A Telling Battle in the Culture War

My previous posts described the array of forces on the liberal and conservative sides of the culture war. Comparison of the power of the two factions makes it obvious that liberals by far possess the advantage. Not only do they have more and stronger forces, but their actions are more united and more aggressive.

This harsh reality was nowhere more evident than in the recent battle between conservatives and liberals in Indiana over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill assuring constitutional rights to religious freedom. A telling factor related to this battle resided in the relatively benign nature of this legislation. In general terms it mirrored the federal law that had received bipartisan support and was signed by President Clinton. It was also similar to legislation passed by 19 other states. Therefore, it was not as if Indiana was arming religious zealots with new powers.

Nonetheless, gay rights advocates believe that this legislation could provide evangelicals with a legal basis for not photographing gay weddings or baking cakes for these occasions. Consequently, the left landed on Indiana with both feet. The media went into full action in support of gay activists. Major corporations, such as Apple, whose CEO is homosexual, announced support, was some corporations making threats to hurt Indiana financially if they passed this law. Some liberal states supported the homosexual cause by a ban on travel to Indiana. The cumulative effect of this opposition was overwhelming, causing Indiana to run for cover. By the next morning they had rewritten the law to favor gays and passed the amended legislation. In short, Indiana folded like a cheap suit. Legislation that was intended to secure for Christians their constitutional rights was reversed to do just the opposite.

This incident graphically displayed the power of the left and the powerlessness of the right. One would like to think that the issue of right and wrong would trump the display of power in the decision-making process. However, that tends not to be the case in politics, and especially in our current cultural context devoid of morality. To be fair to Gov. Pence, had he not reversed course he could have expected little support from evangelicals and an incessant and powerful deluge of hostility from the left that would have continued until he said “uncle.” In light of those alternatives, this was a battle Indiana was not willing to fight.

For conservatives, the disheartening aspect of this incident is found not merely in the outcome, but more so in the overwhelming superiority of the left that it reflected. It is one thing to be beaten by an opposing football team, but when the score is 52 to 0, one holds little hope for beating that team in the future. The crushing reality of this contest is that the liberals are the only team that conservatives play, so prospects of ever again winning are extremely dim. This is especially so because this trouncing of conservatives by liberals was not missed on anybody in America. Therefore, the odds of any politician or political contingent taking up a conservative cause in the future are very slim.

Should this conservative trouncing generate hopeless? Under the present configuration the response is a resounding “yes.”

How might that configuration change?

We could hope for a conservative to win the White House in the next presidential election. Though that would be good news, it would not solve the problem but at best would put off the inevitable triumph of the left a little longer.

Apart from the return of the Lord, the only genuine hope is found in the full engagement of the evangelical church in the culture war. If evangelical leadership had unity, a strategy, and an aggressive approach to the culture war they would stand a good chance of taking our country back.

However, it seems that evangelicals would only adopt that approach as a result of revival, and that revival will only result from some sort of national tragedy that will get their attention. As it turns out, the Obama administration comprises just that sort of national tragedy. The only problem is that the impact of his policies have not yet been fully experienced. When they are, the resulting desperation might result in awakening the church, the coming of a revival, and the full engagement of evangelical Christianity in taking back our country.

Therefore, though it may seem counterintuitive, the bad news in reality might actually constitute good news.


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