Did We Win the Culture War?

As the results for California’s Proposition 8 roll in (“No to Prop 8″ means gay marriage there is secure), recall this quotation by the American Family Association’s founder Donald Wildmon, made several months ago:

“If we lose California, if they defeat the marriage amendment, I’m afraid that the culture war is over and Christians have lost,” says Wildmon, a 30-year veteran of the culture war. “I’ve never said that publicly until now — but that’s just the reality of the fact.

“If the homosexuals are able to defeat the marriage amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, then the culture war is over and we’ve lost — and gradually, secularism will replace Christianity as the foundation of our society,” he adds.

I await his white flag of surrender.

  • http://mattstone.blogs.com Matt Stone

    I find the whole comment exasperating. Firstly, there are Christians on both sides of the culture war. To buy into this comment as being representative of ‘the’ Christian position is to buy into the rhetoric of the religious right. Secondly, was not America founded on church / state separation and was this not introduced by, amongst others, Christians burnt out by European theocracy? He is confusing secularism with atheocracy. Again, to buy into this comment as being representative of ‘the’ Christian position is to buy into the rhetoric of the religious right.

  • http://1minionsopinion.wordpress.com 1minion

    I want to throw a quote at ya from http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/6088849.html

    “In the minds of many people, Proposition 8 is the most important thing nationally on the ballot,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, which supports the measure. “We have survived bad presidents. But many, many are convinced we will not survive this redefinition of marriage.”

    I don’t exactly know how redefining a concept will end the world, but I’d like to see an end to the style of thinking these guys do every day.

  • http://minerscanary.blogspot.com/ Zarathustra

    No. No we have not.

    The leaders of the religious right make these sort of statements when they are interested in exploiting the persecution complex of their movement.

  • http://thebitchreport.blogspot.com/ Milena

    “We have survived bad presidents. But many, many are convinced we will not survive this redefinition of marriage.”

    Well, shit. We all know what kind of pandemonium would be unleashed by happy people marrying!

  • http://www.baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com/ The Atheist Jew

    Abortion ban got defeated in South Dakota.
    Slots are coming to Maryland.
    Palin lost big time.
    Lets hope 8 gets blown to smithereens.

  • Cathy

    Sadly, CNN is projecting that the move to end affirmitive action in Nebraska has won. Also, it seems likely that that ban on gay marriage in Florida and Arizona passed. However, it looks like the abortion ban in Colorado was defeated and medical marijuana will be legalized in Michigan.

  • Cathy

    This is off topic, but MSNBC is calling the Dole/Hagan race in favor of Kay Hagan.

  • ryot

    Affirmative action has ended here, but I’m really not sure what to think. It was really a useless policy in Nebraska, and I really don’t support the idea, but I don’t know what’s going to come of it now that it’s gone. I can’t help but feel cheated either way.

    I’m dying to see what happens in California with Prop 8, if it’s passed, I won’t know what to do. The consequences will be far-reaching.

  • Aj

    I think all of that is good for Americans.

    Affirmative action is discrimination, it doesn’t do the job it’s meant to, just helps select groups, not addresses inequality. I think race and gender warfare have stopped Americans supporting the Democrats because they are unfair attacks on the interests of hard working people.

    The state shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage, all couples should be able to get civil unions, and then let individuals define marriage. I think that may take the sting out of the attacks of the religious. I think at the end of the day the good guys are winning the culture war on the acceptance of sexuality (including homosexuality) front.

    It’s great that women’s rights to abortion are intact, and Obama should get to pick Supreme Court judges that will protext those rights. This is important because those rights were definitely under threat.

  • http://fuzzmaster.lightbox.org FuzzMaster

    What exactly are the results for prop 8?

    As a local faggot I’d like to know I’m not being fucked :)

  • BZ

    Why has there been so much attention on prop 8 compared to the gay marriage bans in Florida and Arizona?

  • chancelikely

    BZ:

    More people in CA, more money thrown at the issue, and there are same-sex couples already married, so it’s a rollback of rights instead of just maintenance of the current denial of rights.

  • http://blog.chungyc.org/ Yoo

    I’m really uneasy that the current results show 52% vs. 48% in favor of Proposition 8. :( At least the situation is reversed for the abortion notification law.

  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/ballot.measures/ sam
  • http://amiable-atheist.blogspot.com amiable

    arizona voted to change the constitution to ban gay marriage.

  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/ballot.measures/ sam

    yes: 52.9704198%

  • Richard Wade

    “If the homosexuals are able to defeat the marriage amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, then the culture war is over and we’ve lost — and gradually, secularism will replace Christianity as the foundation of our society,” he adds.

    That is going to happen anyway, regardless of the outcome of Proposition 8. The time of the tyranny of dogma is passing. The time of forced conformity is fading. California can change its constitution with a simple majority initiative, so if this outrage passes, we’ll just keep hammering away at the Halls of Hate until we can change it back. I will never give up.

  • AxeGrrl

    Aj said:

    The state shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage, all couples should be able to get civil unions, and then let individuals define marriage. I think that may take the sting out of the attacks of the religious.

    Marriage is a LEGAL institution as much of a ‘religious’ one.

    I’m so tired of trying to ‘not offend’ religious people when it comes to the concept of marriage. Marriage is OLDER than religion, so why the hell should the religious get to exert some kind of ‘proprietary’ hold over it?

    It’s utterly ridiculous to let one group try to assert control over something that should belong to everyone.

