News broke yesterday afternoon that President Trump will sign a border security compromise package that averts another government shutdown. However, this package does not include all the funds Mr. Trump has requested for continued construction of a barrier along our southern border.
ABC News reports that the president plans to announce today his intention to spend about $8 billion on the border wall with a mix of spending from congressional allocations, executive action, and an emergency declaration.
As a nonpartisan ministry, my purpose is not to offer a personal opinion on the political issues involved here. Nor is it to focus on the border wall itself, a subject I addressed recently.
Rather, my goal today is to consider the divisive response to these developments.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer responded: “Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.”
BEING BAPTIST AND WORKING FOR IBM
There are clearly significant debates dividing Americans today. Many of us are fundamentally opposed on foundational issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia.
As I wrote recently, media bias also plays a part in the escalating divisions of our day. And the deterioration of traditional religious and institutional affiliations has dissolved valuable cords of community.
There was a time when people spent their lives being Baptist or Catholic and working for IBM or General Motors. As denominational commitment and corporate loyalty have declined, a larger sense of community has decayed with them.
But there’s another foundational issue at work, one we don’t recognize as easily but which affects us all.
TRIBES AND “ANTI-TRIBES”
The US Census Bureau reports that in 1910, 28 percent of Americans lived in metropolitan areas; in 2000, 80 percent of us lived in cities. In 1900, the most common American household contained seven or more people; in 2000, it contained two people.
Brown University’s Marc Dunkelman notes that communities and townships have been replaced with networks in which we keep in touch only with our closest friends and families. There was a time when we interacted with our neighbors, whether we agreed with them or not. Now we choose community based on commonality.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse agrees. In Them: Why We Hate Each Other–And How to Heal, he notes that “cultural fragmentation, technological developments, and economic upheaval have undermined the feeling of togetherness that Americans shared just a few short decades ago.”
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Source: Christian Headlines