In talking with some folks about the relevancy of the Pledge of Allegience, someone suggested that it is because our country is under God’s protection that it is, in fact, indivisible.  Apparently when this is not the case, when we have in some way offended God, then there is the likelihood of national dissolution.

Which got me to thinking about this whole indivisible thing. The United States of America is a pretty unique country, and not just because of its long term republican form of government.  Over 230 years ago we voluntarily formed out of what were, essentially, 13 seperate countries,  former colonies, all of them states.  Initially a  loose confederation, it became a much stronger federation in 1789.  But not so strong that there wasn’t always the threat of some states seceding over any number of disagreements, most famously the problem of slavery. This hotly contested idea, that a state could leave the federation of its own accord, eventually resulted in the great American Civil War of the mid-19th century.

I think that today most of us would find it inconceivable that any of the current 50 states would choose to leave, either alone or in concert with others. But we can see that the demographics of America are changing rapidly.  The population of the  states along our southern border are becoming more and more identifiable with those countries which lie to the south of us.  It is conceivable that some day these states could find that they have less in common with those states to the north (again) than they do with each other. (Remember, not too very long ago the citizens of Quebec, because of contentions  over language, voted on  independence.)

If one of these United States decided, either today or in the distant future, to secede from the union, what should our national response be? 150 years ago it was a military response, and after 5 years of nearly total war well over 600,000 Americans lay dead.  Would such a military response be proper or moral in this day and age? And if not, was it the right thing to do in 1860?


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  1. #1 by inWorship on February 25, 2008 - 9:19 pm

    I’m having a hard time believing that the correct decision would be to fight against something that we are allowed to do. Seems that our country was created to flex and adapt and to not allow this to happen would go directly agaainst it’s freedoms.

    But, more than that, I can’t get by the idea that some think America is a chosen people of God…Huh??? And our blessing is based on who we are and not who He is???

    Last I checked all are welcome and America has no right to a claim of Gods special people over any others that call Him Lord.

  2. #2 by hoverfrog on February 26, 2008 - 5:35 am

    I think that the great strength of the USA is that it has always been inclusive rather than exclusive. The British Empire at its height conquered other nations and tried to force them into line with the British ideal. If you take India as an example you can see how well this worked out in the long term.

    Now the US seems to be changing that inclusive policy. Closing your borders and deliberately saying that only this or that is American and leaving no room for cultural development. Whether this is a reaction to 9\11 or something else I don’t know.

  3. #3 by ric booth on February 26, 2008 - 11:28 am

    Concerning going to war, I like how Issac Asimov’s character Salvor Hardin in Foundation put it, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Of course, every generation has resorted this last refuge. hmmm, i feel a poem coming on…

    I’m with Brent on this whole oxymoron of the USA being “blessing worthy.” Only wages can be earned and we don’t really want that payday. To quote a one of the college-aged student leaders teaching one of our high-school students, “We never deserve any of the blessings from God.”

    Instead, I think we should be asking God what his will is concerning all of these blessings. For the first time (since the fall?), the church has the means to feed everyone. On the planet. I think we in the American Church need to stop focusing on (and harboring and hoarding) the blessings we have been given and instead focusing on those people to which it appears we have been “abundantly” called.

  4. #4 by Christian on February 26, 2008 - 1:16 pm

    I think some nails are being hit on the head.

    This idea that the US is blessed because God is particularly pleased with us (being a “Christian” nation and all that) encourages a definite Pharisaical attitude. We tout our accomplishments and our virtues. We tend to want to stop looking at our mistakes (if we admit them) and instead ‘look to the future’. But unless we understand why we made those mistakes it is unlikely that we will sweep out the seeds of future transgression. Having too much pride in being an American is…well, having too much pride.

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