Why is it that the incoming administration’s calls for unity don’t give us that warm feeling inside that makes happy tears well up in our eyes? I mean, most reasonable Americans surely desire unity for our country, right? But let’s be honest: this feels much different.
The first thing that probably comes to mind is that these sudden calls for unity by those ascending to (nearly unchecked) power are utterly hypocritical. The people who have gained positions of power in our executive and legislative branches, and those people and institutions who coordinated efforts to ensure that outcome, certainly did not call for unity after President Trump won the election in 2016. In fact, they spent four years peddling hatred toward him as well as toward anyone who dared to support him, attacking the legitimacy of the election, making endless accusations, conducting baseless investigations, and calling for everything that is exactly the opposite of unity. Every single day. Every single way. BUT, there is an even bigger point here that we simply CANNOT miss…
The real issue is that these hypocritical calls for unity aren’t really calls for unity at all! Let me explain.
Unity happens when diverse people come together to get behind a greater purpose, or a shared vision. For example, our Founders, who were from all walks of life, set aside their differences and elevated their common goal of establishing this great nation where every citizen would have equal protection under the law, and where the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be secure. Since then, diverse Americans have unified around a common love for this country and around the freedom and opportunity it provides. This is a noble aspiration! But make no mistake, this is NOT the aspiration of the powerful few who are now in control of our government.
The powerful few are working to ensure not unity, but, rather, conformity.
Conformity means acting in accord with a certain set of standards, attitudes, practices, etc. We are being told by the most radical administration in our history to accept their standards, their vision for our country, a vision most Americans do not share and do not believe will serve the greater good. Not only are they demanding passive acceptance, they are increasingly forcing active participation in (and promotion of) their own prescribed social “norms” and worldview, while silencing (read censoring) all political opposition. We are expected to silently and dutifully obey. If we dare raise objections—no matter how reasonable or factual, and even if based on (real) science—we are canceled, shamed, de-platformed, vilified, harassed, or fired. Some high-profile politicians and media personalities have even begun suggesting—this is not an isolated occurrence—that all who supported or support President Trump are domestic terrorists and are in need of “de-programming.”
These actions bear no resemblance whatsoever to the concept of unity. Those wielding the most power are demanding total conformity to a worldview that runs completely counter to the values many (if not most) Americans hold sacred. Even more concerning is that those ascending to power today, with the help of Big Tech and the mainstream media, have gained unprecedented control over the dissemination of information. When government controls the dissemination of information—the name for this is “propaganda”—democracy is threatened, to understate the case. A “state-run press” is perhaps the greatest threat to a free republic.
So, what do we do now? Well, as it turns out, God has a lot to say about unity and conformity. While Christians are called to fight for unity, we are to reject conformity to worldviews that are antithetical to biblical truths, no matter how deceivingly beautiful the package may be.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:1-2
“The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”Matthew 7:13-14
“Don’t love this world or the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you….This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave….”1 John 2:15
For those of us who have serious moral and spiritual (and other) objections to the ideologies that have taken root in our government, thoughts about the future are disconcerting. I believe staying true to our convictions will become more and more difficult in the face of a government that has demonstrated a willingness to silence and even punish political dissenters. The fact that I am typing these words in a country founded on the principle of freedom of expression is shocking to me, but I do not at all believe I am overstating my concerns.
I’m grateful for the last four years, as I believe one of President Trump’s greatest gifts was emboldening faith-filled, freedom-loving, Constitution-revering, God-fearing Americans who had given up or given in to the tactics of intimidation and cancelation. We can and should continue to stand boldly and courageously for what is good and right. Those of us who were inspired the last four years can inspire and embolden others around us who’ve lost their courage or motivation. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and sound mind.
Most importantly, this may just become the greatest opportunity we’ve ever had to share the one true source of hope with those who find themselves in need of it. Hopelessness is the doorway to hope. Let’s stand ready to boldly share the path to our enduring hope.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”John 14:27