What a terrible thing, Brother, is a civil war. One week your dominion is at peace, the enemy on all borders has been subdued, the army is draining marshes for farmland and repairing fortifications, the Emperor is satisfied, and the Church is expanding; then with one fell blow, one ill-advised order from on high, all is a shambles. One's life is uprooted and overturned, the Empire is on the brink of Schism, and death is all around. One week, within which one day was the turning point, though I would be hard-pressed to determine precisely which day that was, as all seem to run together in an evil blur; and within that day a critical hour, minute, and second. Before which point, if the fatal order had not been issued, all would have remained the same; after which infinitesimal lapse, all is lost, or gained, depending upon the side you are on, and on that side, depending upon whether you are a general who will be allowed to retire peacefully to an estate in Pannonia, or a mud-booted infantryman, in which case it hardly matters on which side you fight, for the end result will be the same either way, and the twenty years service in exchange for retirement, a thick-armed barbarian wife, and two acres of bottomland for a garden are as impossible as Perseus' flight to the sun. A week is all it takes, Brother, for God to create the universe, for civil war to erupt, for a plot of beans to sprout in the summer. A day is all that is needed to watch the gladiator battles in the circus, for a baby to be born. An hour to attend a Communion service, or for that same baby to die. A minute to tell a joke, to say a prayer, to ask forgiveness, to utter a betrayal. A second for a wasp to sting, for an archer to loose an arrow, for a murderer -- or an Emperor -- to snuff out a life. Yet that insignificant period of time is impossible to predict in advance, or its inexorable progress to be stopped, and despite every good intent, that which God has decreed is made manifest, and the wasp stings, and the war erupts. -- Michael Curtis Ford, Gods and Legions, pp 277-278.
The Roman tourist whose quote I began this post with is wrong. It will not take 2,000 years for the fall of the United States or, indeed, of Western Civilization. It could happen in 2. The house of cards, so recklessly crafted out of greed and arrogance in the 20th and early 21st Century, is held in place by gravity alone, needing only the first puff of inclement wind to collapse it.
Thomas à Kempis, writing in 1418 in his work The Imitation of Christ, observed: "O quam cito transit gloria mundi." "How quickly the glory of the world passes away."
Responding to Patrice Lewis' proposal to divide up the country and let the collectivists have their dysfunctional portion, I wrote at the end of July:
Wishful thinking at its worst. The collectivists, being collectivists, will not give up power over ALL of us short of war. For my part, I am unwilling to cede one square inch of our nation to these tyrants without a fight. THEY are the revolutionaries, Gramscian though they may be. We simply want our liberty back under the Founders' Constitutional principles. We therefore represent Restoration, and they revolution.
There is no case in history that I know of where one country has peaceably agreed to dissolve into ideologically opposite parts. There was ALWAYS a bloody civil war. To the extent that we believe that civil war cannot happen here, decisions will be taken on both sides that make it inevitable.
Do the problems exist as you delineate them? Certainly. Can they be solved politically, without violence? Certainly not. The sooner we all embrace that unfortunate truth, the more ready we will be when it happens.
I do not wish civil war. Only an insane person would. I have done all I can to warn people of its likelihood. But know this, it IS coming, whether we like it or not.
I pray daily to God to prevent it, but I rather think this may be the punishment we deserve for turning our faces from Him.
As George Mason warned his fellow Founders when they refused to give up slavery as part of the Constitution, nations are not judged in Heaven, but on earth. He predicted that as a country we would be bloodily judged for slavery, and we were.
There's another judgment coming.
No amount of wishful thinking or facile political propositions will prevent it.
The Gunwalker Scandal, even if carried to a successful conclusion, can, I think, but buy time, years, a decade perhaps, depending upon economic events. And time is important, vitally important, don't get me wrong. But we have a fundamental divide in this country over which is to be the master of which, the people or the federal government.
Such divides in the past have not been bridged except by filling them up with the bodies of countless millions, of the guilty and the innocent.
May God have mercy on my country and its people and spare us the bloody agony of civil war.
I rather suspect, however, that He won't.
Not this time.
I doubt our ruins will look at magnificent as those of Rome.
"Sic transit gloria mundi."
"Thus passes the glory of the world."
But whoever first said it left out, "in blood, agony and fire."