The Christian right that apparently keeps Mr. Sullivan up at night shivering with fear is a pathetic, compromising bunch of namby pamby wimps compared to the holy warriors of my youth.
Sullivan doesn’t, I think, get the whole sweep of American life. On a couple of issues — abortion comes to mind — the social policy consensus is creeping a bit to the right, but generally speaking the Christian right today stands for positions that were considered fairly liberal not all that long ago. Liquor by the drink, gambling, lesbian and gay equal rights, premarital sex, birth control, pornography, interracial marriage: on a whole variety of issues, some noble and important, some hedonistic and perhaps a bit more questionable, the United States has moved steadily and inexorably toward a more permissive and open stance.
The Christian right has often fought that trend, but over time the right moves left as the center moves on.