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Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Great Divide

The election left me and about 4 million one hundred sixty two thousand and one hundred and seventy three people wishing for different results; at the same time, 4, 236, 032 people were pleased, relieved and happy. Why this great divide? And it is great! We are a nation that is nearly split evenly in half with regard to knowing how to solve the economy, social politics, racial differences, helping the poor, religion, international political problems, etc. Essentially we have two opposing worldviews colliding with each other. And they have been a long time in the making.

Here is the million dollar question: how do the opposite worldviews merge into one without either side losing its sense of identity and purpose. Is it even possible to blend opposing views into one that is sensitive and respectful of the other?

When looking at the Great Divide in the US, it becomes much easier to grasp why areas of the world like Europe, the Middle East, and others have split into such small countries! Colliding worldviews obviously caused them to split, subdivide, subdivide further, fragment, and/or even get swallowed up by a neighboring country with or without their permission. It explains why wars begin. It explains why ties get broken. It explains why neighbors stop talking to each other. It explains why families split. This explains why  Texans keep threatening to become their own nation.

The Obama administration gets one thing right: they understand the undercurrent that is going on in this country. I would bet they use these undercurrents to get out the vote on their behalf. So while the rest of us were scratching our heads  and wondering why the President employed such polarizing messages during the election, it now makes perfect sense. He used the obvious (to him at least) lack of faith among so many to demonize spiritual and religious principles such as religious freedom and pro-life message, and traditional marriage by employing argruments related to contraception, abortion, etc. He used the obvious slide from traditional values to promote 'being chums with everyone' except those holding onto traditional values. He used moral relativism (rampant in this country according to a Marist poll (2009) to help push against those who define marriage between one man and one woman while arguing that this group of poeple are bigots and haters. He used the screw-ups on wall street (there always are and always will be these situtations)  to cement the idea that business is dirty even though that is how most people have the standards of living they have. The argument lost on many is that capitalism isn't all bad but socialism isn't all good.

Did this great divide occur overnight? No, it snuck up on us like that thieve in the night. While some think the sexual revolution took place in the sixties and seventies, they fail to realize that way back in the 20's and 30's, academia argued for and against monogamy and marriage. Cultures were studied, statements were issued. Slowly but surely, the devil convinced many not to completely abandon God but to have one foot in the secular world and one in the spiritual world. And as we know, a house divided cannot stand. And so principles, dogmas, belief systems, and attitudes changed which in turn changed worldviews of the culture and of the people in general. It took population concerns to change attitudes about monogamy, sexuality, marriage gradually. It took acceptance of contraception to change attitudes with regard to abortion. It took both of these to pave the way for same sex marriage. It will take this to bring about the right to exercise utilitarianism with regard to aging populations who cost too much too treat. It will take all of this acceptance to bring about persecution of those who are just not very accepting! These persecutions will only prove who really is the most unaccepting people of all and they tend to be the ones carrying the water for the day.

While some argue that the US is headed down the wrong path, how can we really know which way is the right way when we have one foot in the secular world and one in the religious world? While the conversion to secularism took many decades and many generations, it will take just as many to reverse the trend if we are willing and able. That is the New Evangelization.

What is your worldview? Where do you stand? What do you think about all of this? Are you ready to stand up and be counted by choosing which foot you really want to stand on?