Three smart people saying smart things about the “culture wars.”
John Aravosis: “Mr. Cantor, your culture war is my life“
Brad Dayspring, the former spokesman for the number two Republican in the US House, Eric Cantor, had the following to say about President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage:
“With the economy in stagnation and crippling amounts of debt, the President seeks to further divide America by launching in a culture war.”
Your culture war is my life.
And isn’t that the problem with so much that the modern Republican party stands for. They’ve turned all of our lives into one big culture war.
Access to affordable health care is a culture war. Jobs are a culture war. Protecting the environment is a culture war. Student loans are a culture war. Civil rights are a culture war.
What isn’t a culture war to these people?
Rachel Held Evans: “How to win a culture war and lose a generation“
My generation is tired of the culture wars.
We are tired of fighting, tired of vain efforts to advance the Kingdom through politics and power, tired of drawing lines in the sand, tired of being known for what we are against, not what we are for.
And when it comes to homosexuality, we no longer think in the black-at-white categories of the generations before ours. We know too many wonderful people from the LGBT community to consider homosexuality a mere “issue.” These are people, and they are our friends. When they tell us that something hurts them, we listen. And Amendment One hurts like hell.
… Amendments like these needlessly offend gays and lesbians, damage the reputation of Christians, and further alienate young adults — both Christians and non-Christian — from the Church.
So my question for those evangelicals leading the charge in the culture wars is this: Is it worth it?
Is a political “victory” really worth losing millions more young people to cynicism regarding the Church?
Is a political “victory” worth further alienating people who identify as LGBT?
Is a political “victory” worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with gays and lesbians?
And is a political “victory” worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks—what if we get this wrong?
Too many Christian leaders seem to think the answer to that question is “yes,” and it’s costing them.
Defending a particular way of understanding what the Bible is and how it is to be understood are staples of evangelicalism. Evangelicalism was founded to stay “true” to the Bible, which means contending against the theories of much of biblical scholarship deemed unacceptable to a “high” view of Scripture.
No, I am not condemning all evangelicals, but anyone who is at all active in this subculture can relate without much difficulty. Evangelicals have a long history of protecting the Bible from perceived “attacks,” and they have been remarkably successful in passing down that defensive legacy, and throwing under the bus those who raise serious voices of dissent.
But a growing generation of younger evangelicals has grown suspicious of the tremendous expense of energy needed to sustain the status quo. They live in a world where evolution is true, world religions intermingle, evangelicalism has lost its political and cultural luster, and where biblical scholarship has convincingly offered alternate paradigms for understanding the Bible.
The faith of their evangelical heritage no longer defines their spiritual journeys, and so these evangelicals are ready to deal with the Bible as it is rather than shuffle their feet in embarrassment.