Archive for October, 2009

Winning the Culture Wars

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

American’s are rejecting organized religion because they view it as the source of conflict rather than the source of reconciliation.

I’ve predicted in past posts that our children will resolve conflicts that we created and failed to resolve.

It is now becoming clear how they are going to do that.

They are abandoning traditional church-based religion.

They retain their belief in God, but they reject how organized religion has taken that belief and attempted to turn it into political power.

They reject the conflicts of their parents and view churches as associated with those conflicts.

They don’t want to be told by others what God says and don’t trust those who claim to speak for God.

The good news is that they are going to figure this out for themselves.

The bad news is that those of us who would like a say in the outcome are going to become increasingly frustrated and marginalized. We won’t be invited to participate because we have already demonstrated that we are unable to compromise.

This new generation is searching for a new vision of the country that they all can share. They are going to be willing to compromise on all of the BIG issues that have fractured the country under the Baby Boomer generation of leaders. The sorts of passionate debates that have fueled the culture wars are rejected by this new generation of leaders. They not only will reject it, but the whole concept of single issue politics will be viewed as inappropriate, counter productive, and unpatriotic.

The most recent example of this was the Facebook poll asking for a vote on assassinating Obama. Most of those who didn’t read too deeply thought it yet another example of conservative backlash to a popular liberal President. Turns out that it was a prank by a teenager intended to parody the extreme positions revealed in the current healthcare debate. The younger generation is trying to hold a mirror up to their elders in hopes that we will see how ugly we’ve become in their eyes.

So the culture wars will end in the way that most modern wars end these days. No one wins. Forces disengage in some messy ungraceful way. Both sides declare victory. Life goes on. At some point in the future, we celebrate the veterans who personally sacrificed. Our kids also quietly rewrite the history of this sacrifice to fit their new view of themselves.