A nation divided

There is an old story of a surgeon, an architect and a politician arguing about who was in the oldest profession. The doctor said it must be him because a surgical operation would have been required on Adam to remove a rib for Eve.  ‘Ah’ exclaimed the architect, ‘but before that, an architect created order out of chaos. So, it must be me!’

The politician then piped up with, ‘But who created the chaos in the first place?’

Well, as I write this, the British House of Commons is closing itself down for another General Election. One that promises to be more acrimonious than any in the past. For if you do not live in the UK, you may not know that we have been in political turmoil since voting narrowly to leave the European Union 3 years ago. The result has been we are a nation bitterly divided.

However, General Robert E Lee, the Confederate States Army commander from the American Civil War once said how much he regretted that conflict. Indeed, he never wanted to fight against his own countrymen no matter the perceived righteousness of his cause. And that is why he wrote to his wife of his foes this, ‘I pray for them every day’.

Similarly, General Ulysses S Grant, the Union Commander, later said of his feelings at the moment of victory:  “sad and depressed…at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought.”

Hopefully, these wise sentiments and call to pray will lead Britain and another divided country into an era of more mutual respect.


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