"In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God," Lincoln wrote in 1862. "Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time."
Whose side was God on in the great wars of the 20th century?
In Winston Churchill's first address to Parliament at the outset of WWII, the new Prime Minister called for victory over the Germans at all cost, "with all the strength God can give us."
Yet German Wehrmacht soldiers wore belt buckles with the slogan Gott mit uns, meaning "God with us."
Or perhaps God was simply on the side of any man in a foxhole since, as has often been said, there are no atheists there.
The politics of God in this country began taking divergent paths about 40 years ago. Ryan Lizza, writing in the New York Times a few years ago, said the death of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968 was "the starting point of a decades-long trend by which Democrats have become the secular party and the Republicans the religious party."
This year's GOP platform had six references to God, faith and heaven . . . just in the preamble. Contrast that with the Democratic Party's decision, at least until the dustup at the convention, to leave out all references to the Almighty.
I wonder what God thinks of all this? Perhaps the results of this year's presidential election will give us a sign.
After all, won't the winner have God on his side?
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.