Divided - Or Just Trapped In Ignorance?

Deborah Venable



Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  This is the season of the celebration of America’s birth after all, so that only seems fitting to me. 


I am going to appeal to those who have not read my recent article, What's To Love? to do so for background on a train of thought I decided to pursue.


I am convinced that any and all problems with America can be addressed and solved by concentrating on the positive instead of continually giving legs to the negative.  Divisiveness and hate are getting far too much coverage by the media and thus blocking any hope of recovery from the maladies that take up much of our thought processes. 


With the Independence Day celebration behind us, I want to include here a short excerpt from my book, “Professional Parenting – Raising the Hope For America’s Future” because I know that few have read it:


“Debates leading up to the creation and acceptance of the Declaration were long and hard fought.  The dissidents to freedom held their positions mainly because they thought that America was already free in many ways.  Most had not encountered direct attacks from the enemy, as had their passionate counterparts.  Many simply thought that it wasn’t yet time for such a drastic separation from England, although they knew it would eventually be called for.  They were pessimists in predicting the colonies’ ability to achieve their independence and maintain credibility in the world.  They preferred, instead, to cling to the advantages of being subjects to the well-established and feared British Crown.  Independent responsibility in their minds was subordinate to collective privilege of a Monarchy.  Mostly they believed that such a government founded on their own independence would eventually fail anyway. 


In the words of the most prominent outspoken dissident, John Dickinson:  “Then an ambitious citizen may arise, seize the reins of power, and annihilate liberty forever; for such is the ordinary career of ill-balanced democracies, they fall into anarchy, and thence under despotism.”


We must understand the gravity of these men’s decision to declare and fight for liberty.  If polling had been available in those Colonial days, the dissidents would have outnumbered the proponents of freedom.  It was a thing that everyone wished for, but few thought possible.  This was a time when the human spirit emerged triumphant in the abilities and faith of heroic individuals. 


The history is there for us to read and to teach our children.  Today’s schools are not doing a good job of it.  The fight for freedom and liberty is ongoing and these men understood that.  Too few of our governmental representatives today believe it.  Too few Americans are willing to sacrifice or pay any price for freedom.  We have become so complacent that we don’t even realize we are throwing it away.  Our Founding Fathers were willing to risk fortune, safety and their lives for our eventual freedoms.  We foolishly trade that precious commodity for the mere promise of safety.”


I wrote those words a decade ago and things have only deteriorated since.


In a decade, a whole new set of school children have received the majority of their education without the benefit of having been taught this important slice of history.  Instead, they have received more and more negative spins on our founders and on just what was accomplished when America was born.  In that decade they have seen political leaders fall from grace, follow a more socialist path than ever before, and condemn their futures to a futility of divisiveness.  And they are being continually led away from God.


I will say again, if I lost you on that last comment – so be it.


Balkanization is a word being thrown around a lot these days.  I doubt that most school children could define it.  I doubt that most parents of those school children could define it, even with their better than ever average educational levels.  Many believe that the Balkanization of America has already successfully been accomplished.  I say we haven’t tested that theory yet.


A key word in the definition of Balkanization is “hostile.”  Has America really been divided into smaller “hostile” groups?  I’ll let you answer that.  Being an optimist instead of a pessimist, I would prefer to think not.


I would prefer to think that ignorance rather than pure divisiveness is to blame for America’s present predicaments.  Because America has had it so good for so long, Americans who have been along for that “good ride” with little knowledge of previous times when things were not so good have nothing with which to compare the good.  By the same token, those who have settled into accepting some of the unacceptable things that have happened in America – the great restrictions on many of our freedoms – have no idea what life should be like in a truly free society.  The ignorance trap has been sprung, and those not caught in it appear to those that are, simply divisive in our speech, in our conservativeness, and in our adherence to individualism. 


The path for a successful recovery from America’s problems must lead us to an understanding that it will take time to fight the war between love and hate, between ignorance and literacy, and between right and wrong, but we must not delay that first step. 


