December 18, 2015

Culture Wars Over, Religious Right Lost

WarIsOver BillboardSlogan 1969In case you missed the big news that dropped at the end of November like I did, the culture wars in the United States have officially ended. Oh, and the religious right lost. I know this is difficult to believe, and I certainly don't want you to take my word for it. There actually is a source for this information: well-known Christian extremist James Dobson. According to Dobson, the war ended with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. Who would have thought that granting couples in love the right to marry would be the end of these long wars?

Doesn't it seem like this should have been much bigger news story than it was? It seems like it should have been the lead story on every major news outlet for at least a couple of days. I guess even a story like this just cannot compete with Donald Trump.

With the lack of coverage, it is understandable that many people are still unaware that the religious right has surrendered. At least, it sounds like I am not the only one who didn't get the memo about the end of the culture wars. Many members of Congress also seem to be completely unaware of the news.

Why would I say that? Earlier this week, Republicans in Congress proposed House Resolution 564, aimed at protecting "the symbols and traditions of Christmas." If that sounds just a bit silly, don't worry. It gets better. According to the text of the resolution, it is resolved:
That the House of Representatives-
  1. recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
  2. strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
  3. expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
Does Congress really not have anything better to do than continue to fight a war they have already lost? Since the religious right has already lost the culture wars, they should all let go of Christmas and move on. Maybe they could try their hands at governing the country for awhile. Then again, they don't seem to have much interest in governing, do they? Maybe they should leave government and become pastors. Maybe they would be good at that.

As I watched the final Republican presidential debate of 2015, I found myself marveling at how dominant the politics of fear seem to be as we approach this election. Every single candidate is trying as hard as they can to scare the voting public while presenting himself or herself as the only qualified savior. With all the fear-mongering and the emphasis on how to keep our country safe, one can be forgiven for thinking that our elected representatives in Congress might have more important things to do than their annual war on Christmas pandering. I suppose it is just too lucrative to give up.

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