Divorce: Republican Style

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By Steve Deace

First Things is one of the most read social conservative blogs in the country, so when it publishes a piece titled “Not Peace but a Sword” that says it may be time to let the Republican Party split, that’s worth noticing. The piece says the Christian’s natural inclination to seek unity has its time and season, and this is not one of those times and seasons:

There is a time for peace, but in my judgment we’re not in such times. For the next four years, perhaps longer, social-issue Christians must recognize that smoothing differences is a temptation, and must learn to resist the temptation. Christians have to be willing to follow the example of Jesus, who came not to unify but to divide father from son, mother from daughter, brother from brother. Division was essential to the social renewal he came to accomplish, because those who followed him, torn from comfortable networks of kin and religion, formed the nucleus of a new kind of community. For Jesus, division was the means for achieving a new unity. Christians have to be willing to imitate the Prince of Peace who declared, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Why does First Things not believe this is a time for peace and unity?

If the price of regaining power is to abandon any semblance of Christian sexual morality, the price is too high. If the Republican party can’t bring itself to endorse a traditional understanding of marriage, let it split. If the Republican party can’t be bothered about the slaughter of the unborn, let it shatter into a million little pieces. Good Republicans will blame Bad Republicans for tearing the GOP to pieces. So be it. 

The argument in this piece is essentially a replay of the same dilemma that led to the dissolution of the Whig Party and the formation of the Republican Party in the mid-19th century. Thus, the GOP has essentially come full circle.

But what do you think of the article’s argument? Do you agree or disagree? Is it premature, overdue, or right on time? Give us your opinion via Facebook, Twitter, or email me at steve@stevedeace.com.

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