"Three decades of culture war have failed to make America a more moral nation"

“…and younger evangelicals today want to engage the public square in less partisan ways, says the author of a new book on faith and politics.” Author says young Christians tired of culture war

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Aaron Blumer's picture


Interesting argument.
Young people = tired of culture war
Therefore everybody should quit.

It's probably an easy claim that "three decades of culture war have failed to make America a more moral nation," but can anyone prove that this fight has not slowed our moral decline?
But that line of argument is a completely pragmatic one. Some things are right to do regardless of whether they are "effective."

(I also hasten to point out that though evangelicals are rushing toward socio/political neutrality in droves, the left is not doing anything of the kind. Whether we choose to engage them or not, the anti-tradition, anti-God and anti-moral world-view that is liberalism will not stop working toward what it sees as "progress." And they won't quit when they get tired.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Steve Newman's picture

We can't say that the culture war hasn't made any impact. The fact that there are now more people that take a pro-life position than in the past is evidence of some effect. However, the culture war has not helped us win the spiritual battle for the country's soul. Would that we continued that battle and saw God bring more to faith and following of Him!

Mike Harding's picture

This is an article that promotes capitulation. They don't have the will to fight; nor do they have the same level of conviction that the left does.

Pastor Mike Harding

Shaynus's picture

While a decade ago a majority of young evangelicals identified themselves as Republicans, Merritt said, a survey of 700 young Christian leaders attending the Q Conference in Washington found that 61 percent claimed they don’t affiliate with either the political right or left.

Also, polling Christians at the Q Conference in DC is not exactly a scientific survey. My brother stayed with me and went. He described the conference as some conservative evangelicals, but a lot of Jim Wallis/Sojourner types as well. It's like inviting a bunch of friends who are likely to agree with you, surveying them, and declaring "dude! this must be what everyone thinks!"

Barry L.'s picture

To fight the Culture War?

Does it have to be done politically? Before the Moral Majority came to being, Christians fought the culture war by being a witness to the world, not necessarily through politics. I have to be honest, I'm also getting extremely cynical of Christianity and politics. We voted in NC today. I voted for the marriage amendment; however, I wonder how that legislation really does anything to turn men and women's hearts to God.

The problem with our country is not its politicians, but its Christians, and how they live their lives. Time and time again we have so-called "family values" politicians who live their lives so far from those principles that they espouse. Christians are used as a tool by the likes of Santorum, Palin, Gingrich, etc., yet we still fall in love with these morally bereft candidates because they say what we want to hear.

The author of the article wasn't clear whether the young people are tired of fighting the cultural war in general, or just fighting it through politics. If it's the latter, I can understand their weariness.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Ultimately you can't do with legislation what there is no will to do in the hearts of people. So it has to be fought on the level of persuasion rather than coercion. At the same time, public policy also shapes attitudes and beliefs.
The dynamic is a bit cyclical, I think: what we believe shapes what we do and what we do shapes what we believe.
So I'm for fighting these battles on all fronts, though many moral issues are not appropriate to coerce through legislation (all legislation should be, in some sense, morality-driven but not all morality can or should be legislated).

Interesting thing about "political" though....
I think many in evangelicalism who are calling for walking away from "political," aren't noticing that we're talking about issues that didn't used to be political. Two biggies for example:
* Marriage
* Abortion

Historically, nobody thought of these as "political" matters. But what happened is that progressive/liberal ideologies began to push for change via legislative and/or judicial channels. That is, liberalism made them political. Conservatives did not push them into the arena of politics. Rather, people seeking remake society to fit their social ideals did.
1973, activist judges decide that killing unborn infants is part of the right to privacy. They made a moral issue political.
Recent years, a similar trend has brought the definition of marriage into the "political" arena.
But these would not be "political" issues at all if there weren't people trying to use political power to move the country leftward. People who value traditional thinking on these matters have had to "go political" just to slow the decline... and on some fronts, gain back a little ground. But it's been mainly defensive.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.