more "American."

Poppycock, I say.

Agents and agencies that spin social conflict to make a buck are as old as the conflicts that dot the American landscape. Through generations we Americans have found our common interests greatly outweigh our divisions, and that will never change.

We.

Are.

Americans.

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. (Mark 3:23-25, NIV)

–Mark Klages is an influential contributor, a former US Marine and a lifelong teacher who focuses on applying a Christian worldview to everyday events. Mark blogs at https://maklagesl3.wixsite.com/website under the title "God Provides where Hate Divides," with a heart to heal social, political, relational, and intellectual wounds through God's divine love and grace. Mark can also be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-klages-04b42511/.