Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Next Culture War

From David Brooks, at the New York Times.

Read at the link for Brooks' discussion on the new round of the culture wars that's been unleashed with the Obergefell decision. Brooks suggests that it may be time to move past the current battles, which conservatives have lost:
Consider a different culture war, one just as central to your faith and far more powerful in its persuasive witness.

We live in a society plagued by formlessness and radical flux, in which bonds, social structures and commitments are strained and frayed. Millions of kids live in stressed and fluid living arrangements. Many communities have suffered a loss of social capital. Many young people grow up in a sexual and social environment rendered barbaric because there are no common norms. Many adults hunger for meaning and goodness, but lack a spiritual vocabulary to think things through.

Social conservatives could be the people who help reweave the sinews of society. They already subscribe to a faith built on selfless love. They can serve as examples of commitment. They are equipped with a vocabulary to distinguish right from wrong, what dignifies and what demeans. They already, but in private, tithe to the poor and nurture the lonely.

The defining face of social conservatism could be this: Those are the people who go into underprivileged areas and form organizations to help nurture stable families. Those are the people who build community institutions in places where they are sparse. Those are the people who can help us think about how economic joblessness and spiritual poverty reinforce each other. Those are the people who converse with us about the transcendent in everyday life.

This culture war is more Albert Schweitzer and Dorothy Day than Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham; more Salvation Army than Moral Majority. It’s doing purposefully in public what social conservatives already do in private.

I don’t expect social conservatives to change their positions on sex, and of course fights about the definition of marriage are meant as efforts to reweave society. But the sexual revolution will not be undone anytime soon. The more practical struggle is to repair a society rendered atomized, unforgiving and inhospitable. Social conservatives are well equipped to repair this fabric, and to serve as messengers of love, dignity, commitment, communion and grace.
More at Memeorandum, especially Rod Dreher, at AmCon, "David Brooks on ‘The Next Culture War’," and Vox Day, at Vox Populi, "They are the SAME war."

I thinks folks on the right should just step back, take a breather on the culture wars and start prioritizing a national security agenda for election 2016. Economics and national security should be the big issues, with immigration a key plank on the homeland side of security. Give homosexual marriage a rest --- at least for now.