April 2007
COMMENTARY
Cultural warriors can’t give up

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day. We were talking about the 2008 presidential race and politics in general. I told him one day I get up and I am ready to duke it out, but the next day I wake up and I am ready to give up on the political arena. I know many of you who are Christians and are fighting the culture war just as we are at AFA feel the same exact way. One election cycle we work hard and get the good guys and gals into office and then two years later those who are against everything we hold dear are swept in. It’s frustrating. But what is more demoralizing than anything is when you work hard to get your kind of people into positions of power and influence in government, and then they begin to get weak-kneed or waffle or have to be pressured to do the right thing. How many times do we see this happen? Over and over again. As I said earlier, it makes you sometimes want to just throw up your hands and say, “What’s the use?”

But we can’t do that. Not if we care about the future of America for our children and our grandchildren. We can’t give up, even though we often feel like it.

Now the culture war we are engaged is not only in the political area. That is only one place it is being battled out, but certainly it is a very important place. And I am not talking only about Washington, D.C. I am referring to the battles taking place in our state capitals and at the city council and school board levels. There are those who want to support traditional values and there are those who want to tear down traditional values and replace them with what television and radio commentator Bill O’Reilly calls “secular progressive” values. Ann Coulter calls them “godless” values.

Other areas of our national life where the culture war is being waged include academia, law, entertainment, the arts and even our churches. I was reminded of this fact recently when I read a story in my local paper about a church in Corinth, Mississippi, deciding to leave the old line denomination it has been a member of for many decades because the denomination had become accepting of the gay lifestyle and was even considering ordaining homosexuals as pastors.

But government is an institution ordained by God, and it affects our everyday lives. The laws passed by local, state and federal legislatures govern the behavior of the masses. Our elected officials decide what will be acceptable and what will be unacceptable for our society. And all Americans are under the law and therefore it is incumbent upon us all – especially Christians – to be engaged on some level and try to keep up, as best we can, with what is going on. In other words, someone or some group of people will make decisions about what’s right and what’s wrong and then the rest of us are going to have to live with those decisions. So better we have people of good Christian character and conviction in office than godless secularists who are hostile to the Christian value system. Or perhaps they are not hostile per se, but they are “put-their-finger-in-the-air” types who – though they may run for office as a traditionalist or someone who believes in Christian values – can’t be counted on to do the right thing once the pressure is applied from the secularist groups or if they think a vote on a controversial issue might cost them votes in the next election. All of us know the kind of politicians I am writing about here.

Honestly, I would rather a politician tell me straight up what he believes, even if I disagree with it, than to lead me to believe he has convictions on my issues and then when the heat is turned on he goes weak and goes against what he promised he would do when he was seeking my vote. 

Which leads me to the 2008 presidential campaign. To date, I am not impressed with any of the three front-runners on the GOP side. Sen. John McCain has made a habit of putting down the religious right. (That would be me and probably you.) Former mayor Rudolph Guiliani is pro abortion rights and pro homosexual marriage. Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts says he has converted from pro-abortion to pro-life. I am skeptical.  Gentlemen like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and California Congressman Duncan Hunter are much more in line with traditional values but are all considered long shots at this time.

If you get discouraged by politics as I do, let me encourage you to stay in the know and stay in the battle. Keep pushing. We may yet lose our government and our culture to the secularists. I don’t know. But I do know we will lose the war for the soul of America if we just completely give up.