You may not be interested in culture war. But culture war is interested in you.
I do believe the right has often been guilty of exploiting and weaponizing certain news events or outlier stories, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that I believed this despicable attempt to ruin Judge Kavanaugh’s life was a bottoming event in our political discourse. But I believe it is “the new normal,” not a bottom, and that the worst manifestations will not be in a Senate Judiciary Committee, or a heated campaign (both of which are bad enough), but will be in our businesses, our lives, and our communities, until these vestiges of cultural Marxism are soundly defeated.
Conservatives have claimed (rightly) for some time that it would be quite difficult to win the war on terror if we could not label it and identify it for what it is – Islamic jihadism. I would say that right now, in the present context, conservatives will have a very difficult time surviving in this culture if we cannot identify, accurately, the battle in which we find ourselves. Well-meaning people of faith frequently comment that we must avoid getting sucked into the culture war. Good luck with that. You’re in it. You’ve been made to care. And no head-in-the-sand-ostrich routine is going to save you now. We are locked into an existential battle for the future of western civilization. A romantic clinging to the idea of neutrality, denying the antithetical frameworks by which both sides see the human person, the human condition, and the nature of a free society, will lead to one side’s victory, and the other side’s annihilation. That is the reality in which we now live.
It would be nice if conservatives of faith had some support in the church, that allegedly spiritual institution of Christian community, doctrine, and practice. If you want to know what the church will look like in 3-5 years, look at what the culture is doing now. If you want to know what the culture looked like 3-5 years ago, look at the church now. From all but complete outliers in Rome and evangelicalism, the Christian church is in the theology of capitulation business now, desperate to fit in, desperate to be accepted by Vanity Fair, and oblivious to the fact that no amount of surrender is going to prove sufficient. Non-churched leftists are completely comfortable calling their ideology “leftism” or “progressivism.” The cultural pacifists that fill today’s pulpits lack the courage to even self-identify for the humanism-soaked sponges that they are. Christians, you are all alone if you are looking for the church to defend your cause, mission, and purpose. I don’t blame unbelievers for laughing at the latest screed that comes from today’s emasculated church; I do blame believers for not doing so.
My despair has come from the realization that our divide in this country is not merely sociological, that the other side is playing for keeps, and will stop at nothing to win. It is exacerbated by the realization that potential courageous opposition – the church – is asleep at the wheel. And my turmoil is unresolved by the realization that the tactics we will face as a remnant defending western civilization and the American experiment in the decades ahead will not, and cannot, be reciprocated by our own side. If we forfeit a quest for civility and decency, we will have already lost.
And that is where we find ourselves. A large percentage of the American population, enterprising, traditional, law-abiding, and respectful of social norms, under persecution from an extremist foe which has actually subverted the mainstream of American leftism. And that large percentage of the American population will spend the next period of time realizing the degree to which they are under assault, and then deciding how they wish to respond.
As for me and my house, we will do our very best to love each other, to love our neighbors, to grow our businesses, and to build community in the places that we live. We will defend ourselves against slanderous accusations. We will fight like mad for the causes we believe in. And we will try to live our lives above reproach.
But in engaging those who would prefer we be squashed, silenced, and ruined, we will not seek to squash, silence, or ruin them. And it is in that final commitment, that we may just be sowing the seeds of our own destruction.
You certainly are; as with their Muslim allies-of-convenience, they view your rationality, your decency, your humanity, and your forbearance as weaknesses to be exploited. To adapt another phrase: we don’t have to like it. We just have to win it. It may be a crying shame. It’s also just the way it is.
I’d take issue with his assertion that Christianity is “asleep at the wheel,” though. A dismaying percentage of mainstream congregations and their leadership, both Protestant and Catholic, are actively lurching Left, and have been for a long time now. Christianity is another bedrock Western institution that has been successfully infiltrated and co-opted by the Left for the purpose of destroying it. It’s possible that it may be restored to its former glory and influence. But the war will have to be won first—and that will require unstinting effort, free of reservation or restraint, using tactics every bit as ugly as the hateful villains we’re fighting.