No, this is not about whether or not the words “under God” should be included when saying the Pledge of Allegiance; nor is it about saying the Pledge at all. It’s that word “indivisible” that bothers me. Indivisible. It means that it cannot be divided. For instance, numbers are indivisible by zero. You can’t do it, at least not if you understand math.
If you want to understand just how indivisible we are NOT, about all you have to do is turn on the news, pick up a newspaper, or simply listen to the people in the booth next to you when you go out to eat. We are about the most divided society that mankind has ever known in more ways than most of us are even aware of. The thought process essentially recognizes that there are only two types of people – them and us. Of course, just who “them” are and just who “us” is changes frequently, depending upon who is talking about whom.
There are, of course, the old standby juxtapositions. The black-white, citizen-immigrant, man-woman, young-old divisions are still around, and are still as lively as ever, though the people who hold these views typically have come up with better ways of disguising their disgust for the “other side.” The Klan long ago tossed their white robes and donned business suits. Men don’t keep women barefoot and pregnant anymore. they don’t have to. Instead, they carefully guard those glass ceilings at the corporate level, and work hard to keep women “in their place” by instituting some very crafty policies in the health insurance debate (think “transvaginal probe). We don’t openly discriminate against people who look and speak “different.” We “embrace diversity” and pass laws that punish the bejesus out of employers who hire “illegals” so that they don’t want to hire anyone who even LOOKS like they might not be here legally. We’re good.
Today we have a whole new slate of issues that make us something other than “indivisible.” Toss into the mix the pro-life vs pro-choice argument, the alternative energy vs drill baby drill conflict, the pro-union vs anti-union fight, the gun control vs 2nd Amendment advocates conflict, the red state vs blue state competition, and on and on. And on. And on. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight, and to make matters worse, there is very little compromising going on anymore. It’s not about finding common ground anymore. It’s about digging in. It’s about doubling down. It’s about demonizing the other side. And it’s about showing your teeth to anyone on your side that even suggests compromise or working with the other side.
Maybe “divided” no longer describes what is going on in our society. We are diced, cut apart from each other in a million different ways into smaller and smaller segments of the society we claim to be. We might be divided. We might be diced. But the one thing we are definitely not is indivisible.