How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Abraham Lincoln famously cited these verses from Saint Mark’s Gospel in his “House Divided” speech.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.
The analogy might well be applied to the abortion debate in this country and around the world. Can sexuality be divided against itself? Can it be the cause and source of human reproduction and routinely sabotaged to prevent the birth of babies? Can human society survive so long as it routinely aborts the sexual impulse to reproduce?
We read in the Book of Genesis the Lord’s command, “God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply….” This may be the only divine command every nation has embraced enthusiastically. We love to make babies; the urge is irrepressible.
Some sociologists tell us the world’s population is moving to cities. Villages and hamlets are being abandoned; vast open, untamed spaces are reappearing. Even farmers are moving to the cities as agriculture moves indoors where plants can flourish year-round in controlled climates. Because urban people have smaller families, they expect the human population to cap at several billion people, and then decline.
But will the sexual impulse, traditionally governed by the rites of marriage and controlled by the strictures of family, both immediate and extended, be directed toward civilizing behavior? Or will the cities become hunting grounds for sexual predators who habitually flout the obligations of parenthood?
The “sexual revolution” began not in the 1960’s when the expression was coined, but in the 1920’s, with the mechanization of farms. Suddenly farmworkers, young men and women, migrated to the cities, far from their guardian parents, uncles and aunts. Isolated, alienated individuals were free to create the Jazz Age and new sexual mores. Religious communities opened the YMCA and YWCA and safe houses for young women. Evangelists followed; they built churches to reintroduce family life and neighborhood stability. But divorce in this new world was not uncommon; and abortion, a hidden crime.
Jesus promised the Kingdom of God is like the mustard seed. It doesn’t appear very promising until it becomes “the largest of shrubs!” He knew very well that mustard is not a large shrub, but the Kingdom of God is enormous. Even the sexual impulse is drawn to its discipline, integrity and beauty.
The Gospel shuns violence against vulnerable women, children, the elderly and the unborn. It does not regard death as a tool to manage human populations or mold human society. The Church that survived the medieval era cannot but maintain these standards through thisdark age.
God's Kingdom gathers lost individuals, predators and prey, as they recognize their need for parents and children, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. Families are reborn; houses, cities and nations, reunited.