Thursday, April 29, 2010

Same God, Same Hymns


630,000 family men, young men, and boys lost their lives in combat. The figure is much higher if you count the number that died from disease and complications from war wounds.

Countless homes and buildings were pilfered, razed, and burned leaving large populations of citizenry destitute and homeless.

The conflict didn’t happen afar off in jungles or deserts. No. It happened in our own front yards, in our fields, and on the streets of our towns and cities.

It staggers me to consider and think about it. There were quite a few issues involved. Once the ball started rolling it was impossible to stop. The emotional conflicts were as heated as the engagements on the battlefields.

Union and Confederate. US and CSA. In many cases it was brother against brother, cousin against cousin. Both sides speaking the same language. Both sides praying to the same God. Both sides singing the same hymns. Both sides believing their cause to be the right one to support and defending it to the point of violent and bloody death.

The historical scenario reminds me a lot of the heated conflicts of issues and opinions, political and otherwise, that embroil the hearts and minds of this modern day citizenry. It was hard to sit the fence during the 19th Century war that raged between the States. It’s no different now. Fence sitting is still a difficult proposition.

The spirit of that historical line, known as Mason-Dixon, is still a very real Line of Demarcation although it is not necessarily defined by flags, uniform colors, and emblems. The conflicts still rage as inescapable realities. Only now the sounds of rifle and cannon fire have been silenced, their resonance replaced with rhetoric and promises emanating from an even more powerful and growing centralized government.