    *pleased that I managed to restrain myself enough to post something vaguely coherent and temperate*

  • http://eshto.deviantart.com Eshto

    @AxeGrll:

    You are goddamn right. Marriage is a legal status. The religious component is inconsequential.

    My brother, not religious at all, got married in a purely secular ceremony. He has a legally defined “marriage”. Not civil union, or anything else. Marriage.

    Furthermore, when people get divorced, they need to hire lawyers, yes? If marriage were a religious affair, a priest would suffice. It does not.

    Prop 8 will pass, I never doubted that. But it’s only one battle in the war. We have facts on our side, as well as the inevitability of biology (there will always be more gays born automatically no matter what people do; whereas Christians must be intentionally indoctrinated). They have nothing but hatred, lies, and stone age mythology.

    Gay equality is inevitable, it just might take longer than we would like. Unfortunately, many families will have to suffer until then.

  • noodleguy

    Yeah…not so sure I buy into the whole Culture Wars paradigm

    It is also very hard for me to imagine that at this point, given everything that is going on in this country, failing to pass a gay marriage amendment will suddenly rally the electorate out in the mid-term congressional elections and produce some kind of Republican triumph. I just don’t see it happening. I think that even at the elite level, our culture war is increasingly something we are going to talk about in the past tense.

    Not so say that I don’t hate prop 8, its just that I think that:
    a) most of the public does not care
    b) Its not a decisive win for either side whichever way it goes

    Sad to say that it looks like it is going to pass, which is really a testament to the stone age bigotry left in the country.

    But c’mon! Cheer up! Obama won! OBAMA!!!!

  • grazatt

    So did prop8 pass or not?

  • http://www.aperfectfool.com Codswallop

    If the homosexuals are able to defeat the marriage amendment….

    The point is that “the homosexuals” didn’t defeat the marriage amendment. There simply aren’t enough of them to do so, even in California. The amendment could not have been defeated without the participation of a majority of straight voters.

  • Bryce

    yes it passed. a dark day for equal rights everywhere.

  • Cathy

    Not a decisive win? Thousands of people just had their marriages voided, four states decided that some of their citizens are counted as second class, and hundreds of foster children will lose their homes (Arkansas) how the hell can say that this in not important? And I’m just supposed to get over it because Obama won? I will admit he is a lot better than McCain (not a hard standard) but he shares the position that gay people should be treated as second class (civil unions = “seperate but equal”).

  • Steven

    From Wikipedia:
    “On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act.”
    You know, Vancouver is not that far from California and almost as warm. Canada’s immigration policies are notoriously lax and I think house prices are falling. Our economy would surely benefit from an influx of American immigrants.
    My country isn’t perfect (far from it!) but I think we are a little closer to embracing the 21st century in some areas than our neighbours to the south.
    It’s true that we haven’t had a black Prime Minister, but we did have a female PM (briefly). I really look forward to the day when neither of those things will be in any way remarkable.

  • Chris Nowak

    I think it’s not as big of a deal as it’s made out to be, but it does suck. I just don’t think it determines which side “wins the culture war”…even if it didn’t pass there’d still be tons of places where people discriminate against gay people because of religion.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    We didn’t win but we can and we will.

  • Don Pope

    I don’t know about California, but a similar amendment passed in Florida (Prop 2).

    One step forward, two steps back.

  • Richard Wade

    With 95% of the ballots counted, Proposition 8 has passed 52% to 48%.

    For the first time I am embarrassed to say that I’m a Californian. I can no longer be smug and superior about Texas or Kentucky or West Virginia or any place else to which I thought my state was culturally superior. Discrimination based on superstition, fear and hatred is now part of my state’s Constitution. I am ashamed.

    But my humiliation is unimportant. The setback to same-sex couples, including those among my family and friends is terrible.

    This does not mean that Wildmon and his partners in prejudice have “won” the culture war. They just haven’t lost yet. This ugliness will go on for a few more generations. Even if Prop 8 had failed, those who favored it would not go away or give up. We would see similiar initiatives in every election. But that can cut both ways. After educating more of the bigots, we will be able to eventually reverse this.

    Nothing is ever permanently “won.” The victors in any conflict may be able to die of old age before they see their victory reversed, but no freedom is guaranteed. For every liberty we enjoy, there are people working hard to take it away. Those who wish to oppress others have won this skirmish, but the fight will continue.

  • Old Beezle

    It’s a matter of time. The first ban on gay marriage from Prop 22 in 2000 garnered 61% whereas this Prop 8 has only managed 52%. Gay marriage will be legal within the next 5-10 years…”whether you like it or not!”

  • Turrboenvy

    So what happens to the same-sex couples that already got married, if this religious bigotry gets codified into law?

  • Ethan

    Richard Wade, you really thought California was culturally superior to Texas?
    You neanderthals don’t even have concealed carry!

    PS – I support gun rights, but I’m from Canada, so I’m just fucking wih you.

  • http://www.popcorngallery.net Max

    People below 30 largely support gay marriage. So it’s just a matter of time –although no one should ever have to be patient for equality.

    What drives me nuts, esp living in CA right now, is how we overwhelmingly supported animal rights while turning our backs on actual human beings.

  • Jack

    What drives me nuts, esp living in CA right now, is how we overwhelmingly supported animal rights while turning our backs on actual human beings.

    I, er, wouldn’t use that as an example. Humans aren’t living in cages (well, the non-criminals anyway), and they CAN stretch their limbs out.


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