“One nation, under God, indivisible!” (Why January 6 was not political and the Constitution belongs to us all)

Christ has set us free for freedom. Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to the bondage of slavery again. – Galatians 5:1

– author Derek Maul lives and writes in Wake Forest, NC

My big challenge this morning is the fact that I do not write about politics in this blog. At the same time, I do write about life as it happens, especially what is important and on everyone’s minds. Which leads us to Washington D.C., Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately my take turns out to be a deeper point of reference that is not politics at all.

Here’s my thinking on this. I think that disagreements, debates, ideological arguments, elections etc. are a lot like the give and take between Christians and the denominations they identify with.

Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians and the Green Party (and others) disagree on policy and priorities and taxation and social programs and the role of government and innumerable details. Likewise Christians from Baptist to Presbyterian to Catholic and other groups stake out positions regarding baptism, communion, church government, social issues, ecclesiastical authority, interpretation, the role of women in leadership, ordination standards etc.

However, what Christians all have in common is the decision to accept the invitation Jesus offers to be reconciled with God and to live as disciples. Likewise what Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Progressives and more all have in common is the Constitution, and the pledge to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. “I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies…”

The business of upholding the Constitution (and the seat of government where representatives and senators do the people’s work) is not political, it is fundamental to our identity as Americans.

So to me the real sadness of Wednesday January 6th was the fact of Americans (not Republicans, not Democrats) engaged in undermining the foundation of the Constitution we all need to root ourselves in and swear to support and defend.

Personal sidenote:

As a personal observation – and this affected me emotionally – my parents (89 and 92) have been deeply unsettled by events since the presidential election. They have watched election workers, elections supervisors, attorney generals, governors, states, district courts, and the Supreme Court consider and reject unsubstantiated claims of fraud. But yesterday I could tell that some of the sense of security and safety they know, living in the world’s “beacon of light” democracy, was fraying at the edges.

Just consider that. As children my parents lived in England during WW2. My mother’s street was destroyed and the front of her home blown in by German bombing. They know what a threat to democracy means.

Like I said, this isn’t about politics, it is about who we are as a nation. And, as more than one statesman and stateswoman said yesterday, “We are better than this.”

“It is for freedom,” Paul wrote in Galatians 5, “that Christ has set us free. Therefore stand firm…”

“One nation… under God… indivisible…”


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