Where do you live?

By Joe Keck

We have less than a week to decide which direction this (once?) great Nation will go. There’s a divide in this country. And it is one of more than a little import. One might even apply the term ‘Civil War’ to the chasm that separates the two sides, the two America’s that we – Americans – all live in.

Perhaps it has always been this way, but I think at this time in this 21st century world it is more pronounced, more ‘throbbing’ if you will, and along with our instant news and snap of the fingers information access, it glistens with ever constant visibility.

You may be asking, What ‘Two Americas’ are you speaking of, why the abrasive and sizzling ‘Civil War’ moniker?

Well, here’s my thinking. Not withstanding those pusillanimous and milky Middlings of the so called “undecided”, we have in this United States of America, two encampments: One of God and the canonicity of morality, and one of man and all things situationally malleable with regard to ethics.

The triple trouncing of God at the Democrat Convention a short while ago supports my point.

But then, philosophically speaking, everything comes down to the sub-stratic (pardon the neologism, but I’m a former construction worker) foundational question of, Who will you follow? Yourself? Or someone else? Who is your guide, your moral arbiter, your ‘Giver of the Law’?

Yes, Petros, but who do you say that I am?

A friend of mine, a pastor, told me that he saw a rather small old man with a long gray beard, standing on a busy street corner with a big poster-sized plywood sign draped over his shoulders. It covered him from his chest down to below his knees. He was doing no more than casually pacing up and down the sidewalk, saying nothing, turning this way and that, meandering from one place to another. As my friend watched him, the words on his sign read in big bold letters, “I’m Jesus Christ’s slave.” As the old man turned around, my friend saw that there was an identical board hanging down over his back, but with different words. The on it read, “Who’s slave are you?”

That’s a good question.

We are all slaves to something or someone. Some to a woman, some to a man. Some to a club, some a gang, some philosophy, some a drug, some a political view or party affiliation.

Food, sex, career, children, husband, wife, the list goes on.

But of all those (and many other) things to enslave us, there is only one that is immutable, only one that is not subject to whim or mood or temporal current life situation.

Of course, I’m talking about God. Please understand, I’m not delivering a sermon here, I’m merely substantiating my original point that this America in which we live is a divided nation.

There are those who see God as their all-knowing sustainer and Lord, merciful and loving but immoveable and entirely beyond question and without error or flaw. A God who’s Word, the Bible, carries the same weight.

Then there are those who consider such featly as ‘Going to far’ or fanatical, and park themselves in the camp of a somewhat lesser philosophy, whose barometric reading drops all the way down to absolute Humanism.

If you’re in the first camp, well, there’s little discussion as to which direction your vote will lead. If you’re in the second camp, then hey, let’s talk.

In less than a week we’ll find out which direction our country will go. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a Christian of the Reformed faith, and therefore, can call neither candidate for the Presidency a brother in Christ. One for the faith he claims, the other for the faith he shows.

But regardless of the heavenly perspective, there is a secular understanding that is informed by one of the two worldviews alluded to above.

And they are in conflict.

It has been said of the Civil War of the 19th century that it was a particularly tragic event because of it’s being a war of “brother against brother.” I say no. It was not brother against brother. It was freedom against slavery, moral truth against immoral blight, union under God against union under man. We were led to the side of full human value and worth of all people in that conflict by whichever or whomever you please, depending on your ‘residence.’

But this time around, we have no knee-calloused Abraham Lincoln carrying a torch and riding before us. And I dare say, our guardrails against decadence and vice have been replaced with weakened, thin, chalky gray lines.

So, reside in whichever camp you like, be it that of the Right or of the Left, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. In either case, given that this is still a (semi) free country, one must decide before this coming Tuesday just where their political sensibilities lie. The words “As for me and my house” seem to come into sharp focus and we are forced to take a good look at ourselves and what may be in store for the next four years for all of us.

However, the rest of that phrase is what makes all the difference in this world, and of course, in the then next!

About the Author

Joe Keck is a writer of horror, thriller, suspense, and other fiction, some poetry and music, with the occasional op-ed piece on current events, politics, and theology. Although born in Oklahoma, he was taken to Los Angeles when he was an infant, or as his mother described, "the ugliest little thing I've ever seen", and raised there on the West Coast. He considers himself to be far superior to most on the artistic merits of film and literature, seeing the vast majority of such to be well below adequate. He has four novels and many short stories to his credit, and hopes to one day have them published, promising to hold critics like himself in harsh derision. He's currently restoring a Jason 35 sailboat and plans to sail the world, writing horror stories, and marveling at the illustrative works of the Creator and His Divine story-telling imagery. You may Find Joe's Website at http://www.joekeck.com/

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