‘Our country is divided. Many say it is more divided than any time since the Civil War. Most of you readers live here, so this is no surprise to you. Many articles and even whole books have been written in the last decade on the division in the United States, but the present situation provoked some to write in the last month on the subject. The following paragraph represents writing in the last month on severe division in America.
The City Journal published an article by Andrew Klavan, titled, “At the Heart of Our Divisions.” Klavan, part of Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire, tries to explain the division as others have. Newsweek reports that a “Majority of Trump Voters Want to Split the Nation Into ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ Halves.” The Las Vegas Sun reported it this way:
A new political poll offers an alarming look at the state of American unity and our population’s respect for some of the nation’s core values.
The poll, conducted by the University of Virginia’s nonprofit Center for Politics, shows that 52% of respondents who voted for former President Donald Trump were in favor of splitting the country into red and blue states, while 41% of voters for President Joe Biden agree with the idea. More than 2,000 voters participated in the poll, nearly equally divided between those supporting Trump and Biden.
Ed Kilgore at The Intelligencer, part of New York Magazine, writes, “No, We Can’t Get a National Divorce There’s growing sentiment for secession, particularly on the right. It should be rejected.” At Substack, Claremont senior fellow David Reaboi writes, “National Divorce Is Expensive, But It’s Worth Every Penny.” Karol Markowicz writes at the New York Post, “Sorry, but a national split up just won’t work.” Steven Malanga at the City Journal writes, “The New Secession Movement.” Conservative commentator Rich Lowry writes at Politico of all places, “A Surprising Share of Americans Wants to Break Up the Country. Here’s Why They’re Wrong.” Dan Rodricks writes at the Baltimore Sun, “Civil war unlikely, but the nation’s present course could still be disastrous.” Most of these were written in the last week, and there are more.
Okay, so there’s division. Everyone can agree with that. Putin of Russia and Xi of China smile. Why though? I’ve read or heard a lot of different reasons: media, tribalism, the education system, the deep state, and more. Klavan lists reasons in the first paragraph of his post. Those are typical, whole books written about them, but I believe these are surface reasons, I would call, non-worldview reasons, that are superficial and don’t dig deep enough.
My take on the acute and bitter division between states, people, and parties in the United States, I want to give credit, corresponds to something Nancy Pearcey writes about in her book, Total Truth. She explains a division portrayed by the lower and upper stories of a building or house with the lower story being “facts” and the upper story being “values.” Today you hear a lot about facts in the media, news, and schools. This is the “science is real” at the top of the leftist value sign. In this upper and lower story bifurcation, values are probably not what you think they are. Let me explain.
God is One. Truth, which proceeds from God, is also one. Pearcey’s proposition is “total truth,” the title of her book. There are not two stories that treat facts different than values, where values are constructed, personal and subjective. You can’t really know these with certainty. No, with God His natural laws, facts or science, are no different than moral laws. If you fall from the edge of a cliff, gravity sends you down to destruction. Breaking moral laws also destroys. Worse even. God is the Author of both.
Premoderns took a transcendent view of the world. Truth, goodness, and beauty, the transcendentals, all related to God. God transcending the world is the basis of the transcendentals. He’s not part of the world. He created it and having created it, He is separate from it. As James 1 says, that with God there is no shadow of turning. God is holy. He is Self-existent and immutable. Nothing affects Him. All meaning comes from God, so truth, goodness, and beauty, the transcendentals, are objective.
This world is God’s world. Even if someone doesn’t believe in God, they are living in His world. This is reality. The division breaks down into those who live in reality, recognition that this world functions according to laws according to which everyone must live, even if they reject the God of the Bible, and then those who don’t live in reality.
The ones not living in reality, which are one side of the division in the United States, see the top story, values, how they want to see them. It’s one reason they are called “values,” and not “morals” or “moral laws.” Using “values” is using language with power. Incidentally, part of critical theory is perfecting this language for use in reconstructing reality.
Looking at the world like two sides of the campus, religion, art, etc. on one side and then science, math, and engineering on the other, the blue part of the country thinks they can assign their own meaning on one side of the campus. They ultimately don’t want God in charge. They don’t want objective values that clash with what they want, so they make up their own and dismiss God or make up their own god that approves of their values. This is the basis for the Democrat party booing God when voting on their political platform in 2012. This is also how they justify killing babies.
The truth is that the blue states, people, etc. now assign their own meaning to science as well. They call it science like hanging out a shingle, pulling science out of a Cracker Jack box. Their subjectivity on the upper story, think of it as bad plumbing, has burst through into the lower story like a broken pipe. That side can’t tell you that a girl is a girl. This is one reason why many don’t want to go to college in this country anymore. They know it’s a racket that is not living in reality.
One side of the division in the country wants the nation to be called like it really is. Borders are representative of this. You can’t be a nation when you don’t protect, not just protect — how about acknowledge that you have a border. Whatever one thinks about the virus and masks and the vaccination, it’s understandable why a big chunk of the country doesn’t trust authority on this. I’m not going to even get into what Fauci has said. He doesn’t speak science and this is demonstrative on multiple occasions.
The government, the media that supports it, and now even corporations are all in on the lies. They allot whatever meaning they want and they expect you to receive it. If you don’t, now they’ll even prosecute you. They’ll fire you. If you don’t put on their particular pin, which supports whatever lie that they deem correct, you might lose your job.
I believe most churches too have succumbed to the two stories I’ve described. They put beauty, music, dress in the personal, the subjective, the top story. They capitulate on basic doctrine and practice to accommodate for popularity and numbers. Their targets see the world according to the lie of these two stories. They know it and they concede to it. This does not bode well for the country. Even if the nation does split into two parts, what will happen to the red side when the churches have taken the same basic approach to truth? This is the most fundamental aspect of worldliness in churches today.
Another metaphor to demonstrate what the division of truth, the two story view, does to the country is a rudderless ship. The country has no certain belief to hold it together or to give it direction. It moves according to whatever current or wind produced by the world, like a float or a bob on an aimless sea. The force of popularity, what scripture would call lust, the combined desires of the population, decides what is it’s truth, it’s goodness, and it’s beauty, whatever each of these is in their own eyes.
Everything above explains the division in the country. Maybe the next question is, what is the solution to this division? That, my friend, is much more difficult.’https://kentbrandenburg.com/2021/10/10/what-is-the-primary-cause-of-division-in-the-united-states/