A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday April 14, 1865 marks the One Hundred Fiftieth anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington. The following morning, less than a week after the end of the Civil War, Lincoln would become the first American president killed in office.

Nearly seven years earlier Mr. Lincoln delivered a speech to more than 1,000 delegates at the Republican State Convention. He saw the United States as a house divided between the opponents and advocates of slavery. Lincoln felt that slavery must ultimately be universally accepted or universally denied. He states “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”President Lincoln’s statement “A house divided against itself cannot stand” has come to mean that any institution or “house” cannot be stable and strong to itself when divided. If the fighting continues without interruption, the institution will eventually break.What would President Lincoln say today with a country whose political mantra is divisiveness? What would be his response to the ambiguous sound bites tossed around; welfare, deficit, immigration, and healthcare? How would he view the school ground name calling; it’s the liberals, it’s the teabaggers? All used to inflame collective passions of party members.

Would he believe there was a possibility that the “house will cease to be divided” on the pressing issues of our time? Or would he simply adapt to today’s social media and post SMH?

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