Erick Erickson wrote a pretty pessimistic piece at The Resurgent today. He expresses many of the same concerns, but his response to it untenable.
If Texas decided to end abortion on demand and prohibit gay marriage, three-quarters of the Fortune 500, the NCAA, and every professional sports league would boycott the state. It is not enough that each state should be able to set its own values, even here the left demands adherence to its beliefs and punishment for the beliefs of others. So there is no escape from the culture war. There is no escape from the politicization of everything. There is no escape from an escalation of violence in politics. The minority nows gets to exert its will over the majority and every vice gets declared a civil right we must all worship and subsidize.
In our present atmosphere there is no escape from the American ISIS that is the political left. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Evil is now dominant — but the partisan line is blurred.
The only escape is dissolution. We should part ways if we cannot have federalism. We should start talking about secession. If both sides have decided that every hill is a hill to die on and control of Washington means reward for their friends and punishment of their enemies, we need to end Washington. The way to do that is end the union.
I am no longer an optimist about the future of this country. This past week has shown there is no incentive for the better angels of ourselves to rise. Both sides are out for blood.
First, Erickson adds fuel to the fire. Erickson calling the left the “American ISIS” does not help. It escalates incendiary rhetoric which we should reject. Both the left and the right need to police their own. We need to; we must return to a civil public square.
Both the left and the right should reject Alinsky tactics. We do not debate ideas anymore, not really. We don’t reason together. Most of the time we “preach to the choir” when we need to reach out to those who think differently.
Civility must be one of our core principles, in particular for those of us who are Christ followers.
Second, how could seccession even happen? The geography of it does not make sense especially when you consider deep divides within states. Instead of North vs. South we have an urban vs. suburban/rural dynamic.
Third, I agree with him that federalism is crucial, but I would not say it is THE answer. It is certainly an answer. The ultimate reason it is not applied is a general ignorance of what it is. We need to teach it, promote it, and exercise it. We have to recognize that we are not going to correct this overnight. The situation we find ourselves in has been years in the making.
Fourth, we have to recognize that politics will never cure what ails our country, the Gospel can. If anything is THE answer, it is the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church needs to take the Great Commission of disciple making seriously. It starts with making sure we preach the Gospel to ourselves; we need to do a better job training those in the church. One does not have to look at many studies to discover heresy abounds in the Church, and that our children and grandchildren are leaving in droves.
Unfortunately, so many churches have focused so much on orthopraxy they have neglected orthodoxy. Yes, we need to engage our culture but engage them with the truth. To do that individuals and families in the Church need to know, embrace, and live the truth.
There needs to be a greater focus on community and catechesis for this to happen. We need to look inward so we can look outward effectively.
If this is not done even if our nation splits, those who make up the new nation(s) will find themselves in the same boat.