[260] Culture Wars
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[260] Culture Wars

Sociologist James Davison Hunter popularized the term, culture wars, in his book of the same title. He described the issue of one “rooted in different systems of moral understanding,” something Duane Litfin reviewed in Christianity Today (September, 2019).  This split is not new. It harks back to 1791, when we see two interpretations of the nation, a “providential” (religious) one, and a secular one–a vertical.one grounded in transcendent authority and a horizontal one founded in humanism.  These two views have been jousting for decades on the turf of American institutions–law, government, policies, and education. According to Steven D. Smith, the Supreme Court tipped the balance to the secular side with a series of decisions running from the 1940s on into the 1960s.

That SC tilt worked against the providentialists in the past few decades, as the secularist agenda gained the edge on issues of homosexuality, gender, abortion, marriage, and religious freedom in the courts.  The secularist agenda became the essence of Political Correctness, with those who objected to this secular catechism branded as at best, out of touch, and at worst, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and bigoted.

With things looking bleak for the providentialists, enter Donald Trump.  He willingly supported the providentialist—even evangelical– agenda. Backed in a cultural corner due to the ever more dominating force of secularism, providentialists were faced with a surprising choice: they could either back Trump, despite his less than sterling moral past and often ungracious demeanor, or watch the secular march go unopposed.

And there is where we are today.  We have a powerful and very aggressive secular movement being resisted—at least politically–by of all people, Donald Trump.  God certainly works in mysterious ways.


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