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OPINION: Americans must unite, or face collapse

October 27, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

There are a lot of things in our world that I do not understand. No, I'm not referring to the ever-changing technology that drives most of us crazy; I'm referring to some of the things that are common around us.

For instance, I can't quite understand why the deer in my backyard love to sneak up during the night and eat the leaves off of my fire bushes and Rose of Sharron plant. I have planted some delicious fescue grass for them to eat, and my neighbors' yards look appealing enough to tempt any herbivore. I hypothesize that maybe my deer have some kind of vitamin deficiency and that my bushes help satisfy their deficiency, but I'm probably just deluding myself.

Or, consider hummingbirds (or any bird for that matter). I can understand somewhat the dynamics of flight, and actually long for the experience to soar and float with the wind currents like they do. I slipped on the ice last winter and had double vision for almost six months, so I know something about that kind of experience; and birds have eyes on both sides of their head (something that suggests some kind of double vision) and yet have no problem at all zooming straight into a tree and lighting on a limb. Hummingbirds (and I'm told bumble bees) defy most of the dynamics of flight and can hover anywhere, but when they want to move, they move almost with the speed of light to land upon a tiny twig in a tree. That I do not understand.

There are other such interesting things in this world of nature, but I'll let you discover them for yourself. Unfortunately, there also are some things we do not understand in this complex world we live in as well.

I do not understand why people tend to choose politics and economics over the lives of people. For example, it's one thing to mandate something that protects people, but quite another to mandate something that puts people -- e.g. our children -- in harm's way.

I do not understand how our medical institutions can charge individuals without any insurance thousands (if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for medical treatment while only charging insurance companies a few hundred or thousands of dollars. I always thought people paid for what they get and the playing field was level.

I do not understand how my drug insurance company charges me the entire cost of medication in order to get me into the "donut" hole, but only considers what I actually pay for my drugs in order to get me out of the "donut" hole. That sounds a lot like double-dealing.

I probably will never understand the resistance to taking a covid-19 vaccination. Of course, it's easy to understand such reluctance if a person has a medical condition that indicates caution, but that's why we have doctors to guide us. Vaccinations have been around a long time to protect us from diseases. What's so special about the covid-19 vaccination?

I do not understand why some people are committed to controlling firearms among law abiding citizens while refusing to allow law enforcement personnel the right to protect themselves whenever threatened with deadly force. Why do bad people have more gun rights than good people?

While I believe in clean energy and climate, and even like the idea of electric cars, I still cannot understand how it is possible to have electric cars without utilizing the petroleum necessary to create the electricity. Hydroelectric power and wind power are great, but they only produce a minimum of the electricity we need to operate electric cars and machines.

Lastly, I do not understand why it is so difficult to accept the results of a legal election, choose to believe in construed information not backed up with facts, and fail to comprehend violence against our country like what happened last January 6th. I'm not trying to start an argument here, just to say I do not understand what appears to be so simple.

Abraham Lincoln said on June 16, 1848, that "A house divided against itself cannot stand." In 2011, a panel of historians elaborated on this dilemma and emphasized, "while slavery and its various and multifaceted discontents were the primary cause of disunion, it was disunion itself that sparked the Civil War."

I don't purport to know a lot of factual information about the things that divide us today, but this I do know: We are Americans, and if we do not find a way to unite and help one another, our country faces the danger of collapsing as other great nations have -- not from an outside enemy, but from within by people who love themselves more than anything or anyone else, and are willing to die for their causes and take others with them.

• • •

Robert Box has been a law enforcement chaplain for 29 years. He is a master-level chaplain with the International Conference of Police Chaplains and is an endorsed chaplain with the American Baptist Churches USA. He also currently serves as a deputy sheriff chaplain for the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Opinions expressed in the article are the opinions of the author and not the agencies he serves.

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