The coming civil war


Well, the election is over. Whether the results are in our not, I cannot say since this column was written prior to the election. In any event, if not today, then soon we will know who received the largest number of Electoral College votes. One would hope that the country would now come to unity but, I fear, it will not.

In the 12th century, Empress Matilda (or Maud) was the only surviving legitimate child of King Henry I of England. Prior to his death, Henry nominated his daughter to succeed him on the throne. But, in 1135, Stephen of Blois claimed that his uncle, the king, had changed his mind on his deathbed and had named his nephew as the successor. The powerful English barons backed Stephen and Matilda refused to accept this contention.

What followed was 19 years of civil war in England, known as “The Anarchy.” And, as always, it was the nation and the people who suffered. Law and order broke down and, as if the war wasn’t tragedy enough, roving band of thieves and murderers took what they wished and terrorized businesses and average citizens.

I doubt very seriously whether the supporters of the losing candidate will go quietly into the night. We have already seen four years of relatively non-violent civil conflict that has separated both friends and family. I say “relatively,” even though factions of the Left have burned American cities and factions on the Right have threatened violence through force of arms to put an end to it and have put armed patrols on the streets of some cities. In some cases, the police have stood idly by, ordered by their superiors to not interfere.

And, as in 12th century England, the people have been made to carry the brunt of suffering. Congress is, for all intents and purposes, stalemated with little action, aside from hearings, speeches, pandering, and positioning, being accomplished. Both sides have been intent on winning and the people are merely the pawns in the game. There are precious few statesmen in the Congress and those who might be there have been drowned out by the voices who shout the loudest.

America, at least in the non-liberal-led states, is an armed camp. Recently, I spoke with the manager of a gun shop who said that he cannot keep enough weapons in stock and that a great many of the gun buyers are securing their first weapon. There has been so much stockpiling of ammunition that there have been ammunition shortages. It is estimated that, in Georgia alone, there are in excess of 400,000 citizens licensed to carry concealed weapons which is twice the number of U. S. Marines world-wide.

America has had its own war between factions which, in four years, resulted in over 700,000 dead. And, like today, there were many reasons for the division among the American populace, not just one as commonly believed. Politicians led the charge and stirred up the population.

Sound familiar? There are people, friends of mine, on social media whose entire posts are dedicated to canonizing one side and demonizing the other. This rank and raw hatred didn’t stop with the results of the last election and I have no confidence that it will stop with this one just past.

There were efforts to bring an end to the 12th century conflict. However, efforts by powerful lords and by the church had little effect. The despair was so great among the English people that Chroniclers described the period as one in which “Christ and his saints were asleep.”

Finally, in 1153, as both sides geared up for battle with opposing forces on each bank of the Thames River, the barons on both sides refused to fight. It took awhile but peace was finally negotiated and achieved. It wasn’t due to either Stephen or Matilda that peace was achieved. Those who were doing the fighting and, bleeding and seeing their friends dying and their towns decimated and impoverished, had finally had enough.

Has America had enough of the fighting by factions and the tearing apart of the fabric of this nation by leaders and people with vested interests? I see no evidence of that as yet. Until the suffering people have had enough the fighting will continue. Will it really lead to a shooting civil war? Well, our history tells us that, yes, it can happen even here.

[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King ( During the crisis, the church is live streaming at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays at He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South ( He may contacted at]


    • Not my nightmare STF. Tax cuts, 3 Supreme Court seats, no new wars, historically low unemployment levels for minorities and others, 80% increase in my investments and more.

      I had my nightmare under Obama. $1400 per month for health insurance, high unemployment, numerous foreclosures and bankruptcies and more.

      Anyway, it is what it is and I will watch, hope and pray he means what he is saying about unification. I will give him the chance that others did not give Trump. I will have hope. I hope that the protesters who turned into celebrants today continue to peacefully wave American flags.

      He’s talking now (Saturday PM) about cooperation between Democrats and Republicans and its almost believable except my mind keeps flashing on Nancy Pelosi and some of the things she has said and done. Remember ripping up the State of the Union speech?

      I really want to hope and believe. I will keep that faith as long as I can.

        • Fantasyland is the one in which many of you knuckleheads thought the seasonal flu would outpace Covid-19 this year and similar to the flu, would magically disappear over the summer. Sorry to hear Mr. Morgan that you were a little slow with your investment strategies in the last 8 years. The S&P rose 52% in 2014-2016 while 2017-2019 was similar at 51%. As for your high healthcare insurance costs, that was supposed to be corrected within these past four years by many a promise made (kept?) by the WH and its Senate.

      • You can’t attribute the economy solely to Trump. Obama got the economy from the great recession to pretty strong, and that strong position allowed for the growth under Trump. Hopefully we can avoid the worst affects of the great recession this time, but to do that we need to get the pandemic under control. We need to give out just enough stimulus money to keep businesses afloat until enough people are vaccinated for it to be safe to fully open again.

        There are a lot of people who are going through a nightmare right now. All the service workers who were just barely making ends meet before the pandemic, have lost their jobs and are facing evictions. They can’t go back to work because nearly every business is in survival mode right now and not looking to hire people.

        I hope for a peaceful transition, but why should the democrats cooperate with the republicans when just a couple of weeks ago they forced through Amy Coney Barrett?

  1. Guns have already been introduced into the peaceful protests/riots with looting.

    At some point someone will produce one of those red and blue maps which shows who is in charge in each state (or in some cases counties within the state) and superimpose the location where protests got out of hand. Can also add locations of police shootings.

    Someone may learn for the first time that the flareups in the blue areas are surrounded by miles and miles of peaceful red areas untouched by this “Second Civil War”. Draw whatever conclusion you want, but I am personally happy the election headline Cal chose was “Republicans hold back Democrats”.

  2. Perhaps America could go to war with itself again over this election. The Republicans have won the popular vote for President only once since 1988. In Presidential races, the Democrats have won the popular vote, but lost the election, twice in this young century already. In every case the Democratic candidate has conceded. I think it is only reasonable to expect the loser of this current electoral college to concede peacefully. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  3. You forgot to mention the members of the anti-government militia group Wolverine Watchmen, who were arrested by the FBI just a few weeks ago for plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan, attack the state legislature and threatening state law enforcement.