God is love, and He will never leave us.


Whenever we are tempted to forsake God, we must just say, “no!”  Every day in America, folks are saying, “yes” and allowing the ignorance to become divisive.  Academics, enlightened “great thinkers,” have made it their mission in life to outlaw Christian ideals and teachings while they push the ignorance of unproven theories.  Consider this one question:


Does anyone believe that freedom can ever be realized in government of any society that is not driven by the concept of unalienable rights?    


Democracies will always struggle to maintain representation of societies if they fail to accept that individual representation within a republic is the only way to attain the utmost that freedom has to offer.  The individual has to know that he is important enough to deserve and demand equal representation under the law, or nothing can successfully govern any society to which he belongs.


I suppose that people who pride themselves on their intellects – real or imagined – and on an education to accept theory over faith, indifference to moral law over divinely inspired sense of justice, and the arrogance to believe the miracle of life evolved from nothingness can also be convinced that some people need complete control of other people’s lives.  Interesting.  The arrogance of such hatred for the free will of the human race is truly the only thing that could destroy a society or a culture or country. 


I must ask a couple of questions:  What would be the effect on the weakest among us if no one believed or tried to teach that God is love?  Do these people really believe that love is merely a chemical reaction of some sort that springs from nothing?  Has love evolved from a lower life form in much the same way that the instinct to reproduce is built into life itself?  What about the varieties of human love that have nothing to do with reproduction?  From whence did they suddenly spring? 


I pity those who will never allow themselves to advance beyond the trap of ignorance to accept this beautiful world for what it is, the creation of a loving Spirit.  Divided attitudes among us is to be expected in this world of individuals who were given the gift of free will.  Those who feed on the divisiveness will reap the empty crop of hate. 


Define “hate crime” for me, if you can.  What is the difference between a hate crime and a crime against humanity?  Is abortion a hate crime?  It is certainly a crime against humanity, but I’ll bet it won’t be included in the legislators’ definition of hate crime, will it?  Is it any more of a crime to hurt or kill someone because they are of a different race or sexual deviancy or religion or of whatever the other defined differences included in that definition than it is to hurt or kill an innocent human being regardless of all those things?  If you think so, why?  Why is it more of a crime to attack someone for a specific reason, (who he is) than it is to attack someone, say, just to rob him?  Is anyone else asking these questions? 


Do you have to be on some sort of endangered list to receive justice under these man-made laws?  This is not a teaching of the Christian God.  God does not tell us to eliminate deviates from among us.  He simply tells us to know good behavior from bad behavior and strive toward the good. 


We wonder why the population of our prisons keeps growing at an alarming rate, but so many refuse to equate that sanctioned bad behavior in society will eventually lead to crime.  With the breakdown of morality come more definitions of crimes – until we finally run out of names for the crimes.  The more laws, the more laws to break, the more criminals - but is this the vengeance of morality or is it the punishment for ignorance? 


If we go back to scripture, you know, that Christian Holy Text that so many think is outdated and needn’t be taken seriously, we find these interesting directions:


            “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saieth the Lord.” (From Romans 12:19)


“Be not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (From Romans 12:21)


If nothing else that we know about Christian ideals rings true, this is inescapable.  God does not expect – does not want – His children to live with vengeance in their hearts.  Our laws, therefore, must be carefully written to avoid the possibility of punishment with vengeance.  Justice must be blind, and I do not think that much of the justice being meted out in today’s courts is truly blind.  Do you? 


If the current crop of legislators have their way, we may soon see all our courts, including the Supreme Court, requiring a “vision test” to handle cases with “empathy” instead of blind justice.  Empathizing with evil will never overcome it, just as vengeance can never be used with good intentions.


Hostility in and against groups is a tool of evildoers and is the true definition of divisiveness.  We must remember that civic literacy requires that we judge on individual merit and in the process, America must remain a cohesive force for good.      



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