By J. Parnell McCarter



The parallels between the American political scene now and in the decades leading up to the Civil War (aka War Between the States) of the 19th century are striking and ominous.  The nation is divided over one primary social issue, along with accompanying other social issues.  In the 19th century the primary issue was slavery, and now the issue is abortion.  In the 19th century the accompanying issues related to other traditional family and social values, as well as states’ rights; so too now.  In the decades before the Civil War there was a small but growing chorus for Southern secession, especially as the South came to realize they would not be the dominant party in the evolving Union; now there are also rising, albeit small, movements toward secession.  As evidence of the latter we witness the rise of the League of the South, the Constitution Party (now headed by a member of the League of the South), and Christian Exodus.  On the other side, there was a strong movement towards abolitionism, accompanied by other movements (female suffrage, penal reform, socialism, etc.) which tended to eradicate traditional American social structures, just as now there is a vigorous secularist party, calling for homosexual civil unions and even marriage, laws against ‘hate’ speech, gun control, etc.  In the 19th century there was a division between blue and grey states; now it is between red and blue states.


The differences between these two sides are not readily resolved by compromise.  If it were just a difference over extent of taxation – one party wanting a tax rate of 20% and the other a rate of 10% - then one could split the difference and no one’s moral sensibilities would be especially damaged.  But with issues like slavery and abortion, it is virtually impossible to split the difference.  And neither side is especially happy with a “nation divided against itself” on such issues.


Both today’s America and 19th century America have lived in the legacy of the American Revolution- without repentance.  That legacy is all too prone to regard secession positively.   It does not seek peace with principle as much as it ought.  Nor does it have a fully sound and healthy regard for God-ordained authorities in the rulers that be.   That legacy too has cast off the Establishment Principle, and specifically established Protestantism, in favor of a coalition of sects and religions.   America is all too prone to embrace secularism and libertinism and Romanism.  This combination of weaknesses and vices serves as a powder keg, ripe for explosion.


All of these parallels lead me to believe another American Civil War is a very real possibility.