A House Divided

Jul 26, 2018
Civility Message

Dear Friends,

As we go home for our summer break, let us please keep in mind that nothing can polarize congress and community but the belief in, and practice of, polarity politics. A little of the oil of civility in Congress will prevent a deluge of discord in the nation.

On June 16, 1858, in an address in the capital of Illinois, Springfield, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Whether the division is based on slavery, as it was when President Lincoln delivered his house divided speech, or political tribalism which is devilishly dividing us today, this nation cannot long survive unless the chasm is quickly closed.

There are those who contribute almost hourly to the national divide. This division is an open wound on our national soul. As ones who are concerned with the health of our nation, we should take every opportunity to say aloud that it is not okay to rub salt into that wound. To mend a laceration, you must stop irritating it.

President Lincoln understood that mending complex division would be demanding and require endurance. Our words, our tone, our examples are contagious and echo into our collective future. When we have the power to heal, is it not our obligation to use it?

Warmest regards,

Emanuel Cleaver, II