in the Culture Wars
"It became an emblematic moment. Patrick Buchanan standing before the
Republican National Convention in August 1992, bluntly declaring that there
was a 'religious war' and a 'cultural war' under way for the soul of the
country. And that 'Clinton and Clinton are on the other side' with an agenda
of 'radical feminism,' 'abortion on demand' and 'homosexual rights.'"
So wrote Robin Toner in the lead of her Sunday New York Times article titled,
"To the Barricades: The Culture Wars, Part II."
A mild dissent. This writer did not declare a culture war in Houston. I
defined that struggle for the soul of America only after Democrats nominated a
candidate who was the paragon of the New Morality and social radicalism of the
1960s. Let the reader decide whether eight years of Bill Clinton validated my
As Toner writes, the culture wars have been reignited. And there is no doubt
who initiated this round of hostilities. There is no question who the
aggressors are in "Culture Wars, Part II." There is no doubt who pushed the
"wedge issues" onto the docket. Consider the subjects that have roiled America
since New Year's Eve:
One hundred million Americans gather together for the Super Bowl and are
treated to a vulgar stunt, as pop star Janet Jackson has her breast plate
ripped off by Justin Timberlake.
Superstar Mel Gibson invests $25 million of his own money to do a film on the
passion of Christ and is scourged near to death as an anti-Semite before
anyone has seen the film. Powerbrokers in Hollywood tell the New York Times
they will destroy him.
The Massachusetts supreme court orders Gov. Romney and the legislature to
begin handing out same-sex marriage licenses by May, and that their approval
of civil unions will not satisfy the court.
Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco ignores a law enacted by the people of
California two-to-one in a referendum, and starts handing out marriage
licenses to homosexuals. Rosie O'Donnell arrives with female paramour in tow,
gets hitched, and cusses out President Bush for saying he is troubled by this
and will try to maintain traditional marriage in America even if it requires a
Who is in your face here? Who started this? Who is on the offensive? Who is
pushing the envelope? The answer is obvious. A radical Left aided by a
cultural elite that detests Christianity and finds Christian moral tenets
reactionary and repressive is hell-bent on pushing its amoral values and
imposing its ideology on our nation.
The unwisdom of what the Hollywood and the Left are about should be
transparent to all. But if this assault on the sensibilities of the majority
continues, the candidate of Hollywood and the Left, John Kerry, will pay a
price in November.
Do they recognize how they are being perceived? Do they care? Perhaps not. For
Middle America, however, these have been weeks of revelation. The crudity of
the MTV crowd, manifest in the Janet Jackson episode, and the ferocity of the
hatred of the Hollywood elite for Mel Gibson's film have jolted Christians.
The endorsement by gay-rights groups and their allies of this schoolhouse door
disobedience by elected officials has shown not only that the other side in
the culture war considers itself above the old morality, it considers itself
above the rule of law.
Truly, these nine weeks since New Year's Eve reveal that we are a "house
divided" in ways deeper than the shallow rich-and-poor divide of John Edwards'
campaign rhetoric. We no longer inhabit the same moral universe. We are no
longer a moral community. We are two countries. One part of America has
seceded, and the other has no interest in re-establishing the Union.
While the Left lacks the majority to prevail in a legislative process, and its
agenda is despised, it has succeeded by persuading judges, whom voters cannot
remove, to impose its agenda by dictat.
Thus, the great battleground of the culture war, after the schools, is the
courts. And here, the elected branches, especially Congress, have been
derelict in permitting their powers to be seized by judicial collaborators of
the moral minority.
Presidents can, as Bush has done, make recess appointments to the federal
courts. Like Jefferson and Jackson, he can interpret the Constitution and
ignore Supreme Court orders. A strong president would lead Congress in
reasserting the supremacy of the first and second branches of the U.S.
government over the third branch.
Congress has the power to impeach federal judges and remove them. It has the
power to impose term limits on them. It has the power to restrict the
jurisdiction of all federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. It has
the power to abolish every federal court but the Supreme Court. But it has
refused to use that power.
Time for Congress, in this culture war, to lead, follow or get out of the way.
© 2003 Creators
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