There's nothing new here for observant conservatives who have looked at the cultural scene over the past 40 years.
"Culture Wars" is not a new term. It goes back to Bismark's use of the word "Kulturkampf," or culture war, to describe his campaign to modernize Germany by attacking the Catholic Church and, to a lesser degree, the Lutherans. He thought that Germany could not be brought into the modern world until what he considered to be religious superstition had been exterminated. And that idea in turn goes back to the Enlightenment and to Voltaire's famous command, "Ecrasez l'infame!"
It didn't take five minutes for Freepers to say that the New York Times's attack on Bush for visiting Bob Jones University, and their attempt to split his base by setting traditional Catholics against Evangelical Protestants, was a piece of breathtaking hypocrisy. Sure, Catholics and Evangelicals hurl insults at one another from a certain force of habit, but they are basically united against the forces of the counterculture which dominate the Democrat party.
It is, I agree, somewhat extraordinary to see a thoughtful piece like this printed in "The Public Interest." Normally such venues try to pretend that none of this stuff exists.
There are obviously numerous very active Catholics AND what the media would call fundamentalist Protestants here in the forum, and most of us get on very well. The real enemy is not Bob Jones University or the Pope, it is The New York Times.
posted on 01/09/2003 11:39:54 AM PST
Originally the word liberal meant social conservatives(no govt religion--none) who advocated growth and progress---mostly technological(knowledge being absolute/unchanging)based on law--reality... UNDER GOD---the nature of GOD/man/govt. does not change.
It's certainly true that observant conservatives could have reached the same conclusions as the authors.
I believe the article is important because of
1. The clarity with with the matter is laid out.
2. The empirical analysis of data most conservatives don't look at, or, unless they are academics, have access to.
3. The fact that it's in The Public Interest and written by two (probably liberal) professors of political science in the very liberal New York City University system.
It's a pity that the authors don't deal with either the origins of the term in 19th Century Germany, or the similar cultural struggle within Christianity in the US during the late 19th century between the mainline and what became known as fundamentalist worldviews. But, then, they are neither historians nor, one suspects, scholars of Protestantism.
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