This article firs appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 11, 2010 - "A house divided against itself cannot stand" was originally attributed to Jesus in Matthew 12:25. The line was repeated in 1858 by Abraham Lincoln in a debate against Stephen Douglas in Springfield, Ill.
Mr. Lincoln was, of course, talking about the threatened secession of Southern, slave-holding states. As much as Mr. Lincoln opposed slavery, he had a stronger commitment to keeping the union together. Our federal system was an experiment in cooperation. As early as 1832, South Carolina passed an "ordinance of nullification," stating that it did not have to abide by tariffs passed by Congress.
Does this sound familiar?