The War on the Culture War
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision mandating same-sex “marriage” nationwide is being heralded as the decisive blow in the nation’s Culture War. It is proof, pundits say, that Christianity is in decline and the massive reaction to the sexual revolution of the sixties has failed.
Culture Warriors are now being urged to bow to the inevitable by either giving in or fading away. Liberals everywhere are parroting the mantra that the Culture War is over because the sexual revolution cannot be undone. The nation needs to move on.
But is the Culture War over? Every war must have a winner and a loser. It is usually the loser that declares the war is over by surrendering. This is a very strange situation where the supposed victor is declaring the war over without the consent of the vanquished.
In fact, most social conservatives are responding undaunted by noting that they have weathered many storms and are prepared to continue the fight after the devastating decision.
Thus, the court's decision does not mark the end of the war, but rather serves as an occasion to declare a war on the Culture War.
The reason for this attitude is that the Culture War has always been both an embarrassment and a disaster for liberals. They expected no opposition to their program during the giddy days of the sixties. They adopted as their own the narrative of a movement that represented all minorities and freed all the oppressed. They were to liberate women and individuals from “oppressive” traditions and morality. They were to inaugurate a society where everyone could be what they wanted to be and do their own thing. They claimed to have the passion of youth to man the barricades against the moneyed business establishment and rebel against university curricula dominated by teachings of dead white males.
But the Culture War has shattered this narrative and turned it on its head. It is women and young ladies that swell the ranks of the pro-life movement and aging feminists that lead the pro-abortion charge. It was vibrant African-American preachers and parishioners, not mainline denominations that were so actively engaged in the recent fight against same-sex “marriage.” Today “doing one’s own thing” means conforming in lockstep to politically correct norms.
It is not “the people” that fund liberal causes, but Hollywood pseudo-elites, rich white liberal males or the tax-exempt foundations of dead ones. It is the moneyed establishment of Fortune 500 companies that cave in, grovel and lend (or perhaps sell) their full support to liberal causes, government mandates, and immoral lifestyles. It is the Little Sisters of the Poor that stand up to big government when it mandates contraception.
That is not to say that the liberals are defeated. They still hold huge chunks of the battlefield, but they no longer have a credible narrative. Likewise, one cannot say that social conservatives are defeated since they have won important battles and forced liberals off valuable moral high ground, especially in the abortion battle. The fact is that the nation remains polarized and neither side can claim victory.
The June 26th Supreme Court decision is significant because it signals a change in war tactics. The left was forced to abandon its false narrative as a democratic movement of the “people.” Having failed to convince significant sectors of the public to accept its agenda, it used the courts to brutally impose it upon a tired and divided nation.
And now it seeks to declare war on the Culture War by declaring it over. That is why the Culture War is more important now than ever before.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.