The Two Cities: The Really Important Source of Division in Our World

In the present “lovefest” climate that’s surrounding Barack Obama’s inauguration, it’s good to remember that there’s more to finding peace and happiness than racial unity and “equality:”

I have already said, in previous Books, that God had two purposes in deriving all men from one man.  His first purpose was to give unity to the human race by the likeness of nature.  His second purpose was to bind mankind by the bond of peace, through blood relationship, into one harmonious whole.  I have said further that no member of this race would ever have died had not the first two–one created from nothing and the second from the first–merited this death by disobedience.  The sin which they committed was so great that it impaired all human nature–in this sense, that the nature has been transformed to posterity with a propensity to sin and a necessity to die.  Moreover, the kingdom of death so dominated men that all would have been hurled, by a just punishment, in to a second and endless death had not some have been saved from this by the gratuitous grace of God.  This is the reason why, for all the difference of the many and very great nations throughout the world in religion and morals, language, weapons, and dress, there exist no more than the two kinds of society, which, according to our Scriptures, we have rightly called the two cities.  One city is that of men who live according to the flesh.  The other is of men who live according to the spirit.  Each of them chooses its own kind of peace and, when they attain what they desire, each lives in the peace of its own choosing. (St. Augustine, City of God, XIV, 1)

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